Rescuers stand near a child injured by a firing, at a local hospital in Dera Ismail, Pakistan on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010. According to police official unidentified gunmen opened fire on a procession celebrate anniversary of the birth of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.(AP photo/Ishtiaq Mehsud)
Abdul Nishapuri writes on the let’sbuildup Pakistan blog
The 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal is celebrated by Muslims in Pakistan as the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (peace by upon him and his progeny). In particular, Sunni Barelvi Muslims organize large public meetings and rallies on that day in the memory of the Prophet.
It is however a known fact that certain Muslim sects (e.g. Wahhabi and Deobandi) term such ceremonies of the Eid Mila-un-Nabi as shirk (polytheism) and biddat (innovation in religion). Continue reading
Posted by Raza Rumi
This is an old article – When the state kills – authored by Pakistan’s eminent intellectual Khaled Ahmed. It remains relevant for what is happening today – the carnage in Karachi and targetted killing of the Shia minority is a cause for concern for Pakistanis who want the country to become a plural, tolerant and progressive society for all its citizens irrespective of their faith, caste or creed.
PTH strongly condemns the Karachi incidents and will continue to raise voice against extremism and sectarianism.
Leader of the anti-Shia religious party Sipah Sahaba, Maulana Azam Tariq, has been released after being honourably acquitted of all charges of terrorism. He was picked up after he went and met Maulana Akram Awan in Chakwal earlier in the year after the latter had threatened to overthrow General Musharraf and impose Shariat on Islamabad. Maulana Tariq had thereafter announced that his party will also forcibly impose principles of Sharia in selected cities of the country. While he was in jail facing trial, his party had warned the government of dire consequences. In the interim, there was a spate of shia killings in Karachi, mainly targeting doctors and other prominent personalities. Workers of Sipah Sahaba had started offering arrests to pressure the government into releasing their leader. Continue reading
[This was originally published in DAWN’s blog section and then subsequently also included in the much recommended critical PPP/Let us Build Pakistan site. The link for the latter is http://criticalppp.org/lubp/archives/4072 and for the former is http://blog.dawn.com/2009/12/31/the-scholar-the-sufi-and-the-fanatic/. The critical PPP site is quite refreshing and has taken on both the naysayers as well as been critical of its own party. Even their news reports are more reliable at times than the mainstream media. In reposting the article, critical PPP has accreditted DAWN. – Ali Abbas]
By Nadeem F. Paracha Dawn 31st Dec, 2009
Roughly speaking, the political and social aspects of Islam in Pakistan can be seen as existing in and emerging from three distinct sets and clusters of thought. These clusters represent the three variations of political and social Islam that have evolved in this country: modern, popular and conservative. Continue reading
Filed under Democracy, India, Islam, Islamism, movements, Pakistan, Partition, Politics, Religion, south asia, state, Sufism
The intellectual debate on Islam in Pakistan has gone through a cycle. While traditional Islam saw pitchforked battles between Barelvis and Deobandis, so did those who rejected traditional Islam. From 1947-1970, Islamic Modernists (or what Fazalurrahman called Aligarh Westernists who had been the intellectual force behind the creation of Pakistan) and as well as rationalists/Quranists such as Allama Pervez were ascendent. From 1970 onwards, with closer ties between Jamaat-e-Islami and the Army in Bangladesh, Maududian revivalists became strong as arbiters of Islamic questions in Pakistan. Now some of that has been reversed. This article below does an extraordinary job in tracing the history of Islam’s intellectual debate in Pakistan. However NFP fails to mention that the very progressive Muslim scholar Ghamidi has also emerged from the Maududian tradition and that just like Hassan Al Banna’s family today is in the frontline of the intellectual movement against Taliban-style Islamism, Maududi’s own family (not the Jamaat-e-Islami which is essentially an Islam0-fascist organization) have also evolved to a more liberal point of view, showing that unlike Traditional Islam where positions are fixed as dogma dictates, the reform movement in Islam, even when it goes sour in the case of Maududi or Syed Qutb, is much less rigid. This has major implications when considered in light of the elections in Iran. I have always felt that even a rigid and fanatical non-reformist non-cleric like Ahmadinejad is better than most palatable cleric from Qom in the long run because the latter is confined by Dogma by training -YLH
By Nadeem Farooq Paracha from Dawn Blogs
In Pakistan even the traditional Muslim practice of reasoning in matters of religion – originally introduced by the 9th century Mutazilites – is at times treated like some kind of an abomination to be feared, discouraged and repressed. It is easy to accuse the proverbial mullah for this. And it is equally easy to blame him for being anti-intellectual and regressive. Continue reading