poor Hindus constitute the majority among the Indian poor, Hindu religious
leaders are not very vocal about poverty in India, much less about global
poverty. Have we ever heard the Ashok Singhals and Praveen Togadias of the
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) speak about poverty and the egregious wealth divide
as evidence of unacceptable economic injustice that is against the basic
teachings of Hinduism? No. Their priority, it seems, is to make India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’,
pursuing a divisive agenda that actually seeks to de-emphasise any anti-poverty
The gloom over
the rest of Pakistan was caused by extremist Islam as represented by the
Pakistani Taliban and their various offshoots or franchises: Lashkar-e-Jhangvi,
Jaish-e-Muhammad, the Punjabi Taliban et al. Headquartered in the Waziristans –
North and South – these forces had become powerful, challenging the Pakistani
state, spreading terror far and wide, striking at will where they wanted. And
the Pakistani state – with its guns and missiles and nuclear power – had taken
stout refuge behind a policy of discretion....
Mullah Mohammed Omar
Omar’s rise from obscurity as a minor Mujahideen commander to leadership of the
extremist Taliban movement was meteoric, even by Afghan standards. From 1994,
when he emerged as a Robin Hood figure in the post-civil war chaos of Kandahar,
until his death in 2013 aged about 53, he was the Taliban’s undisputed head.
Its largely unrecognised Islamic emirate ruled most of Afghanistan from 1996
until late 2001, after which Omar was not seen in public. Despite his symbolic
importance to his followers, little was known of him in recent years, and his
death has been announced only now.....
Do they think
that, when it comes to Palestinians and the L.G.B.T. community, the commandment
“Thou shalt not kill” has been erased from their set of stone tablets? That we
have some sort of division of labour here: The right demonstrates for the
sanctity of the land, and anything related to murder of innocents who are not
Jewish or straight falls completely outside their jurisdiction?....
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
The problem is
compounded further by the fact that several terrorist organizations in Pakistan
continue to enjoy state support, creating systemic biases against a
non-discriminatory policy of executing terrorists on death row. In a recent
assertion, the Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan defended
the terrorist Jamaat-ud-Da'wah (JuD) on the floor of the Senate (Upper House of
Parliament), arguing that it was involved in 'charitable works'.....
APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India
said, ‘India has a message for the world that religion could be transformed
into a mighty spiritual force.’ This is without doubt a realistic statement,
because India has traditionally been a country of high spiritual values. If
India develops in spirituality, it will certainly become a lighthouse of
spirituality for the world......
Political assassinations occur everywhere. But the Pakistani public reaction to Taseer’s assassination horrified the world. As the news hit the national media, spontaneous celebrations erupted in places; a murderous unrepentant mutineer had been instantly transformed into a national hero. .....
The belief that
all lies in the hands and power of Allah is not alien to Islam. However,
neither is the norm of the use, abuse and exploitation of religion by the
Pakistani state uncommon. Such an argument, as articulated by the distinguished
judge, deprives those in power of any agency, which they are otherwise rather
quick to exercise....
“Christians are being persecuted throughout the Middle East and elsewhere. Jews are facing a new and resurgent anti-Semitism. Muslims who stand on the wrong side of the Sunni-Shia divide are being killed in great numbers. Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Bahá’í and others face persecution in some parts of the world. Religious freedom is about our common humanity, and we must fight for it if we are not to lose it. This, I believe, is the issue of our time.”....
recently as on July 7, 2015, Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali
Khan gave a clear indication to the Upper House (Senate) of Pakistan's
Parliament that JuD, the "public face" of LeT, was unlikely to be
banned and that, "JuD has been on observation under Section 11 D of the
Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 since 15 November, 2003. The activities of JuD
are monitored by law enforcement agencies and if report of any of such
Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi
Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen stand witnesses to these acts. Iranians have managed to do so under strict international embargo and sanctions, so imagine what they could do after the release of frozen funds, estimated at $100 to $150 billion in America alone. We are dealing here with a rogue state that has, for three decades, disregarded international law, fostered terrorism, and insisted on expansion and intervention in the affairs of its neighbors. ....
“We’ve always permitted religious freedom to our students, but we just tweaked the existing policy to further develop what was a very general statement,” Womack said. “It isn’t much of a change for us because we already value and respect diversity in our student body, and we operate as such.”....
In fact, religion, so potentially dangerous that the Founding Fathers established a “wall of separation” to keep it clear of our affairs of state, continues to enjoy an entirely unmerited imprimatur of respectability. Yet the satire in the News Nerd’s piece derives its efficacy from an obvious truth: belief in a deity motivates people to behave in all sorts of ways....
In moments of anger nations do irrational things and Pakistan has a history of this; never viewing the larger picture, the end result and the final pay off. The terror strike in Gurdaspur appears to smack once again of a futile attempt by Pakistan’s nexus of agencies and organisations to remind India of the ‘war by a thousand cuts’....
Everyone knows what goes on here, but people with power tend to get away with everything, and that, my dear compatriots, is something that is gnawing at Pakistan’s facade of being a nation that promises to march forward and make a clean name for itself in the next 150 years or so, give or take a few thousand dead militants in Waziristan, 12-hour power outages, and chaos at the Line of Control.....
British imperialism had long justified itself with the pretence that it was enlightened despotism, conducted for the benefit of the governed. Churchill’s inhumane conduct in 1943 gave the lie to this myth. But it had been battered for two centuries already: British imperialism had triumphed not just by conquest and deception on a grand scale, but by blowing rebels to bits from the mouths of cannons, massacring unarmed protesters at Jallianwala Bagh and upholding iniquity through institutionalised racism.....
What I did not hear anyone say in the aftermath of the shooting is that on 9/11 radical Islamists declared war on the West and our values of liberty, equality and freedom. What we have seen since 9/11 are subsequent chapters of the same drama being played out all over the West. The players change, but their intent is the same: We are at war...
Iran is far
more than a Shia state. It has larger aims for which it has harnessed Sunni
allies such as Hamas in Gaza and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It aims for
regional power, not just Shia solidarity. It is a quasi-democracy, which is
more than can be said of most countries in the region. For all its flaws, it
represents the best hope for advancing civilisational values and checking
barbarism in the region.....
Israel, too, should ask the hard questions rather than dismiss a deal that puts Iran much further from a bomb, empowers Iranian reformists, locks in American-Iranian dialogue and will be leveraged by Netanyahu to secure more advanced American weapons systems. The darkest days in history for the Jewish people were of an altogether different order. They should never be trivialized....
In my view,
deal or no deal, it’s too late now to stop the mousetraps from springing in a
slow-motion arc over the next decade and a half. Iran is a nuclear threshold
state come what may, and the U.S. unwillingness to roll that reality back, and
even now to bless it, means that, certainly in 15 years if not before, several
other states in the region will want to protect themselves against the
consequences. That likely includes Turkey by and by as well as Egypt, Saudi
Arabia, the UAE, and possibly others......
But what does
she get from fasting for a month every year, a custom her religion doesn't
mandate? "It gives me peace of mind. It trains me to be honest and resist
temptations," she says. She adds that her observance of Roza (fasts) has
earned her respect among Muslims. "Recently there occurred a riot-like
situation in my area. Once I reached the spot and told the mob that I was
fasting, tempers cooled down and normalcy returned," she claims. ....
The SCO may
look like it has been formed to “keep America out”, but subliminally it is
against terrorism, specifically against “Islamic terrorism”, which threatens
the regions abutting China and Russia. An irony that Pakistanis can’t miss is
that this terrorism is being incubated on Pakistani territory and the world
expects Pakistan to do something about it without playing what is now called
the “double game”....
nothing wrong in indulging in religious studies. Our religious texts do offer
great philosophy and sometimes help us to resolve the riddles of life. But to
understand those philosophies one needs to be matured. Anything imposed loses
its charm. So we should let the children just be themselves and decide what
they want as they grow up. Given a chance to take their own decision they would
grow up to be thinking, independent and happy individuals. As of now beside
formal education what they need is to learn to be a good human being and
religion has nothing to do with it.....
Oh wait, we are
not talking about church. This report is only about mosques. This is how the
politics of fear against Canadian Muslims and their religious and community
leadership has been spun -- "You are either with us or against us."
What the Conservative senators did not do is their homework…..
news reports mention that Bihar and Uttar Pradesh recognise madrasas as
schools, which is perfectly fine if the madrasas are teaching all the subjects
prescribed by their State curricula. But if they are not and are still
recognised as schools and the children studying there are considered as
school-going children completing their elementary education.....