Tag Archives: civilization

Fatima Bhutto: please focus on fiction

Nasima Zehra Awan

Pakistan may have lost a talented fiction writer when Fatima Bhutto went into journalism. Clearly, she is adept at spinning a tale, fudging facts and re-defining reality in a manner that is the exclusive domain of talented story tellers. Throw in her photogenic looks and her propensity to endear herself with the security establishment and she is the poster child for them. This poor author does not share the same connections as Fatima Bhutto, so she will clearly not pass of (Fatima’s) alleged ISI links as established fact. Clearly, my humble perception was reinforced when I read her recent article, “Why my uncle Asif Ali Zardari’s rule in Pakistan cannot be trusted“.

The most outlandish spin in her article was that it was President Zardari who had banned facebook in Pakistan:”banned 500 websites — including YouTube, Facebook and Google — under the pretence of protesting against anti-Islamic material on the web” Two months ago, in their zeal to accommodate their political benefactors, Pakistan’s compromised Judiciary allowed for petitions that called for the banning of facebook and all the sites alluded to by Fatima. In their Islamist zeal, the Lahore High Court passed a judicial order that called for closing internet access to facebook. Zardari’s coalition government, already being lynched by the Judiciary had no choice but to comply. It is extremely disingenuous of Fatima to completely remove the context and the major instigators of internet censorship in Pakistan and place the blame on the President. The latter had already limited his role in governance by initiating and guiding the parliament to pass the 18th Amendment that gave back most executive powers to the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers! What Fatima completely fails to mention is that the temporary facebook banning in Pakistan had nothing to do with Zardari and everything to do a politicized Judiciary that was returning favours to its Jamaat Islami backers. Continue reading

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Filed under Benazir Bhutto, journalism, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, Politics

Greater Tolerance Of The Polytheists

By Indrajit Gupta
This kind of sweeping historical  generalization is  made once the conclusions have been decided and the facts are selected to fit these conclusions. It is very difficult to conclude from the evidence at hand that societies tend to be more or less free depending on how many divinities they worship.

The first difficulty posed by this presentation is its careful selection of one brilliant moment of mankind’s history as an example of what polytheism could do. This is misleading.

Why start here? Why not with the Semitic polytheists? Their brand of religion was harsh and unforgiving, and certainly gave short shrift to conquered or deviant people. For that matter, even within their own society, even as they slowly built the processes and systems that we take for granted in urban civilization and culture, they treated their own citizens with a harsh and barbaric severity. Continue reading

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Filed under Religion