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In all the gloom, despair, and tragedy we see, and all that we don’t, in and around us here in the streets of Pakistan, and even more across the world, as hatred and bigotry piggybacks populist politics across the globe, it’s increasingly hard to find the silver lining. There aren’t too many feel-good stories to go around in the world, or even in the land of the pure, except when the prime minister stands up defiantly for the rights of politically toxic refugees....

 

Unsavoury Acts with a Connection to Imran Khan’s Pious Wife Are Coming to Light
Khaled Ahmed

It was the practice of Khan’s wife when she was earlier married to Khawar Maneka to walk barefoot from her residence in Pakpattan to the tomb prostrating herself every now and then in the direction of the “Mazar”. In the last week of August, a crisis was triggered when her children from Khawar Maneka embarked on this trip in the wake of a rumour that had the Punjab administration in a tizzy: That Bushra Imran Khan herself was undertaking the holy walkathon, as in the past....

Israelis and Palestinians Seem To Be Inching Closer and Closer To a Total Breakdown
Thomas L. Friedman

We’re again at a fateful moment. For the Palestinians, it’s choose nihilism or pacifism. For Israel, it’s choose separation from the Palestinians or get bi-nationalism or apartheid. For Jared and Donald, it’s either be serious — and be ready to take a tough stance with all parties, including Israel — or stay home....

 

I wrote to the governing body of the universities of Pakistan. I immediately got a reply that I was free to pursue this subject from any university. An Islamic country allowed me to pursue PhD on a subject that is a taboo in Islam. Moreover, Firaq is a highly respected Urdu poet in Pakistan and is bracketed with Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Ahmad Faraz.

I wonder, what would today’s ‘liberated’ India do if someone like me wants to study homosexuality and lesbianism of a sacrosanct figure as a part of advanced research? I still have doubts about India’s liberalism in the matters of sexuality....

 

India’s is the Only Civilisation to Have Elevated Kama or Desire and Pleasure to a Goal of Life
Gurcharan Das

There was a regression for a while after 2013 when the higher court reversed course, but after Thursday’s SC judgment, a new era of Kama optimism has begun. It will take time for a court ruling to overcome prejudice in society, especially at a time when right-wing vigilantes appear to lose their rational faculties over ‘love jihad’, Valentine’s Day (which should be renamed ‘Kamadeva Divas’, as Shashi Tharoor has suggested) and ‘Romeo squads’ run amuck....

 

Accepting LGBTQ: Shikhandi of the Mahabharata and Ajanta, Ellora Paintings Show That Ancient India Did Not Look Down Upon Sexual Choices
Faizan Mustafa

The judges have partially struck down Section 377 and criticised the imposition of Victorian morality by the colonial government. The court noted that the English law's conception of anal and oral intercourse was firmly rooted in Judeo-Christian morality. In fact, ancient India did not look down upon such sexual choices. We all are aware of Shikhandi of the Mahabharata and the explicit paintings in Ajanta, Ellora and other temples, though the RSS considers such relationships against nature. The RSS, in its response to the judgment, has rejected same-sex marriage as against Indian traditions and cultures. Muslim and Christian clergy are on the same page with the RSS on this issue....

Though limited to China’s western region of Xinjiang, it is the country’s most sweeping internment program since the Mao era — and the focus of a growing chorus of international criticism. China has sought for decades to restrict the practice of Islam and maintain an iron grip in Xinjiang, a region almost as big as Alaska where more than half the population of 24 million belongs to Muslim ethnic minority groups. Most are Uighurs, whose religion, language and culture, along with a history of independence movements and resistance to Chinese rule, has long unnerved Beijing....

 

Shahid ul Alam and Abdul Sattar Edhi: Humanitarian Ties
Yasmin Jaffri

Edhi was born in Bantva in Gujarat in India. He arrived in Karachi during the Partition when displacement, dispossession and an administrative crisis were transforming the demographics of the new capital and port city. When he learnt that there was only one ambulance, he opened a dispensary, hired a physician and placed a tin box outside for donations....

 

Today is an historic day for India. The Supreme Court has decriminalised sex between consenting adults in private under Section 377. With the judgment of the Supreme Court today, we, Indians, have attained a second Azadi for those who have continued to be persecuted after Independence by the law enacted by the British in 1861. It has freed the LGBTQI communities from the yoke of a colonial law. This will usher in a new inclusive India which is the need of hour. This is a profound change....

Other Stories:

Queerala Member: Legal Change without Social Change Isn’t Very Effective

LGBTQ Community across India Is Celebrating the Landmark Verdict of the Supreme Court of India to Decriminalise Homosexuality

Pakistan Is Fated To Confront the Chanakyan Approach to Avoiding War
Khaled Ahmed

Pakistan is fated to confront the Chanakyan approach to avoiding war. It lacks any cultural nexus with China. Pakistan therefore cannot understand its “all-weather” friend encircling India as if following the wisdom of Chanakya while at the same time doing big-time trade with India. While Islamabad agonises over Beijing’s advice to include India in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, it misses the signal from its all-weather friend....

Naipaul’s Observations on South Asia Are Insulting, But May Not All Be Off the Mark
Khaled Ahmed

According to him, Islam is in its origin an Arab religion. Islam is not simply a matter of conscience or private belief. It makes imperial demands. A convert’s world view alters. His holy places are in Arab lands. His idea of history alters. The convert has to turn away from everything that is his. The disturbance for society is immense, and even after a thousand years, can remain unresolved; the turning away has to be done again and again....

The poetry of Baba Farid, Faiz, Makhdoom Mohiuddin Hafeez Jalandhari, Amrita Pritam, Gulzar and the rendition of Hans Raj Hans resonated his inner voice of fearlessness, sense of childlike wonder and compassion. At 95 years and 7 days, his life has been both as active participant and witness towards the journey of India 2019. “Abhi to mein jawan hoon”....

Populist Strongmen Eventually Rein Inflation In, Erdogan Follows the Same Path
Max Fisher

Such leaders undermine their economies in other ways. When a country’s legal system erodes, according to a 2008 study, inflation tends to surge. Even if rule of law is only weakened in a few sectors, this eventually catches up with central bankers, who come to act less as independent stewards than as loyal, or fearful, cronies. Bureaucratic dictatorships like China’s often try to bolster their legal systems as a way to cement their rule, even if those legal systems remain deeply flawed. But a leader like Mr. Erdogan, who purged swathes of his country’s judges, tends to see the judiciary as a threat....

 

The Rise of an Anti-Trump Movement Globally -- and on His Home Turf
Dilip Hiro

His ultra-unilateralist, rejectionist policies on trade, the Iran denuclearization agreement, the costs of defence, and climate change are already creating an incipient anti-Trump movement globally (and in the United States as well). To a remarkable degree, the countries he has targeted are banding together to oppose him and his policies...

 

The Growing Authoritarianism and Censorship in Bangladesh Is Illustrated By the Frequency of Raids on Its Critics
Beena Sarwar

The growing authoritarianism and censorship in Bangladesh is illustrated by the frequency of raids on its critics. Government agencies typically deny any knowledge about abductions, leaving families clueless about the fate of their loved ones for weeks or even months. Shahidul’s stature provides him some protection. As word spread about his abduction, protesters gathered at the headquarters of the police unit that had him in custody. When Shahid ul was produced in court the following evening, he could barely walk. A Facebook live video shows security personnel literally dragging him up the stairs.

 

Can Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Government Achieve Equal Rights for Women
Amir Hussain

As the primary institution of cultural cohesion, the family has been of particular concern to moralists. They view this socially-evolved institution as a means of leading a moral and ethical life. There is no scientific and historical explanation to the disintegration of families in the urban areas of the country in particular. Even in rural and tribal areas, the extended family is losing its cultural moorings in favour of nuclear families with increased exposure to modern life. ...

 

Every Step Mr. Netanyahu Takes Is a Catastrophe
Daniel Sugarman

I think it could have been much better than what happened in the end - today the situation is getting worse, more and more settlements are being built. “I think Israel will not survive in the end, not the Israel I knew, I honestly do not think that in 50 years Israel will exist as Israel, look at demography, how many Arabs will be there be in another 50 years’ time?”...

 

India Is Far Too Involved In Its Own Internal Challenges to Desire Any Turbulence at the Borders or In Jammu and Kashmir
Syed Ata Hasnain

He is obviously going along with popular sentiment in Pakistan, where anti-American feelings run high, but these will place him at odds with the first major issue that will confront him: the economy. Any bailout is likely to be contingent upon Western satisfaction about the measures undertaken against the extremist groups. Given this situation, Imran Khan will hardly be able to bowl at full pace; he may have to settle for a medium swing to test the waters, which are indeed going to be turbulent....

 

Nobody Knows When Trump Is Doing International Diplomacy and When He Is Doing Election Campaigning
Michael T. Klare

However ironic it might seem, this is, of course, the gist of the Sino-Russian tripolar model as embraced and embellished by Donald Trump. It envisions a world of constant military and economic contention among three regional power centres, generating crises of various sorts, but not outright war. It assumes that the leaders of those three centres will cooperate on matters affecting them all, such as terrorism, and negotiate as necessary to prevent minor skirmishes from erupting into major battles....

 

In the first place, he is a committed Muslim. In the second place, he is a missionary out to convert other faithful to his brand of Islam. In the third place, he has done no graduate work at the PhD level or written substantive papers evaluated by acknowledged scholars in the field. In what universe, then, is he a “comparative religion” expert?...

 

“What is beautiful and sad about this is that our society accepted this change so quickly. Why, because it went through a period called Al-Sahwa (awakening) and this period pressured society. Everything was forbidden, shameful and wrong, this long period pressured society psychologically and socially....

 

Sharif Is the First Popular Leader from Punjab to Defy the Military
Abbas Nasir

While the country’s other three provinces — Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, earlier known as the North-West Frontier Province — have a history of defying central authority and of standing up to the military, Punjab has seldom betrayed such tendencies. This is possibly because it is heavily represented in the military. Mr. Sharif is the first popular leader from Punjab to defy the military....

 

The Glorification of Social Media’s Role Needs to Be Balanced with the Oppressive Role It Plays
Farooq Sulehria

The uprising in the Middle East was conveniently tagged as a ‘Facebook Revolution’, without critically analysing the link between any uprising/revolution and its communication system. Ironically, the protagonists of this Facebook Revolution have never enlightened us as to what happened to the Facebook Revolution in Syria, Yemen, Libya or even Egypt when the military staged a comeback? Or, why Facebook-and-Twitter did not work in Saudi Arabia, a highly wired and connected country...

 

Nawaz’s Question, ‘Mujhe Kyun Nikala?’, Is Only Going To Become Louder Because Of The Avenfield Verdict
Luavut Zahid

The PML-N has spent the last few months adding fuel to the “Mujhe Kyun Nikala?” fire. And it is a slogan that practically came gift wrapped from the Supreme Court. Instead of having to answer for corruption, the original Panama verdict helped Nawaz tell the world he was ousted for not taking money from his own son – not corruption. Building on this, the party has infused the public with the idea that the Sharifs are being targeted because they are trying to change the system and beat the status quo....

 

Tanvi Seth Stood Up to Moral Policing:  The Golden Rule Should Be ‘Don’t Do Unto Others That You Don’t Want Done To You’
Ram Madhav

Intruding into the personal lives of others is a strict no-no for individuals and the state. Online trolls are abusing these very freedoms that empower Tanvi Seth, her husband Mohammed Anas Siddiqui, Swaraj and the rest of us to function as thinking and decent individuals rather than automatons. The ability to tweet to a minister helped expose this incident and disrupt the power relations of India’s Babu-citizen interface. While the positive ending is cause for relief, the rising social polarisation that emboldened a prejudiced officer is cause for concern....

Also Read: No to Bullying: Tanvi Seth Stood Up To Moral Policing and Triumphed But the Episode Is A Warning Sign

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • most of the islamic nations somehow (miraculously) manage to have a very low minority burden but the populace starts screaming...
    ( By hats off! )
  • the legendary emigre word soup maker is back again with another of her mixed vegetative soup, served with some semantic mincemeat and assorted grammar....
    ( By hats off! )
  • When one can allege that the U.S. government can be complicit in attacking its own Defense Department's Pentagon building in the capital city...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "How did it fracture like brittle bone then if it wasn’t melted" - mr. naseer ahmed. that sentence is a jem...
    ( By hats off! )
  • GM Sb is a doctor but his education may not be relevant to what is being discussed. What can I say about his intelligence when ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Islam does not want its followers to go the extremes of hardship. Allah Almighty says in the Quran, "Allah intends ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Hidayat, the Arabic word, literally means guidance, instruction, righteousness or the true path. The word hidayat is comprehensively....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Mr Qazi has very correctly pointed out the message of moderation in the Quran, an aspect which the Muslims...
    ( By arshad )
  • Naseer sahib imputes that I had implied "any random destructive force or fire can cause a high rise building to collapse...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Oh really? What does GM sb comprehend? That any random destructive force or fire can cause a high rise building to collapse along the path ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Mohammad Hussain, Christianity makes it as a duty for the citizen to wage war to save one's country if war is thrust!'
    ( By Joyson Duraisingh )
  • Ak Bhat, Al( the) + Ah ( God)= The God'
    ( By Joyson Duraisingh )
  • Joyson Duraisingh the non muslims have freedom to worship in their own way . It is an estabished ....
    ( By Ghulam Ahmad Dar )
  • @Gulam Ahmad Dar No consensus on idol worship, whatever may be the consequences
    ( By Joyson Duraisingh )
  • Secularism is very important .we should not divide the Indians. All are equal.pl.dont show your gods in public..they are statues.maintain .....
    ( By John Vedhamuthu )
  • Dinabandhu Nayak you are right,sir'
    ( By Akshaya Sahu )
  • Mohammad Hussain Manusmriti has been diluted since long. No body has seen this scripture perhaps except you.Hinduism is a auto adjusting ...
    ( By Akshaya Sahu )
  • Dinabandhu Nayak sir, slavery is unknown to Hinduism - cruel joke at its zenith!'....
    ( By Joyson Duraisingh )
  • There is nothing as gazwa-hind like things in islamic scruptures.as far as the word kafir is concerned...it simply means non-beliver.this is not for non-muslims....but ....
    ( By Reshi Siftain )
  • Stop Talibani bagdaddi culture respect SUFI Ahmediays etc be respectful to others'
    ( By Rudra Kumar Varma )
  • Islam will dominate the world insha Allah'
    ( By Muzafer Sheikh )
  • @Rakesh Rawat and Rabindra Dutta Roy But the refugee Muslims are much eager to enter into U S for living. ------and calling US as terrorist. ---
    ( By Rabindra Dutta Roy )
  • Why leave the great USA.
    ( By Rabindra Dutta Roy )
  • @Rabindra Dutta Roy onslaught concept is inhetited to muslims by the very Qoran. The word "Kafir" and "Gajwa e Hind" is itself a discriminatory, inflammatory ...
    ( By Rakesh Rawat )
  • The Prophet said, "And beware of going to extremes in religious matters for those who came before you were destroyed because...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • it is very nice, India has Prime Minister that talks of Ganesh Surgical Transplant. Here we have ....
    ( By Aayina )
  • What is hidayat? When God gives hidayat, is it the same hidayat that is given by his prophets ...
    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
  • Dear Ghulam Ghaus Saheb. Before putting his opinion, Allama Ghulam Rasool Saeedi (RA) himself admits that it is my own research, He writes: ہماری تحقیق کے ...
    ( By misbahul Hoda )
  • Hats Off's criticism of this article is contrived and hollow.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Allama Saeedi has not given details of abrogation [naskh] in his Tibyanul Quran. When writing Tibyan, he himself benefitted from the usuliyeen such as Allama ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • looks like the easiest thing to become today is a two-cent islamic expert. every "researcher...
    ( By hats off! )
  • We want to end triple talaq, not just pay lip service to the cause....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • janab! to kya saeedi sahab ke nazdeek sir Ayate saif ko bunyad bana kar kisi Ghair Muslim, kafir o Mushrik ko Qatal karna, bela wajah...
    ( By nazir banarasi )
  • Totally irrelevant and inane comment from Hats Off.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Getting tired of the routine? No "nothing to do with religion" chorus of one? ....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Was it a demolition job to start with, or was it an indiscriminate act of violence and destruction ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Both Zionism and Islamism are interested in building walls, not bridges.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Very much pertinent submission'
    ( By Kbarora Arora )
  • How can be there peace when out siders are mindling in Islamic countries'
    ( By Mushtaq Mohammed )