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Moderate Muslims, Hard Line Islam

Raza Habib Raja Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) is a body whose job is to give recommendations to the government for making the legal framework more in line with Islam and right now it is actively reviewing several existing laws for that purpose. The impetus for Islamization is not only emanating from the constitution itself which declares Islam as a state religion but also from the general public’s desire to see religion play a greater role in Pakistan. It has been claimed that a huge majority actually wants religion to have a more prominent role in Pakistan’s legal framework. This is a claim I won’t dispute as many surveys have indeed confirmed it. For example Pew Research revealed that a whopping 84% want Sharia as their official law. At the same time it has also been … Read entire article »

Filed under: secular Pakistan, secularism

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

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

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

Was Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar Deobandi or Shia?

Was Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar Deobandi or Shia?

By Yasser Latif Hamdani   My reference to the Munir Report vis a vis the fact that Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar (the Ahrar leader who called Jinnah Kafir-e-Azam or the great infidel) was a Shia leading an essentially anti-Ahmadi and anti-Shia movement has evoked a rather disgraceful reaction from online Shia Islamic Fundamentalists.  The idea that Azhar could be a Shia is so revolting and repulsive to them (and rightly so because some of his opinions are … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Taliban and Sharia: A Comparison

Athar Mahmood Nowadays, on TV shows, many die-hard supporters and sympathizers of the Taliban are propounding their agenda to enforce sharia, and form a society within the Islamic parameters. I ponder are they actually so naïve or deliberately trying to make us deluded souls. Imperialism is being shielded under Islamic rule of laws; barbarism is being introduced under the camouflage of Islamic culture and so on. Worth noting is the point that everything is being charted out in the name of Islam. This article is an attempt to expose the Taliban’s misunderstanding of Islamic principles and their self-proposed agendas in the light of Quranic verses. Islam does not require weapon or force to implement its teachings. Carrying a gun or rocket launcher can be the tradition of tribes but not of Islam. Those … Read entire article »

Filed under: Taliban

A conversation with a constitutional Kaafir

Balal Haider Ahmadis are constitutional Kaafirs in Pakistan. The best part is Pakistan is the only country in the world which proudly presents us with such a Politico-Religious categorization of its people. Below is a conversation from a daily life of a constitutional Kaafir (CK) and Radicalized Constitutional Muslim (RCM)… CK: “Asalam o Alikum my dear friend” RCM: ” Yala Harama, you go to jail, how dare you speak the words which sends peace to me, you!!, let me call the police station.” CK: “I am so sorry my friend I am just used to spreading peace and teachings of love. I am sorry to have offended you, Let me do some Astagfar.” RCM: ” Toba Toba, you are using an Arabic word, how dare you act like a muslim” CK: ” I am sorry, I … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Short Story

Winning the ideological war

Winning the ideological war

Balal Haider “This is a war of ideologies, and idea can’t be defeated by force and bombs. The truth will be the winner” Omar Khorasani, the spokesman of the TTP Mohmand Agency tweeted early today on his official twitter account. This statement in isolation is correct but when put into context spells the disaster for TTP and all allied terrorists. TTP are known to have spreading their ideology throughout the region trough sword. They force people to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Terrorism

Jamat-e Islami, A Common Inheritance of Pakistan and Bangladesh

By Obaidullah Khan Bangladesh and Pakistan have some common features with respect to their foundation. Both were made for the Muslims of the Subcontinent (not for Islam). A sense of deprivation and desperation played the key role behind their coming into being. And then a common inheritance, Jamat e Islami, with an identical part to play in the formation of these two sovereign and independent states, was another similarity. Unfortunately, for both states that role was antagonistic and in support of the parent unified countries, united India in case of Pakistan and united Pakistan in case of Bangladesh. So in a sense Jamat e Islami in both the cases supported the preexisting scenario and opposed the independence movement of these states. Surely as patriot Pakistanis we are aggrieved in the case … Read entire article »

Filed under: Politics

Speak up (Melancholy )

Speak up (Melancholy )

by Caeser Ali Khan Islamic culture holds Melancholy (Hazen) in high esteem but I consider it not an honor but illness. We Muslims are suffering from a communal pain. It is often said “If you were a good and true Muslim, you would not care so much about your worldly losses.” What a pity. I am not speaking of your personal grief but of the pain and suffering we absorb with pride as a community. I am … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Islamism, Pakistan

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

Hate Virus in Our Society

Obaidullah Khan Ours is a diseased society and anyone who has any sanity left in oneself would hardly differ with it. Many a times a single disease causes multiple symptoms in a body. A deep study of our diseased society may reveal that there is a virus of Hate in our society causing many deteriorating symptoms. Our society as a whole is suffering very badly with the effects of Hate whether be it individually, socially, politically and most important of all religiously. Anyone can understand that hate is the opposite feeling of Love which is a positive emotion in a human body and a very essential in building positive and constructive tendencies in the human character.  But in contrast to that we as a nation espouse hate, causing a downfall in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Identity

Bhutto – a reluctant hero?

Bhutto – a reluctant hero?

Mohammed Rafiuddin We have a tendency to whitewash our history. It’s not exclusively our forte, most nations do the same but we’ve developed a particular expertise in it. With a single stroke of a brush our heroes are painted as enemies and foes become friends. Murderers are painted as martyrs and brave hearts become interlopers. A recent article by Nadeem F. Paracha (NFP) has attempted to dig deeper and find out ‘what really happened’ during a dark … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, human rights, Politics

Atheism and Faith

Atheism and Faith

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi I am a believer in one God. But I am always fascinated by atheist because it seems fantastic that they could reject the idea of God despite the inadequacy of science to explain physical world around us with certainty. To understand their argument I am always eager to meet an atheist with a hope that some new information will be revealed to shake foundation of my faith. But most of the time … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Religion, secularism

Religion & Rationality

by Tipu Salman Makhdoom Education is useless! This applies to the phenomenon we choose to call “Education” in Pakistan. Ignoring what it refers to in the far away meadows of the modern world, we dub literacy based gimmickry as Education. And then wonder why it is not producing same results that it does in other parts of the world. Degrees and the degrees upon degrees offer no help. Thinking is a rare phenomenon in our society. Training to “Think” is simply non-existent in our Education System. By thinking I mean Rational Thinking. Our Educational Institutions are nothing but production houses of career oriented half-baked mechanics. These overly literate mechanics of their fields, be it scientific or social, are good only at earning their daily bread by applying formula solutions they were taught … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Religion