Katherine O’Lone, University of Cambridge and Julian Hargreaves, University of Cambridge An estimated 84% of the global population identifies with a religion. This is over 6.5 billion people. Among thousands of world religions, Christianity is the largest, with 2.3 billion … Continue reading Bringing people of different faiths together to solve the world’s problems is a noble goal – but it’s hard to know what it achieves
Execution for a Facebook post? Ahmet T. Kuru, San Diego State University ( @prof_ahmetkuru ) Junaid Hafeez, a university lecturer in Pakistan, had been imprisoned for six years when he was sentenced to death in December 2019. The charge: blasphemy, … Continue reading Why blasphemy is a capital offense in some Muslim countries
Militants want ban on laughter, crying, says Chinese governor REUTERS The governor of China’s Xinjiang region. — Photo by Reuters BEIJING: The governor of China’s restive region of Xinjiang wrote on Monday that Islamist militants were trying to ban laughter at weddings and crying at funerals, as he appealed to people to stamp out the “tumour” of extremism. Xinjiang has been beset by violence for years, blamed by the government on militants and separatists. Exiles and many rights groups say the real cause of the unrest is China’s heavy-handed policies, including curbs on Islam and the culture and language … Continue reading Mullahs trying to ban laughter?
A nation going nowhere They burn public property and hurl stones at cars if there is reportedly blasphemous content on YouTube. They undertake processions, chant slogans and choke traffic, causing inconvenience to the public. Another injustice has been dispensed, this time to Sawan Masih. This is an addition to the history of Pakistan, which is already pregnant with such incidents where the weak and meek have been ground fine in the mill of so-called justice. Pakistan is a country where more than 70 percent of the people have been mentally debilitated, exploited by religious scholars and politicians. They can be steered in any … Continue reading Pakistan: Where Do You Want To Be In 25 Years Time?
Islam is tolerant of difference and promotes diversity, reasoning and knowledge is it not? Just like secularism? – but in Pakistan anything that threatens the positions and status of those narrow-minded self-styled holy-ones and their hangers on who have abused and exploited Islam, Muslims and non-Muslims alike to gain social, economic and political benefits for themselves are suspect. These political thugs dressed in religious clothing have a history of demonizing anyone that threatens their hold on gullible folk who cannot differentiate the words of Mullah to those pure words of Allah – The Lord of The Worlds. Islamic Scholars Sir … Continue reading Can a Pakistani Muslim be secular?
DESTROYING the imprints of history, culture and tradition can be termed ‘cultural terrorism.’ The recent attacks on cinemas in Peshawar and elsewhere weren’t simply acts of terrorism but also depict the mindset of the attackers: they wish to destroy diversity. Extremists in this part of the world want to not just snatch away the right to life, but also eliminate culture. The cinema still attracts poor folk. These attacks affect the country’s dying cinema industry while depriving the working class of an easily accessible form of entertainment. But it’s not just the cinemas. Attacks such as those on … Continue reading Cultural terrorism in the name of Islam
The occasion was an event held to mark International Women’s Day, a couple of days after it is celebrated on March 8 every year. The venue was a public university in Islamabad. The organisers were girl students and women teachers of a department within the university. The audience included mostly students and some teachers, both women and men. The participants, who presented a variety of performances, ranging from songs and poems to speeches and mimes, comprised bold and bright girl students from the university. The event had to conclude with a panel discussion on this year’s theme for … Continue reading Ah! The Muslim woman
Religion has nothing to do with the matter While Jinnah had called for not being frightened by public opinion created in the name of religion, the country he founded is in a perpetual state of fear in the face of religious agitation. Yasser Latif Hamdani March 17, 2014 The father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, speaking on September 11, 1929, said: “If we are going to allow ourselves to be influenced by public opinion that can be created in the name of religion when we know religion has nothing to do with the matter, we must have the courage … Continue reading Religion is manipulated and used by politicians to control – nothing else
Listening to your logic to shun fanatical fatwas Badria al-Bishr When cars were first introduced to Saudi Arabia as modernization began with King Abulaziz, people narrated a story that a man placed fodder in front of a car because he thought it was a camel or a ewe in need of food. The car was understood as such. This simple thinking is fitting with the isolation which people lived in during that time and thus the incapability to understand new technologies. This isolation caused an increase in physical objects and concepts being prohibited. New ideas were dealt with in a … Continue reading Logic before silly fatwa?
By Sameera Rashid Pakistani political parties of different ideological denominations, after attending the All Parties Conference (APC) in Karachi, issued a communique at the conclusion blaming the US war on terror and the negative fall out from drone attacks for the enormous loss of Pakistani lives in the battle against militancy. Observers have termed this a one-sided understanding of a complicated reality that will only embolden the militants. Militancy in Pakistan has been spawned by multiple factors; in fact, the rise in militancy is akin to a sedimentation process, where inundation of one layer upon another, has created a compressed … Continue reading Delusional reality of Pakistani peace