While a uniform, modern and elegant civil code would grant equal rights to women and generally make citizens' lives simpler, the biggest flaw in the case for it is, well, that the case is being made by BJP and Sangh Parivar affiliates not known otherwise for their secularism. You can't advocate a uniform code in one breath and Ram Mandir in the next: each contradicts the other. A string of statements from BJP worthies over just the last couple of weeks demonstrates why their secular bonafides are suspect....
As for forced conversions, they certainly are a problem if people are being asked to change their personal faith at gunpoint or at the threat of physical harm. But there is no need for a separate law to tackle this problem. Forced conversions quite simply violate the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion and those being forced can approach the courts for justice. If there is a threat of physical harm attached.....
Aijaz Zaka Syed
Is it finally the end of El Dorado? After surging and serenading above $100 a barrel for years, the much prized oil suddenly finds itself cheap and with diminished global esteem. What are the Arabs doing to build and define their future? One thing is for sure. They will have to make this journey on their own. They certainly cannot do it with the help of those who have historically exploited the region, dividing its people and abusing its resources. World powers are, as Erdogan warns, only interested in Arab money……
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…..
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?....
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…..
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……
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…..
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…..
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…..
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……
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…
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 …..
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…..
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…..
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.”…..
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,....
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....
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…..
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…..
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….