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War, Peace, Language
Khaled Ahmed

She is not opposed to English, but she thinks it should come later in the child’s learning career. All educationists, from Maria Montessori in the 20th century to Abbas Rasheed and Tariq Rehman in our times, agree with her. But the problem with us today is that Urdu is not the mother tongue in all cases. The state indoctrinates in all textbooks, Urdu and English, except that English keeps puncturing the evil dystopia of intolerance and the false effervescence of jihad because it connects us to the world outside our ideological bubble…..

 

Are Netanyahu’s Days Numbered?
Uri Avnery

It was almost fashionable to declare that the Left is finished, dead, deceased. Among commentators, it has become de rigeur, especially among leftists, to heap scorn on the Left and the remaining leftists. Poor guys (and gals, of course). Can’t see what’s going on. Harbour illusions. Whistling in the gathering darkness.   And suddenly there is a chance – a remote chance, but a chance nevertheless – for the Left to regain power. Why? What has happened?....

 

Ghazwa-e-Hind: The Lashkar Project
Praveen Swami

He appeared on horseback before the iconic Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore last Thursday, the beast swaying somewhat alarmingly below his not-inconsiderable girth, to proclaim before thousands of cheering cadre brought in on special trains that it was the eve of the Ghazwa-e-Hind. Neo-fundamentalists believe that the Prophet said the war to establish Islamic rule in India would be waged by an army rising from the fabled deserts of Khorasan before the day of judgement. “The Ghazwa-e-Hind is inevitable,” announced Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), parent organisation of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). “Kashmir will be freed, 1971 will be avenged and the Gujarat victims will get justice, god willing.”…..

Almost as critical is the role of religion as an imagination, as a way of life. The empty opposition between secularism and communalism is futile. We need to engage with believers in critical introspection. One interesting example of such an experiment is Ziauddin Sardar’s journal, Critical Muslim, where he invents his way beyond fundamentalism. Sardar, as a physicist, an expert on culture, as a practising Muslim, can relate to Islam in a credible way. The question is can we, in a parallel way, look the critical Hindu, create a space where Hinduism and Hindutva are separated? To do so, one needs to look at religion more playfully and desist from reducing religion to con-man cults, to communalism, to a snobbery which believes that the elite can survive on a diet of secularism but the poor need the fodder of religion. One has to realise that India is a civilisation base for Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and a host of tribal gods…..

 

Yes To ‘Ottoman,’ No To Compulsory Religion
Mustafa Akyol

Because the “Ottoman language” is not a dogma; it is the very language that was written and spoken in this country until 80 years ago. The Kemalist “language revolution” of the 1930s aimed to create a national tabula rasa, but only culturally impoverished the nation by cutting it from its centuries-old cultural accumulation. Therefore, Turkish children would be luckier today if they gain the capacity to understand what their grandfathers wrote and spoke. I am all for that……

 

Britain Unveils World's ‘Toughest’ Counter-Terrorism Law
Soeren Kern

Civil liberties groups counter that the measures are "draconian" in scope and represent a dramatic expansion of government surveillance powers, ones that are ripe for misuse if they are not matched by strong safeguards. A key provision of the new law would authorize the government to seize the passports of terror suspects travelling to Iraq, Syria and other jihadist battlegrounds…..

 

Sohail Rathore: A Most Remarkable Man
Nadeem F. Paracha

After being punched, kicked, slapped, spat upon and accused of being ‘KGB/Soviet/Communist agents’ by the cops, we were all thrown into one of the many dirty, wet and windowless cells of the police station. But we weren’t the only ones in that malodorous little cell. Three men were already there. One was a pick-pocket, one was a car thief and one was Sohail, a political activist…..

 

End the Biological Imamate
Tufail Ahmad

Syed Ahmed Bukhari has anointed his son to succeed him as the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, despite the Delhi High Court asserting that he has no legal right to do so. To assume this hereditary role, the only qualification needed is Nutfa, or spermatozoon. In biology, Nutfa plays a vital role in reproducing the next generation of species. For humans, it also shapes history and politics, causes successions and assassinations. In history, it has been a vehicle for transfer of power from kings to their next generations. In some ways, Nutfa cannot be the only criterion…..

 

Turkey No Friend of the West
Tarek Fatah

The pope could have been firmer. He should have raised the issue of Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, which for almost 1,000 years was Orthodox Christianity’s Kaa’ba so to speak, but which was forcibly converted into a mosque by Muslim invaders in 1453 Ottoman conquest, and later was turned into a museum in 1935. If Islamists and leaders of Islamic countries truly wished to reciprocate to the pope’s gestures with an olive branch, what better way than to hand the Hagia Sophia back to the Orthodox Christianity……

Religious Freedom in 21st Century Pakistan
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Similarly, the main culprit behind the radicalisation of the Muslim world, Saudi Arabia, is hardly ever criticised by any of these major powers for its tremendous failings. Yet it is time the world took a long-term view of Pakistan. Pakistan can go either way. It can be allowed to become radicalised or it can be salvaged as a large Muslim majority, democratic nation state. For it to be salvaged as the latter, all efforts of reform must be encouraged…

Imran Khan: The Teflon Man
Najam Sethi

Once upon a time, Imran showered GEO with unstinting praise as the most outstanding TV channel in the country because GEO was giving him nearly 20% of all air-talk time, helping him raise FUNDS  for flood-affected people, and generally building him up as the great white hope of Pakistan. However, when GEO felt obliged to balance its coverage and critique, he accused it of kowtowing …..

 
Jihad in Pakistan
Shahzad Raza

Munawar Hassan, who was voted out of the office in March, surprised even his critics – who compare him with Taliban ideologues – when he said in a recent statement that Pakistan’s ills could be cured with fighting in the name of Allah (Qital Fi Sabililllah). In a three-day gathering of the JI at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore, the radical politician dwelt upon the sensitive subject of Jihad. He criticised the liberals for distorting the meaning of Jihad at the behest of their so-called foreign masters…..

 
Outstanding
Saeed Naqvi

Outstanding
Saeed Naqvi

The situation in Maharashtra during recent elections was similar. The choice offered to the minority was unappetizing – Congress or the NCP. The MIM provided the ventilator in the suffocating situation. There is great irony in the fact that in the 67th year of India’s Partition, when the Nation is being invited to remember Jawaharlal Nehru on his 125th birth anniversary, the Indian Muslim has in desperation been forced to seek political solace in a party which has a religious denomination attached to its name…..

Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh: Designs and Network in India
N Manoharan

JMB, meaning ‘Assembly of Holy Warriors in Bangladesh’, is a Bangladesh-based terror outfit. Formed in 1998, the principal objective of the JMB is to establish an Islamic state in Bangladesh on the basis of Sharia laws. With a strong belief in Salafist ideology, it is opposed to modern principles of governance such as democracy, liberalism, socialism and secularism and considers them anti-Islamic. In the initial stages, funding to the JMB came from various sources: robbery, smuggling, donations, patronage, subscriptions and “taxations.”…..

 

How to Fit the Alevis into ‘New Turkey’
Mustafa Akyol

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has just issued in a landmark decision about religious freedom in Turkey. The “cemevis” (or “gathering houses”) that are used as a house of worship by Alevis, do not get the public support received by mosques, churches and synagogues, the court ruled. This, the European judges concluded, constitutes “discrimination” against the Alevi community, which is Turkey’s largest non-Sunni group.….

 

“He was a sadist; a fanatical Nazi,” Mr Zuroff said of Brunner. “He told a German magazine in 1985: ‘My only regret is that I didn’t murder more Jews.’” Brunner fled to Syria in the mid-1950s and was reported to have worked as a special adviser on torture to the government of Hafez al-Assad, current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s father….

 

Pursuant to the “Usalama Ni Shauri Yangu” philosophy that President Uhuru has now made a government security policy, We, the People of Kenya, exercising our sovereign power, hereby demand an overhaul of the leadership, command and organizational structure of the National Police Service. The following recommendations are a demonstration that strictly speaking, in the kind of state of nature that we currently are in, yes,....

 
Karachi: Targeting Doctors
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Karachi: Targeting Doctors
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Indeed, irrespective of their sectarian background, it appears that doctors are being singled out across Pakistan. According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), at least 44 doctors have been killed, and another four have been injured, in 44 incidents of attack on doctors since 2001. 11 of the dead were Shias; 30 were Sunnis; and three were Ahmadiyas. 25 of the total killings....

 

Aligarh Muslim University, Raja Mahendra Pratap and Attempts of Polarization
Ram Puniyani

Those resorting to communal politics have not only perfected their techniques of polarizing the communities along religious lines, but have been constantly resorting to new methods for dividing the society. On the backdrop of Muzaffarnagar, where ‘Love Jihad’ propaganda was used to enhance the divisive agenda, now in Aligarh an icon of matchless virtues, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh is being employed for the similar purposes…..

Six Years after 26/11: Broken Bomb Scanner, Rusting Bikes, No Firing Range
Praveen Swami

Five years since, the detritus of promises lie out in plain sight: long lines of speedboats moored idle, part of a Rs 150-crore fleet that rarely heads out to sea; a Rs 6-crore explosives scanner that’s never been fixed since it stopped functioning; all-terrain bikes, capable of carrying police at high speed across sand, covered in rust off Chowpatty; 107 anti-material rifles, capable of blowing holes through concrete and armour, haven’t been fired once for want of an appropriate practice range…..

 

Six Years after 26/11, Pakistan Has Not Changed Its Ways
Tufail Ahmad

As India marks the sixth anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the jihadist threat from Pakistan is becoming more menacing. Union home minister Rajnath Singh recently said, “Terrorism in India is fully Pakistan-sponsored. Pakistan says non-State actors are involved. But is the ISI a non-State actor?”….

 

Does “love jihad” exist? Even as liberals fight against Hindutva propaganda that Muslim men are attempting to seduce Hindu women in order to convert them to Islam, the rumours seem to have received implicit official sanction in a Maharashtra government-appointed committee dealing with the prevention of crimes against women….

 

Tales of War and Heroism from Sinai
Abdel Latif el-Menawy

These tales that I heard from Sinai’s fighters force us to pause for a bit, not to restore the memory of our victories but to mull over them given the present situation in Sinai. Sinai's sons have given so much to their country and they’re willing to give much more. The people of Sinai stand by their army once again to fight terrorism there and this is a new heroic act that we must add to their never-ending tales of heroism….

 

Uniform Civil Code: In a Plural Society like India Only Plural Laws Can Give A Strong Feeling Of Nationality
V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

In a plural society like India only plural laws can give a strong feeling of nationality. Ours is a country of people belonging to different faiths and cultures and of course they must have the laws of their respective choice. The different personal laws in vogue now should continue to exist for the purpose of unity and solidarity of the country. If a uniform civil code is imposed on the unwilling minorities, it will not only be of no use, but also weaken our country. The best way is to make the different personal laws uniform as much as possible. There is no attempt in this respect by any quarter just because the uncalled for obiter dicta of the Supreme Court is being exploited by communal parties to their selfish political ends....

I Wish For A Pakistan That Is For Pakistan! Right, Mr Khan?
Mehr Tarar

I wish for a new Pakistan. But I wish for a new Pakistan through a democratic process, not anarchy. I wish for transparent accountability into all that has been siphoned from Pakistan’s treasury. I wish for all who harmed Pakistan’s sovereignty and writ of state brought to justice. I wish for nepotism to make way for merit. I wish for clean elections. I wish to see new faces in parliament working to legislate a new government order. I wish the musical chairs of power in the same hands to end. I wish for all black money to be accounted for. I wish for a Pakistan that is for Pakistan…..

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