Daily Archives: July 21, 2010

Stop Lahore’s Talibanisation

Raza Rumi

The worst has happened. Data Darbar, which defined the contours of peaceful Islam for a millennium, has been desecrated in Lahore. Its markets have been attacked and its minorities live in fear after the Ahmadi massacre. Last year, the petrified traders of Lahore’s Hall Road burnt objectionable CDs after receiving threats from extremists. A year later, low-intensity blasts took place in the crowded Hall Road — a market for electronics and kosher and non-kosher DVDs. This week, two internet cafes were targeted in densely populated areas of Lahore and some time back Peeru’s was also bombed. Reports have suggested that the cafes had received threats from unidentifiable numbers asking them to stop their businesses as they were turning into hubs of ‘immoral activities’. Just because no one died there, media attention has been patchy. A younger female colleague told me how tailors are hesitant to take orders for sleeveless shirts and other designs that may offend the purist dress code. The militants are employing tactics of social control used in Swat. It cannot be brushed under the carpet anymore.

Prior to 1947, Lahore was a cosmopolitan city with a discrete culture of inter-faith harmony, with a reputation for the best education and socio-cultural movements. After its provincialisation, the resilient city re-emerged as a vibrant centre of progressive politics, avant-garde art and extraordinary literature. Since the 1980s, Lahore is a city with formidable infrastructure and boasts of great public spaces, especially parks.  The innate openness and tolerance of this metropolis could not be subjugated by growing extremism. Continue reading

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Filed under Lahore, Pakistan, public policy, Punjab, Taliban, violence

No. 1 Nation in Sexy Web Searches?

We have been earning all sorts of labels: the second most corrupt nation in the world, the 10th most failed state, terrorism exporter and now this… As a very senior policy expert remarked “Why don’t the organs of state and people instead  focus on ending corruption, “honour” killing, poverty, sectarianism, suicide bombing, and unemployment?” A most pertinent question indeed.

Perhaps there is too much spotlight on Pakistan – but this light is jaundiced in so many ways. Anything with a ‘Fox’ brand has to be taken with a sack of salt.  Raza Rumi

No. 1 Nation in Sexy Web Searches? Call it Pornistan
By Kelli Morgan
Published July 13, 2010  | FoxNews.com

They may call it the “Land of the Pure,” but Pakistan turns out to be anything but.

The Muslim country, which has banned content on at least 17 websites to block offensive and blasphemous material, is the world’s leader in online searches for pornographic material, FoxNews.com has learned.

“You won’t find strip clubs in Islamic countries. Most Islamic countries have certain dress codes,” said Gabriel Said Reynolds, professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Notre Dame. “It would be an irony if they haven’t shown the same vigilance to pornography.”

So here’s the irony: Google ranks Pakistan No. 1 in the world in searches for pornographic terms, outranking every other country in the world in searches per person for certain sex-related content.
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Filed under Pakistan