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The August Tragedies of Bangladesh
Muhammad Nurul Huda

In August 1975, the architect of Bangladesh's freedom and most of his family members were violently and shamefully murdered by some disgruntled army officers. The tragic ramifications of that dastardly incident are still being felt by a shocked polity. The trial and conviction of some of the perpetrators of that gory incident have brought some solace and the nation waits for the punishment of the remainder.....

 

After Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri Protests, Secularism Has Lost Its Force in Pakistan
Mehr F Husain

What is interesting is how people have steadily responded positively to religious-affiliated actors participating in a political battle for power. With the ASWJ entering the arena and supposedly showing its support for the PML N, it is likely to put off those who were rooting for the PML N causing them to flock to Qadri who is known for his anti-violence stand.  On one hand, putting the political opportunitism aside, the ASWJ is capitalising on a situation where religion and politics have merged by campaigning for democracy and they have supporters. ….

 
Woe is Pakistan
Najam Sethi

Woe is Pakistan
Najam Sethi

The conclusion is inescapable: If Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri are resorting to unconstitutional means to force out a prime minister; the same prime minister hasn’t mounted a true constitutional defence against their charges. The tragedy is compounded by the reluctance of the “miltablishment” to uphold the same constitutional imperative in such murky circumstances. Woe is Pakistan…..

 

Norway’s Muslims Rally against ISIS
Tarek Fatah

“We cannot fight ISIS without fighting the doctrine of jihad and without exposing the bankruptcy of Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran,” he said. “Too many leaders in the West are reluctant to identify the elephant in the room, which is Islamism. If they cannot fight the ideological foundation of ISIS, then we will see the ISIS cancer spread.”....

Racism against Blacks Universal
Tarek Fatah

The genocide of black African Darfuris by men who called themselves “Arab Janjaweed” is a testament to Arab, anti-black racism. Even today, the term many use to address blacks in Arab countries is, “Ya Abdi” (O my slave)…..

International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Should Lift Ban on Turban

Last month, the international Sikh community and Indians on the whole were shocked at the news of two Indian Sikhs having been told by the International Basketball Association (FIBA) to remove their turban if they wanted to participate in the game. Two Indian Basketball players Amarpal Singh and Amjyot Singh were representing India in the Asia Cup Championship in China. The racial discrimination perpetrated by the FIBA has caused outrage among the Indian sports fraternity in particular and all the Indians in common. The two Sikh players from India were told to remove their turbans just before the game. FIBA authorities said that wearing turbans violated the rules of the International Basketball Federation.....

 

The Parliament panel committee recommended legislation on forced conversions in 2012.  The report held local police officers, tribal chiefs and politicians responsible for not helping minorities recover their kidnapped community.  Since then no measure administratively and/or legislation is planned to be discussed on the floor of the Parliament.  I further go on to state that the government of Pakistan should serious take up the issues of minorities of Pakistan. The minorities as well as the women in Pakistan are not safe at all…..

 

A Firebrand Demagogue and a Fire-Breathing Cleric Can Push the System of a Banana Republic To The Brink
Irfan Husain

By their reckless brinkmanship, both Imran Khan and Qadri have exposed themselves for what they really are: rash gamblers willing to chance everything on the roll of the dice. They have squandered their credibility by betting that they could cause enough havoc to force the army to intervene. But as many of their disillusioned followers call it a day, it has become clear that they have failed in their purpose. Apart from exposing Imran Khan and Qadri, this crisis also shows how weak the state has become…..

India Mustn’t Ignore Isis Caliphate Threat
Swapan Dasgupta

The threat posed by the so-called Islamic Caliphate should not be minimised by India. ISIS flags have made their appearance in Srinagar and it is more than likely that a clutch of impressionable Muslim youth — mainly Indians working in West Asia — have joined the transnational Jihadi brigade fighting in and around Mosul. For the moment their numbers may be insignificant but the larger ideological challenge posed to Indian nationalism is real. There is an ideological line that link so-called mass movements such as Jamiat-e-Islami and Muslim Brotherhood to the armed struggle of the likes of Hamas and ISIS....

Pakistan Hindus Protest Order to Raze Temple in Islamabad
Kaswar Klasra

"Authorities of FWO have promised to build flats for us. They want us to hand our land to them. This is unacceptable to us," Javed said. "Despite the fact that we refused to live in India and stayed here in Jinnah's Pakistan, authorities want to demolish the temple... Is this fair?" Asfandyar Bhindara, a member of Lower House of Parliament, has moved a petition in a local court of Rawalpindi to stop the demolition. The court issued a stay order in this regard.....

 

The Political Crisis Provoked By The Long Marches Of Imran Khan And Tahir ul Qadri Is Dissipating: What Next?
Najam Sethi

Three new developments suggest that, despite the aggressive and uncompromising rhetoric, the political crisis provoked by the long marches of Imran Khan and Tahir ul Qadri is dissipating. Neither a military coup nor the resignation of the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, or dissolution of parliament followed by fresh general elections, is imminent…..

 

The Lahore Log: Sharif Must Listen To Imran and Qadri
Mehr F Husain

While Qadri conducted an open referendum of sorts when he asked his supporters what they wanted to do, in Khan's case it's come down to holding dialogue with the government to resolve the big democratic issue of alleged rigging. Imran Khan is giving it his all. The passion cannot be ignored, the anger is valid and the desperation is palpable. But there is something missing……

 

Will Modi Conduct India’s Namkaran?
Kancha Ilaiah

If Sangh Parivar forces keep baying for cultural nationalist agendas, Narendra Modi will become helpless… he will not be able to stop these culture-vultures and his corporate development agenda will undergo a change  There is a slow but systematic attempt to change India’s name from Bharat to Hindustan — playing up the word “Hindu” in Hindustan and trying to repackage it as the abode of the Hindus. B.R. Ambedkar and his team that drafted the Constitution of India consciously avoided the term “Hindustan” as they could foresee its implications in a land that takes pride in its diversity.....

 

A Pakistani Perspective: Soft Coup, Hard Reset?
Mohammad Taqi

The false prophet of change, Imran Khan, got thrashed in political combat fair and square, and was about to break himself in vainglory were it not for those who have egged him on since 1996 stepped in to save his face and sinking political fortunes. Over the last week, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Allama Dr Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) ran out of political options and steam. It was surreal to see Imran Khan self-destruct on prime time television with his crude antics. The man had the audacity to go home for naps, showers and televised brunches, in the midst of the dharna. It was a tasteless and crude joke in the name of revolutionary change and the so-called second 'independence' for Pakistanis. ....

Does Love Know Religious Boundaries?
Ram Puniyani

Such campaigns against inter-religion, inter-caste marriages are not only against the spirit of national integration they also aim to control the lives of girls in the patriarchal mode. Women’s bodies are made symbols of community honour. In addition the bogey against a minority is whipped up to aid the divisive politics. It is a double bonus for sectarian politics. Since in patriarchal norms women are regarded as property of man and are made to live under the control structure defined by men, such an issue rouses high emotions. The agenda of communal politics targets minorities, Muslims at one level and promotes patriarchal norms at another….

Keep Radical Islam Out Of Canada
Farzana Hasan

Rights enshrined in our Charter must allow people to hold and discuss any views, even ones so outrageous that they would eliminate the very openness which can allow them to take root. This is the great irony of democracy. Talks like these combine a handful of religious dicta, a smattering of youthful disaffection and a pinch of naive politics. The result can make some impressionable young men very dangerous…..

 

Tahir ul Qadri: Exhortations to Murder
Kamran Shafi

But how is Tahir ul Qadri, an asylum-seeker turned Canadian national, turned multi-millionaire evangelist, allowed by a country whose Constitution and Monarch he has sworn fealty to, to incite murder in another country? Is this abhorrent call accepted, nay allowed, in any country ruled by law? Are you listening, High Commission? This is not all.....

Happy Independence Day 2014

My dear Fellow Indians, Congratulations!  As we proudly celebrate our 68 years of independence,  we must com mitt ourselves to genuinely free ourselves from pettiness, free ourselves from our prejudices towards fellow beings, free ourselves from treating a fellow Indian less than ourselves and we must certainly shelve the arrogance that God favours us and not others. We must also commit to defend the freedom of others, we must cherish the otherness of others and let everyone freely breath, drink, eat, wear or believe whatever suits them, and crush the thoughts of forcing others to behave the way we want them to behave. No one shall be a slave in free India. An Indian is an Indian is an Indian, period.

As a nation, collectively we are Adivasis, Atheists, Bahais, Bos, Buddhists, Christians, Dalits, Hindus, Jains, Jewish, Muslim, Sikhs, Tribals, Zoroastrians and every possible grouping. We are Brown, Black, White, Yellow and green with envy, magar phir bhi dil hai Hindustani.

In Pakistan the Lemming Effect Is Very Real
Kamila Hyat

In our own country, however, the lemming effect is very real. We seem to suffer from a collective death wish, determined to create mayhem and destruction.....

Pakistan as I know It
Erum Qalbani

Ordinary Pakistanis, such as I, value their Islamic beliefs, are God fearing and follow what is essentially a continuation of the centuries old traditions of spirituality that survives in the folk idiom, in the Kaafis of Bulleh Shah, and in the verses of Bhitai and Rahman Baba. Our proverbs, day-to-day beliefs are all mixed and laced with history, oral tradition, Sufi lore and of course Islamic simplicity.  It is another matter that there are individuals who want to hijack this thread…..

 

And Another Long March
Khaled Ahmed

That leaves Qadri — also called Sheikh-ul-Islam, a status probably stemming from a dream he once had in which the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) “chose” him as his deputy after rejecting all the other schools of thought in Pakistan’s religious hierarchy — and his “movement” based on revolutionary pledges that would put India’s Arvind Kejriwal to shame: employment for all, free education, free health, free housing and free food if someone goes hungry......

 

'Live! Long March! Breaking News! Breaking Cars!'
Nadeem F. Paracha

Lahore is in Pakistan, Bashir. It is? Yes. Damn. Why wasn’t I told? It seems neither was the Information Ministry. You are right. Because the press statement was also in Arabic. In fact I have it with me here. Its heading says: Bress Statement of Al-Brime Khalifah Minister Al-Bakistania wal Shiekh Nawaz bin Sharif-ul-Jeddah Marhaba Marhaba Emirates Airline EK-450 Is Ready for Boarding …..

 

Pakistan: Denial and Deception
Husain Haqqani

Calls for change of government, even if it is only a few months after its election, serve as a substitute for serious debate about how Pakistan may have lost its direction as a nation. There is virtual denial about real problems like rising extremism, increasing intolerance, widespread violence and the prospect of global isolation. Denial leads to self-deception….

 

Shiites in India Want To Join the Fight against the Islamic State in Iraq
Ishaan Tharoor

The hubris of the extremists has angered many Muslims. In the face of the Islamic State's onslaught, Shiites elsewhere in the world have watched as some of the holiest shrines in their brand of Islam risk coming under attack from emboldened Sunni jihadists. In recent weeks in India, which is home to some 30 million to 50 million Shiites, thousands of Shiites have reportedly signed up with a Delhi-based Shiite organization, pledging to protect the Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala, cities that receive millions of Shiite pilgrims every year…..

 

Palestine a Human Question
Javed Anand

In India, in sharp contrast to the decades-old national consensus, the new National Democratic Alliance government did not even allow a discussion on the issue in Parliament though it had to bow to global sentiment in the UN and vote with the overwhelming majority of member countries in censuring Israel. Outside Parliament, many secular groups have organised pro-Palestine solidarity marches in different parts of the country. But to anyone who reads Urdu papers it appears that for far too many Indian Muslims, Palestine is a religious problem…..

 
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