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Burqah Ban, Multiculturalism and Liberal Secularism

Burqah Ban, Multiculturalism and Liberal Secularism

Raza Habib Raja In a land mark judgment, the European Court of Human Rights has upheld a ban by France on wearing the Muslim full-face veil — the niqab. According to the press release of the court judgment: The European Court of Human Rights held by a majority, that there had been no violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights, and no violation of Article 9 (right to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

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

Jinnah and secularism; Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed distorts history yet again

Jinnah and secularism; Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed distorts history yet again

By Yasser Latif Hamdani “Professor emeritus” Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed is the sort who loves to take liberties with the facts.  In his article today “Jinnah and secularism” he has resorted to two outright lies which need to be exposed so that people are not misguided. The article began well enough: “The vision of Pakistan Jinnah spelled out on August 11, 1947 is the closest any leader in the Indian subcontinent approximated to an ideal secular state: a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Jinnah, Partition, secular Pakistan, secularism

How Azad won in Pakistan and India! Ramchandra Guha’s imaginary history and other incidental lies.

*This is a rebuttal to Ramchandra Guha’s article “Letting Azad win” which in my view was a terrible distortion of history and facts. -YLH By Yasser Latif Hamdani Ramchandra Guha- the so called Indian Historian- is incapable of telling the truth. It never ceases to amaze me how he continues to distort the facts regarding partition. Now however he has taken desperate tactics using frivolous allegations. Consider: he thinks Lahore is Kandahar where every woman is in a burqah. Anyone who has been to Lahore knows that this is an incredible lie even by the standards of Ramchandra Guha.  Perhaps had he actually bothered to visit Lahore, he would have changed his mind but facts are not what Guha is interested in. He is more interested in weaving an India-shining myth and in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Secularisms and Islams

By AA Khalid Secularism As Saviour, Secularism As The Devil Absolutely yes; in the face of secularism, mundane morality, consumerism, crime, and hedonism, the three monotheistic faiths have great influence in relieving our moral dilemma.[i] Can any Muslim community afford to hesitate in participating in the establishment of a secular democratic system if it is unable to establish an Islamic democratic one?  The answer is no.  It is the religious duty of Muslims, as individuals and as communities, to contribute to the efforts to establish such a system[ii] The above illustrated quotes reflect the polarization in the Muslim discourses around the world about the topic of secularism. We have scholars and intellectuals decrying secularism as the root of atheism, moral decadence and spiritual crises, on the other hand we have thinkers … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islamism, Religion

French Burqah Ban and the Secular Dilemma

 Raza Habib Raja The recent ban imposed by France on Burqah (Full Veil) is generating a lot of reaction. The orthodox Muslims are expected to oppose it but their opposition is not what interests me. They are one hypocritical bunch of spineless people who are ready to cry foul when something happens in France while being supportive of Taliban oppression in our side of the world. They are more concerned about less than two thousand women who by the way have a choice to leave France and yet hypocritically silent over treatment which Muslim women receive in Muslim countries. A French law is hurting them more and yet far more oppressive and discriminatory laws against women in Muslim countries do not make them move an inch. However at the same time the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islamism

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

History of secularism in the Muslim World

By Taha Kehar Although the PPP-led government has established its reluctance to amend the Blasphemy Law, the human rights violations surrounding Aasia Bibi’s conviction are still as potent as before. They not only reinforce the delusion of democracy that has plagued Pakistan’s history but also brings to the fore key debates about the extent to which religion can influence the political fabric. The JUI-F’s equally undemocratic support of the widely misused Blasphemy legislation has also added fuel to these long-standing arguments. The growing schism between the proponents and critics of this law has intensified. It is thus important to terminate these divisions by understanding the relevance of secularism in the Muslim World and, consequently, its impact on the affairs of the state in Pakistan. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

On secularism, Jinnah and Pakistan

My contribution for Jinnah Institute’s secular space What are we fighting for? What are we aiming at? It is not theocracy, not for a theocratic state – Mohammad Ali Jinnah Sixty-three years after the country was created, the term secular remains the most contested and misunderstoodpolitical concept in Pakistan. Mention the word secular and there is a litany of protests. The right wing thinks that secularism is an outright blasphemy of sorts, while the liberals hold that the genesis of … Read entire article »

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Faiz Ahmad Faiz and reiterating Pakistan's plural culture

Posted by Raza Rumi Today is the 26th death anniversary of Faiz Ahmed Faiz whose life and works are national assets. Faiz was a torchbearer of the glorious traditions set by great Urdu poets such as Ghalib and Iqbal. Faiz distinguished himself as a proponent of a revolutionary vision, which blended the romance of classical Urdu poetry with the idealism of revolutionary struggles. Faiz’s political ideology provided modern Urdu verse an unprecedented political and romantic expression. Faiz brought Pakistan international acclaim and the world bestowed on him the highest honours, including the Lenin Peace Prize (1962). He has also left a corpus of essays, editorials and commentaries from his years in journalism. This body of work still needs to be fully … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Was Jinnah secular?

Was Jinnah secular?

By Yasser Latif Hamdani  (In wake of the national debate on ideology and textbooks, Mr. Raza Rumi, the founder and editor of Pakteahouse, recently asked me to revisit the issue of Jinnah’s secularism through a comprehensive blog-post. This blog post is written for PTH exclusively and may be reproduced by giving PTH credit.) Many people (though not all) on all sides of the ideology divide in Pakistan take umbrage with the description of Mahomed Ali Jinnah – … Read entire article »

Filed under: Jinnah, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, Pakistan, secular Pakistan

Fear and silence

Fear and silence

By Mohsin Hamid     Dawn, 27 Jun, 2010 Why are Ahmadis persecuted so ferociously in Pakistan?  A victim of attack on Jinnah Hospital, Lahore The reason can’t be that their large numbers pose some sort of ‘threat from within’. After all, Ahmadis are a relatively small minority in Pakistan. They make up somewhere between 0.25 per cent (according to the last census) and 2.5 per cent (according to the Economist) of our population. Nor can the reason be that Ahmadis … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Constitution, human rights, Islamism, minorities, Pakistan, Religion, Rights, secularism, state, Terrorism, violence

Shahid Illyas' bankrupt article today: Just another example of how General Zia poisoned our youth

By Yasser Latif Hamdani If you don’t nip a lie in the bud, it grows to be a tree.   This is what has happened to the nationalist mythology perpetuated by General Zia.   I don’t like wasting my weekly space in Daily Times to argue it out with specific lies of specific authors – which is why I tend to record my dissent here on PTH. In his article today in Daily Times,  Shahid Illyas,  the self professed Pakhtun Nationalist and “secularist”, has reproduced the severally debunked and illogical arguments  of the Jamaat-e-Islami and other Mullahs in Pakistan to bolster his own indefensible positions vis a vis Bacha Khan and Faqir of Ipi.    Mr. Illyas is not bothered with the utter bankruptcy of his argument so long as he gets to abuse Jinnah and the Pakistan Movement.     He … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Why Pakistan is not a nation

And how it could become one. By Pervez Hoodbhoy    Himal South Asia,  June 2010  Pakistan has been a state since 1947, but is still not a nation. More precisely, Pakistan is the name of a land and a people inside a certain geographical boundary that is still lacking the crucial components needed for nationhood: a strong common identity, mental make-up, a shared sense of history and common goals. The failure so far to create a cohesive national entity flows from inequalities of wealth and opportunity, absence of effective democracy and a dysfunctional legal system. While it is true that most Punjabis think of themselves as Pakistani first and Punjabi second, this is not the case with the Baloch or Sindhis. Schools in Balochistan refuse to hoist Pakistan’s flag or sing its national anthem. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Identity, Islamism, Pakistan, Partition, secular Pakistan, Society, state

Half Muslims and Non Muslims

By Farzana Versey Born in the Ismaili faith, I have been quite accustomed to the ‘aadha Mussalman’ (half Muslim) tag. Members of the community are none the worse for it. However, I cannot understand the attitude towards Ahmadis in Pakistan. Ismailis have a living Imam, yet they are not considered a minority. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, human rights, Islamism, journalism, Media, minorities, Religion, Rights, state