Contrary evidence on Secularism

November 7, 2010
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By Pervez Hoodbhoy First published in The News on Sunday. November 7, 2010. Though some Muslim scholars see no contradiction between secularism and Islam, a secular state is possible only if there are enough thoughtful people who can make it happen Decades from now Pakistan will cease to discriminate between citizens of different religious faiths; […]

Extension of Hypocrisy

October 22, 2010
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by Awais Masood It was such a tragedy to see a news item mentioning that the Vice Chancellor (VC) of University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore who has been ‘ruling’ the institute for last twelve years has been granted another (fourth) term.[1] There is almost everything wrong with Mr. Akram and the extension of […]

Posted in: Politics, Religion, Society

Remembering Dr Abdus Salam

October 21, 2010
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Last week, it was 31 years since Dr Salam was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Three weeks from now would be his death anniversary. It was, and still is because of state religion, political role of religion and intolerance and bigotry in society that Dr Salam remains uncelebrated as a hero in Pakistan. His […]

Posted in: Science, Society

Hailing the ‘Muslim Citizen’: State Nationalism and the Social Construction of the “Heretic” in Pakistan

October 17, 2010
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Sadia Saeed Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, New York, New York City, Aug 11, 2007 ABSTRACT In this paper, I revisit the debate on the relationship between nationalism and state-formation through a focus on the Pakistani state’s historically varying relationship with its Islamic politico-religious identity. Specifically, I look at […]

Posted in: Politics, Religion

Taliban, Jamaat-i-Islami and post-Islamism

October 16, 2010
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By Ali Arqam The killing spree of the Taliban in Pakistan is not limited to combatants, notwithstanding the propaganda of their Pakistani apologists. It extends to non-combatant civilians, minority sects, tribal elders, journalists, educationists, members of parliament, clergy and intellectuals. Even shrines and mosques have not been spared. The Taliban feel that by stifling every […]

A fallacious binary

October 6, 2010
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By Saqlain Imam Published first in The News on Sunday, October 3, 2010 The word secularism seems to be the most contentious one in the Pakistani political culture. Anything that is anti-religion or non-religious is dubbed secular; it is understood as a Western concept with no direct connection with Islam; for example, some people might […]

Posted in: Politics

Secular Knowledge Versus Islamic Knowledge and Uncritical Intellectuality : The Work of Ziauddin Sardar

October 4, 2010
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Saeed Ur-Rehman Published in Cultural Dynamics 2002 14: 65 DOI: 10.1177/09213740020140010501 ABSTRACT This article examines the politics of Islamic postcolonial Occidentalism as a response to the secularizing influence of western modernity. By taking the  work of Ziauddin Sardar, a Pakistani-British intellectual, as an example of Occidentalist Islamic thought, I have attempted to problematize the binaristic […]

An “intelligence report” on MQM : Agenda behind plagiarized report

September 29, 2010
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I’ll make this clear at the very start. This post is not what Secular Pakistan normally posts and neither does the blog aim to focus on this area specifically. However, the report got my attention and I thought it necessitated a quick post. Daily Times today published a report stating that ANP Secretary, Senator Zahid […]

Posted in: Politics

Land Reforms – History, Legal challenges and how Shariat Courts abolished them

September 23, 2010
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by Shahid Saeed Khan The politics of land reform have always been tenuous in this country, the populist rhetoric very much opposed to the reality. It has the support of a large segment of the public who view abolition of large land holdings as a big step towards social progress. Land Reform has always been […]

Posted in: History, Politics, Society

“Jinnah became irrelevant after Objectives Resolution” : Interview with Mubarak Ali

September 19, 2010
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By Mazhar Khan Jadoon First published in The News on Sunday, August 29, 2010 The News on Sunday: How do you view secularism as having evolved in the particular case of India where the kings did not run their empires on the clergy’s instructions but according to political exigencies? Mubarak Ali: Secularism has been in […]

Posted in: History, Politics

Interview with Ziauddin Sardar

September 19, 2010
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Ziauddin Sardar is a writer, broadcaster, public intellectual and cultural-critic who specialises in Islamic Studies First published in The News on Sunday, August 29, 2010 The News on Sunday: The Chief Justice has questioned the power of the parliament if it takes the ‘drastic’ decision of declaring Pakistan a secular state. You have talked about […]

Posted in: Politics, Religion, Society

The building of an exclusionist society tried to purge culture of its non-Muslim sources

September 19, 2010
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By Sarwat Ali First published in The News on Sunday, August 29, 2010 Culture has many dimensions to it, the most important being rituals and traditions and behavioural patterns as expressed in day-to-day living. And then it finds a rarified expression in the fine arts where music, literature, painting, dance, drama and film drill deep […]

Posted in: Minorities, Society

In the light of history : How an Islamic State was carved out of a secular movement for Pakistan

September 19, 2010
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By Farah Zia First published in The News on Sunday, August 29, 2010 As we discuss the case for Pakistan as a secular state, it would be instructive to revisit the events of Pakistan movement to see how terms like “secularism” and “Islamic state” were played out in the years preceding partition. The conduct of […]

Posted in: Politics

Case for a Secular Pakistan and The price paid by Pakistan for rejecting secularism

September 19, 2010
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By I. A. Rehman First published in The News on Sunday, August 29, 2010 Perhaps the greatest injustice done to the Quaid-e-Azam in the state founded under his leadership is that his August 11, 1947 address to the Constituent Assembly is treated as a charter of non-Muslim citizens’ rights only, whereas in reality it lays […]

Effect of Qisas and Diyat Laws on Criminal Justice

September 18, 2010
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by Shahid Saeed Published first in the Daily Times with minor changes After the violent mob lynching in Sialkot, much has been written on inherent violence in our society, breakdown of the rule of law, police and judicial corruption and acceptance of mob justice. However, one factor that remains to be highlighted is how the […]

Posted in: Reformation, Religion

Flood Relief Chronicles – I – Kot Addu and Taunsa Barrage

August 31, 2010
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by Awais Masood As an attempt to assess the situation after the devastating Pakistani floods, I along with two of my fellows visited Kot Addu on August 22nd. Kot Addu is a tehsil of Muzaffargarh district in Southern Punjab that has been heavily affected by the recent floods. The city, which lies quite close to […]

Posted in: Cross posted, Society

Why is CJP Afraid of Secularism?

August 20, 2010
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The Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Ifthakar Chaudhary, who was reinstated to his top position after rigorous anti-dictatorship efforts of champions of democracy and pluralism, has stunned everyone with his recent remarks against the Parliament and secularism. The Chief Justice, who surely is able enough to grasp the real meaning of legal and constitutional […]

Posted in: Politics, Religion, Society

National Disaster Management Commission or a politically motivated parallel body? – by Aley

August 19, 2010
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Background Pakistan is exposed to a multifaceted hazard situation, a perilous combination of geographical and socio-political factors. Physically it is exposed to vulnerabilities ranging from earthquakes, floods, droughts, cyclones, landslides etc. The physical milieu is entwined with an awful labyrinth of political instability, bursting population, poverty, sporadic religious and ethnic conflicts, terrorism, unbridled urbanization, and […]

Posted in: Cross posted

Saving a Drowing Country Needs an Ideological Shift

August 17, 2010
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by Nasima Zehra Awan Source: Pak Tea House “You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques……..Religion is not the business of the State”.   Thus spoke Jinnah, whilst addressing the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947. Sixty three yearslater, this is what our “honorable” Chief Justice has to say: “Parliament […]

Posted in: Politics, Religion

Why Muslims reject modernity- by Khaled Ahmed

August 15, 2010
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It is often said that Muslims in the 21st century have rejected modernity. What they are in fact rejecting is the process of suiting themselves to changing circumstances. There are two kinds of thinking: one that seeks to change in order to relate to times and one that seeks to change the world to suit […]