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Posts tagged with: Islam

Misogyny, Patriarchy & Imperialism

Guest blog by Abira Ashfaq posted via the Peoples’ Resistance Mailing List


flogging-in-swatI reacted with horror, and resisted seeing the flogging video on youtube, only to be bombarded with it later on television. I got angry with my mother who recounted the scene with full emotionalism, saying it brought tears to her eyes. I said it was upsetting me too much. By evening I was a bit more objective. But not really. The violent and ferocious messaging in the video was clear. Wars are carved on the bodies of women. Women are raped, tortured, and beaten to further military objectives. Only months ago, news surfaced about Zarina Marri’s torture in a military prison in Baluchistan. And now this whipping. The trauma of the girl is fathomable as the video’s purpose is to make you fathom what fate awaits the women of Pakistan: A naked and public display of fanatical male rage, backed by an authoritative and brutal ‘Islamic’ state.

Is the fear real?

Is this what will happen to Karachi? Our beloved Karachi — the city of lights, tambolas, musical evenings, film festivals, and dharnas? The reality is that Karachi is a schizophrenic city which contains class apartheid, and a gender one too. Most women of our city are in “closed doors” economic apartheid. There is rampant Islamization– the liberal kind that does not conflict with privatization, and the offensive kind that seeks to seclude women further in Hijab and the home.

This offensive kind is still the palatable extremism, one grown familiar on us since the 80s; the overt and militant kind displayed in the video is what we really dread. Is the fear real? Saqib is just back from Mithi in Thar, and reports of a new phenomenon of fresh madrassas with foreign students walking all over the place. A tidbit, sure. But perhaps the fear of it reaching Karachi is not a remote one.
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Revolution in the Islamic World by Women

Guest post by Farrah K Raja

HijabRecently I have been frequently coming across the word REVOLUTION over and over again. Thinking hard at what sort of revolution people might be talking about, particularly in Pakistan. There are officially two sorts of enthusiasts camped on either side of the divide, one being the Islamists and the other secularists. What might be the difference between the two, truly I see none. A prime recent example of a wanna-be revolution was the lawyers movement, it started off with the country rallying to an anti-Musharraf rhetoric but ended up at achieving nothing. This sadly how all big hopeful revolutions start, people ask for a change but do not know ‘what sort of change’ or how they expect ‘to achieve this change?’

I bring into the midst of this discussion the millions of women belonging to the Islamic world who are so different, so strong and so determined yet even unbeknowist to them, they truly represent another set of revolutionaries in their own respect. We, the women, are constantly in the struggle to keep our homes intact, keeping our husbands happy, while at the same time maintaining a commitment to our jobs, in all this midst we are committed at bringing up our children in line with the core Islamic values which we hold so dear to our hearts. Its a mystical juggling machine which our gender group have so expertly managed over many hundred years and will continue to do so in the future without fail
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Geert Wilders to be charged for anti-Islamic statements

Geert Wilders the Dutch Politician FITNA movieMany may recall the infamous Dutch right-wing parliamentarian Geert Wilder who had produced a movie called FITNA a year or so back where he had degraded the Holy Koran calling it a fascist book and even compared it to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

BBC has just reported that a Dutch court has ordered prosecutors to put a right-wing politician on trial for making anti-Islamic statements. The court outlined that hate speech is considered so serious that it is in the general interest to draw a clear line

BBC: “The Amsterdam appeals court has ordered the prosecution of member of parliament Geert Wilders for inciting hatred and discrimination, based on comments by him in various media on Muslims and their beliefs,” the court said in a statement. “The court also considers appropriate criminal prosecution for insulting Muslim worshippers because of comparisons between Islam and Nazism made by Wilders,” it added.

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Jewish Rabbi confesses “Israel should not exist” – Fox News pulls video

Neil Cavouto's Fox Interview with RabbiFOX’s Neil Cavuto conducted probably what was perhaps a very significant interview in 2006 where Neil Cavuto asks whether Israel should exist and Rabbi Yisroel Weiss from Jews United Against Zionism tells him, and the world, Mideast violence would stop if Israel ceased to exist.

The interesting part in all this controversial interview is that FOX News has since then pulled down the video which shows as a blank page on their site, the video is now accessible only on Youtube. Might the Fox News slogan be better reworded from We Report, You Decide – to We Report, We Decide

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Queen Rania uses YouTube to spread message of Peace & Understanding

Queen Rania of Jordan on YouTube

Queen Rania of Jordan has been Video Blogging for some time on YouTube sharing with the digital world her dedication to breaking down stereotypes about the Arab and Muslim worlds and an attempt to bridge the East-West divide. Recently she was rewarded the in the YouTube Visionary Award during the YouTube Live event last week. Her acceptance speech

I support her effort to build these bridges peace and understanding

Open letter to Obama & McCain by Amina Masood Janjua

The News, Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dear Barak Obama and John McCain,

Whichever one of you wins this election, I wish you success and I hope from the depths of my heart that you will transform the image of America into what it should be. I pray that you are able to show the true face of America to the rest of the world — a face which reflects the values of your ordinary citizens, many of whom I met in a recent trip abroad and which was an eye-opener for me.

I was invited by Amnesty International to visit member states of the EU, the UK and the US on a speaking tour in August/September 2008, to meet politicians, parliamentarians and ordinary citizens, and to convey to them the agony and torment that hundreds of other family members, including myself, of ‘enforced disappeared persons’ are going through. I was amazed that many of the people I met had no idea about this burning issue; of the illegal abductions, the detention of these persons in so-called ‘safe houses’, the torture they are subjected to and the fact that they are denied the right to a fair trial. I was touched by the sympathy and promises of moral and any other support that they could offer in order to relieve us of this ongoing pain.
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My internal conflicts

Guest Blog by Amer Nazir

I hurried towards the train station to catch the 7:51. I was dressed well – in my Canali suit and my Hugo Boss overcoat. At the entrance to the station, I saw two people handing out leaflets. The one on the right was Susan Krammer, the local Liberal Democrat MP.

She paused when she saw me… and I saw her struggle for a moment though she did hide it well… ‘And how are you?’ she asked as if she had placed me at once without any effort at all on her part… ‘I am well,’ I replied, with my eye towards the approaching train that I did not want to miss… ‘Mrs Krammer,’ I continued hastily, ‘I will never forget your kindness…!’ ‘That’s what we are here for,’ she replied, ‘you know where to reach us if there is anything we can do for you in future as well…’

I bowed, said my goodbye and ran towards the train – but she called after me…’By the way, you look terrific,’ she said. I turned around and saw that she was beaming – there was pride in her eyes…

Once on the train, I thought of her. I could imagine her being a bit indulgent this morning. An indulgence well deserved. I imagined her telling her assistant right at this moment in a hushed tone that I was an ex-asylum seeker – perhaps just to motivate the young man about the moral significance of their job…

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[MiniLinks] Sony recalls PS3 game Little Big Planet because of ‘Arabic’ words

Sony Entertainment has announced that it is recalling the Playstation 3 video game, LittleBigPlanet, from retailers after it learned that the soundtrack featured some Arabic-language lines which were also in the Quran and backed with music Sony said that “one of the background music tracks licensed from a record label for use in the game contains two expressions that can be found in the Koran.” the two phrases are (literally translated from the original Arabic): “Every soul shall have the taste of death” and “All that is on earth will perish.”.

I’m shocked and irritated, not at the Sony company, but more so at us Muslims who have brought this type of paranoia upon ourselves over the past years. It is a natural reaction for companies to steer away from these hyper sensitive issues staying clear of the extremist element in the religion of Islam simply for the fear of being caught in a blood bath of some awkward religious controversy. I must now worriedly ask can we coax our own people to be a little more understanding or has the time for reconciliation passed us by. [Post edited fractionally just to clarify the confusion that was seen within the comments section]

Pakistan is there to live

Guest Blog by Amjad Malik

As long as India keeps dreaming the disintegration of Pakistan, it will survive as a viable state as the very negativity serves the purpose of knitting this crowd of 170 million people into a nation, whenever it is confronted by its arch rival. Editor of Indian Defence Review, Mr. Bharat Verma writes that ‘new Delhi is its own enemy, when it permitted the creation of a pure Islamic state on its borders,” I for one disagree as this state emerged as a result of a successful struggle for independence by millions of Muslims of India who felt that two nation theory is the only viable option to preserve and protect each other’s identity and core values. Indian Hindus too got liberated after remaining under Moghuls for over 6 centuries and then British Raj through the same process due to Gandhi’s vision. Independence was neither granted through diplomacy, nor as a charity. It was snatched on the basis of fundamentals of the modern day democracy, one man one vote’ principle and majority of muslim populated areas vowed to join the newly established idea of ‘Pakistan’ where they saw security, identity and a peaceful enjoyment of civil and political rights, and a freedom of religion, culture and values.
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Who is Zaid Zaman Hamid? Brasstacks or Yousuf Kazzab Prophecy?

In the past few weeks there has been a buzz spreading around Pakistan’s digital world talking about the recent fame surrounding the TV show personality Zaid Hamid who conducts a show on TV One called Brasstacks.  It should be mentioned that brasstacks is reportedly a paid-for show which has started airing barely a few months back and has developed a very strong following amongst the masses.  Admittedly Zaid Hamid is quite eloquent in his show and is well versed in his explaining his innumerable concepts of ranging from economic terrorism by the Zionists to other such issues which are poised at him even Islamic issues

I too have been guilty of occasionally catching a glimpse of his show and did even carry his five part series on Economic Terrorism.  All seemed well until a close associate contacted me via facebook sharing his concerns about Zaid Zaman Hamid and revealed his suspicious association with Yousuf Ali, a self proclaimed prophet from Lahore in the 1990’s.  Zaid Zaman was purportedly the right hand man of Yousuf Ali and was fondly referred to as his Hazrat Ali.  Zaid Zaman was instrumental in spreading the message of prophecy far across Pakistan, to develop a large cult like following in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad mostly due to Zaid Zaman’s excellent communication skills.

Yousuf Ali had been preaching his divine revelation to his followers for quite many years when finally a handful defected and braved to testify against him in the Lahore High Court which ultimately gave Yousuf Ali, a death sentence on charges of Blasphemy.  Yousuf Ali was then confined to Kot Lakhpath jail and in 2001 was shot dead by a fellow prisoner.  Throughout the legal proceedings one witness after another testified to the fact that Zaid Zaman was a key figure in the promotion of Yousuf Ali’s Kazzab movement.  I have been told that there even does exists an analog video of Zaid Zaman standing beside Yousuf Ali while he addressed his followers in Lahore.  Somehow the fact that Zaid Zaman was a key figure in this movement is generally a foregone conclusion, as there are one too many eye witnesses and more importantly numerous had testified the fact which may even be present in the records of Lahore High Court, including Zaid Zaman’s testimony to the honorable judge, all records are securely preserved in the archives of Tahaffuz-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwwat in Karachi.
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Profiting from Religion: Land Grabbing Business and Christian Minority in Pakistan

Guest Blog by Silence from Islamabad Observer

Religion is basically meant to be personal belief of a person or group of people. It is outrageous, shameful and downright arrogant of the religious groups to use religion as a source of profits. However since the times immortal, criminals, religious clerics, land grabbers and even power hungry kings and democratic leaders have been using religion as a source of exploitation and profiting. “Crusade” of George W Bush in name of ‘war on terror’ and killing of innocent women and children by ‘Taliban’s’ in name of Islam are two sides of same coin. The basic goal is to exploit sentiments of religious groups for personal gains.

Religion is also a favorite tool of criminals and land grabbing mafias. The bloody episode of ‘Red Mosque’ in Islamabad, we witnessed recently, is not the only example. In every city and town, criminal gangs have occupied public or private land; they would build a ‘mosque’ on it and sell the adjoining lands for commercial or residential purposes. Even green belts, public parks and educational institutional institutions are not safe from these gangs. Whenever government authorities want to evict these gangs and demolish the illegal buildings, it would become a religious issue. If authorities demolish the illegally built mosque, it will bring a religious and political storm. The illegal mosques built on public lands in Islamabad were saved from being demolished by countrywide protests leading to interference of ‘Imam-i-Kaba’.

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Zardari issued a ‘Fatwa’ for shaking hands with Palin – Maulvi denies it

A few days ago an Indian publication carried a report claiming that the Lal Masjod cleric Maulana Abdul Ghafar, who is a close relative of Maujlana Abdul Rashid Ghazi, who was killed by security forces during Operation Silence in July 2007, said that President Zardari’s indecent gestures, filthy remarks and repeated praise of a non-Muslim lady wearing a short skirt is not only un-Islamic but also unbecoming of a head of state of a Muslim country.

DNA India: President Zardari’s indecent gestures, filthy remarks and repeated praise of a non-Muslim lady wearing a short skirt is not only un-Islamic but also unbecoming of a head of state of a Muslim country. He said that the manner in which Zardari shook hands with Sarah Palin and expressed his deep desire to hug her is intolerable and shameful. “We are fighting the American war in our country and thousands of our people have been killed just to please Uncle Sam. Therefore, we demand that the military operation in the Pak-Afghan tribal areas be immediately stopped as it is creating hatred amongst the general public against the Pakistan army”, he added.

But a day later a strong rebuttal was issued and published by Khaleej Times
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Baitullah Mahsood dead

Its being reported that Baitullah Mahsood may have died – most likely due to kidney failure as he had diabetter and was also suffering from High Blood pressure – News being reported by Dawn News TV

UPDATE from CNN – An unnamed Islamabad-based source with connections within the Mehsud tribe in South Waziristan said Mehsud died about 1 a.m. Wednesday

Pakistan must Ban Umra

Guest post by Silence from Islamabad Observer

Holy Quran gives greater importance to social responsibilities then religious duties of a person. Non-performance of religious duties is a matter between Allah and his creation and can be forgiven by Almighty. However social responsibilities which are between his men are mandatory. The importance of social responsibilities is evident from the fact that wherever prayer (Solat) is mentioned in Holy Quran, it is followed by Zakat. Unfortunately, the Islamic clerics stress more on ‘religious rituals’ rather then social aspects of Muslim society, because it is necessary for their business. Any one who mentions about social responsibilities being more important then religious rituals is instantly declared ‘Kafir’ by these clerics, as it hurts their business and control over lives of ordinary people.

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The News reports on PR Seminar with Hamid Mir

Most militants fighting to avenge military actions’
Published in The News: Monday, September 29, 2008

When Corps Commander Ali Jan Orakzai had deployed troops for the first time in Mohmand Agency in 2003, he gave an impression that the military intended to build schools, hospitals and roads there but he rather launched an operation against the militants that ultimately created further problems for civilians, as a result separatist tendency increased there. And this was the beginning of the conflict there.

Senior journalist Hamid Mir said this while speaking at a seminar “Military action in Fata, reality, myths and implications”, held at Justice Cornelius Library of the newly built National Law University, Clifton, on Sunday.

“The concept of Pakistan has almost ended there as the insurgency is taking shape of separatism,” he added.

According to him, there exist around 10-15 militant groups, which are not Taliban and they are not well organized. “They lack command structure and sometimes they also fight with each other. They are insurgents and separatists,” he claimed.
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