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?
Islamabad diary Pakistan has still to recover from its last troop export to the holy kingdom. This was in the 1980s when Mard-e-Momin Gen Ziaul Haq was reconverting the Islamic Republic to Islam – or, to be accurate, his version of Islam. His understanding of Islam, understandably, was of the most primitive kind. Maulana Maudoodi he took to be his guide and, if imperfect memory serves, lectures on Maudoodi were dished out on Radio Pakistan. And we on whom these experiments in re-Islamisation were being carried out were helpless…because the spirit had been taken out of us and the … Continue reading Learning little from our desert infatuation
Saudi clerics urge faithful to shun ‘Islamic’ superhero series By AFP Saudi Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al Sheikh. PHOTO: AFP RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s top clerics have declared an Islam-inspired cartoon series, which earned praise from US President Barack Obama, a “work of the devil” that Muslims should not watch. The television version of superhero comic book “The 99″ is being aired by Saudi-owned satellite channel MBC3, based in Dubai in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates. But in a religious decree carried by Saudi websites on Monday, the clerics ruled the series blasphemous because the superheroes of its title are based on the … Continue reading Saudi clerics urge Muslims to shun 99 Names!
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?
To overcome the awe of guilt we seek refuge in religion, which demands our unconditional subservience to its hegemony. For his faith — genuine or not — man remains prepared to take life The Greek word blasphemia means speaking ill or using impious language. The word has two elements: blas, which has no clear meaning, is perhaps rendered as ‘in a spirit of hurtfulness’, while pheme is ‘utterance’. Prior to the hegemony of monotheistic religions, ‘blasphemy’ had a rare existence, though its echo can be heard as far back as 400 BC in one of the orations of Demosthenes. Among … Continue reading Blasphemers — the first victims of neurosis?
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
Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel addresses the audience during the Annual Meeting 2014 of the World Economic Forum at the Congress Centre in Davos, January 23, 2014. (Photo: Jolanda Flubacher / World Economic Forum)The banning of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Northeastern University in Boston on March 7, along with a university threat of disciplinary measures against some of its members, replicates sanctions being imposed against numerous student Palestinian rights groups across the country. The attacks, and the disturbingly similar forms of punishment, appear to be part of a coordinated effort by the Israeli government and the … Continue reading Israel’s War on American Universities
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