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Posts tagged with: Islam

Romancing Glory – legacy of General Zia ul Huq

Zia-ul-HaqIn my childhood whenever we were asked what would you become when you grow up. The most common answers included joining the army or becoming a pilot (fighter). It may be because the 80s were spent under General Zia’s dictatorship. Later, it was the turn of being a Mujahid, fuelled by the Pakistani romance with Kashmir and hatred for India.

The formative years was spent listening to sermons glorifying Jihad and how killing infidels oppressing our fellow brethren in Bosnia, Chechnya, Palestine and more importantly Kashmir. The mullahs were tasked with glorifying and preparing the emotionally charged youth for fighting in the cause of Allah.

Those who have survived and they are very limited in number, recall how they were deceived and sent as proxy soldiers for the purest armed forces. The realization is aided greatly by the post 9/11 scenario in which the Military willingly brought the war on to us. God’s soldiers were now termed strayed fanatics and were driven into the mountains of Waziristan.

The war chimes rang aloud “sub se pehlay Pakistan” become the slogan of progress and enlightenment. We started celebrating the killings of our own countrymen. The price too was paid by us when we started laying to rest countless civilians killed in never before experienced “bomb blasts”.

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Jahil Online [Aamir Liaquat Hussain] exposed using Profanity

A Youtube clip has just surfaced which has select clips of Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain aka Jahil Online using profanity off-air. The video I feel may have emerged to blackmail him somehow as some segments of the clip are from quite a few years back but even then its interesting to note that under the garb of the humble religious Islamic scholar breeds a dirty mouthed person who seems to be deliberately making fun of the religion of Islam and has been known to breed hatred to an extent incite violence against Ahmedis as well

Be forewarned this clip contains urdu profanity
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Blackberry users in Pakistan can migrate to Enterprise Service for unrestricted use

For a good one year, ever since the facebook controversy regarding the burning of the Quran hit Pakistan, internet browsing has been significantly restricted on Blackberry devices under the orders of the Lahore High Court and subsequently conveyed to all telco’s via Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. Other cell phone users enjoy unrestricted access to most websites since they rely on simple GPRS connections which can be easily monitored and controlled but Blackberry users face the brunt of the impact of these restrictions since their devices are connected online via a secure tunnel connection to Singapore easily bypassing any government enforced censorship.

My personal position is that any blasphemous / illegal (including porn) content should not be viewed, those individual who seek such content do so on their own free will and they alone are responsible and will be answerable to Allah. Condemning an entire population for something they have no interest in, is unfortunate, and such blanket censorships only become a source of inconvenience.

Most of Pakistani Blackberry users subscribe to Blackberry Internet Services (BIS) which is the simplest form of blackberry service the services and tools are controlled to a great extent by the Telco themselves, one way to bypass all the censorship hoopla is to subscribe to Blackberry Enterprise Server,
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[MiniLink] Cheer the Assassin!

Khurram Husain writes a very powerful Op-ed in the Express Tribune Cheer the Assassin!, as much as the blasphemy law may be a part of our constitution, there is no way that anyone be above the law to commit murder, that act in itself is not Islam


[Op-Ed] Giving up on Pakistan

This op-ed was drafted a day before Gov Salman Taseers assassination, erringly it talks about peace and the notion of blasphemy in Pakistan

As we round the corner, saying goodbye to 2010 and entering the new year, everyone chooses to make a new year’s resolution. Promises are made, hoping for some miraculous conviction that will transform our wishes into a reality. But practically, each one of us knowingly accepts that these promises are meant to be broken, only to be remade the following year. Many wishes are egocentrically linked to personal wealth and happiness, while some fools, like me, choose to wish for a better and a peaceful Pakistan.

Innocent and howsoever utopian this resolution may sound, it should have an important place amongst every Pakistani. After the bloodshed from the escalating violence and uncontrolled terror attacks, one would have hoped that the disastrous year would have sent shockwaves compelling people to denounce terrorism with a very strong commitment to peace. Denounce they do, but it’s limited to a simple vocal chatter rather than concrete measures to prevent such bloodshed from happening again.
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Burka Women…. Funny or Offensive?

Saad Haroon pokes fun at the Burka by producing this short YouTube Video titled Burka Woman. I personally think its a hilarious poke at the issue but saw some people being offended by it?

What is your reaction to this video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkVl_7N-m3I

—– UPDATE —–

About 10 minutes after I posted this blog post on Facebook somebody marked this URL [http://teeth.com.pk/blog/2010/12/27/burka-women-funny-or-offensive] as SPAM preventing me to repost this on my facebook wall, what is interesting that someone is definitely offended enough to mark it as spam without so much as discussing the issue and arguing his own side.
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Being Smart about the Blasphemy Law

Politics is best understood as a game of chess: every pawn, rook and knight has its purpose, every move depends on the previous one. No major law or political event is in isolation; each one has a long history in a philosophy or a series of events and proponents on either side. Without an honest appreciation of this background, the ground-realities and a found understanding of the public narrative many efforts to reform can inadvertently spiral into chaos.

The current attempts to reform or repeal the blasphemy law are such moves. No matter how draconian the law may be it can not be changed so easily and so quickly, as the well-intentioned but rather naive move of proposing an amendment wrongly suggests. This proposed amendment and the legitimate outburst by Human Rights Groups in Pakistan has triggered preemptive action across the country : A cleric has offered a cash reward for murdering the accused; protests against inflation and for the return of missing people have turned into pro-blasphemy law rallies; judges have barred the government from amending the law; lawyers have passed resolutions to pressurize government to not consider this amendment, and the urdu media has its own take on the issue. Will the amendment even pass when not one directly elected MNA has voiced their support for the amendment?
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Human Rights and Blasphemy in Pakistan

Today, Human Rights Day is being observed all around the world. Every year, on the 10th of December, this day is celebrated to acknowledge and honor, United Nations’ adoption of ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’, sixty two ago in 1948. The theme for commemoration is different every year. This year’s theme identifies the struggle and sacrifices of Human Rights activists around the world, who risk their lives to safeguard rights of the others, against violence, women abuse, child abuse, physical torture, religious and gender discrimination etc.

Perhaps there cannot be a more pertinent theme than this for our beloved country Pakistan. Violence, Torture, physical, social and mental, Woman abuse, Child abuse, Elderly abuse, Oppression of those without power. You name a right that can be abused and we have plentiful examples in the ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Yet today the Governing class will cherish the photo opportunity and there will be lot of desk banging for the sake of Human Rights. Such is the scale of sheer hypocrisy in this country that even dogs have become nauseated.

Look at the news tonight and tomorrow and you will see scores of shows and seminars were organized for this purpose. New programs were announced. Different speeches and lectured were delivered by many influential people of the country. We are all talk but no walk at all. All we can do is pay lip service. Has anyone ever thought about their personal conduct? It makes me wonder how they get a peaceful night of sleep. Don’t they have an iota of conscience left in them?
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Breaking point?

Guest Post by Faisal Kapadia from DeadpanThoughts

As Muslims, we are often informed by the local and international media of our innate ability to react emotionally to anything concerning religion. They say we react too aggressively to any remarks on our faith or system of values and have knee-jerk reactions to issues that can be solved through dialog.

Yet, we have been openly harassed since 9/11 world over, for having a beard that is too long or for wearing a veil. 9/11 was a tragedy which should never have happened, thousands of lives were lost. It is also the tragedy that led to religious and cultural intolerance. Muslims living in the US, Canada and even Europe live in perpetual paranoia, with some resorting to non-disclosure of their culture and religion in the desperate attempts to blend in, to find refuge from the scrutiny in their adopted countries.
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What is Blasphemy?

Blasphemy, in its literal meanings, is defined as a behaviour or language expressing disrespect for God or for something sacred

The issue of blasphemy, highlighted again by the recent banning of certain websites in Pakistan, has caught the attention of everyone again, through debates on media. I also read and heard different versions of thought on the issues of blasphemy. While due to the rapid transmission of the message throughout the country, and due to pressure generated by the  perceived angry reaction( read road demonstrations resulting in injuries, burning , destruction and looting) of the people, authorities were keen to ban the sites within a few hours.

On the other side, it also gave birth to a serious question in my mind that ‘what the hell is blasphemy’ indeed?

As an ordinary Muslim, I may not be an authority to speak on Islam,(although Islam never limited or restricted opinion formation , to any ‘authority’), still the concept of blasphemy, as it is practiced in Pakistan  at least, seems skewed, lacking commonsense and dare I say quite the opposite to what we learn as Muslims were the teachings of the prophet whose very honour we are trying to protect. Doesn’t that sound how we define the word ‘hypocricy’?

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Call a Spade, a Spade!

Muhammad Ali Jinnah – Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 11th August, 1947

As you know, history shows that in England conditions, some time ago, were much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other. Even now there are some States in existence where there are discriminations made and bars imposed against a particular class. Thank God, we are not starting in those days. We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.

The heirs of Jinnah’s Pakistan have failed to live up to the expectations of the nations founding fathers. Today’s attacks on Ahmedi “worship places”, was despicable and deserved not only our sympathies with the families of the victims; but our unequivocal condemnation of such barbarism.

However, that too seems too much to ask for.
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Faceblockistan

Rebecca McKinson writes a blog post More problems in Facebookistan, here last paragraph quite aptly sums up the frustrations of the Muslim community as a whole – she says

This larger context also helps explain the extent to which moderate and cosmopolitan Muslim Facebook users who believe in free speech against censorship were so alienated and upset by the fact that Facebook allowed the “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” page – which on the several occasions when I looked at it was full of obscene and gratuitous anti-Muslim hate speech – to stay up for more than a week. It’s well known that Facebook quickly takes down other racist and anti-semitic pages. Yet they allowed a page full of nastiness and hate against the Muslim faith to stay up.

Personally, I too cant stomach the fact that the Facebook administrators continue to deliberately allow such uncontrolled hatred to continue on their websites which is a direct violation of their terms of service, it seems they are keen to prove a point, push the limits of decency and be responsible to engage the world in a deliberate religious war. I continue to condemn the blasphemous cartoons and the hypocrisy of the Mark Zuckerberg but at the same time am fully against a blind outright censorship enforced by the government of Pakistan on the entire domain, if such images are not acceptable under the Constitution of Pakistan then a mere block on the particular pages and other subsequent pages should have been enough.
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Why Quit Facebook

Guest Post by Muhammad Adil Mulki and assisted by Khurram Ali Shafique

1) How Important is Love for Prophet Muhammad – صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم (S.A.W)

Our faith can not be complete till such time that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is dearer to us than our own selves, our parents, our forefathers, our children and all our businesses and possessions. (Please refer to the Appendix at the end of this document if further elaboration of this statement is required.)

2) What has facebook done which is so unacceptable?

In this world there are people having all kinds of views / opinions and beliefs. Freedom of Expression of opinions is a right that should be enjoyed by all. Freedom of Expression however does not equate to Freedom to Insult. Facebook has crossed this line as it gave freedom to insult Islam and Muslims. Ironically, Facebook claims to have a set of “regulations” which should have stopped the “Everybody Draw …” page. However, Facebook, showing no respect towards Islam and Muslims refrained from banning the page. They even had the audacity to express disappointment upon being banned in Pakistan!

(Please read Section 6 for a more detailed list of Facebook’s offensive actions.)
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The Strange Islam Originating from Lahore

There is a ‘mass madness’ ranging from TV talk shows to headlines of News Papers and debate on internet. Charged workers of religious organizations are out in streets of Pakistan. As Malaysian are relatively more religious people as compared to Pakistani’s and share the same Prophet. I was thinking that today country would be choked like Pakistan from electronic blackout to burning shopping malls and McDonalds. Especially, the State of my work my worst as it is currently being ruled by a conservative religious party considered as ‘fanatic’ as Jamat e Islami of Pakistan.The conservative religious rulers of the State where I work have already declared Friday as a off day despite the fact the rest of the country have off days of Saturday and Sunday.

Since yesterday Pakistan Telecommunication authority has blocked Facebook, Youtube and Wikipidia along with interruption in Blackberry services on orders of a ‘Holly Lordship’ of Lahore High Court. The bearded Mullah are on the loose in streets chanting against western infidels burning tyre’s and destroying public property. There are 45 million Pakistani users of social media site Facebook, twice the entire population of another Islamic state, Malaysia. Many of them running businesses, charities and communicating with families and friends have been deprived of access to communication without being heard by a religiously charged self righteous judiciary. All being done in name of a ‘Holly Cause’ to defend the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) from conspiracies of Infidel west.
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BBC Urdu Interview at Karachi Press Club

A BBC Urdu Interview I had immediately after the Press Conference, shares my genuine point, but near the end of this short you would notice the charged up rally outside which was definitely worrisome


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