massive corruption charges to illegal arms shipments to terrorist groups in
foreign countries; from unlawfully seizing and confiscating business assets and
properties to a harsh crackdown on independent and critical media -- the
prevailing impunity reins in Turkey, which is ruled by overzealous political
Islamists who have weakened democracy and suspended the rule of law…..
Our discourse oscillates between ‘love jihad’ and ‘Ghar Wapsi’. One doesn’t know if one should laugh or cry. Hedge your women in (as if they aren’t hemmed in already with thorn and bramble) so that no ‘outsider’ (read: Muslim) runs away with your bahu-beti. An 80% majority afraid that ‘their women’ will be enticed by the 15-20% — can there be a better example of national, or should we say sectarian, paranoia? When you think of power flowing from the ballot box, you come across the same fear. A far-right Hindutva leader tells people to have four children….
A young girl who was refused an apartment in Mumbai allegedly because she was Muslim. Two girls who were sharing an apartment supposedly took Qadri on as a flatmate, but the broker upon finding out that Qadri was Muslim told her she had to vacate the flat as Muslims were not welcome in the building. The jury’s out on this though, since it now appears that there are other Muslim tenants living quite happily in the same building....
It's not just traditional systems of belief and non-belief that raise their voices on Twitter. Any proposition about life, death and the universe can be put forward. As Colin Crowell, Twitter's head of global public policy, told the Oslo Freedom Forum, an annual human-rights festival, this creates an unprecedented global firestorm of ideas....
Borders We’ve Forgotten
An Editorial in Pioneer
In the affairs of Shia-majority Gilgit Baltistan, where the Pakistani state machinery has sought to engineer a demographic shift by settling Sunni Muslims, especially Sunni priests. Human rights abuses in this region happen every day (as they do across Pakistan), but India remains unperturbed....
Pakistanis have been identified among the boat people drowning off the Italian and Greek coasts. The 300 migrants rescued off the coast of Libya last month also included some Pakistanis. And one hopes the painful deaths of the Hazaras during their journey from Thailand/Indonesia to Australia have not been forgotten....
Rahul Singh’s one big regret is that he is unable to read and write Urdu, a language in which his father excelled. Khushwant translated Iqbal’s Shikwa and Jawab-e-Shikwa with seemingly nothing lost in translation. He quoted and recited couplets from Urdu every now and then. “I had begun to learn Urdu but when the Partition took place, I had to learn Hindi and Gurmukhi in Delhi…I do, however, enjoy its cadence and mellifluousness....
Kazi Nazrul Islam
Nazrul entered a world of increasing isolation, though still revered by Bengalis. In 1945, Calcutta University awarded him the “Jagattarini Gold medal”. In 1952, he was transferred to the Ranchi Mental Hospital from where he was sent to London for treatment at the initiative of the “Nazrul Treatment Society” formed and financed by some of his ardent admirers when they came to know of his financial hardships....
Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd)
I have purposely kept the handling of Pakistan at low key because the issue otherwise hogs the limelight. In the case of Mr Modi he has displayed strategic balance by not going overboard in his dealings with Pakistan, treating it more as an irritant. The handling of the Afghanistan issue has shown greater strategic orientation….
Waseem Raja, History department professor at AMU and a teacher at the university for around 30 years, allegedly said in a WhatsApp message which was sent to a TV channel that "Maulanas are involved in such activities", adding that the condition of Muslim youth will only improve if Madrasas are banned, according to India TV….
Qazi Nazrul Islam
An epitome of a
rebel with a cause who nursed a binary hatred for oppression and fascism, a
spiritual visionary who hardly down in front of his detractors, an idealist
Nazrul was a man who was the genius incarnate who emblazoned the consciousness
of the unconscious mind. Nazrul's visionary philosophy, a deep-seated love for
equality of men and women makes him one of the first vocal feminists that the
country has ever known. As he writes:" I don't see any difference/Between
a man and woman/Whatever great or benevolent achievements/That are in this
world/Half of that was by woman,/The other half by man." At a time when
women were thought to have been born either to aid men in their way or to spend
all their lives trying to rise to the expectations of men! ....
Those oppressive conditions range from a denial of citizenship to Myanmar's 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims to severe restrictions on their movement, employment and access to education and healthcare, as well as a discriminatory law imposing a "two child" limit on Rohingya families in their home state of Rakhine....
Muslims remind themselves of the certainty of return to their Maker by reciting
the part of the Quranic verse 2-156; it is seldom realised that in the context
of the section 19 of which this verse is a part, has whole lot of meanings
behind it: 2-156, “Who say when
afflicted with calamity: to the only God we belong and to Him is our
Partition created blurred lines, but people living on either side of those blurred lines must not forget that they have more similarities than differences. The callous, cold indifference tolerated by the subaltern in both the nations is the same. These are not the times to be misled by communal and hate propagandas....
Secular forces must find more unity and understand the constraints each face; since we all believe in making Bangladesh progressive, liberal, and secular, we must also accept and appreciate that the journey forward is difficult....
The four terrorists arrested for killing 45 members of the Shia Ismaili community in a bus attack near Safoora Goth last week told them that they had targeted human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud because of her campaign against Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz....
While the militants operate freely, the space for moderate and saner voices is fast shrinking. The authorities have yet to track down the murderers of Sabeen Mahmud and one is not sure if those involved in the Ismaili carnage will ever be apprehended though they have publicly claimed responsibility....
The minister was next in line to incur the wrath of the fatwa-brigade after a recent speech at the Karachi Arts Council where he termed religious seminaries as ‘universities of ignorance’ that are steeped in intolerance. While many feel that the minister’s statement could have been more carefully phrased in order to avoid putting all the seminaries in the same bracket….
At a conference coordinated by Maulana Ziaul Haq Naqshbandi in Lahore, they said suicide attacks were un-Islamic and terrorists who were killed by the security forces were not martyrs. But at the same time, they wanted the government to free Mumtaz Qadri, the police commando who assassinated Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, inspired by Fatwas against him....
First War of Independence
Prof. P.S. Bhandari, New Age Islam
They have been raising slogan ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ even though this slogan was first raised and made popular by Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh 72 years after this war when he threw Bomb in the Assembly on April 8, 1929. (The slogan was coined by Maulana Hasrat Mohani in 1921) The *Slogan of the Sepoys of this War of 1857 was a different one......
“Unlike what we saw in the videos on the Internet and what we were preached by our handlers, the IS is into un-Islamic activities in Iraq. They treat men and women as sex slaves. I was appalled by what I saw. Women are relegated as sex objects. This disillusioned me and I decided to return to India,”...
In the 1980s and 2000s the MQM was the darling of the military establishment because it was first needed under General Zia ul Haq to counter the PPP in Sindh and then under General Pervez Musharraf to counter the PPP and PMLN in the rest of the country. Even during General Ashfaq Kayani’s time, the military establishment used the MQM to leverage power-relations with the PPP and PMLN...
Knowing these countries has given me a strong sense of the fragility of nation states when confronted by strongly rooted local nationalisms. The glue holding together nations is always a mixture of myth and self-interest which tends to become ossified and discredited over time. At the height of British imperial power in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Scots were part of a British super-nationality that acted as the ruling caste of the empire....
Over the last few decades, I have spent a lot of time studying violence, trying to make sense of the phenomena. I have worked hard at finding the right language to describe violence. One has tried to understand the various forms of violence and the way to respond to it. As I struggled with my narratives, I realised that one has spent too much time analysing the production of violence….
Kids in schools today are harassed because of perceptions related to their sexual orientation and are bullied because of their gender expression. The world community, including the media, general public, opinion leaders and policy makers will commemorate International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia this year on May 17th; but who in Pakistan will speak out against the stigma...