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Stop Posting Funny Memes And Jokes About Fasting, Pakistan!

Stop Posting Funny Memes And Jokes About Fasting, Pakistan!

By Haider Rifaat The social media has played a pivotal role in promoting the importance of Ramadan in our lives. However, the occasional perversion often seems to surface every now and then, despite all the awareness. I have come across many individuals on Facebook and Twitter (most of them being Pakistanis FYI), who post comical yet unreasonable pictures, comments, statuses and memes about fasting that we ought to ignore while observing it. I am not trying to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Opinion, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Religion

Evolution of Religious Extremism in Pakistan

Evolution of Religious Extremism in Pakistan

By Syed Amir As per an estimate 96.4% of total 199 million Pakistanis are Muslims and rest of the population consists of Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and other minority groups. However, diversity in Pakistan is more visible along cultural and ethnic lines and less through its religious distribution. Pakistan is the cradle of Indus Valley Civilization and since those days, Pakistan opened its arms for all the migrants, settlers, traders, invaders and nonetheless preachers from all over the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Religion

Religious Absolutism

Religious Absolutism

By Saad Hafiz Arguably, absolutism has played a part in some of the worst social and political evils throughout history. While there is little doubt that religion has made a valuable contribution to civilisation, religious absolutism has also exercised a pernicious influence at times. No one can deny the atrocities of the Crusades or the Inquisition and other evils started by the Church. Bloodshed justified by religious dictum became a widely accepted doctrine. People were branded … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blasphemy, Citizens, Islam, Islam for Peace, Islamism, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Religion

Secular Democracy: the only way forward for Pakistan

Secular Democracy: the only way forward for Pakistan

Mustafa Kamal Today, on 15th March, 2015. Two Taliban suicide bombers attacked a Christian church in Lahore, killing almost 14 and injuring around 76 people. The death tolls will increase, it is doubted. Previously, Christian churches have been vandalized, and towns resided by Christian community have been set torched and looted by fundamentalist Islamic groups. Number of Christian individuals have faced severe punishment as they were falsely accused of blasphemy in Pakistan.  As a state, Pakistan … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Pakistan, secular Pakistan, secularism, Society

Wikimedia Pakistan and the manipulation of Wikipedia Pages on Pakistan

Wikimedia Pakistan and the manipulation of Wikipedia Pages on Pakistan

Given the semi-literate nature of internet usage in Pakistan, Wikipedia has come to be known as the gospel truth in the country’s 30 million odd internet users. Consequently it has to be controlled because whoever controls Wikipedia controls the narrative in cyber-Pakistan. This is where Wikimedia Pakistan [https://twitter.com/WikimediaPK] comes in, run by a self professed college drop out who has too much time on his hands called Saqib Qayyum Chaudhry [http://opensource.com/life/14/9/wiki-loves-monuments-pakistan].     He describes himself as : “The writer … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Free speech and sensibilities

Free speech and sensibilities

By Saad Hafiz The ghastly terrorist assault in Paris at the office of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo is a direct attack on freedom of speech, thought and expression, the basis on which all open, democratic societies are created. The bedrock of such societies is the protection of life, pluralism, openness and freedom of religion, conscience and security. Whether we agree or not, the value of publications like Charlie Hebdo lies in what they represent: an … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blasphemy, Islam, Pak Tea House, Religion, secularism, Terrorism, violence

A clarion call

A clarion call

By Shanzeh Iqbal How far lifting the moratorium on death penalty would be effective in curtailing terrorism is a matter of debate now. The executions seen as an antidote to terrorism are discussed by some analysts as a feeble method. They argue that the real terrorist has a genuine faith and is not afraid of death; rather he or she is willing to embrace it. So the death penalty may not act as a strong deterrent. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, Pak Tea House, Taliban, Terrorism, violence, war, Zarb-E-Azb

Who Actually Shot Taseer?

Who Actually Shot Taseer?

Raza Habib Raja I wrote this article one year ago. I am reproducing a modified and updated version as the debate has become even more relevant. It has been four years since Governor Salman Taseer was slain. As some commemorate his bravery, this is also a time for reflecting on why it happened. And more importantly why there were actually people throwing rose petals on the murderer, Mumtaz Qadri and why there was little to no public … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blasphemy, Islam, Pakistan

Was it for Growth or Right Wing Lunacy

Was it for Growth or Right Wing Lunacy

PTH is grateful to Abhinav Pandya for making this contribution. In recent days India has been in news with respect to rather hyper active RSS whose activities have raised concerns regarding the future trajectory of the country. Abhinav has contributed before also and this is a timely contribution with respect to recent developments in India. Abhinav Pandya On 16th May, I felt a great sense of jubilation over the victory of Mr. Narendra Modi, so called development … Read entire article »

Filed under: India, Religion

Living with political Islam

Living with political Islam

by Saad Hafiz As secularists and democrats, we do not want religion applied to politics, as we believe that religion is too divisive. We believe that democratic freedoms are strengthened by the separation of religion from politics. We are sceptical of religion playing a constructive role as an agent of stability and predictability. This does not mean, however, that we should support demands to ban political parties having a religious platform, like the Muslim Brotherhood in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, Citizens, Islam, Islam for Peace, Islamic Holy Book Quran, Islamism, Middle East, minorities, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Politics, Religion, secularism, Society

Islamic reformation

Islamic reformation

by Saad Hafiz It is hard to dispute that there is a cancer of extremism within Islam today. Groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Taliban reinforce a particularly harsh description of Islam as terrorist-prone, modernity-proof, plagued by fanaticism and susceptible to the hellish clarion call of jihad. The frequent incidents of beheading, suicide bombing and lynching confirm that a section of Muslims celebrate violence and intolerance and harbour deeply reactionary … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, Islam, Islam for Peace, Islamic Holy Book Quran, Islamism, Middle East, minorities, Pakistan, Religion, Terrorism

Religious Bigotry and Pakistan

Religious Bigotry and Pakistan

Raza Habib Raja There is that nauseating feeling which I am experiencing right now and worse this feeling is now a common occurrence. Some things become a regular pattern and when they do so, the issue is systemic. What has happened a few miles from Lahore is not a new incidence. A Christian couple has been burnt to death for allegedly desecrating Holy Quran. Past few years have witnessed a flurry of such incidences. With each such … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blasphemy, liberal Pakistan, minorities, Religion

Fascisms of every kind

Fascisms of every kind

by Saad Hafiz As was the case in the 1930s, the global forces of reaction are emerging with populist appeals directed against immigrants, ethnic and sectarian minorities. Society’s seemingly permanent infatuation with xenophobic demagogy is alive and well. It is a conducive environment for the most reactionary and chauvinistic elements in society to prosper. They are egged on by opportunistic leaders who find a way to harness the smouldering anger and disenchantment of vulnerable sections of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Constitution, Democracy, Elections, Islamabad, movements, Politics, Revolution

Photo of the Day: Religious Clerics in Action

Photo of the Day: Religious Clerics in Action

Malik Omaid With Tahir ul Qadri and Imran Khan’s dharna duet on full swing, religious clerics jump in adding their share to the political crisis in the country by trying to convert it into a religious and sectarian crisis.   … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blasphemy, Constitution, Democracy, Elections, Images, Islamism, minorities, Pak Tea House, Parliament, Photo of the Day, Photos, Religion, Revolution

LGBT Pakistan: Lesbians’ lives on the line

LGBT Pakistan: Lesbians’ lives on the line

This article was first published in BBC News Asia. Pak Tea House is sharing this post to our readers to highlight the issue and the plight of these women. Urdu literature had raised this topic nearly a century ago with the famous short story “Lihaf” which deals with the plight of women trapped in patriarchal and oppressive conditions. Something that is so widespread in our culture must be talked about and not brushed under the carpet. As Columnist … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogging, Citizens, culture, Democracy, Education, Egalitarian Pakistan, human rights, Islam, Islamism, Justice, LGBT, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Religion, Rights, secular Pakistan, secularism, sex, Women