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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

What Muslims Should Remember….

Raza Habib Raja It is often claimed by my fellow Muslims that the world is unfair to us and harbors misperceptions about Islam. What Muslims often overlook is that world’s perception about them as well as Islam is shaped by their actions. So this is what they should remember before complaining. If you endorse terrorism, either openly or through apologetic defense, and that too on religious grounds, then please do not expect the world to consider Islam as a religion of peace, because it simply won’t. It is hard to imagine it doing so when some of the followers are ready to blow themselves in the middle of crowded places which contain even little children on the pretext that Israel has been unfair to Palestinians! Or West has been unfair to Islam. It is even … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, minorities

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

Certainly Not My Sultan!

By K M Khan: The Turkish dramas are popular these days. While I am not a fan of the Turkish dramas but for curiosity’s sake I started watching “Mera Sultan”. The historical drama is mainly about the life of Sultan Suleiman, the lord of the Ottoman Empire during its golden days. The drama is magnificent with beautiful clothes and ornaments. Honestly, one admires as well as envies the life of the princesses who all the time wear glittery clothes and jewels and have servants at hand round the clock. The Sultan, who is admired by every girl in the harem, is a charmer and the ladies will do anything to catch his eye. The drama itself is made splendidly and resolves more around the personal life of the Sultan and the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

The Mullahs are coming!

By Sher Sultan The Mullas are coming! They are coming in all hues and shades. All styles of facial hair are on display. With close cropped beard, to a totally unkempt one, with heavy moustache accompanying a beard, to a solo beard with clean shaven upper lip – these are not just random fashion statements. Every specific facial hair style represents a specific school of thought, commonly known as a FIRQA. The truth of the school is articulated not just through facial hair style, but through the apparel as well. The close cropped bearded one believes in all secular dresses, and partakes of all secular professions, becoming an engineer, a doctor, or a professor. One of them was teaching me at the Executive MBA classes at I.B.A., and never let go … Read entire article »

Filed under: Humor, Islam, Islamism, Taliban

The Attack on Church, Taliban and Democracy’s Paradox

The Attack on Church, Taliban and Democracy’s Paradox

Raza Habib Raja Today another suicide blast took place targeting the Christian community. I really don’t know what to say because a suicide blast is in fact no longer news unless it accounts for many causalities or targets a minority. The latter grabs attention less because of the horror of the local populace but more due to the international spotlight. And ironically the spotlight always ends up making Pakistanis defensive. It has to be a conspiracy to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Islam, liberal Pakistan, minorities, Taliban

Islamic concepts of fighting insurgency

By Abdul Qayyum Khan Kundi Today I got another question emphasizing that whether Islamic concepts instructs that we should negotiate with insurgents. Before I give my view on this, I want to qualify three things: Until few years ago it would have been possible to hold negotiations with Pakistani Taliban as they had grievances about social injustices and rule of law. It was a local issue and their objectives were very clear Quran has clearly stated that in bilateral relations Muslim countries should work together to develop stronger economic and security ties with each other. It also instructs not to form security alliances with non-Muslim countries at the expense of a Muslim country. That does not mean Muslim countries can not have trade and other relations with non-Muslim countries. Protecting lives and property of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Taliban

Who is a Muslim?

Raza Habib Raja Pakistan, as we know, is not a very tolerant country for minorities. We all know that Christian colonies have been attacked whenever a member of their faith was accused of blasphemy. Likewise, there have been forcible conversions in Sindh of some Hindus. Yes, there is no doubt that minorities suffer a lot in Pakistan but there is a category (which has various sub-categories) which has suffered even more in Pakistan. This category is not a fixed category as the basis for inclusion in this category is dependent by who is trying to include you. This is the category of Muslims who are assumed by some or majority to be Non-Muslims. In fact, literally everyone is potentially a member of this category in the eyes of some. The biggest “crime” in Pakistan … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, minorities

The Convenient Omissions From Islamic History

This is an insightful and intelligently argued article sent to us by Miss Mahnoor Khan. She makes a very pertinent point that the present Muslim mindset and for that matter to some extent even extremism, are outcomes of the way Islamic history is being taught. By Mahnoor Khan Do you really know Islamic history? From school to universities, Pakistanis are taught Islamic history through multiple subjects, it is part of syllabi of Islamiat, Pakistan Studies, some Urdu texts, and of course actual History course also. In my opinion history is an important subject and should definitely be part of the curriculum. If taught well, history can be a wonderful and enjoyable subject, as it opens the bygone worlds to us, and provide links to our own roots as human beings. The problem is … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, Islam

Faiz sb on the Dream of Pakistan

Faiz sb on the Dream of Pakistan

By Faiz Ahmed Faiz Almost exactly nine years ago the Muslim people of undivided India adopted Pakistan as their goal of political endeavour. As the late Quaid-e-Azam repeatedly explained, the Muslim declaration for Pakistan was not a declaration of war against the non-Muslim majority in the sub-continent. It was, on the other hand, a declaration of peace. It was merely intended to end the vertical division that separated the two major peoples of the sub-continent wherever they … Read entire article »

Filed under: Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Jinnah, Pakistan

What do you Think of Muslims? Challenging Perceptions.

How the son of Pakistani parents is fighting to dispel stereotypes and ‘teach tolerance and integration’ in the UK. In the current climate, the image of Muslims as extremists and zealots stands tall in the public conscience. The unblinking spotlight on the supposed ills of the Islamic world fills the mind with shadowy pictures of militancy and terrorism. But a new initiative in the UK seeks to dispel the darkness and return the image of Muslims back into the light. Media Cultured, a community interest company based in Teeside, England, aims to challenge stereotypes and foster “community cohesion and harmony” through the use of social media and film. The organization was founded by its fresh-faced director, Amjid Khazir, a British born Muslim who used to work in PR and internet marketing. Though … Read entire article »

Filed under: Identity

Two Nation Theory and Creation of Bangladesh

Raza Habib RajaThis article is not a “defense” or repudiation of the two nation theory (TNT). Rather it tries to critically evaluate the argument that creation of Bangladesh in fact proved that the two nation theory was not valid. Those who claim that the two nation theory has proven to be a failure cite creation of Bangladesh as an example. It is claimed that ethnic nationalism trumped religion and therefore the two nation theory has proven to be a failure. I do not intend to prove that the two nation theory is wrong or right but just evaluate it with reference to creation of Bangladesh. Frankly speaking I am not a history expert and do not claim any command on minute details of partition and its various narratives. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

The plain Mr Jinnah

By Saad Hafiz: Muhammed Ali Jinnah who founded Pakistan in 1947 was a refined, anglicised and secular Indian Muslim and lawyer. To Indian Muslims he was a man of sterling personal qualities, the Quaid-e-Azam, ‘Great Leader’. To many Indians, Jinnah was an anti-Hindu demagogue and a political shyster, an unyielding humour-less man with a vainglorious nature. To the colonial masters, Jinnah was a worthy adversary who respected British constitutional and liberal political traditions. Jinnah has been described as a highly conventional politician, who can take no credit for original political thinking at any point. His ‘-isms’ were nationalism and liberalism. He began his career thinking within an ‘Indian’ framework, in the sense of nationalist opposition to British rule. Later, he renamed India’s Muslim community a ‘nation’ and continued his opposition from a narrower … Read entire article »

Filed under: Jinnah

Anti-Americanism in the Muslim world

By Saad Hafiz: Many Americans are baffled and angered by the deep-set anti-Americanism prevailing in the Muslim world. Some Americans see it as an expression of a malevolent ill disposition that goes beyond the pale of reason, revealing the inherent venality, weakness and instability of Muslims. In this worldview, the US is the beacon of freedom and democracy and a major aid provider, which makes it especially confounding that it would be the target of Muslim rage. The genuine fears about extremism and violence in the Muslim world continue to play a role in driving these views. Former President George W Bush captured a widespread concern when he said, “Like most Americans, I just cannot believe the vitriolic hatred of the United States because I know how good we are.” There are … Read entire article »

Filed under: USA