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I am an Ahmadi and I love Pakistan

I am an Ahmadi and I love Pakistan

by Saniya Ahmad No matter how much I love Pakistan, it is not the place for me to be right now. No matter how much I say I love it, I will always be labelled a traitor in the place I call home. No matter how much I sacrifice for my country, my fellow citizens will always look at me with contempt and hatred. No matter how patriotic I am, I will be punished.. for being … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Democracy, minorities, New Writers, Pakistan, Religion, secularism, Society, Taliban

Remembering Shahbaz Bhatti, an unsung hero of Pakistan

Raza Rumi Fate connected me to Salma Peter John – the widow of Pakistan’s slain Christian Minister Shahbaz Bhatti who was assassinated by violent extremists. I cried then and cried yesterday after speaking to brave Salma and watching this video. I share your grief and stand by you. There is no reason that Cammy should have died, no justification but Pakistan and its negligent state enabled this killing. He was a bright man whenever I met him. At least I have the consolation that I will meet Salma in a few weeks and do whatever little I can to turn her grief into the voice that condemns injustice. All these instances of losing Mustafa, my driver-friend-family-member and so many others I know has only taught me one thing. No need to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blasphemy, human rights, Justice, minorities, Pakistan, Raza Rumi, Religion, Taliban, Target Killing

Malala Yousufzai Winning Nobel Peace Prize: Divided Reactions from Pakistanis on Social Media

Malala Yousufzai Winning Nobel Peace Prize: Divided Reactions from Pakistanis on Social Media

Malik Omaid Malala Yousufzai the Swat girl who wrote diaries as “Gul Makai” for the BBC Urdu service and was shot by Taliban on speaking for Girls right of education won this years Nobel Peace Prize. While the whole world was praising this young girl, 17 years of age and the youngest of all Nobel Laureates, for her courageous promotion of Girls education not only in Taliban effected Pakistan but also worldwide, she was target of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, Arts and Crafts, Children, China, Citizens, Civil Service, Conservation, Constitution, Corruption, culture, Dance, Democracy, Drones, Education, Egalitarian Pakistan, Environment, Europe, executive, Fashion, FATA, Heritage, human rights, Identity, Images, India, Iran, Islamism, journalism, Justice, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, Literature, Love, Malala Yousufzai, Middle East, Music, Northern Areas, obituary, Opinion, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process, peace, Photos, psychology, quetta, Raza Rumi, Religion, Reviews, Rights, state, Storify, Sufism, Taliban, Target Killing, Terrorism, violence, war, Women, youth

Pride of “Nuclear State”-Murdering Humanity

Pride of “Nuclear State”-Murdering Humanity

By Syed Foaad Hassan Just when most of us celebrate “Youm e Takbeer” every year, the day when we experimented a device which can tear your flesh , destroy every single tree, bird in-fact every living thing in milliseconds, just when India and Pakistan talk about war, capturing each other’s land and “Ghazwa e Hind” I want to recall “Humanity”. Four years ago more than 100 Ahmadis died brutally during Jumma prayers in Lahore, the Capital of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Constitution, Democracy, Doctors, human rights, Islamism, Justice, minorities, Pakistan, Religion, Rights, Target Killing, Terrorism, USA, violence

Who was Raza Rumi?

It was only late in the night when I came to know that Raza Rumi was attacked—By whom and why? I do not know. I just know that because of the consequence of that unprovoked attacked, Raza was compelled to leave Pakistan and settle in some neutral land where his safety and security is, at least, not at risk. Well, so much has been written about the unfortunate circumstances and plight of the security of journalists in Pakistan and so much has been said already too. I may save myself from taking a dip in this vast sea. Here I want to expound on who was Raza Rumi. A Teacher? A Sufi Master? A Friend? I have no words to express my grief over these unfortunate and saddening times. Long gone … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, human rights, Identity, Lahore, liberal Pakistan, Media, Punjab, Raza Rumi, Rights, secular Pakistan, secularism, Terrorism, Twitter, violence

A Talibanised society

By Saad Hafiz It is hard to argue against the notion that Pakistan is a fertile ground for extremist Islam, its causes and conflicts. Pakistan’s status as an ideological state has resulted in the proliferation of Islamic political groups of all kinds. The country’s constitution states that it is an Islamic state, religion is a way of life and that indoctrination, and no other competing ideology, is allowed. Moreover, national policies pursued since Pakistan’s creation have set the country’s trajectory away from the tolerant, syncretic and peaceful strands of Islam, and towards a harsh, literalist and limited version of Islamic values. Extremism is also driven by a pernicious mix of cultural and religious factors — the labyrinthine working through shame-honour/power-challenge codes, Islamic fatalism and the notion of violent jihad. It is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Taliban, Terrorism

The Elevator to Power

Saad Hafiz Dramatic reporting and exposés on western news channels suggest that Islamic radicalism is flourishing in the member states of the European Union and in North America. News items tend to focus on a small segment of Islamic activists who espouse extremist and radical ideologies and who have resorted to violence and terrorism against both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. This does not support the sweeping, superficial theory offered by some who represent the Islamo-phobic school of thought, namely that Islam as a whole — and not only its radical factions — is intrinsically militant, fanatical, evil, violent, anti-western and anti-Semitic. Studies have singled out political Salafism, the fastest-growing global radical Islamic movement, which preaches a strictly conservative form of Islam, as attracting second and third generation immigrants in the West. This … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Islamism, Religion, violence

Remembering Salman Taseer (Shaheed)

Remembering Salman Taseer (Shaheed)

By Amir Abbas Turi Salman Taseer, the late Governor Punjab, became the first non-American who has been honoured with the Martin Luther King Junior Peace Award for his efforts in promoting human rights and peace. This prestigious Award is given to Taseer at a time when the Pakistani nation is deeply divided in its opinion about the question of martyrdom. While the United States has honoured him for his courage, unfortunately, Taseer remains one of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Justice, Media, Terrorism

Malala Issue: Perils of Overexposure

Raza Habib Raja I remember when the assassination attempt on Malala took place, many felt horror and in fact after a long time, there was across the board vociferous opposition of the cowardly act of the Taliban. At that time she was a unifying figure and buoyed by what I was witnessing, I even wrote an article praising her not only for her courage but also her symbolic importance. However the situation has changed and somehow she has become a controversial and polarizing figure.  Right now media, both electronic and social, is being dominated by tussles between Malala supporters and opponents. The supporters want everyone to accept her as a hero whereas opponents are opposing her vociferously. Their opposition ranges from criticism of International media to calling her a foreign agent. Some … Read entire article »

Filed under: liberal Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism

In a perpetual state of mourning

By Saad Hafiz: Tens of thousands of people have been killed in extremist violence in Pakistan since the late 1980s. The country has earned a reputation for being a hotbed of extremism and violence. The latest atrocity is the bomb blasts in Quetta targeting the Shia minority, which killed and injured over 200 people. The self-contained killing machines of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) and their acolytes are operating at full capacity and with total impunity, butchering vulnerable communities at will. The Islamic Republic has clearly failed in its primary responsibility to protect the people, particularly the minorities and the weak from the extremist threat. James Madison aptly described this responsibility: “It is of great importance for a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy

Confronting extremism

By Saad Hafiz: US Senator Robert F Kennedy once wrote, “What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.” Contemporary extremists, motivated by a religious imperative, have engaged in more hate speak against a far wider category of opponents, encompassing not merely their declared enemies but anyone who does not share their religious faith, and even persons who are of the same faith but who do not share their extreme political views and theological constructs. The dissemination of personalised hate messages is being assisted by the omnipresence and timeliness of the Internet, which can easily circumvent official censorship. Inflammatory messages can be circulated anonymously, quickly, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Terrorism

Are Liberals to blame for Pakistan’s Extremism?

Kashif. N. Chaudary Imran Khan is Pakistan’s sports superstar. His philanthropy is also admirable. This, however, does not mean I should not exercise my right to criticize Khan’s politics. Sadly,Imran Khan’s followers do not take criticism all that well. Anyone who calls him Taliban Khan is quickly ascribed a set of views and labeled a “pseudo-liberal” and “fascist”. In a recent interview, Imran Khan said he believed in engaging the far right and justified being represented at rallies of extremist groups by stating that his was a political party that believed in engaging marginalized groups. Will Imran Khan also engage the ostracized Ahmadi Muslims, Hindus and Christians of Pakistan? Or is his engagement limited to those that preach and execute their killings? Imran Khan has been represented at rallies organized by banned terrorist … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Extremism is getting embedded in the medical profession

By Abdul Majeed: Science is supposed to inculcate rational thinking among its practitioners. The whole scientific methodology relies on definitive evidence and not just myths or fable. Paradoxically, in case of religious extremism, it has been observed that students of science have been actively involved in acts of terrorism and their scientific education failed to change their narrow-mindedness and bigotry. Research by Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog has shown that engineers are more susceptible to join Islamic Radical groups than other people. Similar data is not available about Doctors. However, based on information about the terrorist networks and terrorists themselves it is not difficult to find doctors in prominent roles. Most famous and perhaps dangerous is Dr Ayman-az-Zawahiri, a pediatrician from Egypt believed to be the second-in-command of Al Qaeda and the chief … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

Aaloo-eating zionists – Pakistan’s youth reacts to daily doses of ghairat and lies

By Saadia Gardezi The latest music video to go viral in the Pakistani blogosphere, Aaloo Andey by Beyghairat Brigade, says most of what those on the centre and left are thinking. The Pakistani virtualverse has been twittering about the satire since it came out. However there has also been some verbal violence against the views expressed in the song, characteristic of the Pakistan we live in… what for one man thinks is xenophobic nationalism, for another is just … Read entire article »

Filed under: Conservation, Humor, liberal Pakistan, Music

Myth and reality of extremism

Pakistan needs to undertake research on militancy for effective policymaking By Raza Rumi: A recent attempt to understand militancy, “Poverty and Support for Militant Politics: Evidence from Pakistan” (Graeme Blair, C. Christine Fair, Neil Malhotra, Jacob N. Shapiro, 2011), provides us fresh insights into the phenomenon or myth of popular support for militant extremism in Pakistan. Using a sample of urban and rural population and employing inventive techniques, this research is an important document if only Pakistan’s policymakers would ever pay attention to the little evidence that is generated with respect to militancy. It is a sad state of affairs that our national policy institutes and ‘think-tanks’ are yet to undertake such studies even when the state and its agencies have been brutally attacked and over 35,000 Pakistanis have died due to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion, Reviews