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Pak Tea House » Entries tagged with "Religion"

Jewish candles in the window

Fishel Benkhald To be honest, these thoughts are not from an expert, but are heartfelt wishful thinking. Besides the reality of extremism and debate on lack of law and order, let’s share which candles Pakistan might put in the window for the lost Pakistani Jewish community. At this hour of night while we all await for that sun to shine again on all of us which Pakistan’s non-Muslim and Muslim founding fathers and mothers thought of. Jews have lived among different Islamic cultures and got accustomed to it, at times total assimilation of different cultures and religions may not be completely possible but multicultural societies while keeping their distinctive individual identities intact exist and are doing well. This was the atmosphere in which Jewish community were living in the pre-partition Pakistan. There are few … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Judaism, Religion, Terrorism

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

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

Hate Destroys

By Saad Hafiz The sectarian schism, which leads to unending violence, is probably the most deadly of Pakistan’s list of self-inflicted problems. The historic manipulation of religion by the state for political purposes has sowed the seeds of hateful intra-religious sectarian division. Sectarian violence is not only pervasive, it also accentuates divisions within Pakistan and underlines the ineptness of the government and security services in stemming this phenomenon. During the last 35 years, thousands of people, mostly from minority sects, have been killed and thousands more maimed in attacks by zealots from rival sects in Pakistan. For hardline Sunni sectarian groups, Ahmedis, Shias and even fellow Sunnis are fair game. Their lethal attacks on Shia ulema (clerics) and professionals have generated a violent Shia backlash. The French political philosopher, Montesquieu said, … Read entire article »

Filed under: violence

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

Clerical Power in Islam

By Saad Hafiz A central plank in the monotheistic faith of Islam is that every Muslim is his or her own priest, bound by only his or her own relationship with God. Yet, it is impossible to imagine Islam in the present day without the suffocating power of self-appointed priests. In the past, Islamic societies had accorded respect to the elite class of scholar-jurists, or ulema, as specialists in religious law, or shariah empowering them to issue fatwas (religious-legal opinions). But lately, the declining power of the ulema has been replaced by the expanding role of clerics (imams, mullahs, televangelists). Thus, barely qualified clerics – who previously only showed up for circumcisions, weddings and funerals – are now opining on social, political and economic issues. A minority are issuing fatwas justifying … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam

Turkish Diary

Turkish Diary

Day 5 Many shades of religion in Istanbul   By Samra Muslim “Samra Muslim has over 10 years of experience in public relations, marketing and communications, social media, event management and brand activation in a diverse range of industries. She is currently a student of social media in addition to her day time job as a marketer. She has been associated with Etihad Airways,  and has worked for Starwood Hotels & Resort and Zindagi Trust in the past.  She … Read entire article »

Filed under: Travel

I want to Believe

By Aasem Bakhshi Scully: “Really? And you think that makes sense?” Mulder: “It does to me.”                                                   (Chris Carter, The X-Files) Atheism is increasingly occupying some ideological space in Pakistani electronic print media. In a recently published piece, Mr Waseem Altaf makes an ostensibly strong self-statement regarding his choice to be an atheist. The aim of present exposition in not to question the sensibilities of his discourse, per se, but just to deconstruct it better from a completely rational and philosophical standpoint to create a dialogue. Mr Altaf’s profound presentation of his belief reminds me [1] of the character of Fox Mulder in the famous television series X-files, whose was portrayed … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Philosophy, Religion

Who Question’s the Innocence of Whom?

Who Question’s the Innocence of Whom?

By Fatima Chowdhry Religions drips with blood, ironically with the blood of the innocent. And yet it is an irony that a religion which was created to promote peace has become the cause of bloodshed. Yes , in the name of freedom of speech movies like “Innocence of Muslims” which are serving to cause pain to Muslim sentiment and incite the radical elements to violence in a current political environment that does not need murder and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

Quranic Reflections: Surah Al-Mulk (The Dominion)

By Aasem Bakhshi An important element of Quranic discourse – and a kind of indirect proof of its Divine originality – is how it pushes the reader towards an almost natural and impulsive mode of pondering. This is sometimes achieved by countering the inner-most arguments developing deep within the folds of the human self. In his autobiographical journey towards Islam from atheism, Dr. Jeffrey Lang shares how he used to encounter responses to his questions as he interacted with the Quran on day to day basis. In fact, most of the Quranic interlocutors would agree that this observation is not a totally extraordinary experience and often there are moments when an unbiased and persistently reflective reader would feel as if his subconscious is laid bare before the Quran. Being structurally as well as … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Islamic Holy Book Quran

Yielding in Front of Extremism

By Adnan Syed I am attaching two links here that movingly touch upon the state of barbarity that is inflicted upon the nation of  Pakistan. Please give thirteen minutes of your precious time to the moving words of  Member National Aseembly Mrs. Asia Nasir. These words describe the anguish and pain of the very Pakistanis who are being discriminated by the society, as well as by the institutions of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Terror reigns supreme in Pakistan. The righteous ones are hunting and killing everyone who calls for absolute equality of every human inside the boundaries of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. And in this environment, this brave lady comes out and unequivocally condemns the barbarity that the religious minorities are facing. She has more guts than the spineless members of parliament … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Egalitarian Pakistan, Islam, Islamabad, Islamism, Justice, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, minorities, Pak Tea House, Religion, Rights, state, Taliban

Discoursing Blasphemy (I): Deconstructing the Contemporary Authoritarian Context

by Aasem Bakhshi The materials could be used to construct either the authoritative or the authoritarian. If the authoritarian is constructed, the text is rendered subservient and submerged into its representer and reader. If authoritative is constructed, the text survives unencumbered and unlimited by its representer and reader. – Khaled Abou El Fadl in Conference of the Books Imagine your were born into a middle or lower-middle class Christian family in Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This ironic accident of nature would automatically grant you the deplorable status among approximately one percent ignorant, disbelieving and impure inhabitants of the otherwise land of the pure. Stretch your imagination a little further and assume being grown up to become an individual with religious conviction in line with any of the mainstream Christian denominations. Needless to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Islamism, Pakistan, Religion, Society

Why the West? Race, Religion, Culture and Development

By Dr. Niaz Murtaza Until East Asia’s rise, white-majority countries monopolized progress, allowing white supremacists to claim race-based differences in IQs. However, scientific evidence quickly refuted this theory and soon no serious writer dared propound racist theories. Attention then shifted to the supposed superiority of Christianity, especially of the ‘Protestant ethic’, in facilitating progress. This theory receives some backing in the west even today, despite its weaknesses. First, there is an absence of rigorous empirical evidence. Sans evidence, proponents provide a selective, self-serving listing of teachings from different religions to show that Christianity encourages development-friendly attributes, such as hard work and risk-inclination, while others do not.  Thus, some argue that Islam discourages risk-taking and personal responsibility by propagating fate. However, like other Abrahamic religions, Islamic teachings about ultimate judgment based on worldly … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

The Hope of Hermeneutics

A.A Khalid The great religions of the world all have a central text which the faithful adhere to and interpret constantly as their companion in the quest for meaning. Islam is the proto-type example of this typology of religion, a faith with an unmistakably central and crucial text, the Quran. The Quran the ultimate example of a Sacred text which guides intimately the life of Muslims, offering peace and tranquility and its message of mercy.If one is to refine our understanding of religion to tear down assertions of patriarchy and autocracy then a new framework of Quranic hermeneutics has to be established. Hermeneutics is quiet simply the philosophy of interpretation, it recognizes human agency in the act of encountering the text. Hence in this respect hermeneutics is known within the Islamic traditions as … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Do Muslim Women Get a Fair Deal?

This is an incisive article sent by Ms Taji M which raises several intelligent and debatable points. Right now we are witnessing a debate on need for reform in religion. This article provides a woman’s perspective and argues that due to orthodox and literal interpretation of religion women in our society are not getting a fair deal. We expect healthy debate on this article. By Taji M I have a friend, university educated, upper class, stylish and religious but not an extremist way. She is a on the whole a very sensible person. Over the years we have debated religion extensively; I have more reformist thoughts and she is more mainstream. She is of the firm belief that present orthodox version of Islam offers the best position for Muslim women; in one … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights, Islam, Pakistan, Religion, Women