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Calling Us Dollar Hungry and Fake Liberals

Raza Habib Raja Raza Rumi, whom I consider a good friend, elder brother  and a mentor, was attacked two days ago. He survived whereas his young driver, Mustafa could not make it. When it happens to a person known well to you and to whom you owe a lot, the incident becomes personal at many levels. Suddenly, you realize that words which are being written and spoken are not just a harmless exercise but entail life threatening consequences. And it also makes you realize that in this country- where ironically you are mocked at by titles like “Pseudo Liberal”, “Fake Liberal”, “Dollar Khor”, “Indian and US Agents”- you are always risking your life and despite the risk, continue to be mocked by our sick urban middleclass. And Raza Rumi was risking his life … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Raza Rumi: I’m Proud of You!

Kasim Osmani It is nothing but a stroke of luck when you happen to meet and start working with your most favorite personality. The very idea that you are going to work with country’s prominent political analyst excites the imagination. It fills you with high spirits and you feel like the luckiest person on planet. I felt so, when I met and started working with Raza Rumi. A day after I shared my profile, I found myself sitting across Raza Rumi, having kehwa and discussing how I could contribute to his bulging workload. Staring at him with almost static eyeballs, I expressed my earnest gratitude and determination for the given responsibilities. Raza Rumi entirely changed my views about a boss and people working in “private sector”. Now, I had a smiling boss who … Read entire article »

Filed under: journalism, Terrorism

Attack on Raza Rumi

Our chief editor Raza Rumi has been attacked today. He has luckily survived the attack whereas his driver, a very young guy, could not make it. This is a very serious incident and it highlights the deteriorating situation in Pakistan with respect to the safety of all those who are challenging the consistent erosion of freedom. Our chief editor was attacked because he symbolises freedom and courage in a society which is spiraling rapidly into abyss. When they can not argue and win on the basis of rationale despite the fact that they get the space on media also, they resort to violence. And this violence is not bravery but cowardice. And this will continue unless we muster enough courage to put an end to this. We hope that Government of Punjab takes … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Blasphemy Laws, Plight of Pakistan’s Minorities

Last year Joseph Colony of Lahore, Pakistan was burnt by a muslim mob on allegations of blasphemy by a christian man, Sawan Masih. Yesterday court sentenced Sawan Masih to death on the charge of blasphemy, while victims of Joseph Colony riot yet to get any Justice. [View the story “Blasphemy Laws, plight of Pakistan’s Minorities” on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: minorities, violence

The Irreversible Trajectory

Raza Habib Raja On 23rd March Jamat Dawa conducted several rallies across Pakistan for the supposed objective of protection of Pakistan ideology, i.e. the famous two nation theory(TNT). Jamat Dawa had publicized aggressively for the 23rd March events. One could see their vehicles with loud speakers in the major cities of Pakistan. On 20th March I drove past one of the vehicles and was able to actually see and hear how they were advertising the rally. The vehicle itself was covered with banners and three men carrying guns were on the top. The banner contained venomous slogans against India and tried to give a snapshot of Jamat Dawa’s interpretation of the TNT. According to that interpretation Hindus and Muslims could not even be friends due to the fact that former worship cow and supposedly drink … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Dr. D. Latifa – Normative Islam

Dr. D. Latifa – Normative Islam

Academic, psychologist and feminist. It’s never nice to use short labels for uncategorizable people like Dr. D. Latifa, but it sets the tone. For a long time she was the director of an important research program in a Pakistani university. These days, however, she mainly focuses on her work as a psychologist and a center for the study of gender and culture. If she had to place herself within a certain strand of Western psychology it … Read entire article »

Filed under: Books, Islam, Islamabad, Pakistan, Religion, Writers

Remembering Khushwant Singh

Rezaul Hasan Lashkar tweets obituaries by different writers on the late Khushwant Singh. [View the story “Remembering Khushwant Singh!” on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: journalism, obituary, Storify, Twitter, Writers

Muslims need to re-evaluate their interpretations and Ulema

By Amaar Ahmad: Chaos and violence in the name of Islam across the Muslim world should make us pause and evaluate the root cause of the problems. Is is not true that some Muslims (i) believe in violent Jihad against non-Muslims, (ii) believe in applying Takfir against fellow Muslims who disagree in interpretation of religion, and (iii) believe that punishment for apostasy or blasphemy is death? We must admit that these very beliefs are the root cause of so many conflicts. We must not deny that these so-called “Islamic” beliefs are used to fuel violence and terrorism today. We must accept that numerous religious scholars throughout history have believed in such violent concepts. Many apologists say that “Jihad” can only be conducted by state and not individuals. That blasphemy … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Do We Ask for Rape?

We are grateful to Ms Farah Azhar for this contribution. The misogynistic attitudes of our society whereby instead of rapists the victims are blamed. Such mindset is prevalent in South Asia and to varying degrees across the globe. Reader’s comments and inputs are most welcome. RHR Farah Azhar And this 103rd Women’s day passed with candle-lit vigils and speeches that emphasized women to speak for their rights. Just one week later, a seventeen year old teenager set herself on fire in Muzaffargargh district of Punjab and silenced herself forever after the police released her alleged rapist.  This tragic event, too, will just make another headline and then be recorded in the annals of history. Hillary Clinton rightly said, “For too long, the history of women has been a history of silence.” I am not going to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Rights, Women

Ahrar-ul-Hind IV: Indian National Congress’ unholy matrimony with Islamists of Ahrar and Jamiat-e-Ulema-Hind

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Continuing from Part I,  Part II and Part III,  I will address a few other claims that apologists for the Congress and its trenchant alliance with the Islamists of Ahrar and Jamiat-e-Ulema-Hind have put up.  Most notable was this article by one B R Singh writing in Greater Kashmir. He writes: The Majlis e Ahrar ul Islam was born in Lahore in 1929. It comprised Deobandi Muslims dissatisfied with the way the Khilafat movement had turned out. Taking Maulana Azad’s advice, they set up their own organization. The Ahrars supported Congress and the Motilal Nehru Report that had rejected the Muslim demand for separate electorates. The Ahrars felt that joint electorates had worked well in Punjab and they need not hold up Muslim negotiations with Congress for political rights. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Iqbal’s Poetic Expression

Eminent historian Ramachandra Guha shares with us Iqbal’s poetic reflections as he looks into his 1910 Diary. [View the story “Iqbal’s Poetic Expressions” on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Books, History, Literature, Pak Tea House, poetry, Writers

Pakistan’s Shame

Pakistan’s Shame

Raza Habib Raja A few days ago, news reached Pakistan of some Kashmiri students being suspended in an Indian University after celebrating Pakistan’s victory. Pakistanis were belligerent and media repeated the news for God knows how many times. There were talk shows on how intolerant India was with respect to Muslims. We used that opportunity to find comfort that if we are bad, others are not good either. After Gujarat riots suddenly Pakistanis found a justification to … Read entire article »

Filed under: minorities

The tragic burning of a DharamSala in Larkana

Last night on 16th March 2014, a Hindu DharamShala in Larkana was set ablaze over alleged Desecration of Quran. Following are the tweets comprising the reaction by Raza Rumi on the tragic and condemnable incident. [View the story “The tragic burning of a DharamSala in Larkana” on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Hinduism, minorities, Pakistan, Religion, Rural, Sindh, violence

Gandhi-A victim of Hindu Extremists

[View the story “Gandhi-A victim of Hindu Extremists” on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Gandhi, History, India

Does A Veil Define A Muslim Woman’s Character?

Haider Rifaat Fear is the first word that comes to my mind when I hear the phrase “Degradation of Women.” Islam, on every level has given women paramount rights more than any living being on earth. On account of the terrorist activities, millions of lives have been affected in both, rural and urban areas of Pakistan. Children’s mindsets, on the other hand are being brainwashed in some religious institutions, even today. Furthermore, several extremist groups have been using children as military weapons. In many rural areas of Pakistan, women are forcibly thwarted from holding pens in their hands. Similarly, there have been cases of sexual enslavement, castigation and physical ill treatment of women who struggled to receive better education from schools and colleges. One of the reasons as to why such … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights, Islam, liberal Pakistan, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Religion, Women