The connection between ISIS and US-led coalition

(By Sharmine Narwani) It’s been a bad time for foes of ISIS. Islamic State scored a neat hat-trick by invading strategic Ramadi in Iraq’s mainly Sunni Anbar province, occupying Syria’s historic gem Palmyra, and taking over Al-Tanf, the last remaining border crossing with Iraq.

The multinational, American-led ‘Coalition’ launched last August to thwart Islamic State’s . . . → Read More: The connection between ISIS and US-led coalition

Rimsha Masih in prison for her own safety

Pakistani police blocked a bail request for the minor who reportedly suffers from Down’s syndrome, claiming her release would endanger her life and that of her family. The girl is accused of blasphemy for allegedly burning a Koran.

. . . → Read More: Rimsha Masih in prison for her own safety

Disputed design of religion

ISLAMABAD — Last week, a group of police officers in the eastern city of Lahore visited a mosque run by Ahmadis, a minority Muslim sect viewed by the rest of the country as heretics. They took a look around and announced their conclusion: This mosque looks too much like a mosque.

So, two laborers . . . → Read More: Disputed design of religion

Headless Chicken Syndrome

A mob is only as smart as its dimmest member. If the political discourse is anything to go by,our society is under attack from “outsiders”hell-bent on “undermining Islam” who we now must destroy. The destructive nature of mob mentality manifests itself every now and then in this country,be it under the banner of religion or . . . → Read More: Headless Chicken Syndrome

The difference between secularism and secularisation

To build a universal definition of secularism, we must first understand its complex historical relationship with secularisation

The question: What is secularism?

What is the relationship between secularism, the state policy; and secularisation, the social process? Most conversations tend to confuse the two, moving from one to the other. However, we don’t really have . . . → Read More: The difference between secularism and secularisation

Bribery – Culture of India

This little piece is interesting. It strives to explain why Indians are susceptible to bribery. One of the explanations it espouses is that bribery lies in the transactional nature of Hindu religion i.e this comes down to bribing God, for Him to bestow unmerited favours. This being the religious practice, it is concluded, that bribery . . . → Read More: Bribery – Culture of India

Pakistan’s Urban Metamorphosis

It’s surprising to many that the majority of Pakistanis support the Islamists and their apologists as the saviors of their religion. But this didn’t happen overnight. The mindset of the large segment of society didn’t change with a blink of an eye.

No serious attempt has been made to analyse this phenomenon even though the . . . → Read More: Pakistan’s Urban Metamorphosis

‘Jinnah’s Pakistan’ is not dead

In recent weeks, several commentators have dwelt upon the amorphous notion of ‘Jinnah’s Pakistan’, challenging its notional contours and exposing its overt ideological underpinnings. Whilst such a debate is healthy in a democratic society, it becomes a worrying sign in a deeply polarised polity such as Pakistan. Jinnah’s Pakistan was no consensus project: It had . . . → Read More: ‘Jinnah’s Pakistan’ is not dead

Liberals then, and liberals now

The lack of pluralism within our society is emblematic of our intolerance in general. I hate to be cynical, but it has always been this way and I fear that it shall remain so.

There has been talk on these pages of a ‘liberal movement’ or ‘liberal activism’ as well as ‘liberal fascists/ liberal extremists’. . . . → Read More: Liberals then, and liberals now

Who’s afraid of Mumtaz Qadri?

I am suffering from writer’s fatigue, despite not producing a column this year. Largely because I have been tweeting up a storm with like-minded Pakistanis, outraged by the sickening apotheosis of Mumtaz Qadri, a coward who shot an unarmed man in the back and walked away a celebrity.

. . . → Read More: Who’s afraid of Mumtaz Qadri?