Tag: Islam

Taliban, the Politics of Death, and our Obligation to Speak

That the Taliban claim certain mastery over the methods and instruments of death is no secret. They have proven their skills at killing their civilian brothers and sisters quite consistently over the last decade or so. The question that we need to pose to them and to many other like-minded groups is simply this: Do…

Shahbag Square — why we Pakistanis don’t know and don’t care

Shahbag Square — where’s that? Abdul Kader Mullah — who’s he? A bunch of university students in Islamabad, with whom I was informally conversing yesterday, hadn’t heard of either. Of course, they knew of Tahrir Square and Afzal Guru’s recent execution. But they showed little interest upon learning that Shahbag Square was in Dhaka and…

Freedom to Kill, Taliban Style

To say that the murder of 82 of our fellow citizens is an atrocity is stating the obvious: But to make the Laskar-e-Jhangvi and members of other such monstrosities to see it as a monstrous act is another questions. How did we get here? What has brought us to a place in our history where…

Roots of Fundamentalism

The textbooks being used in Madrassas were originally written in Arabic centuries ago. The books on philosophy and logic were written in thirteen and fourteen centuries. Books on health and medicine, written in the eleventh century, are still considered relevant and books on religion were written between eleventh and seventeenth centuries. Early schooling builds basic…

Shams-ul-Iqbal Shams: Pakistani Artist and Calligrapher

Last week was the second time in a year that I had the pleasure of visiting the old campus of International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI). On both these occasions, I was there for an academic conference, and while there was able to view the most exquisite work of Sham-ul-Islam Shams. Originally from Saidu Sharif, Swat,…

Comments: The trouble with being a "Pakistan analyst", By Amélie Blom

Amélie Blom (assistant professor, Sciences Po Paris-Campus Asie; co-editor, South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal http://samaj.revues.org) There are, sometimes, strange coincidences. I read an article published in Dawn‘s electronic edition by Michael Kugelman (a “Pakistan analyst” working as a Senior Program Associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington) and titled…

Muslim-Baiting to Muslim Hating

At least five people are dead, including a dedicated US diplomat who had risked his life during the Libyan revolution to stand with the people of Libya against the tyranny of Qaddafi. These people certainly did not deserve to die especially since they had nothing to do with the film produced by a producer whose…

On Dishonest Maulvis, Harsh Laws, and Minority Rights

Last year when the case was being made to alter or abolish the blasphemy laws, the argument from the liberal and progressive minority of Pakistan was mobilized primarily to point out as to how the law could be misused to persecute minorities. At that point, the case of Asia Bibi was at the forefront of…