I am very happy to write a note on publication of first issue of MUSLIM PRSPECTIVES, a quarterly journal of MUSLIM Institute. Since its inauguration on March 7, 2012, MUSLIM Institute has been working for peace, stability, prosperity and leadership in Muslims and the world at large, through various activities. It has undertaken multiple initiatives to highlight the dynamics of contemporary and emerging challenges faced by Pakistan, the region, the Muslim world and the world at large.
The Institute intendeds, through publication of quarterly research journal, to discuss and analyse the same challenges in depth in an academic manner with scientific research and explore avenues of dealing with the same. The research and other writings published in the Journal are intended to explore important avenues and facilitate the academia, policy makers, analysts and students to move forward. Along with research writings on diverse areas around Institute’s work, the Journal will contain important reports/recommendations of events organized by Institute, opinions about the issues of Muslim world as well brief commentary on the important events happened in a particular quarter.
MUSLIM PERSPECTIVES would endeavour to play its role in promoting quality research by use of reasoning, rational and critical thinking, quest for truth through an epistemology which can lead us towards harmonization in global village. I am very hopeful that this journal will contribute its part in supporting researchers and policy makers to explore new avenues to tackle the challenges of modern world in effective manner. Also we expect that it will help bridging the gap between societies and to minimize the persisting differences among communities.
The first issue of quarterly journal contains four articles, one opinion piece, commentary on important current affairs, one book review and couple of reports along with recommendations of events organized by MUSLIM Institute.
In the article on “Space Weaponization and Future Threats of Satellite Nuclearization”, the author has discussed about the space militarization in past and future avenues of arms race for nuclearization in the outer space. The past experiences of humanity about formation of Weapons of Mass Destructions and their spread in different regions is quoted to learn the lessons and take immediate actions to stop the similar kind of arms race in outer space. Different avenues of space nuclearization are discussed and it is suggested that unified action by international community to deal with the space issues can only stop satellite nuclearization.
In a brief article on “The new Great Game in Central Asia and Challenges and Opportunities for Pakistan”, Ambassador (R) Fauzia Nasreen has analysed the complex cobweb of rivalries, competition, and chessboard game being played out in Central Asia and challenges and opportunities for Pakistan in this. It is argued that China seems to emerge as a dominant player and its diplomatic, political and economic overtures along with Russia seem to have more influence in the region. However, the jigsaw puzzle will be Afghanistan as in the old Great Game.
Dr. Amir Saeed in his article on “Islam and Muslims in the Media: Industry Challenges and Identity Responses” discussed about representation of Islam and Muslims in the media. He has shown that the misrepresentation of Muslims and Islam can be linked to development of ‘racism’ namely Islamophobia. He also discussed that Western media representations do not acknowledge the commonalities of Islam and Muslims with western society. As a consequence the Western Muslim diaspora are constrained to employ new / social media to challenge anti-Muslim racism.
The article on “Palestine-Israel Conflict and Israeli Strategies”, the history of Israeli illegal expansion in Palestinian land is discussed. With special reference to the Operation Cast Lead in 2014, the Israeli strategies are analysed. The response of international community towards the crisis and especially Western support towards Israel to control the energy rich Middle East despite of human rights violations and disunity among Arabs have caused the issue to still linger on. Newly discovered natural gas fields in and around Gaza has been analysed as an additional reason for Israel’s insistence not to relinquish control of the Gaza Strip.
Ambassador (R) Tariq Osman Hyder has given a brief overview of major developments in the world about Muslims or having influence on them. The opinion piece of Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi contains discussion about freedom of expression and the right to insult. He has presented the idea of forming an international forum where issues related to freedom of expression or insult could be taken. Other writings in this issue include a book review by Ahmad AlQadri and overview reports and recommendations of two events organized by MUSLIM Institute.
I would like to thank the members of Editorial and Advisory Board of MUSLIM PERSPECTIVES Journal and all the writers and reviewers whose efforts, support and contributions have made it possible to publish the first issue of our Journal.