Utilizing the force of Sufism in foreign policy and public diplomacy is not an entirely new idea. Sufism, in fact, is based on universal values which transcend times and boundaries and way more durable than economic pacts and strategic alliances. This was the reason that, in 2003, Nixon Centre held a conference on the role of Sufism in American foreign policy. Being a civilization rich in Sufi traditions,...
Today I live in Mumbai in a neighbourhood that is dotted with saris, Burqas and skirts – the Amar Akbar Anthony of fashion. Our street is a madhouse almost all year round because someone or the other wants to celebrate his God in his own special, littering, loudspeakered way and we all live with it. Sure there is some bitching and moaning but that’s OK, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t think we and our ways were better than yours. I for one look down from my atheist perch on everybody else.....
Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain
In modern irregular conflicts which involve people as the virtual centre of gravity an adversary will always attempt to keep the nation divided. Slickly put together propaganda with no iota of truth is far more effective than a couple of hundred AK-47s; such is the power of information. However, information used loosely, without coordination and no plan, is doomed to destroy the initiator, not the target...
Dubious elements in Kashmir society assuming the sobriquet of pro-Indian moles are prospering under the munificence of Indian Intelligence agencies. They play the most treacherous role not unknown to their paymasters. Incidentally, these moles have become the big funding source for their masters. Their mutual understanding is fine tuned in misleading Indian policy planning chapters....
There has always been the dilemma of shutting the mullahs up as it would encroach on their freedom of speech, but there is little doubt that the right to offer theological opinion has ended up as a free-for-all. The problem also emerges from the fact that Islam does not accord a formal status to the Ulema though some communities do see them as guardians of Islamic law. In some Islamic countries there are ministries that monitor Fatwas....
Generating smoke without fire against persons deemed difficult or uncontrollable by Pakistan’s permanent state establishment, the deep state, is often the greatest accomplishment of inquiries created by the Supreme Court on direct petitions like the one over the Panama Papers. The JIT might still find nothing definitive for prosecution but Mr. Sharif is on notice. And that is how Pakistan’s system is designed to work....
He expressed his opposition to the English-medium schools because they distanced students from “Pakistani culture” and recommended that “education should be imparted in the English language only at the higher levels and even then, the syllabus should be in line with the culture in Pakistan”....
So why is it, finally, that Ms. Le Pen cannot become president? Because while the far right has changed its discourse, the mainstream elites still hold on to their old ways of seeing the world, or imagining what it is. Their analysis of the rise of populism is out of sync. It rests on assumptions, faulty reasoning and denial.....
First, extern the Hurriyat separatists from the Valley. They are the poison that kept voter turnout to a dismal seven per cent in the recent by-polls. India has indulged the Hurriyat far too much for far too long with farcical house arrests and hush payments in the hope that such bribes can buy peace. They can’t, they haven’t, and they won’t....
Almost 60 percent of India now lives in B.J.P.-controlled states; there is no opposition left to speak of. What voices of moderation and reason there used to be within the B.J.P. are either too cowed to speak or feel that it is politically inexpedient to do so....
“We can, in principle, build systems that detect biased decision-making, and then act on it,” said Wachter, who along with others has called for an AI watchdog to be established. “This is a very complicated task, but it is a responsibility that we as society should not shy away from.”...
It is this heritage which need to be rediscovered, revived and celebrated, not the violent caricature we often see around us, the latest example being the lynching of an innocent citizen by goons, claiming to protect the sacred cow,. If allowed together pace, these negative trends will, sooner or later, overwhelm the pursuit of modernity. Riding two horses at the same time is difficult enough even when they are running in the same direction let alone when they are pulling in very different directions.....
Picture this: A group of well-mannered, middle-aged men and women are travelling to the picturesque Aegean town of Ayvalik as the mosque’s loudspeakers announce, “Strangers have entered our village, do not open your doors.” Members of the secular nongovernmental organization (NGO) Ataturkist Thought Association experienced this April 4 as they approached the town to talk to the residents about the upcoming referendum. They were the ones the imam called strangers.....
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
India’s Muslims often speak out against discrimination, but this movement of theirs has not yielded even one person of the likes of A P J Abdul Kalam. Similarly, Dalit leaders have initiated a movement for putting an end to discrimination against Dalits, yet they have not produced even one person of the stature of B R Ambedkar. These facts are a wake-up call to rethink our position. ....
would be jolted by the fact that 1,30,00,00 Indians outnumber 9, 00,000
Pakistanis working in Saudi Arabia. India is important for Iran and the UAE equally:
Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Limited (ISPRL) has an agreement with Abu
Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for topping up one of the two caverns at the
Mangalore Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) facility.....
deaths among Christians in Europe are far outstripping births. In Germany,
between 2010 and 2015, there were an estimated 1.4m more deaths than births
among Christians. Pew said the pattern was expected to continue across much of
Europe in the decades ahead....
Syed Badrul Ahsan
As an instance,
both India and Bangladesh have adopted a common stance on tackling terrorism
through not only cracking down on the purveyors of terror but also keeping at
arm’s length, and in fact condemning, nations regarded as sponsors of terrorism
in the region....
reacted to its Westminster tragedy speaks volumes for how we can defeat Islamic
State-inspired terrorism in the social media age. Hours after the attack, British
Prime Minister Theresa May’s calm and unifying words set the tone for the
country. “The terrorists chose to strike at the heart of our capital city,
where people of all nationalities, religions and cultures come together to
celebrate the values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech,” she said,
ending with: “We will all move forward together.....
Atheist H Farook’s killing at Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) is another sacrifice at the altar of religious bigotry. Indian sub-continent is becoming the most dangerous zone in the world for scientific minded persons who naturally become atheist. Farook died for a cause and killers who claim that their truth is inalienable prove to be the worst cowards. It seems killer had no arguments/facts to counter Farook’s questions. BTW, did Farook and his thought take birth and develop without God’s consent?....
are unaware that Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief strategist and
member of his national security council, is not only the most powerful person
in the White House today but he is also a great admirer of the Bhagavad Gita.
Bannon is militarily inclined and believes in waging a holy war against Islam
“to establish dharma in the world”. His long-time collaborator Julia Jones
says, “He used to talk a lot about dharma — he felt very strongly about dharma…
one of the strongest principles throughout the Gita.”...
clearing the decks for his triumphant return to Pakistan by re-establishing his
anti-India credentials. He did this on TV by praising the boss of
Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Hafiz Saeed, currently kept under wraps by Pakistan because of
his global reputation as a terrorist. He said Saeed was a “strategic asset”
because he “never killed inside Pakistan” but reserved his terrorism for
India-administered Kashmir. He was less enthusiastic about Jaish-e-Muhammad and
its leader, Masood Azhar, because Azhar nearly killed him in 2003, when
Musharraf called off the jihad against India after negotiating peace with the
All analysts of
terrorism reiterate that it is not an ideology. Guns and bombs pose no
“existential” threat to a country or society. Politicians who exploit it to
engender fear are cynics with vested interests. Terrorism is a methodology of
conflict. There is no real defence against madmen who kill, though it’s worth
restating that London’s streets have probably never been safer places.....
In the attack
on Wednesday afternoon, a man drove a car along a pavement on Westminster
Bridge knocking down pedestrians, creating panic and leaving dozens injured. He
then ran towards Parliament where he stabbed PC Palmer who was unarmed. Armed
police then shot dead the attacker in the grounds. Mrs Frade worked at a London
sixth form college just a few hundred metres from Westminster Bridge....
It’s all rather
pathetic. There is actually precious little that the Indian secular state has
given the Muslim community except to ensure that they live for eternity in the
museum of stereotypes, most notably that of the clerics who mostly talk rubbish
when they showcase their views on television. The imagery of these men as “sole
spokespersons” only works to counter mobilise. The community has slipped on all
human development indices yet an entire mobilisation has thrived on the
argument that they are appeased. It’s true; the clerics have indeed been
appeased in a manner of speaking.....
We live today
in secular, sceptical, scientific times, when religion itself is regularly
branded irrelevant. So Luther, if considered at all, tends to be dismissed as
dour, distant and two-dimensional, better suited to the dusty pages of history
books than the 21st century. So much so that he is often confused with Martin
Luther King, whose continuing importance is much more readily understood....