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From Egypt to Tunisia – Towards A Politics of Post-Islamism and Post-Secularism

By AA Khalid The terms ‘’post-Islamism’’ and ‘’post-secularism’’ are not my own constructs, rather Professor Bayat coined ‘’post-Islamism’’ and Jurgen Habermas coined ‘’post-secularism’’, but the interesting thing is that both constructs point towards a new means of democratic politics that has a liberalizing effect. For years, the political orthodoxy has suggested that all religious political actors are necessarily autocratic and secular political actors are naturally more democratic. However, recent events in Tunisia and Egypt have completely forced us to reconsider the way we adopt political vocabulary and the dynamics of political discourse in some Muslim societies. A new type of politics encompassing post-Islamism and post-secularism is in formation in the Arab world. Post-Secularism The memories of harsh and unrelenting secular autocrats who ruled the Arab world in the name of an utopian nationalism or socialism … Read entire article »

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Egypt Crisis: Can Such a Thing Happen in Pakistan and Should it Happen?

By Raza Habib Raja The television is a powerful media; in fact live transmission makes an impact which transcends almost everything else in its potency. If televised, the impact of burgeoning public revolution on the viewers is high even when they are in a far off country, and can also create desire or at least expectation of duplication of the similar kind of events in their own homeland. This longing is intensified if you see an autocrat being humbled by the courage of people. The first thing which comes to mind is: If such a thing can happen there, it can also occur here. Right now the continuing public protest in Egypt is being televised and evoking emotions across the globe. The power of people defying tanks is surely making several “revolutionaries” … Read entire article »

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Open letter to Senate Chairman

To Farooq Hamid Naek Chairman, Senate of Pakistan Fax: 051-9103125 Email: We are appalled that a sitting Senator can make such a statement and get away with it. We request that disciplinary action be taken against the Senator if he does not tender a public apology for his remark that has justified the cowardly and shameful murder of Mr Taseer who had neither been charged, tried nor convicted of any crime. We also condemn those senators who refused to lead a fateha recitation and those who refused to raise their hand in fateha for the departed soul. Yours sincerely … Read entire article »

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Imran Khan please come clean

Imran Khan please come clean

Imran Khan was one of the first politicians to take a strong stance against the blasphemy laws and their misuse. He spoke about it clearly and consistently. He also was on the record calling Mumtaz Qadri a mere murderer for killing Salmaan Taseer. … Read entire article »

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VIEW: The myth of ideological frontiers

Yasser Latif Hamdani writing in the Daily Times: Pakistan is a legal nation state, one of the two successor states to erstwhile British India and duly recognised by all countries of the world. A legal nation state does not need to construct ideological frontiers, which, for the most part, are a fallacy and not based on anything concrete. … Read entire article »

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The Winds Of Change In The Middle East

By D. Asghar As these lines are being written, according to the reliable news media of the world, at least 20 people have lost their lives in Egypt. The anti government demonstrations have been defiant of the restrictions and the curfew. Scores of people have been wounded and injured. The 82 year old, I repeat 82 year old, President Mubarik has dismissed his government and promised to install a new one to alleviate the anger and frustration of the masses. (Poor move Sir, how about resigning yourself?) … Read entire article »

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Pakistani pulp fiction ‘too hot’ for Indians

Amanda Hodge writing in the Australian: FAIZA Khan knew she might encounter trouble when she published the first English translation of one of Pakistan’s best-selling and most salacious pulp fiction serial novels, Challawa. The editor of the recently published Life’s Too Short literary review of new Pakistani writing just didn’t expect to find it at the wall-to-wall luvvy weekend that is India’s annual Jaipur Literary Festival. The adventures of a lesbian detective kept millions of Pakistanis enthralled for eight years. In weekly instalments, its male writer brought to life in high Urdu and Farsi the voracious Bano, a wealthy Karachi-ite who solved crimes and trawled school buses for schoolgirls. … Read entire article »

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The Revolution Within Reach

By D. Asghar A few months back, an illustrious leader from his podium in London, fired a verbal missile, with special emphasis on a word called, “revolution.” The electronic media and chatteriti, went wild with all the crazy and bizarre revolutionary models, best suitable for our nation. There were debates on whether a French or Iranian type revolution will solve our nation’ s never ending saga. Experts after experts emphasised on the merits of such a sweeping measure. According to most of them, this was the call and the need of the hour. … Read entire article »

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Blasphemy Law JANAT KA SHORT CUT (Urdu)

Blasphemy Law JANAT KA SHORT CUT (Urdu)

By Dil Nawaz Ifti Nasim is a lone voice of sanity among Urdu columnists since the killing of Salmaan Taseer.He has the courage to write what others are afraid to say in the vernacular press.His syndicated column has been banned in Pakistan thru informal censorship of the owners of media houses.I am putting it on my wordpress blog in order to circumvent Pakistan censorship.Please support Ifti Nasim. … Read entire article »

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New Social Contract to Save Pakistan

By Dil Nawaz Sitting in the relative safety of “Little Pakistan” in Bradford these questions may seem little more than an intellectual luxury but hand on heart these questions have given sleepless nights and nightmares for the future of a country which gave us everything including its beautiful diversity. That this article is being penned with a heavy heart would be a huge understatement. We have talked about, discussed and analysed the catastrophe that has struck Pakistan again after three years. One of the brightest Pakistanis [Shaheed-e-Pakistan Salman Taseer] is gunned down by a demented foot soldier of the forces of darkness that have clouded this beautiful land almost constantly for the past thirty years. … Read entire article »

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Veena & The Fatwa Factory

By Sana Saleem Last night, I happened to watch the most brilliant (and at the same time, disgusting) TV show on a local Urdu news channel. Brilliant, because in an hour it summarised everything that is wrong with this country and our mindset. The show featured our entertainment industry’s starlet Veena Malik and, Mufti Abdul Qawi. Not that I was expecting anything but vitriol on the show, but even then I was shocked. From the way Veena Malik was introduced to the closing statement of the show, every single minute was filled with chauvinistic and downright derogatory remarks. The programme started with clips from the Indian reality show (Bigg Boss) that Veena was a part of, a show that has stirred quite a controversy. The subject of controversy being that apparently, Veena did not correctly … Read entire article »

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Islamic scholar attacks Pakistan’s blasphemy laws

In the wake of Salmaan Taseer’s murder, Javed Ahmad Ghamidi declares Islamic councils are “telling lies to the people” Declan Walsh in Islamabad guardian.co.uk,Thursday 20 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/20/islam-ghamidi-pakistan-blasphemy-laws Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, reformist scholar and popular television preacher. Photograph: Declan walsh A prominent Islamic scholar has launched a blistering attack on Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, warning that failure to repeal them will only strengthen religious extremists and their violent followers. ”The blasphemy laws have no justification in Islam. These ulema [council of clerics] are just telling lies to the people,” said Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, a reformist scholar and popular television preacher. “But they have become stronger, because they have street power behind them, and the liberal forces are weak and divided. If it continues like this it could result in the destruction of Pakistan.” Ghamidi, 59, is the only religious scholar to … Read entire article »

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Muslim Buddhists

By Usman Ahmed A friend of mine recently remarked that if only the inhabitants of the sub-continent had been Buddhists – then perhaps the turmoil and strife of the present age, from the partition of India all the way through to the unfettered violence and atrocities of today, might have been avoided. While the remark certainly raised a smirk – it underlined a point that, for me at least, was completely unpalatable. For, the comment implied that the entire burden for the afflictions that currently ravage our country and beyond be placed upon Islam. Now, I do not want to enter into a theological discussion for that would cause me to digress into areas of discourse and debate that I am pretty sure the excellent editors of this site would rather … Read entire article »

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The Twisted Concept of Female Virtue and Veena Malik

Raza Habib Raja Personally I do not like Veena Malik. I think she is a bad actress and does not espouse any sophistication. Moreover, she likes to gain attention and stands ready to resort to loud means in order to get it. Having said so, the current hue and cry over her role in the “Big Boss” is typical nonsensical moralist garbage; an outcome of our society’s twisted fascination with female virtue. Somehow or the other we equate female lack of sexual expression with “honour” and assume that the “good” women display chastity. Of course we consider that men will always be men and therefore no one would expect Atif Aslam or Ali Zafar to display same sexually chaste behavior. Moreover, we also assume that all females, particularly in the international … Read entire article »

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What Pakistan did right

BY C. CHRISTINE FAIR, JANUARY 18, 2011  Tuesday, January 18, 2011 – 9:35 AM The floods in Pakistan in 2010 were massive. The rains affected the length of Pakistan, maximally impacting the provinces of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Punjab, and Sindh as well as parts of Baluchistan. Flooding displaced more than 20 million people and covered about one fifth of Pakistan’s arable lands — an area roughly equal to the U.S. eastern seaboard. This flood affected more people than the … Read entire article »

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