Sunday, October 30, 2011

On the PTI / Imran Khan's Jalsa

I have never been an Imran Khan supporter (let's leave the reasons aside right now), but following the comments, feelings, reactions, more than ever, my prayer is that the passion and, even more so, the sincerity and of the tens of thousands of young and old Pakistanis has its dreams and hopes fulfilled.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"don't afraid"—Words to Live By

One of cutest pop culture memes out of Pakistan is the phrase often seen on transport trucks and buses that says "don't jaluss" [don't be jealous]. It has started turning up on some of the T Shirts  now we see a similar idea from our sister nation;
Words to live by in this season of discontent.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gaddafi: a Pakistani perspective

Love the statement at the end of the article providing a Pakistani perspective on Colonel Gaddafi by Khurram Ali Shafique, on The Republic of Rumi website:
"we have had our share of military rulers and civilian dictators, and some of them may have aspired to stay in power for forty years, or to set up dynastic rule. However, hats off to the people of Pakistan, such a thing has never actually happened here. "

Though I have to say, the really daring jaan-ki-amaan-pa'oon level of article on The Colonel is yet to be written.

The direct link to Khurram's article is:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Revivification of the Pakistani Left

Readers of this blog might remember me talking about the Pakistani Left starting to come out of its comatose state over the last few years and "getting the band back together".

There's an article in New Internationalist article that's been making the rounds:

Here's a link to a previous post on this blog talking about the issue:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

There is no such thing as a "Muslim Ummah"

That was one of the first responses I got in reply to my call to "take back Islam for the Ummah". [See my intro to "Occupy Islam" in my last post.]

Ummah, as a lot of readers will know, is an Arabic word for community. whether you like it or not Muslims are a community. a community that is in the process of being completely taken over by a fanatic fringe. And it is because those of us in the silent, moderate majority refuse to take ownership that this has happened.

I went to graduate school and studied the idea of community. A community can be any group that has communal feeling--whether it is people stranded in an elevator or people who have sworn a blood oath, or people who are bound by a thousand/fifteen hundred years of faith, culture and civilization.

So, yes, Muslims are an ummah; and I say that as a done my-time-in-the-leadership Progressive Muslim.

Occupy Islam

Just started the Facebook page and twitter account for "Occupy Islam":

Let's take back Islam for the Ummah; for the Ijmaa of the People

Here are my first thoughts: We need to have the ijma of the people #OccupyIslam, and let ulema and da'ees do their own jobs:

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs: Obiter Dicta

Steve Jobs was a genius and a great man and I know a lot of people are hurting. I am starting to see a few dissenting voices. The charitable way to put it would be that one does not get to be that great a maker of omelettes without also being a prolific breaker of eggs. So once there's been a respectful period of time since his death let's also talk from the progressive point of view? Both the good and the bad. Apple's support of the education sector and institutions on the one hand, and their corporate practices on the other, such as building his devices abroad and the conditions at their factories, and so on.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Counting down to Revolution in Pakistan

Beena Sarwar just pointed (via Facebook and Twitter) to a very timely article on the Frontline website:
You Aren’t Hearing About Pakistan’s Biggest Problems – Afghanistan / Pakistan - FRONTLINE Every day headlines raise questions about Pakistan’s stability, but some of the real threats to the country are largely absent from Western media. From electricity shortages to a looming fiscal deficit, here are four of Pakistan’s biggest problems you might not be hearing about.

But even those are just straws in the wind. At the time of the anti-Pervez Musharraf/pro-Judiciary agitation, US media personalities were asking us "Is Pakistan going to become another Iran?" The best answer came from the person who is now the Pakistani Ambassador to the US (Husain Haqqani)—paraphrasing in my own words here—"No, not today, but if we all keep grinding our axes on the backs of the Pakistani people for the next 10 years, we'll get there."

It's been...let me see...4? 5? years now?

[Previous posts on this topic here.]