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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

Pakistan: Misuse of the Blasphemy Law
Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi
Pakistan: Misuse of the Blasphemy Law
Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi

The Holy Quran prescribes restraint and distancing from blasphemous persons or situations. The emphasis is on restraint. Pakistan belongs as much to the non-Muslims as to the Muslims. Blasphemy laws are often used to settle personal vendettas. And so, we demand a thorough and fair probe into the case involving Rimsha. Strict action should be taken against all those accusing the girl if she is found innocent....

Sectarian Tensions Rock Libya
Linda Gradstein
Sectarian Tensions Rock Libya
Linda Gradstein

A series of recent attacks has raised the specter of sectarian violence in the country. Last week, attackers bulldozed a mosque containing graves belonging to Sufi Muslims in the capital of Tripoli. Government officials blamed an armed Islamist group. One day earlier another Sufi mosque was attacked and its library burned.

 

While other Muslims performed takbiran, or recitation of Islamic laudations, to gratefully welcome Idul Fitri, Sampang Shiites were callously warned not to do the same. Before the heartless attacks took place, several non-Shiite Muslims went to the Shiites’ houses and asked, “Are you still Shiites, or have you already repented and forsworn? If you remain Shiites, we will burn your houses and if you oppose us, you will be killed.”

 

Sectarian violence has resurged in Pakistan in 2012, after TTP-backed militant outfits intensified their campaign against Shias, security analysts say. There was a significant decrease in sectarian attacks in 2011, according to a report by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS). But unlike in 2010, the violence was not confined to a few cities.

 
Do Ahmadis Deserve To Live In Pakistan?
Yasser Latif Hamdani
Do Ahmadis Deserve To Live In Pakistan?
Yasser Latif Hamdani

This past Eid, in the E Sector of Rawalpindi's Satellite Town, the Police stopped Ahmadis from offering Eid prayers at their place of worship called Eiwan-e-Tauheed. Only days earlier, Hafizabad police raided an Ahmadi cemetery in Mangat Ucha village and desecrated the tombstones by erasing the Kalima from the graves.

Shia Genocide: What’s In A Name?
Dr Mohammad Taqi
Shia Genocide: What’s In A Name?
Dr Mohammad Taqi

Is it Shia genocide or is it the genocide of the ethnic Hazaras of Quetta? What about the Gilgiti, Balti and Peshawari Shia then, or the Pashtun Shia of the Turi and Bangash tribes? Is it genocide at all? Why call it genocide when the state is allegedly not involved or supporting the perpetrators? And so continues the debate over the semantics of mass murder.

What Makes A Good Muslim
Tazeen Javed
What Makes A Good Muslim
Tazeen Javed

The Wahabi interpretation of Islam taught at schools like Al Huda shuns something as simple as a birthday celebration as a foreign concept or a mehndi function a legacy of living with Hindus. Basant is a festival indigenous to Punjab marking the advent of spring. It dates back 3,000 years and has traditionally been celebrated by people of all religions in Punjab.

 

Nothing surprising, especially in a Pakistan that began to take shape from the early 1980s onwards; and/or when the state under General Ziaul Haq actually encouraged the proliferation of violent Islamist and sectarian organisations as a way to bolster its efforts to whip up a jihadist frenzy against the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan.

 

"The killings are doubtless the work of those who want to destroy Pakistan, but a failure to nab and punish the killers is also contributing to the same end," the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in a statement. "The authorities owe an explanation to the people for their inability to crack down on sectarian killers and for the most flagrant failure in protecting the lives of citizens." ...

 

Are human lives less important than Samosas and ostriches? Apparently, it seems this just might be the case in Pakistan. Why else would government leaders along with the Chief Justice have the time to pass rulings and notices on these and stay silent on the Shia killings taking place in the country?...

Pakistan Is No Different From Burma
Mani Khawaja
Pakistan Is No Different From Burma
Mani Khawaja

As the rest of the country goes about its way, having just celebrated another joyous Eid, spare a thought for a little girl with special needs, languishing in a juvenile jail. She is probably all alone, and scared. With her condition, she very well might not even know the reason she is in there.....

Welcome to Pakistan: A nightmare society beyond pity or parody, where handicapped 11-year-old girls must be locked up to ensure their own safety. According to the Blasphemy Law, anyone found guilty of insulting the Prophet Muhammad or the Koran can be sentenced to death. With blind religious extremism on the upswing, there is no shortage of Hammad Malik types — self-appointed religious vigilantes on the lookout for any transgression, real or imagined.....

If we do not put our faith in reason and rationality, we will be wiped out altogether. This is not a warning but a statement of fact. Any state with an ideology other than the ideology of the welfare of its citizens is bound to crash and burn because any other ideology is akin to a highly inflammable fuel source. It burns brightly and quickly and there is not enough to replenish it at the source.

 

Pakistan continues its tragic journey down the xenophobic abyss. As this country gets over a blood-soaked Eid, let me recall a 44-word short story by Saadat Hasan Manto. He wrote: “Ripping the belly cleanly, the knife moved in a straight line down the midriff, in the process slashing the cord, which had held the man’s Pyjamas in place. The one with the knife took one look and exclaimed regretfully, ‘Tut, tut, tut! … Mishtake!”...

 

A series of murderous attacks on members of the Shia community were unleashed in Kohistan, Karachi and Quetta last week. Those killed in the Kohistan incident were headed home for Eid Traditionally, different religious communities have lived in harmony in Gilgit-Baltistan and Astore is no different. People in general are tolerant and are not easily provoked by such targeted acts of terrorism. However, it would be naïve to think that the repeated occurrence of such incidents is not taking its toll on the public.....

The initial mistake — now slowly being clarified — is that everyone assumed there is one North Waziristan. But in this debate there are actually two North Waziristans: Miranshah and Mir Ali. Loosely, Miranshah represents the American fixation: the Haqqanis. Mir Ali represents the Pakistani focus: the Pakistan-centric militants….

 

If we do not find a solution besides the machine gun and the tank – which we have already seen to be helpless against a barefoot child with a stone in his hand – we may lose it all. The State of Israel is liable to become a passing phenomenon like the First Temple and the Second Temple. The terrible tragedy is that our neighbours are in the same rotten situation; they have no Gandhi and we do not even have a mini-Roosevelt....

But the only comforting point is that the point of reference, i.e. the Quran is present in its original form and anyone can approach it and verify the claim of any sect on the basis of the guidance of Allah. But the problem is that the Shaikh says that the Quran cannot be understood by people by themselves. This is another lie that is being promoted in the name of God and his Messenger

The Consequences of Hate
Feisal H Naqvi
The Consequences of Hate
By Feisal H Naqvi

The English-speaking liberal elite of Pakistan tends to take a look around its immediate environs and concludes that things cannot possibly be so bad as reported because, after all, we live in a country which is heir to ancient cultures of poetry and dance.... As a Shia, I know that these trends are likely to end badly for me. All I am telling you, dear reader, is that this will end badly for you too....

Who are the Rohingya?
Khaled Ahmed
Who are the Rohingya?
By Khaled Ahmed

The sense of mountain or hill is derived from the sense of mounting, rising and growing. Indian music has a word for the rising note: ‘arohi’. The literal meaning of ‘aroha’ is ‘to mount’. Hindi also adds the word for horse (‘asva’) to mean ‘rider’. Thus, ‘arohi’ becomes ‘asvaroha’, meaning someone mounted on a horse. In Persian, we have the word ‘savar’ for ‘horse-rider’, also written ‘asvar’ to point to ‘asva’ the horse in it. Music notes ascend (arohi) and descend (avarohi)....

 
The Self-Respecting Baloch Have No Expectations
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
The Self-Respecting Baloch Have No Expectations
By Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Sheikh Saadi narrates a story in Gulistan of a self-respecting person severely wounded while battling the Mongols being told that a miserly and ill-tempered person of a nearby village had medicine that may cure him. He replied that the miser probably would not part with it and even if he does, no certainty that it would cure him, so it is better to die with dignity. The self-respecting Baloch are not waiting for the medicine from the misers and courageously putting up a fight for their rights....

 
The Stateless Rohingya and Pakistan
Huma Yusuf
The Stateless Rohingya and Pakistan
By Huma Yusuf

The debate about how Pakistanis should react to the violence has pitted liberals against conservatives in a way that says far more about Pakistani society and the appalling state of national discourse than it does about the plight of the Rohingya. In this polarised and politically expedient context, how can national conversations about the persecution of Muslim communities abroad be had more productively...

Stop Myanmar Violence before Jihadis Step In
Naveed Hussain
Stop Myanmar Violence before Jihadis Step In
By Naveed Hussain

Hundreds of Rohingyas — a destitute, marginalised Muslim community disowned by the state — have been killed and maimed and tens of thousands made to flee their homes following organised attacks on villages by local Arakanese Buddhists. Inaction would only help radicals and jihadists, who might use the ‘Muslim genocide’ in Myanmar as a rallying call....

Arguing against what has become orthodoxy is difficult because most of the people who hold to its tenets are not malicious, just indolent and a little frightened. They have a genuine fear of racism, however ill thought through, and that speaks to their credit. Argument must be joined, however, because supporters of identity politics bundle the objects of their concern into racial and religious boxes, and label them "handle with care"....

 

“The breed of Qadianis will never change. They may multiply up to 99 generations; still the 100th one will continue to be a dualist-infidel and apostate. The reason is that their crime is a never-ending one. The offence will never cease to exist in their progeny. Let it be clear to every Muslim that the crime of apostasy runs throughout the lineage of a Qadiani….

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  • Very nicely written and explain the things.
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