Daily Archives: April 19, 2009

The Price of Moral Cowardice

parliament-608From The Dawn:

The price of moral cowardice
By Ardeshir Cowasjee
Sunday, 19 Apr, 2009 | 01:49 AM PST

AUGUST 11, 1947, in the constituent assembly of Pakistan at Karachi: “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” — Founder and maker of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Continue reading
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Extremely Extremist and other stories

From The News

By Shandana Minhas

During his visit to Beijing President Asif Zardari said terrorism ‘needs to be tackled on an urgent basis’ and  that he would ‘utilize every forum to brief the world about prevailing situation.’ Here’s an idea. Why doesn’t he do the same for Pakistan? For all the millions still doing the ala ostrich routine? He could be on all the channels simultaneously. His PR people could make him a slick presentation with charts and everything (no giving him a laser light though, that might be asking for trouble). Points he might like to cover include: Continue reading

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“Pakistan no longer has any stomach to fight for Jinnah’s secular ideals”: Sydney Morning Herald

The world is very concerned about the horrendous deal in Swat.  We must take heed now. This is what Sydney Morning Herald wrote:

Pakistan surrenders to local barbarity

THE Pakistan Parliament’s surrender to Islamist thugs in the Swat Valley this week represents a disturbing development for the stability and standing of a nation which claims to be fighting Islamist terrorism. Swat was once a tourist Mecca where a moderate form of Islam was followed. But a Taliban insurgency, and the deal done between local militants and the Government in Islamabad this week means the valley and entire Malakand Province, some 200 kilometres from the capital, will be subjected to Taliban-style Sharia law, with its unique mixture of barbarity and hypocrisy. Women will be doomed to life as second-class citizens. Amputations and floggings – punishments already used by Islamist vigilantes – will become official policy, all with the unanimous approval of the national Parliament.

Pakistan’s founder, the late Mohammed Ali Jinnah, a liberal lawyer who liked his whisky, must be turning in his mazar in Karachi. Jinnah believed in the right of self-determination for the Muslims of the subcontinent. But he would have been appalled by the ascendancy of the mullahs and their unlettered henchmen. Yet the state Jinnah founded seems to have no stomach for the fight when it comes to defending his values, and the values of tolerance and democracy. Instead, it appears the country is to be surrendered piecemeal to terrorists. Videos showing women being lashed and young boys sawing the heads off live humans will circulate more widely, poisoning the minds of a new generation.

In 1971, the idea that Islam could unite the Muslims of South Asia in a single nation fell apart when Bangladesh broke away from Pakistan. But instead of getting the message, the country’s politically dominant army, led by the dictator General Muhammad Zia Ul-Haq, banned alcohol, had Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto executed, embarked on a nuclear weapons program, and raised an international legion of Islamist radicals to fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The capitulation in Swat revives the unwelcome memories of Zia’s jihadi state.

Back then, the West backed Zia for his support in the Cold War against communism, and even today there are those who see submission to Islamabad’s Islamist fantasies as a necessary price in the wider struggle against terrorism. The Obama Administration and our own Government continue to urge Islamabad to be less ambiguous in its commitment to that struggle. The deal in Swat raises more questions about where Pakistan really stands, and consigns more Pakistanis to the feckless rule of the Taliban.

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History through Women’s Voices

Pakistani women agitator asks for abolition of women's wings

Pakistani women agitator asks for abolition of women's wings

From Morung Express

By Pippa Virdee 
A generation of Pakistani women striving to affirm their rights in the public sphere can draw on a rich history to which education is central
 
Many of the conflicts and crises that today affect Pakistan seem to have the experience of women at their heart. The images of the punitive flogging of a young woman in the newly Talibanised region of Swat are but one especially vivid symbol of the degrading treatment that women can face. Yet such depictions can also mislead, in that the history of the lands that became Pakistan also contain many examples of women’s participation in civic and public life in search of their own and their country’s betterment. Continue reading

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Partition of India: The Final Years

Posted by Raza Rumi

Usman Sadozai, an active member and visitor and soon to be an author of PTH  has contributed the selection of this post and the thoughts for a preamble.

Following on from our thread “Partition of India: The Dialogue Continues”, here is the next part in the series of articles by A G Noorani appearing in The Hindu’s Frontline magazine in 2005. The story of Partition has recently attracted much interest from both sides of the border. Our continuing series has generated some involved, informed and (predictably) occasionally heated debate amongst many of our readers. The present interest is a result of Pakistan regularly occupying global headlines, for all the wrong reasons as far as Pakistanis are concerned. Many Indians want to know, especially since 26/11, what makes Pakistan tick. Pakistanis want to find out where and how did we go wrong in our worryingly tumultuous history. Continue reading

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Non-Hijabi Solidarity Day at Rutgers

By Anthony J. Aschettino

Once again, it is time for Islamic Awareness Week here at Rutgers Newark.

This is in and of itself a good thing: we here read the name of the week in two ways, namely that non-Muslims become more aware of Islam while at the same time Muslims become more aware of non-Muslims.  There are several events marking the week such as a discussion on faith and reason, an analysis of Malcolm X, and an invitation to watch and learn about the Friday Prayer.
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Mukhtar Mai’s marriage – an alternative view

mukhtar1By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari

Mukhtar Mai, Glamour Magazine’s woman of the year 2005, ties the knot, for reasons she defines as “to support women’s rights.” I hope that this woman who has not backed down in the face of oppression in the name of culture, tradition and religion will continue to hold on tight to that principle even when the honeymoon is over. There are some troubling signs in this new relationship. One is that the groom, Mr. Gabol is an unstable character, younger and indelibly lacking in the maturity she possesses, and was a little too quick to commit suicide with sleeping pills when she turned him down in 2007. Continue reading

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