Tag Archives: age

Past present: Why Sufism? By Mubarak Ali

To counter the emergence of fundamentalism in Pakistan, the ruling classes as well as intellectuals are advocating the revival of sufism. However, it is evident that ideas and the system cannot be revived because fundamentalism is a product of a certain time and space and fulfills the needs of that age.

Secondly, the very idea of revivalism indicates intellectual bankruptcy and lethargy of our intellectuals who are either not ready or do not have the capacity to understand the very phenomenon of religious extremism and its advent as a result of social, economic and political changes in society. A number of myths are associated with sufis. One of the arguments being that they converted non-Muslims and are responsible for the spread of Islam through the subcontinent. To portray them as missionaries discredits them as an impartial community. To convert someone means that they initially did not believe in the truthfulness of other religions. If this view is correct, it does not explain how they could create goodwill among people belonging to different religions.

Continue reading Past present: Why Sufism? By Mubarak Ali

“Just so you do not have thoughts…” – by Shazia Nawaz

We all know that burqa does not have its roots in religion. Religion only asks women to dress modestly. Where did the burqa or veil come from then? Why do so many women in the world cover their faces?

Burqa is a mobile jail invented by men to hide the women they love. If love was involved, I would accept it. That makes the jail a little more acceptable in a twisted kind of way.

But then what kind of man will keep a person he loves in a jail?

So then, Burqa is more a jail to keep in the women they “own”.

Brain washing starts very early. At a very young age, you are told that you have to hide yourself from men. It is ‘piety’ to hide your face. You are also taught to fear men. From a very young age, you are told that men are dangerous and should not be trusted. Only your father and brother are the ones you can trust. As someone put it very eloquently the other day, ‘In Pakistan, women are told that men are wolves and women are sheep.’ and due to this teaching , most men do indeed start acting like wolves and women as sheep.

Our men say that women should cover up, so we would not have ‘thoughts’ about them. Thoughts of harming women and thoughts of raping them. So, they want to put me in a mobile jail just so their mind would stay clean?! What a twisted logic!

But then does it really stop their ‘thoughts’? In the real world, they do not care if you are in a burqa, they will harass you. Covering my face never protected me from street harassment.

In a smaller city in Pakistan, always either my father or brother had to accompany us on the streets, or in spite of all the layers of clothes on us, men would yell taunts, follow, and even try to rub against us when were passing by. Due to this very reason, women can not leave houses alone, and always have to have a male of the house with them. Men have to protect their women from each other in Pakistan and in all muslim countries.

When we moved to a bigger city, Lahore, and got rid of the big chador, sexual harassment, believe it or not, was less. Men around us there were used to women who walked around with out covering their heads and faces. Men were more educated and their own sisters and mothers had more freedom too.

Coming to USA and experiencing the behavior of their men on the streets was an amazing experience. I can walk around wearing whatever I want. No one dares to harass me. That told me that it is not the burqa that keeps the dangerous men away, it is the mindset of a society and it is the implementation of the laws that keep women safe in any country.

My first experience of the cool breeze touching my skin on a beautiful beach in Hawaii was wonderful . Men rob women of their basic right of enjoying the nice weather by putting them in a tent called burqa. It is dark in there and it is hot in there. Just because you do not have ‘thoughts’ about me, I should be suffocated?!

Doctors consider ‘thoughts’ a God made healthy phenomenon. Acting on your thoughts without other person’s consent would put you in a jail for 10-20 years in any civilized country.

It is difficult to understand for a man of an oppressed society that in a free world men indeed learn to control their ‘thoughts’ and do not blame women for it. …

Read more : Let Us Build Pakistan

Urdu Enters the Digital Age

Computer scientists at the University at Buffalo and at Janya Inc. have developed the first software system that will allow for computational processing of documents in Urdu, Pakistan’s national language and one of the world’s five most-spoken languages.

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Let’s look into Barrister Jinnah’s degree too!

by Mohammad Nafees

Quaid was grade five student in 1892. In 1893, he joined Lincoln Inn to start his law study. Within one year’s period, his big jump from fifth grade to the post graduate level studies seems impossible achievement. What makes it further mysterious is that he became a Barrister in 1896 at the age of 19.

A mystery surrounds the educational record of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah that makes one wonder as to how this subject remained un-noticeable or unimportant so far to a large number of writers and researchers who, despite their analytical approach and in-depth study on Quaid’s life, never tried to search this area and bring this puzzle together. Stanley Wolpert is considered as a very authentic biographer of Quaid-e-Azam and his book, Jinnah of Pakistan, has a reputation of a very reliable source on the life of this great leader of the sub-continent. Talking on Quaid’s early education, he quotes a sentence from Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah; “Mamad (Mohammad Ali Jinnah) enrolled in the Sindh Madressa on December 23, 1887.” The website of Sindh Madressah carries this note: “Finally, after about four and a half year of his association with the institution, while studying in Standard V [fifth grade], he left Sindh Madressah on 30th January 1892.”

This statement confirms the authenticity of the enrolment date at Sindh Madressa that Stanley Wolpert used in his book. The mystery begins from this point onward. In January 1893 Quaid-e-Azam left for London and joined Lincoln Inn on June 25, 1893 to start his law study. Within one year’s period, his big jump from fifth grade to the post graduate level studies seems like a very surprising and humanly impossible achievement. What makes it further mysterious is that he successfully completed the examination and became a qualified Barrister on 29 April 1896 at the age of 19 years only. …

Read more : ViewPoint