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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

Islam and the West

By Saad Hafiz The Islamic world and the west appear to be caught up in an intensifying phase of political and cultural conflict. Each side views the other with mistrust and suspicion and both have a shopping-list of grievances. Over-zealous punditry on television, in the op-ed pages, on campuses and in strategic studies think tanks reinforce the fear that Islam and the west are on a collision course. Great stress is laid on the political and cultural divide, futility of communication and engagement and cries of hegemony and imperialism. In this cacophony, those who seek dialogue and reconciliation between the faiths struggle to be heard. Muslim self-confidence, which was at its peak some centuries ago, has disappeared. Religious literalism has gained centrality over reason in the Islamic worldview. Long buried is the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Media, Society, south asia, Terrorism, war, World

A tale of two attacks

By Ayesha Noor On September 22, 2013 the Taliban killed 85 Christian worshippers during a well-planned suicide attack in a Peshawar Church.  On May 28, 2010, the Taliban killed nearly 86 Ahmadi worshippers in two highly organized and well-coordinated suicide attacks on two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore. The church attack took place when Christians were engaged in prayers during Sunday service. The Ahmadi mosques attack occurred when Ahmadis were engaged in Friday prayers on, well, a Friday afternoon.  Everything is common in these attacks. Despite demanding security several times, the provincial governments gave cold responses to both communities. Both attacks were done in the name of Islam i.e. to wipe infidels from the face of the Earth. And both attacks stained the white part of the Pakistani flag bright red.  However, the tale of two attacks took opposite angles once the news of the attacks spread. While reporting the Ahmadi mosques attack, media first used … Read entire article »

Filed under: Identity, Islam, minorities, Peshawar, Religion, violence

Media, get your facts straight!

By BB :   It was the morning of March 3, 2009. Nine a.m. to be exact. Slivers of information had begun trickling in. The Sri Lanka cricket team – on their way to play the second Test against Pakistan – had come under attack. Bullets were zipping back and forth across Liberty market. Back in the newsroom, phones were buzzing in synchrony. Producers were menacing reporters to make sense of the happenings on the ground. A pandemonium had erupted. Nothing was clear. Assumptions and heresy had been mashed with facts. How many militants were engaged with the police? Any casualties? Who were these militants? A litany of answered questions sat heavy in the newsroom. A few minutes later, the content head ambled in. An emergency meeting was in session. Producers from every department scrambled inside … Read entire article »

Filed under: Media, Uncategorized

The Indefensible Silence of Media over the Sickening Slaughter of Qudoos

By Rashid Zafar: Every time I gripped my pen to write about the most sickening murder, imagery of deceased Master Abdul Qudoos would incapacitate my fingers to paralysis and my senses to numbness. I, too, am considerably cognizant of my disability to meet with the requisites of this very sore subject. The spokesman of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – who is not deemed a reliable enough source by a bunch of human rights activists-cum-journalists – reported; “… today, a well-known and respected Ahmadi, Mr Master Abdul Qudoos Ahmad (43), died succumbing to brutal police torture in Rabwah. Few months ago MuhammadYousuf a stamp (deed) paper seller from Nusrat Abad was murdered and police on the basis of suspicion illegally arrested Master Abdul Qudoos. Police made him subject to inhuman life threatening torture, which resulted … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

Mayagate and its aftermath

by Aysha Raja Last weekend saw the widespread condemnation and sustained social media campaign against Maya Khan culminate with the firing of the contentious host from Samaa TV. I would proudly have claimed it a blow against the increasingly oppressive bhaigarat brigade, had the word “blow” not dredged up some disturbing imagery of it’s own. Dissent, in the wake of the unfortunate episode of Subah Saverey Maya kay Sath, swamped the interwebs in all shapes and forms … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

The Lavish Wedding in Dubai…

Jang group is the largest media group in the country and in recent times its power has only increased. Its electronic arm, GEO TV, is one of the most influential television stations in Pakistan and is known to promote populist narratives according to which politicians are corrupt and operate with no accountability. Lifestyles of politicians is often targeted and any “exuberance” is projected as complete insensitivity to the plight of the suffering poor of the country. … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, Media

Extinguished hope

By Ahsan Kureshi A friend, who shares my ‘liberal’ perspective on almost all things, inquired why I was surprised on what had happened. ‘Shouldn’t we be used to all this?’ His question got me thinking. Are we actually so drowned in the wetsand of fanaticism that the call of an auction of the ‘Holy weapon of Qadri’ was not even a head-turner? Are we bent upon staying fearful and oblivious to all that we deem as absurd? Is a debate on the said topic too much to ask for? Too volatile of a question with a ‘playing-with-a-knife’ consequence? Indeed and sadly yes; atleast, that’s what it seems. What saddens me today the most is the biases of the pioneers of the ‘freedom-of-speech’ manifesto, the media. The morning newspaper (5th Jan) that greeted me today, … Read entire article »

Filed under: liberal Pakistan, Media, Opinion, Terrorism

Pakistani Media: Misinformation and manipulation

The purpose of the media is an easy one to understand. The dissemination of factual information on issue relevant to the citizenry. This entails (or should entail) a research and effort to uncover the truth, as well as a responsibility to uphold principles of free speech, adequate voice (as absolute voice and impartiality is impossible) and a separation to some extent from the control of politics. Thus the media has always been imagined as a … Read entire article »

Filed under: journalism, Media, Opinion

HRK and Media hype

By Rai M. Azlan: If days can be remembered with the events that take place on that particular day than 27th July of 2011 can be the HRK day. Yes here with HRK I mean Hina Rabbani Khar, the Federal Foreign Minister of Pakistan. Why I feel that way about this day is the result of the observation. I woke up this morning and what first thing I saw in my twitter timeline was a tweet saying, “I just hope Hina Rabbani Khar return with something more diplomatically tangible than offers for bollywood flicks or Big Boss shows.” As I was not completely awake at that time, it took me some time to recall all the things that could have helped me in understanding the reason behind such tweet. The reason is that Pakistan’s … Read entire article »

Filed under: Politics

Mukhtar mai Media and Misogyny

Mukhtar mai Media and Misogyny

By Raza Rumi   As if the showering of rose petals on Mumtaz Qadri and the release of a new Urdu book ‘Parwana-i-Shama-i-Risalat’ extolling him were not enough, Mukhtar Mai’s plight in today’s Pakistan is simply depressing. Within hours after the Supreme Court’s split verdict on her was announced, Pakistan once again appeared as a divided polity. The medieval minds in media and intelligentsia were quick to harp on the soundness of the Court’s verdict while those who were … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights, violence

Pakistan: A transitional polity

By Raza Rumi Pakistan’s existentialist crisis is no longer a strictly Pakistani issue. Its potential repercussions have emerged as a cornerstone of global debates on regional stability and international concerns on terrorism and nuclear proliferation. The clichés on Pakistan’s disintegration and meltdown have also been done to death in the international media and policy brigades across the world. Perhaps, what the world has not yet fully comprehended is that Pakistan is essentially a transitional country where the old order is crumbling, giving way to a newer society that is grappling with geostrategic compulsions, domestic violence and a post-colonial state which refuses to realign its structures and priorities to a ‘new’ Pakistan. To begin with, never in Pakistan’s history have so many women been active in the public spheres: from higher education to … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, Pakistan

Politicians and Media: Fostering McCarthyism

By Saad Hafiz There are a lot of lessons to be drawn from the political and media experiences of the United States, but the most relevant one is this: there can be a dangerous alliance between politicians and media using the same pulpit to promote hatred and intolerance with lasting effects. In the early 1950′s, Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anticommunist crusades, aided by a pliant media, destroyed lives and fostered a climate of fear and hostility in American Society. The Governing Class’ use of the media to spread fear is prevalent in American history, most recently in the run up to the war in Iraq. The “Red Menace” and “WMD” bogies trumpeted by Senator McCarthy and the Bush administration assisted by a section of the media confirmed that: “the great masses of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Media, Politics

Pathetic Role of the Media

Written By: Riaz Ali Toori “Pathetic Role of the Media” Historically, Judiciary, Legislature and Executive were considered as the three main organs of a state. With great advancement in the field of print and electronic media, the world has become a global village in which the Media has emerged as the fourth and powerful pillar of any government. Perhaps it has proved to be more powerful than all the other three pillars as it has directly influenced the ideas and thoughts of people from villages to towns and towns to cities. It has benumbed the edifice of norms and culture as well, wielding direct sway on the public and assuming the role of the fourth pillar of a society. Third world countries have also been hit by the revolution of but it seems … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Philosophical Musings on Salman Taseer’s death in Pakistan

By Shaireen Rasheed Will the real Moderate Muslim Please Stand Up: Making Sense of Salmaan Taseers’s Assassination? I think we all are trying to grapple and come to terms with the latest tragedy surrounding the assassination of Salmaan Taseer. The response in the media and civil society has been overwhelming. Liberalism is a word that is being used as our last resort to combat ‘extremism’. In trying to understand the big picture I wonder if to quote Kelly Oliver regarding the war on terror, “we are taking the theater of war globally,” (Oliver, 2007). War is everywhere and at once. The space and time of this war has become infinite because the enemy is infinite. Furthermore perpetuating a systemic ideology that further divides the Us vs. Them mentality. By pitting the extremists … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized