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Bridging the great divide

by Saad Hafiz: The recent anti-US protests that erupted across the Muslim world fueled by an inflammatory film titled Innocence of Muslims have exacerbated the deep divide between Islam and the west. Muslims see the film as an attack on the very foundation of their religion as the Prophet (PBUH) plays a special role in Muslim consciousness. The western countries view the dissemination of the film in the context of the ‘freedom of expression’ guaranteed in secular societies. Debates have long swirled around the issue of religious defamation (or blasphemy), which refers to insults to a certain religion, or religions in general. Since the 1989 fatwa by the Ayatollah Khomeini against Salman Rushdie, and the Danish cartoon protests, religious defamation debates often focus on Islam. Supporters of restrictions on religious defamation point … Read entire article »

Filed under: World

Pakistan‘s fraternal twins – Democracy and Dictatorship

Maryam Khan A wave of an ocean may not have as many ups and downs when compared to the fluctuations that occur in the politics of Pakistan. Throughout its chequered history, Pakistan has oscillated between dictatorship and some form of democracy. Today despite passing of so many years, the debate still rages on as to what is a better template for governing Pakistan. Democracy allows a common man to decide for himself, “who he wants to be ruled by?”, whereas, dictatorship halts this decision power. While theoretically democracy draws its strength from the people and tries to capture their aspirations in the way governance is conducted, but the actually reality is often different. In reality, at least in Pakistan, both democratic as well as authoritarian regimes have governed poorly and instead of accepting … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Culture Shock – American Lifestyle

By Kashif: A life-changing event for me was a trip to the United States of America (USA), when I was selected as a Fulbright Scholar. The US is a dreamland for almost everyone; considering the number of visitors in New York and Chicago per day waiting in a queue would certainly testify my above mentioned assertion. I couldn’t believe I am in the US until the first day at the school. The whole system, the organized processes, students’ maturity, students’ goals, professors’ friendliness and among others, impressed me a lot and instantly broke the prejudice being carried in my mind about America and American people. The mind-change was a little bit quick and I realized I am still in a danger zone as my friends and family members kept on calling and … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture

Why am I not outraged by the anti-Islam film?

By BB: Few wanted to fund the movie. Even fewer wanted to be part of the production. Hardly anyone wanted to see the movie, until Muslims across the world publicly denounced it. There is a rabble rousing across continents, instigated by 14-minutes of celluloid. The fundamentalists are seething. The moderates are miffed. Law enforcement officials, in Muslim countries, are uncertain, nervously shifting in their protective armor. It’s a difficult choice to make – belief vs responsibility. Behind them is the U.S. embassy and facing them is a mob. Several people caught up in the action (intentionally or inadvertently) have died, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya. Even more are injured. And the numbers refuse to halt just there. Amidst the cries of blasphemy against the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims, a French paper has brazenly … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam

VIOLENT PROTESTS TO HONOR THE PROPHET OF PEACE (PBUH)

By Sabahat Ahmed: Since the beginning of time, mankind has always seen a struggle between Truth and Falsehood, and between Light and Darkness. However, as it is the Way of the Almighty Allah, Truth and Light always triumph. It has been the nature of certain people, that being arrogant, they challenge the Prophets of Allah in order to gain cheap fame. However, they always meet failure and humiliation. Many such people have adopted a brazen attitude towards the pride of the Universe, the Holy Prophet Muhammad. All of them, as is the Way of Allah, failed miserably. Recently, certain elements using freedom of conscious and freedom of speech as an excuse, have made an anti-Islam film either to show their malice towards Islam and the Holy Prophet, or maybe, to spread hatred … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam

Pakistan’s failing Institutions

Prof Farakh A Khan: ‘Pakistan First’ has been the recent slogan but will someone tell me what it means in practice. Former President Gen Pervez Musharraf pushed the slogan but in actual fact it was ‘Musharraf First’ and in the process sold Pakistan to American for dollars. The slogan now is ‘Save Pakistan’. We have economic wizards pushing their agenda to make Pakistan prosperous. The PTI and other parties have their economic agendas, which few people understand. Most of strategies have been tried in the past and failed. Presently Pakistan is surviving on $12 billion remittances every year from our workers abroad and scraps from the West and Japan. We also talk of ‘good governance’ without qualifying what this means and how this would be fixed. Then there is crowd puller, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Love in the Age of Enlightenment

By Ghazala Akbar: Peace be, upon you, brothers and sisters of the faith! Here is the news on this 5th day, Dhu’ al-Qa’Dah 1433 AH, Friday September 21, AD.We begin, as always with the sensational news: 17 faithful believers tragically embraced martyrdomin our beloved State of Jahilliya when misguided police and security forces directed by a hidden ‘Foreign hand’ lobbed teargas shells and fired on innocent brethren. The unfortunate victims were demonstrating their love of the Last Messenger (PBUH) in a peaceful, dignified and restrained manner. Earlier in the day, millions had thronged the streets in response to a call by the Government to observe a “Day of Love”, across the length and breadthof the Land.The objective was to show unity, solidarity and send a strong message to insensitive Western Governments and Media of the hurt and suffering caused by the blasphemous film. The … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam

Protests and anti-Islam Film

By Salma Ahmed : Another derogatory movie ‘Innocence of Muslims’ has yet again created a havoc in the Islamic world especially in Libya, Egypt and Pakistan. I have not seen the movie or its trailer but only read about it. Apparently, the movie is poorly directed with no plot or acting worthy of comments. It was clearly made to humiliate Muslims and incite the reactions they are known to have. Kudos to the evil masterminds behind the movie; they have accomplished their goal. Muslims all over the world have taken to streets, protesting about the movie and are hell-bent upon destroying US embassies. In Libya, they even managed to take innocent lives (such as the lives of US ambassador Christopher Stevens and his staff). Pakistan, however, has outdone itself. Almost a week … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam

Jinnah’s vision for Pakistan

In clear concise and consistent terms, Mr Jinnah laid down his vision for Pakistan. After this, there is no room for discussion in my view. Popular sovereignty with equal rights regardless of religion – this is the essence of a modern democratic state.  No vague notions of sovereignty being vested in a deity etc. -YLH Document No: 01472105 Interview with Mr. Doon Campbell, Reuters’ Correspondent, New Delhi, 21st May 1947 Q. What sort of relationship do you envisage between Pakistan and Hindustan? Ans. Friendly and reciprocal in the mutual interest of both. That is why I have been urging: let us separate in a friendly way and remain friends thereafter. Q. How would you divide the armed forces? Do you envisage a defence pact or any other kind of military alliance between Pakistan and Hindustan? Ans. All the armed … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Two videos: Kafir factory and Jinnah’s secularism

We are posting two video clips which are relevant to the debates that PTH encourages. In the first clip, Mohmmad Hanif, the author of “The case of exploding mangoes” speaks about the “kafir factory” which mullahs have turned Pakistan into. In the second clip, Meraj Khan launches into a passionate defense of Jinnah’s secularism. The notable thing about the speeches is that they were held publicly in Karachi on the death anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam. It … Read entire article »

Filed under: People's Pakistan, Uncategorized

Moving backwards in time

By Sabahat Ahmad Cheema It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Interesting Recent News from Pakistan

By Prof. Farakh A Khan : AQ Khan has come up with silly news. In a press conference he claimed that about 800 people were involved in nuclear proliferation to ‘two countries’ and he was ‘ordered’ by BB to do so. Firstly you don’t need 800 people to send centrifuges abroad. In this venture the army top brass was totally involved. BB was not liked by the army and she had no control over the nuclear programme. AQ claims that he was instrumental in nuclear tests in May 1998 and persuaded NS, through threats, to go ahead. Investigations against AQ were started by NS in 1999. Musharraf took the files and axed him since many army officers were involved and the Americans were breathing down his neck. He came out hard … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

What Sectarianism means?

by Abdullah Zaidi: A few days ago, at least 20 Shias headed for Gilgit-Baltistan were shot dead in Mansehra by militants. A day later a bomb attack on the Al-Quds rally resulted in the death of one Shia youth. Although, targeted killing of Shias is not a new phenomenon, but because of the recent surge in these episodes, I expected a stronger and more importantly, a definite reaction. To my dismay none of that came about. Instead, all one can hear regarding sectarian terrorism is general throat-clearing rhetoric which ends at condemning the attacks in isolation. Sometimes, the whole issue is simplistically reduced to lack of law and order and the government’s unpreparedness without any attention to the context of such attacks. Sectarianism in Pakistan started emerging in late 70s around the Iranian … Read entire article »

Filed under: Religion

Trading your way to co-existence

By Saad Hafiz: The majority of news items that link India and Pakistan report something negative such as tensions along the border, bickering over Kashmir, Balochistan or Afghanistan, concerns about terrorism, or, at its most benign, a eruption of nationalistic sentiment and flag-waving when the two nations meet on the sporting field. It is welcome, therefore, that a visible thaw in consular and economic relations between the two countries has made the headlines recently. The just-concluded Pakistan-India foreign ministers’ talks in Islamabad announced a liberalised and relatively relaxed visa regime, which benefits certain selected categories of visitors. The Reserve Bank of India has also permitted Indians to invest in Pakistan and for Pakistanis to invest in India, a move that will help enhance bilateral trade and investment. Pakistan’s stated goal of normalising … Read entire article »

Filed under: Economy

“Innocence of Muslims” and Muslims….

Raza Habib Raja “One of the “best”ways to protest against a movie which portrays your faith as crazy, fascist and violent is to go and protest in a way that is crazy, fascist and violent !” The above is a Facebook status of a friend (may be an excerpt from an article) which accurately describes what right now we are witnessing all across the Muslim world. How an obscure and crude movie on YouTube ( which by no stretch of imagination is state sanctioned or censored in the conventional sense) can spark such violent protests is something which really needs to be pondered upon. Frankly I will not defend the movie as I have seen the thirteen minute trailer. I fully agree that it is crude and frankly aims at humiliating Muslims. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized