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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

Come on Pakistan! Culture isn’t a static thing

By Raja Arsalan Khan Pakistani intelligentsia cannot challenge the Taliban through a comprehensive narrative because of the confusion it is suffering from. We are unique; we are supreme; we are here to tell people how to live; we are destined to change the whole world; only the Muslims have contributed to the human progress; everything should must Islamized; everyone except Muslims are our enemies. It is the executive summary of education imparted to our students while we seek an answer to the question: how to root out militancy from society. And unfortunately, media (now a 24/7 business) is complicating the problem by constantly bashing the West and reminding people about so-called negative influence of non-Muslim world and unending conspiracies designed by Jews, Hindus and Christians to consume us. Even a cursory look at the extremism … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, Islam, Pakistan, Religion

The confusion of secular liberals

Javed Hassan Secular liberals are waging a pointless battle against the Council of Islamic Ideology’s recommendation to rescind laws that requires that the first wife give permission to a husband before he marries a second or third wife.  Even more upsetting to this small and insignificant minority is the CII’s consideration for recommendations against laws that prevent marriage of underage females. In a country where hundreds of children are dying of malnutrition, it is difficult to understand why such issues should tax the brilliant minds of CII members. But it does so and there is a good reason for it, which is that under the constitutional provision, “No law repugnant to Islam shall be enacted and the present laws shall also be Islamized”. Given the Islamic nature of the constitution it is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Women are only made to cook food – Lala

In an interview on ARY news, when the all-famous Pakistani team cricketer Shahid Afridi was asked for his comments on women playing sports, his reply was simply that our women have “taste” in their hands. Our readers are invited to leave their comments – What do you think…? Should cooking be the only goal for women in Pakistan and be exempt from sports or any other fields? What then if any woman creates name in sports – Should we ignore it and only listen to Lala? Video can be seen on below link. Shahid Afridi Views About Women. … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights, Pakistan, sport, Women

Did Pakistan TV Debate Prompt Burning of Yoga Center?

Pak Tea House was noted by the famous US media outlet NBC NEWS in this story below. Wish we were quoted in a more positive news story. By Wajahat S. Khan ISLAMABAD – Armed men may have burned down a yoga center in Pakistan after it was criticized during a provocative television talk show, local observers said Monday. The Art of Living, a non-profit organization whose spiritual leader is an Indian yogi, was set on fire Saturday evening, three weeks after outspoken television anchor Arshad Sharif suggested it was a potential threat to Pakistan’s national security. The two nuclear armed nations are fierce rivals and have fought four wars and countless skirmishes. In a Feb. 14 episode of his prime-time show “Kyoon?” – meaning “Why?” – Sharif suggested that the facility’s spiritual leader, India yoga … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts, Citizens, culture, human rights, India, Islamabad, Media, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process, secular Pakistan, Terrorism, violence