Monthly Archives: August 2008

All Terrorists are Muslim, therefore all Muslims are Terrorists

A Ballad in Plain D-monic Logic
by Ginkminos

Our world is changing. Fast. And in ways that even the more visionary of our ancestors could not have imagined. Believe it or not, many of these changes actually do benefit mankind as a whole, or at the very least a significant part of it. The dreaded curse of consumerism, for instance, has led to an unprecedented rise in the living standards of millions across the globe who would otherwise still be floundering in the murky waters of abject poverty.

Man has been to the moon, can order pizza delivery without speaking to another person, and is able to replace the human heart. These are just some of the marvels of our age. The imminent end of religion as the preeminent guiding principle in our lives signals yet another miracle [sic], which the more rational amongst the populace of terra firma are preparing to celebrate with the kind of fervour more commonly reserved for rave parties fueled by sex ’n drugs ’n rock ’n roll.

On the flip side, the long awaited and much vaunted renascence of Muhammedanism has been cheered by many. It has also been denounced Continue reading

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Filed under Islam, Society, violence

There are countless nuts on the loose on the Internet

Read this excellent piece “All that floats on the Internet” by Khalid Hasan published today in the Daily Times

 There is far less political commotion in Pakistan than there is on the Internet, and it makes you wonder. Have some people nothing better to do than to unload their thoughts on whatever is going on or not going on in Pakistan?

Rarely if ever are these postings funny. When they try to be funny, they are droll, often spiteful and generally in poor taste. Of late, a new parody of the national anthem has been in circulation, which I refuse to read beyond the first two lines because they are unmetred or “vazan se bahar”. Our national anthem, although it contains no more than three or four words of Urdu, is at least metred.

There are some really weird characters out there. One who is probably based somewhere around Boston calls himself “International Professor” and Earthman alternatively. Continue reading

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Recovering Iqbal

By Dr Syed Nomanul Haq

The year 2008 marks the centenary of Iqbal’s return from his three-year European sojourn, an intellectual and social experience that embodied a turning point in his life. In England, he studied at Trinity College of Cambridge University where a conference was recently held to celebrate the event.
Iqbal’s disclaimers that he is not a poet, or at least not a good one, are well known. ‘This voice of mine arises in discord with its own elements,’ he says, ‘do not receive it as poetry!’ Or again: ‘What of my ghazal? It has no tongue! What of myself? Ignorant of language!’ Such disclaimers are strewn all over the Iqbalian literary corpus. When the Lucknow magazine Awadh Punch cast the microscope of its linguistic bigotry on him and picked holes in his poetic expressions, he remained elegantly unfazed: ‘Why do they consider me a poet anyway?’ he asked. Then he would trivialise the matter utterly, lowering it from the poetic to the mechanical: ‘Quite often they base their censure upon printing errors… People keep printing my poems without asking me; at least they ought to show me the proofs!’

Continue reading

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The proponents of Justice assume guilt without proof or process

Shaheryar Azhar, moderator, The Forum

Since everyone (or mostly everyone) assumes that Asif Ali Zardari and other politicians are corrupt no matter if they have not been convicted after 8 to 16 years of trials, scores of suits from stealing a pin to selling one’s mother, from a simple abuse of power to murder of one’s brother-in-law, no also one’s wife, millions of dollars of expenditure for collecting proof by the most ‘powerful’ and ‘honest’ government in Pakistan in trying its hardest to prove their guilt, eleven years of jail without conviction and since none of this matters to such people, a simple refutation from Asif Ali Zardari is worth posting.

These people, in addition as it must now be clear, also believe that such politicians should somehow be punished anyway. How? And by whom? For this they don’t care much – any old illegitimate man in uniform sitting as he always appears to them on a white charger issuing arbitrary justice will do. These proponents of Justice assume guilt without proof or process. The other tragedy is that the issue of corruption, assuming every allegation is correct, dominates political discourse to the exclusion of everything else. Financial corruption to this moderator is simply a social phenomenon (its quantum being tied directly to the inequality and over-all progress of the society) to be dealt with through the political and judicial process in time, not through coups and tearing up the constitution. The most important issue is one of political corruption and illegitimate or extra-judicial assumption and use of power. Continue reading

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Filed under Justice, Pakistan, Politics

The unreasonable – a poem

by Aadil Omer

“A reasonable man adapts himself to the world while an unreasonable man tries to adapt the world to himself, so all the the progress depends on the unreasonable men”
(George Bernard Shaw)

Its not just today,
That I’ve been scorned,
For venturing into,
A land; unseen.
That I’ve been shunned,
For flouting the norms,
Set by those who
call themselves ‘normal’. Continue reading

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Filed under Literature, Pakistan, poetry

Pakistani Art has a global appeal now

Some paintings sold this year at the Bonhams auction in Dubai.

Tassuduque Sohail (Pakistan, b. 1930) A prince entertaining a large company in a pavilion

Tassuduque Sohail (1930) A prince entertaining a large company in a pavilion Continue reading

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History is different from farce: Dr Mubarak

By Farman Ali (DAWN)
ISLAMABAD, July 8: Eminent historian and thinker Dr Mubarak Ali says the history written in Pakistan had been “dictated” by the ruling Establishment and represents its wilful perversion of facts “to accord with a fabricated ideology”.

“No authentic history has yet been written about Pakistan and its independence. There is a lot of confusion among the so-called pro-Establishment historians and educationists. Whatever has been written so far is distortion of history and entirely unbalanced,” Dr Ali told Dawn in an interview.

Unless the distortions were removed and facts told as they existed, the nation could not hope to make any real progress, he said, adding: “This is the lesson history has taught us”.

Dr Ali, who was interviewed over the weekend after he gave a lecture on the subject at Safma Media Centre the other day, said writing history in an ideological state was a problem. Continue reading

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