It is a historical irony indeed when it appears the only safe place for a Christian in the Middle East is Israel, a country in large part populated by Jews who themselves were forced to flee Islamic intolerance in the same lands from which Christians now feel impelled to flee....
Since Independence this game has been played both covertly and overtly. Media and intellectuals have, knowingly or unknowingly, helped these parties in extracting this 'electoral Jiziyah' from insecure minorities. After partition, Muslims who remained in India were told both by Muslim and 'secular' leadership that if they wanted to survive in Hindu India it was their duty to protect secularism, which in real terms meant voting for one party, which in return would keep India secular…..
They know what is good for them and they can also see through the designs of various political parties and candidates. "To bind them to one single organisation would therefore not be fair. They should be able to choose from the candidates seeking election and since 95% of people (read Hindus) are secular, it would not be difficult to make up their minds."….
Virendra Nath Bhatt
Noted Urdu poet Munawwar Rana expressed regret about the prevailing political scenario. “Faultlines are being unabashedly exploited by all political parties,” he said. “To every party, the Muslim vote is like apple. But on the day of polling, it turns out to be like an orange.”….
We understand there will be those who do not agree on issues, yet this should not stop both communities working together against bigotry, hate and intolerance which both communities have suffered. It is time for the bigotry to stop and for us to work together on this small island and within the shared spaces we use every day…..
“Indian Muslims have always voted for secular Hindu parties and not for Muslim parties and that trend remains.” While the argument remains valid, it relies on secularism, which nourishes the historical separatism that prevents Muslims from breaking through their mass intellectual paradigm….
This Article 6 drama has become a laughing matter. Based on my observations; Pakistan's enemies in Western academia, media, and intellectual world are happy on the stupidity of this constitutional juggling in Pakistan…..
During his years in power, Musharraf never tired of telling us that he was a master strategist. But just as he sent in our troops into Kargil without a plan for a safe and honourable exit, he arrived in Pakistan without a return ticket.....
Avoiding the anarchy and bloodshed of the horrifying Egyptian brand of what is paradoxically called the Arab Spring, accountability of a military ruler has been initiated in the precincts of a court. More importantly, outside the court, the political verdict on the touchstone of democracy has long declared the former general a loser.....
We may rightly dispute the judgment of the SC to try General Musharraf only for his sins of commission in October 2007 rather than also for those in October 1999. In fact, we may doubly insist that it is patently unjust to try only General Musharraf for treason when a host of others, including generals, judges, politicians and bureaucrats actively participated in his decision of October 2007….
Mehr F Husain
But no dictator has been held accountable and so for an ex- military man to be brought forth before the law and indicted for treason which carries death penalty was indeed a historic moment for a country who has struggled and is striving to allow democracy to flourish.....
The gloves are off. The BJP, which has of late been making lukewarm, noises about inclusive growth for all and communal harmony, has not fielded a single Muslim candidate from its Karmabhoomi of Uttar Pradesh. Muslims, who make up about 17 per cent of the population in UP, are chafing at this insult....
Young men who in the west are considered to be grown up, act like teenagers here with the mentality to match. It is hard to believe that any one society could produce so many mentally crippled men. They are so afraid of their parents that the truth becomes a lie in the name of respect. For young people in Pakistan, the future is bleak: no promising jobs and no opportunities....
A hardened politician like Narendra Modi cannot see his constituency in its rich cultural context The ground for cultural commerce had been prepared by the great Sufis. The ambience they left behind mingled in the regions with influences of Bhakti, the wandering mendicants and Faquirs…..
I have lost my best friend, mentor and Humraaz, my secrets gone with him. Indian Muslims, Pakistanis and secularists too, have lost their best friend. Khushwant often reiterated, “I never turn away a Muslim or Pakistani from my door. My house is always open for them”. He pleaded the case for good relations, questioning why visas were needed to visit relatives and friends across the border. Remembering his last visit to Hadali, his ancestral village in Pakistan, Khushwant would become emotional, ‘Mai to Hajj Kar Aya. Mera To Makkah Pakistan Mai Hai’…..
What is the good life? Is it the life lived in virtue? But what is virtue? It is different things to different people. What usually passes for virtue in our climate either sticks in the throat or is a stimulus to laughter. The line between virtue and hypocrisy is often a thin one, and in this country at least we have made ourselves masters, impresarios really, of hypocrisy: looking out for ourselves all the time but snivelling about the hereafter, our great preoccupation, and the nobility of our intentions......
Sattar is not the only one thinking on this line. Among the community, this feeling is getting stronger with the passage of every day. "This is also how the intellectual class and Muslim bodies are thinking and they agree that there should be tactical voting to ensure the win of a secular and winnable candidate in each constituency….
Egypt has been on an alarming downward spiral ever since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Even so, the court verdict on Monday that condemned 529 Islamists to death for the killing of a single police officer last summer was a uniquely shocking example of a judicial system run amok…..
This is not exactly the kind of history the Fatah leadership, Dahlan included, would like to remember. Such history is simply too dangerous as it underscores the reality that engulfed, and to a large degree, continues to shape the ruling class of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah whose reach has touched upon every aspect of Palestinian life…..
‘Ban It- Block It’
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
Had it not been for the death sentence given by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeni, Salman Rushdie would not have been a common name, except in select literary circles. And so is the case with Taslima Nasrin. The more one tries to grip the sands inside the fist, the more it will slip away. Similarly the more any piece of art is banned or blocked; the more people will come to know about it. This is basic psychology. We generally desire to do what we are told not to do.....
Arab countries at that time were impressed by the way Turkey achieved a balance between Islam and modernity, and its policies regarding the West and the Muslim world. They were looking forward to benefitting from the Turkish experience of political and judicial reforms....
The increasing cooperation between the PYD and Sutoro, a Syriac Christian militia, reveals that new combinations and collaborations of ideologically, ethnically or even religiously different groups might be on the agenda in the upcoming days. This will make the Syrian crisis much more thorny to overcome and difficult to analyze. The fragile process in Syria is still waiting for a solution, which is becoming more difficult as time passes…..
...there is a misunderstanding among some people, mainly Muslims, that preservation of secularism is the exclusive responsibility of Muslims. This certainly is not the case. India is secular not because Muslims want it to be so, but because this country has evolved over millennia in a way that religion and its practice have been left out of the domain of the state. This is reflected in India's Constitution. It is relevant to note that Europe did not become secular to accommodate Jews, Muslims or Buddhists, but to protect people from sectarian strife within Christianity. US secularism has similar origins. India too is secular because of Hindus, not Muslims, Sikhs, Christians or Parsis.....
Mehr F Husain
They say two’s company and three’s a crowd. But in a country where the left- wing, secular liberals cry out for war and the right- wing, Islamists preach dialogue when it comes to the question of how the TTP should be dealt with, it seems it’s a case of strength in numbers……
THREE apparently unrelated developments point to a groundswell that could ultimately unhinge Pakistan from its democratic moorings. The three happenings are: the Taliban lobby’s campaign to frighten the government into yielding to the extremists, the Saudi gift of a sackful of dollars, and Maulana Shirani’s design to torpedo women’s rights. All three affairs betray a retrogressive mindset....