Daily Archives: July 11, 2010

The Hope of Hermeneutics

A.A Khalid

The great religions of the world all have a central text which the faithful adhere to and interpret constantly as their companion in the quest for meaning. Islam is the proto-type example of this typology of religion, a faith with an unmistakably central and crucial text, the Quran. The Quran the ultimate example of a Sacred text which guides intimately the life of Muslims, offering peace and tranquility and its message of mercy.If one is to refine our understanding of religion to tear down assertions of patriarchy and autocracy then a new framework of Quranic hermeneutics has to be established.

Hermeneutics is quiet simply the philosophy of interpretation, it recognizes human agency in the act of encountering the text. Hence in this respect hermeneutics is known within the Islamic traditions as tafsir operating in a traditional exegetical setting. However, the first to use this concept was German Protestant theologian and philosopher, Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834), whose founding role is now widely recognized. Others include the great German philosopher and hermeneuticist Gadamer, a modern exponent of hermeneutics. The art of interpretation is a delicate act with many factors and variables in play with the assumptions and presumptions of the reader, the intricacy of the text and the interaction of the two. Continue reading

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Was Gandhi Secular ?

Shahran Asim’s contribution for PTH

I know in our Pakistan Studies we have always read that Mahatma Gandhi was not secular and he did ‘nt want Muslim minority to have their share in the post partition scenario. When I raised these questions, someone suggested me to listen to his speeches which have been posted by an organization called Gandhi Server Foundation (www.gandhiserve.org). It is a great historical resource of information related to Mahatma Gandhi, contains his audio library , his letters to Quaid-e-Azam, Nehru and others, etc.

I have selected this speech which was addressed to Hindus but is is mostly related to create peace and harmony among the Hindus and Muslims. Please listen to Gandhi on Muslims, start from 3 mins and I would suggest to
listen it completely. How he praised the contribution of Muslims to India, Urdu, etc.
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Civil society urges transparent appointment of judges

* Members say SC should decide ‘transparently’ on petitions against 18th Amendment

Daily Times report: A democratic and transparent process for appointing judges to the superior judiciary is essential for an independent judiciary, renowned civil society members and representatives of non-government organisations (NGO) said on Sunday.
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Daily Times: Nationalism: inclusive versus exclusive — II —

By Ishtiaq Ahmed

When the Hindu members of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly expressed their worries about ‘sovereignty over the entire universe belonging to God’, Liaquat Ali Khan assured them that a Muslim state should have no problem in having a non-Muslim as prime minister. However, this was not true

Jinnah wanted to establish a Muslim-majority state, but not a Muslim-majoritarian state that would privilege Muslims over non-Muslims in their status and rights as citizens; hence he spoke of Pakistani nationalism and not Muslim nationalism when on August 11, 1947 he addressed the Pakistan Constituent Assembly:

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state…We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state…Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state.”

Stanley Wolpert, who is considered a sympathetic biographer of Jinnah, has noted that when Jinnah was delivering his address even his immediate disciples were visibly confused and shaken. What Jinnah was doing was repudiating the basis of nationhood on which he had demanded Pakistan: that Muslims were a separate nation from other communities of India. Now, he seemed to champion inclusive nationalism. Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur mentioned (‘Whose progeny? — I’, Daily Times, June 20, 2010) the 1928 Nehru Report as having made the same pledge. In fact, this was explicitly stated in the Nehru Report: “There shall be no state religion; men and women shall have equal rights as citizens.”

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Hindu families evicted for drinking water from mosque – The News

Friday, July 09, 2010
By Rabia Ali

Karachi

As many as 60 Hindu men, women and children were forced into abandoning their homes in Memon Goth and taking refuge in a cattle pen all because of a boy from their community who drank water from a cooler placed outside a mosque, police officials and community members told The News.

These hapless people ran away from the wrath of some of the influential tribesmen of the area who got so enraged by the incident, which took place last week, that they beat up the members of the Hindu community and forced them into evicting their quarters.

“All hell broke loose when my son, Dinesh, who looked after chickens in a farm, drank water from a cooler outside a mosque. Upon seeing him do that, the people of the area started beating him up.

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