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Legal and Moral Abyss
Babar Sattar

What’s worse ­— Qadris and Mirzas who claim human lives out of misplaced loyalty to faith or ethnicity, or their defenders who project vile criminals as patron saints? Legislators who don’t have the sense to understand whether the 21st Amendment is a good or bad law, or legislators who know full well what a stain it is on our fundamental law and sense of propriety and are still willing to sign on the dotted line? Perpetuating injustice through unjust laws or by deliberately enhancing the gap between law and its implementation?....


Obama, Ansari and the Patriotism of India Muslims
Ali Khan Mahmudabad

The fact is that the only reason the Vice President has been targeted is because he is Muslim. Sushma Swaraj, minister of external affairs, and Rajnath Singh, the home minister, were both also present during the ceremony and neither saluted the flag. The openly bigoted and often abusive kind of language in much of the commentary is not an aberration. All one has to do is to read the comments on any article (perhaps even this one) that is about Muslims or Islam.....


Pakistan: The Rise of Religious Rage
Khaled Ahmed

The rage was suicidal. The ruling party, instead of condemning the rioters, launched a tirade against Denmark and emphasised the importance of Islamic protest. After that, boys from Lahore’s schools and colleges entered the streets with clubs in their hands and set about breaking cars and setting them on fire. The police stood aside watching, probably longing to get into the act of destroying Pakistan. They saw boys get together in a phalanx, firing their guns in volleys.....

The Preamble Matters
Sudheendra Kulkarni

Secularism, understood as a non-theocratic state that shows equal respect for all faiths, is by no means an imported concept. If it is, isn’t parliamentary democracy also imported from the West? Its high time Modi stopped this needless debate and, instead, turned his government’s attention to putting the kernel of secularism and socialism into practice.....

Saudi Arabia: Keeping It in the Family

Rarely has one of Saudi Arabia’s ageing rulers moved so nimbly. No sooner had King Salman taken the crown on January 23rd after the death of his half-brother, Abdullah, than he immediately settled one of the most pressing questions of his rule: who would be the next king and, crucially, who would be the king after that. “The king did 90% of his job in just one day!” jokes one Saudi…..


Musharraf’s Candour
Najam Sethi

Meanwhile, the government of Nawaz Sharif would do well to heed Musharraf’s words regarding General Raheel Shareef’s decisive moves and action-oriented globetrotting. “It’s not he who’s doing that, it’s those countries who are giving him that stature. The army is the only stabilising institution in Pakistan. That is why they give importance to the military chief. Especially when they also see the degree of bad governance going on….

Gita, Gandhi and Godse
Verghese K. George

Gita, Gandhi and Godse

To say that religion and politics should not be mixed has not only become a cliché, but may be missing the point altogether. Many tall leaders found the reason for their political action in their religious faith. Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr are examples…..

Ultimately, Mr. Hadi’s government collapsed through a series of grievous omissions: inaction in the face of powerful militias, unwillingness to impose law and security all over the country, and a failure to improve the lives of ordinary Yemenis. Mr. Hadi and the United Nations were not able to create the change that Yemenis took to the streets for in 2011. The Yemen model has been replaced by the Houthi model, with its simple adage: Violence pays…..


The Retrial of Godse: Assassin’s Political Audience

The anniversary of the murder of Mahatma Gandhi has a different flavour this year. Of late, the man who killed him, Nathuram Godse, has been glorified publicly, and not only by BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj, who hailed him as a “patriot”. (Maharaj has since apologised for this.) But also by Hindu Mahasabha general secretary Acharya Madan, who argued on TV that while Gandhi was responsible for the death of 10 Lakh Hindus — the victims of Partition, a catastrophe he attributed to the Mahatma — Godse had killed “for a cause”….

The Retrial of Godse: Forgetting the Facts

I imagine you believe that he was for the most part adored; in fact he was hated and he is still hated today. Hatred is still alive in India and he died of it… But the simple fact that he lived according to his own law — which was ascetic and demanding of himself was something people could not tolerate.” French writer Hélène Cixous turns to Gandhi to compare his life with the ways of writing that “may hurt, may dissatisfy and give the feeling that something is taken away.”….

The Bengaluru police, who arrested Mehdi Masroor Biswas for tweeting extensively on behalf of the dreaded militant group, Islamic State (IS), claimed that they have sufficient evidence to file a charge-sheet against him in the next 30 days.....

Bengaluru Police Bust Group Supplying Terrorists with Mobile SIM Cards

Police Say They Have Enough Evidence to Charge Mehdi Masroor Over IS Tweets   

Police Hunt for Satellite Phone Users in Karnataka

Police Identify Shops Selling Explosives


Erdoğan’s Attack on Civil Society
Mustafa Akyol

The problem is that Erdoğan now sees the Gülen movement, which once was his best ally, as his worst enemy, and he tries to undermine it by all means necessary. That includes even attacking the very Gülen-inspired schools that Erdoğan himself used to praise only a few years ago. The sad thing for Turkey is that these Gülen-led schools - which number almost 1,000 in some 130 countries, ranging from Mongolia to South Africa - amount to the most notable Turkish civil society project ever. They are also a great part of Turkey's “soft power” in the world, raising generations that receive a good, modern education, speak English well, but also receive a taste of Turkish-Muslim culture…..


“Instead of confronting with them and raising hue and cry about the intentions of Christian missionaries we decided to raise the quality of our education. If we cannot provide the quality education to our people we cannot stop them to go somewhere else. And that is no a justice. We have to equip our people with all the modern requirements along with Islamic education then only we can save our people getting trapped,” says Sayed, adding that the people running Madrasas across India will have to understand that the generations “we are producing from our institutions should not face the job problem. For this, we have to equip them with scientific and technical education as well”…..


Feroz Shah Kotla, on the other hand, is a huge, spacious and fascinating fortress built by Emperor Feroz Shah Tughlaq. The sandstone Ashoka Pillar there dates back to the 3rd century BC. It is one of the pillars which Emperor Ashoka had left after his reign in the 3rd century BC. Tughlaq transported the pillar from its original location at Ambala. Another pillar is at the ridge in the Delhi University’s north campus. That one was brought from Meerut. Today, this fortress is seldom visited by anyone. Worse, the stillness and absence of human interest have created an eerie aura. For the lack of a better word, it’s scary to be alone on the premises for even a few minutes. Ancient architecture in Delhi is a crucial link to the past, and merits an honest appraisal of whether or not these historical ruins need to be conserved. The strains of living a modern, progressive life have annihilated all reflections of history. It is high time both the Government and public conscience woke to the hapless shrieks of Indian history....


Wake Up to Reality: ISIS Volunteers in India Cross a Thousand
Madhav Nalapat

After months of soft-pedalling, intelligence agencies have finally accepted that ISIS is spreading across most of India, especially in Uttar Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Seemandhra, Telangana and Maharashtra. In such a delay between fact and acceptance, they are following the same trajectory as their counterparts in the US, UK and France, who till late last year refused to take seriously reports that several hundred of their citizens were battling on behalf of the group in Iraq and Syria.....


India’s Friends Israel and U.S. Differ Sharply on Arab World
Saeed Naqvi

The death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia will push the rapidly changing West Asian landscape onto the middle of the agenda President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will discuss on Sunday. Terrorism was already a theme, but now cause and effect of that rampaging evil may also get an airing, something neither Riyadh nor Jerusalem quite likes…..


Of Abject Mis-Governance: Pakistan’s Problem is…Pakistan
Mehr Tarar

And it goes on and on. It was one thing if Pakistan did not have the capacity to generate the required electricity or its gas resources — albeit limited in the long run — were inadequate to provide domestic and industrial fuel, or its rivers and canals had all dried up! Pakistan’s problem is…Pakistan…..


On Religious Conversion, a Question
Khaled Ahmed

Why convert now? I can understand Pakistan doing it because the state is in crisis and, by some estimates, is falling apart and can’t prevent this criminal activity. But India is already populated by a great mass of Hindus; why should it add more, when it knows that the new Hindus will not be genuinely absorbed?  By the middle of this century, India is supposed to become an economic giant, second only to China. The BJP government is led by a man who can achieve this milestone through his economic policies. The world will convert to India because of the big market it is going to become. Isn’t it enough that at least three nation-states of South Asia boast national anthems based on the poems of the greatest Hindu genius, Rabindranath Tagore?....


Take Aim, Fire at Will: Australian Hypocrisy on a High Pedestal
Pierre Marthinus

All lives matter greatly, not just Australian ones. Any debate that does not start from these fundamental premises of equality of human life and dignity is not worth visiting and is a waste of the Indonesian public’s valuable attention and time…..


Saudi Arabia King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Dies, New Ruler Is Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Late Saudi King Abdullah

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah died early on Friday and his brother Salman became king, the royal court in the world's top oil exporter and birthplace of Islam said in a statement carried by state television. King Salman has named his half-brother Muqrin as his crown prince and heir. "His Highness Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and all members of the family and the nation mourn the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who passed away at exactly 1am this morning," said the statement……

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Pakistan’s Paradigm Shift: Too Good To Be True?
Dr Mohammad Taqi

Pakistan’s national security paradigm has changed, or so they say. Perhaps my Afghan readers, who would be the major beneficiaries of such a tectonic shift, may be able to appreciate the above quoted Persian verse, in which the classic poet Anvari says: “O my Lord, am I seeing this all while I am awake or is it a dream? Such bounties for this poor soul after such prolonged misery!” After the decades of the death and destruction it unleashed, the Jalaluddin Haqqani terrorist network, run currently by his son Sirajuddin Haqqani, has reportedly been banned by Pakistan. Additionally, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed’s Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which effectively is the political front for the proscribed terrorist group Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT), has ostensibly been banned too. Amen to that!....


One may well question the wisdom of retaining the CII on the statute books at all, that too with a parliament bound by the constitutional stipulation that no law will be passed contrary to the Quran and Sunnah……


Motivated by ‘religious zeal and fervour’, they had turned up to get training for jihad. Naeem ur Rehman, an IT expert, explained this as ‘academic’ training through lectures and sermons, and not military instruction. The gathering of people with similar thinking in hundreds of thousands at one place also infused a new spirit of determination among the activists, he added…..

A Mind of Winter
Rahul Pandita

A Mind of Winter
Rahul Pandita

Twenty-five years is a long time. For a refugee, it indicates a sense of permanent exile. In exile, most of us are doing well for ourselves. But beneath our tiepins, our PowerPoint presentations, our single malts, our Harvard ‘five-foot shelf’ classics, we suffer from an acute sense of homelessness. In exile, our achievements are like pieces of meat over that man’s dead body. In exile, we are like Orwell’s Unhappy Bella, waiting for unknown fishermen to sing the sad song of our betrayal...


Indians Must Become a ‘People of the Book’
A Surya Prakash

Strange as it may seem, we will have to work overtime to disprove Ambedkar if we are to save the Constitution of India that was drafted under his leadership. This can happen only when religion dissolves into a great crucible called the Constitution of India. We may not go so far as the French in permitting people to castigate or laugh at the religious beliefs of others but let there be no doubt that our Constitution and democratic way of life can survive only if we ensure that religion yields to the Constitution and not the other way round....

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