From BBC News
Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have donated $1 million to help Pakistanis displaced by fighting, the UN refugee agency says.
More than two million people have been uprooted since the army began fighting Taliban militants in Pakistan’s Swat region earlier this year, the UN says.
Ms Jolie has visited Pakistan three times since becoming a goodwill ambassador for the agency in 2001. Continue reading
By Ibrahim Khalil
Words are powerful. They inform us, comfort us, bring pain to us, excite us into action, rattle us to frustration, soothe our nerves, shake our confidence, etc. Hence, in times of war, governments and the pro-war camp put an effort and creativity to create a lexicon of new words and phrases. By assigning labels to certain events or agents and using certain words to describe the operations, governments can manipulate their imagery in the mind of masses and rally their support, make the war more palatable, give it a patriotic color even when the objective is oil or expanding imperialism. Continue reading
Ziauddin Sardar is a notable Pakistani London based writer and cultural critic who has been writing for thirty years. Rethinking Islam is the first chapter of his 2004 collection of essays, Islam, Postmodernism and Other Futures. The author addresses issues in this essay that hold significant relevance for our Pakistani condition. This informative essay is reproduced in three installments.
Serious rethinking within Islam is long overdue. Muslims have been comfortably relying, or rather falling back, on age-old interpretations for much too long. This is why we feel so painful in the contemporary world, so uncomfortable with modernity. Scholars and thinkers have been suggesting for well over a century that we need to make a serious attempt at ijtihad, at reasoned struggle and rethinking, to reform Islam. At the beginning of the last century, Jamaluddin Afghani and Muhammad Abduh led the call for a new ijtihad; and along the way many notable intellectuals, academics and sages have added to this plea – not least Muhammad Iqbal, Malik bin Nabbi and Abdul Qadir Audah. Yet, ijtihad is one thing Muslim societies have singularly failed to undertake. Why?
The ‘why’ has acquired an added urgency after 11 September. Continue reading