By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
“PISS CHRIST,” a famous photograph partly financed by taxpayers, depicted a crucifix immersed in what the artist said was his own urine. But conservative Christians did not riot on the Washington Mall.
“The Book of Mormon,” a huge hit on Broadway, mocks the church’s beliefs as hocus-pocus. But Mormons haven’t burned down any theaters.
So why do parts of the Islamic world erupt in violence over insults to the Prophet Muhammad?
Let me try to address that indelicate question, and a related one: Should we curb the freedom to insult religions that are twitchy?
First, a few caveats. For starters, television images can magnify (and empower) crazies. In Libya, the few jihadis who killed Ambassador Chris Stevens were vastly outnumbered by the throngs of Libyan mourners who apologized afterward.
Remember also that it’s not just Muslims who periodically go berserk, but everybody — particularly in societies with large numbers of poorly educated young men. Upheavals are often more about demography than about religion: the best predictor of civil conflict is the share of a population that is aged 15 to 24. In the 19th century, when the United States brimmed with poorly educated young men, Protestants rioted against Catholics.
For much of the postwar period, it was the secular nationalists in the Middle East who were seen as the extremists, while Islam was seen as a calming influence. That’s why Israel helped nurture Hamas in Gaza.
That said, for a self-described “religion of peace,” Islam does claim a lot of lives.
In conservative Muslim countries, sensitivities sometimes seem ludicrous. I once covered a Pakistani college teacher who was imprisoned and threatened with execution for speculating that the Prophet Muhammad’s parents weren’t Muslims. (They couldn’t have been, since Islam began with him.)
Quotes from Holy Quran
Respect of other civilizations and beliefs;
“O ye who believe! Let not any nation laugh at another nation: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former) – (Quran 49:11)
“….take not life which Allah has made sacred” (Quran, chapter 6, verse 151)
“Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and transgression” – Quran 5:2
Quotes from Bhagavad Gita
“There is neither this world nor the world beyond nor happiness for the one who doubts.” – Bhagavad Gita
Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.” – Bhagavad Gita
Source – internet
Land of bigots
By Tazeen Javed
It has been a year since Shahbaz Bhatti passed away. No, strike that, he did not pass away; his life was brutally cut short when he was murdered. Everyone from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to the Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan have been suspected with his murder, either by the police officials, or by the home ministry, yet no decent progress has been made.
In a way, it all makes sense, since only certain kinds of angry groups of men, who bay for blood and destruction, seem to carry any weight around here. Bhatti was NOT that kind of a man. He believed in fighting for rights the democratic way and had planned to introduce legislation that would ban hate speech and hate literature against all. He was campaigning for official holidays for minorities’ religious festivals and wanted the blasphemy law to be repealed which turned out to be a crime worthy of death.
Bhatti’s death is not a lone incidence of brutal violence. Planned acts of aggression and cruelty against minorities — whether ethnic, religious, sectarian or communal — is becoming a norm in the ‘Land of the Pure’. Intolerance has reached such levels that people with names that revealed their sectarian or religious beliefs are afraid to use them when they feel unsafe. Slain journalist, Mukarram Khan Atif narrated one such incident, which depicted the extent of narrow-mindedness and fanaticism in the country. He and another reporter were travelling south from Mohmand Agency through Khyber Agency and one of them had to use a name that would make him pass off as a member of the majority sect.
The minority communities — no matter who they are and where they are living — are constantly under threat. We have cases of forced conversions of Hindu girls, mostly minors in Sindh who are forcefully abducted and married to Muslim men and then presented to the court as religious converts. According to a treasury member of the Sindh Assembly, around 20 to 25 forced conversions take place every month in the province.
Acts of mob violence against Ahmadis seem to be rising at an alarming rate. The situation is such that any Ahmadi family is at risk of being threatened with the blasphemy law. Their places of worship are gunned and/or ransacked and the law-enforcement community and the state does nothing and silently looks on.
The perpetrators of the Gojra incident, where a whole Christian colony was burnt down, still roam free and the Hazaras in Balochistan are regularly targeted for their sectarian and ethnic identity. Also, nothing is done to check the dissemination of hate literature, some of which can be found even in mainstream bookstores. Last week’s tragic shooting of passengers travelling on a bus to Gilgit on the Karakoram Highway, where people were asked to show their CNICs and then taken off and killed — all of them were Shia — shows that we have reached an even higher level of prejudice and bigotry.
It would not be wrong to say that intolerance rules our society and no one is safe here in this country other than the men who perpetuate bias, bigotry and hatred?
Courtesy: The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2012.
We urge you to intervene and stop the killing of Pakistan’s religious communities, including Sunni (Barelvi), Shia (including Hazara) and Ahmedi communities that are facing a virtual genocide simply for following their religious beliefs and practices.
You are no doubt familiar with Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s speech to the Constituent Assembly on Aug 11, 1947, in which he said: “You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed –that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”
The recent attacks on the 12 Rabiul Awal processions in various cities around Pakistan (including Gujranwala, Mansehra, Gojar Khan, Mirpur, Khairpur, Mustang and Karachi) are evidence of the menace of bigotry and intolerance. The government must act with all of its might to put a stop to this. It needs to be done NOW.
The evil lurks in the belly of the so-called Diffa-e-Pakistan Council, a coalition comprising several ‘religious parties’ including some banned organsiations whose views dont resonate with the majority but are able to use their armed status and street power to attack others with impunity. The activities of this coalition need to be curtailed before it becomes the Destroy Pakistan Council. ….
Read more » CHANGE
Cathars and Cathar Beliefs in the Languedoc
Afrikaans Kathaar, Catalan càtar, Czech Albigenstí, German Katharer, Eesti Katarid, Spanish Catarismo, Esperanto Katarismo, French Cathares, Italian Catari, Dutch Katharen, Norwegian Katarer, Polish Katarzy, Portuguese Catarismo, Slovenian Albigénstvo, Finnish Kataarit, Swedish Katarer.
The Cathars were a religious group who appeared in Europe in the eleventh century, their origins something of a mystery though there is reason to believe their ideas came from Persia by way of the Byzantine Empire, the Balkans and Northern Italy. Records from the Roman Catholic Church mention them under various names and in various places. Catholic theologians debated with themselves for centuries whether Cathars were Christian heretics or whether they were not Christians at all. The question is apparently still open. Roman Catholics still refer to Cathar belief as “the Great Heresy” though the official Catholic position is that Catharism is not Christian at all. ….
Read more » http://www.cathar.info/
“In January 1948—about four months after the creation of Pakistan—the federal government of Pakistan sponsored pogroms by refugees against Hindu Sindhis in Karachi, then the shared capital of Sindh and Pakistan. The pogroms resulted in the massacre of over 1200 Sindhis. When the Sindh government attempted to restore public order and return looted property, Pakistan removed the duly elected Sindh government from office. Today, exiled Hindu Sindhis are denied the Right of Return.”
“Of the approximately 30 million Sindhis living in Sindh today, approximately 3 million are Hindus and suffer particularly under Pakistan’s oppressive laws and dis-criminatory practices. Pakistan imposes the death penalty for blasphemy or apostasy.”
“With the connivance of the Pakistani authori-ties, tens of thousands of Sindhis, including a disproportionately large number of Hindu and Christian Sindhis, are held in virtual slavery as bonded laborers.”
“The last census systematically undercounted the number of Sindhis. The census forms in Sindhi were simply printed in insufficient quantities so data could not be collected in many remote villages. In addition, Hindu Sindhis were intimidated by Pakistani authorities who ac-companied the census takers in Sindh.”
“The Pakistani government has designated homes and businesses of Hindu Sindhis in this area as ‘Enemy Evacuee Property’ and seized the legal deeds to their properties.”
“Religious Studies has been made a compulsory subject for Muslims in all government and private schools. The officially mandated textbooks preach a fundamentalist and militant ideology, contravening the indigenous universalist Sufi beliefs of the Sindhis.”
“Pakistan controls all public and private advertising in newspapers through a government body called the Pakistan Information Board. In 2003, the government ordered a cut in Sindhi newspapers’ advertisement ‘quota’ by an additional 50%. Although Sindhi speakers account for about 20% of Pakistan’s population, Sindhi newspapers now receive less than 1% of the total advertising revenue.”
“In 1999, the largest circulation Sindhi monthly magazine Subhu Theendo (‘A New Day will Dawn’) was banned for spreading disaffection against the ‘ideology of Pakistan.’ The magazine focused on sustainable development and environmental protection.”
“A majority of the officials and government employees appointed in Sindh do not speak the Sindhi language. Pakistan refuses to allow the use of Sindhi in University entrance examinations or in job interviews for government employees in Sindh, and severely limits radio and television broadcasts in the language.”
“Pakistan has built several mega-dams and barrages up-stream that have impeded the flow of the Indus (Sindhu) River and its tributaries to Sindh. As a consequence, the floodplains that fed Sindh’s forests are gone, resulting in massive deforestation: less than 20% of the original 600,000 acres of forest land is now being regenerated. ”
“Water no longer flows to the sea; as a consequence, the mangrove forests have experienced a 90% decline—from 2400 square kilometers to 200 square kilometers. With-out protection from the mangrove forests, seawater has encroached—inundating 1.2 million acres of agricultural land and uprooting residents of 159 villages. The once plentiful seafood catch has been drastically reduced. The net result is that throughout Sindh, poverty levels, malnutrition and disease now match those in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
“The Sindhi national poet, Shaikh Ayaz (d. 1999) was charged with treason—a crime punishable by death—for advocating peace with India.”
Courtesy » Sonething fishy’s going on
Islam, like all other religions is a moral and spiritual faith and has nothing to do with science or other similar areas of inquiry. Religion could be no more than a set of beliefs and ethical injunctions. Social institutions, scholars and the state must not join hands in mythologizing it. By mythologizing Islam, its associated personalities try mythologizing themselves.
Psychological disorders are not necessarily individual. At times their symptoms appear in a collective as well and are equally disastrous. A sizeable proportion of Pakistani Muslims are afflicted with a number of irrationalities and absurdities they are made to believe through clerics’ mania and Islamization of the society in general. ….
Read more: → ViewPoint
…. Primarily, religious education must be transformed. Religion taught civilisation but, unfortunately, religious beliefs ended up as being the single factor of rift and division among mankind. Its misinterpretation has created fanaticism and intolerance, lethal for coexistence. The Muslim youth has been brainwashed to do away with the present life, treat it as worthless and instead prepare for life in the hereafter. The easy shortcut to paradise is jihad and becoming a martyr with a guaranteed passport to heaven. This kind of indoctrination should be banned and the state should ensure modern education to such groups.
Secondly, there seems to be a dire need for ijtihad (religious discourse and debate), on many Quranic ayaat (verses) and ahadith (sayings of the Prophet (PBUH)) prone to misinterpretation. The clergy has been selective while interpreting a few ayaat and ahadith in the background of time and space but ignoring the parameters of others. They allow Muslim males to marry Christian or Jewish females as being ahl-e-kitab (followers of the divine books). Simultaneously, they emphasise that yahood-o-nasara (Jews and Christians) are the archenemies of Islam. They do not consider the time and space of such sayings. They do not press the Prophet’s (PBUH) teachings such as “Lakum deenukum waliya deen” (unto you is your religion and unto me is my religion). A political will can reverse this process, as whenever the state planned and took the clergy onboard, they came out with the required ayaat and ahadith to serve the collective purpose — population and drug controls are good examples.
Third, the electronic media must be regulated to filter out hate speech and indoctrination through provocation. The Hamid Gul brand of think tanks should be advised to retire for good. They should go for perpetual prayers to prepare for the life hereafter. Fourth, the defence forces should be purged of alleged disgruntled individuals, and they should be respectfully retired to civilian life, away from sensitive strategic decision-making. Fifth, those who believe in peace and coexistence should not be blamed as being enemy agents and, instead, should be taken onboard in decision-making. Sixth, the perpetual fallacy that Pakistan is in danger from external enemies must be shunned. We need to repair our home. Dangers lie within, not outside. Prolonged issues and conflicts with religious and ethnic minorities must be addressed with a mindful strategy. Lastly, we need to unlearn our sense of superiority and learn to live and let live in peace with all countries including Afghanistan, Iran, the US, India and even Israel. Otherwise, we are bound to be either isolated and in trouble from vengeful forces or land in the morass of self-pity for good.
Read more : Daily Times
CHETTI CHAND, SINDHI NEW YEAR!
It is a time of Sindhi New Year again when many of us to stop to take time out from our busy life and join in Chetti Chand celebrations. As we reunite with family and friends to honour the traditions of Chetti Chand and the memories, let’s: Remember the diversity of our Sufi secular values and beliefs at the time of Chetti Chand celebration. Let’s pledge to change the world to one that shares opportunities with everyone through fairness and justice. Let’s dare to create the peaceful world we want. Let’s make the world around us practice, access, equality and inclusion for all. This is just a small message of Sindhyat, peace, love, happiness and hope of Chetti Chand. Sindhi Nain Saal Joon Mubarkun/ Wadhayoon and Jai Jhulelal to those who want to make Sindhi Boli ain Sahit Sabha an inclusive reality of our World.
By Dr. Shabbir Ahmed
Dictionaries define blasphemy as: In simple terms it means insulting someone or something considered sacred or inviolable by a community or group of people.
These days, Pakistan is gripped by the hysteria of blasphemy, particularly about insulting the exalted Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) or the Holy Qur’an. This situation is fast creating a national divide which spreads hatred against each other based upon what they believe and others believe. Every sect then considers itself right and all others wrong. The divergent beliefs thrust them to a massive enmity to the extent of absolute intolerance. The fanatics among the religious people have no hesitation in killing their opponents. Pakistan could possibly be heading towards a civil war. …
Sharia Laws — Heavy Deception With Abusive Divinity
The dogmas of Fatwa and Sharia Laws still dominate million of Muslim lives
by Mesbah Uddin
No doubt, early Islam possessed many fine and noble attributes. But Islam couldn’t have swept Arabia and its adjacent lands so fabulously if Sharia Laws and Fatwa had been the models of Islamic edicts at that time.
It is an irony to iron-out the deep wrinkles of Islam, we know today. Corrupted beliefs are too profoundly ingrained in Islam. The dogmas of Fatwa and Sharia Laws still dominate million of Muslim lives and the vulnerable ones get succumb to Fatwa’s claws.
A year before his death and before the Koran was compiled, Prophet Muhammad made his last pilgrimage from Medina to Mecca. There He made a great sermon to his people. The sermon breathed a spirit of generosity. The Muslims created a society more free from widespread cruelty and social oppression than any society had ever been in the world before.
But that was then – the prophetic Islam. Today, Islam encompasses numerous fragments, interpretations and the dreadful echoes of Sharia Laws. The Sharia Laws are much heavier on one side. It is the side that is not the Koran but the Hadith. It might surprize the readers that “stoning to death” cannot be traced anywhere in the Koran, but it is profusely enshrined in the pages of the Hadith. Obviously the Hadith narrators borrowed it from a famous story in the Christian Bible – the New Testament, and passed it in the name of Prophet Muhammad.
The story (John: 8) tells us that some Jewish crowd brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand before Jesus, and then said to him: “Now, master, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. According to the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women to death. Now, what do you say about it?’ After they persisted in their questioning, Jesus finally straightened up and said simply, “Let the one among you who has never sinned throw the first stone at her.” …
Read more : Bangladesh-web
By Feisal Naqvi
The interesting thing about the internet is that it is as great a force-multiplier for ignorance as for knowledge. Take, for example, the Reko Diq project. The average Pakistani newsreader is convinced that (a) the Federal Government is an evil stooge of western interests; (b) the people of Balochistan are being ripped off yet again; and, (c) it is now up to the Supreme Court to save us. All three beliefs are completely wrong. Here are some facts about the Reko Diq project.
Read more : Pakistan Today
The conference on South Asia was organized by International Center for Peace & Democracy (ICFPD) in collaboration with Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada). The conference took place at Hotel Radisson Toronto, Canada on December 11, 2010.
SOUTH ASIAN PERSPETIVE ON REGIONAL STABILITY THE ROLE OF THE STATE: DEMOCRACY, DICTATORSHIP, AND EXTREMISM
Following is the speech delivered by Dr. Zafar Baloch, president of Baloch Human Rights council (Canada) in the conference.
Sindh volunteered to be the part of Pakistan and the Sindh Assembly took the first initiative to pass a resolution in favour of Pakistan. The incoming ruling elite of newly established Pakistan behaved contrary to the commitments and instead deprived the province of the privileges enjoyed even before independence
Sindh is celebrating culture days on December 4 and 5, 2010 to revitalise and revamp the Sindhi cultural symbols and way of life presumed to be under threat from the so-called external encroachment and the risk of extinction.
According to anthropologists, culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.
Sindh and the Sindhi language have a rich cultural heritage and have acquired many symbols from other cultures, eastern and western simultaneously, without compromising their basic formation. Historically, the Sindhi language was among the few recognised official languages in undivided India under British rule. The Sindhi vernacular has rich expressional potential catering to all aspects of socio-economic and administration systems, has written and oral capacity, symbols and phonics about all tangible and intangible things, emotions, feelings, norms, has a versatile and comprehensive vocabulary with many words for the same items in varying degrees and having multiple meanings for the same words.
The content and quality of the dialect, according to Tariq Rehman, impressed the British government. The Bombay government adopted Sindhi as the official language at the local level and in September 1851 made it mandatory for British officials to pass a Sindhi language exam as a prerequisite to qualify for a job in the administrative system of Sindh. The administration also took supportive steps to modify, simplify and enhance the Sindhi language by redesigning Sindhi letters into Arabic letters and increased the number of alphabets to 52 to cover all the sounds.
Tariq Rehman also provides that Sindhi remained a major language of basic schooling in the province. Sindhi intellectuals, researchers and critics argue that though Sindh volunteered to be a part of Pakistan and the Sindh Assembly took the first initiative to pass a resolution in favour of Pakistan, the incoming ruling elite of newly established Pakistan behaved contrary to the commitments and instead deprived the province of the privileges enjoyed even before independence.
In such a backdrop since partition, Sindhi culture has been on the defensive. Sindhi nationalists observe that since independence the state has been imposing Mughal and Arabic culture in the name of a single Pakistani identity at the cost of other cultures. ….
Read more : Daily Times
by: B. R. Gowani
The ruling class creates beliefs
Through absolute lies, Even though it may later accept, That it manufactured the beliefs, Or the fact may present itself
through investigative reports, Nevertheless, the hard core devotees hold on to their beliefs: Saddam was linked to al qaeda
The government health care plan offers NO CHOICE, that is, only the merchants of death (the private health insurance companies), offer choice and can take care of your health …
Capitalism is the only solution (despite the trillions of dollar bailout)
All Muslims are terrorists
A recent poll shows the majority believes that the dropping of atomic bombs in 1945 on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the right thing to do.
B. R. Gowani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
DAWN Editorial says Religious Sectarianism is Eating away Pakistan’s Foundations
By Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia
The hard-hitting editorial in today’s DAWN newspaper points out how religious sectarianism is degenerating Pakistani society. So much so, that few dare to question large religious groups who have or in in the process of imposing their values on smaller groups. Even the famous and otherwise known as courageous icons of the society stand meekly and shy away from criticizing larger militant groups.
Should we or could we resist the elements that are hijacking Pakistani society and imposing their beliefs forcibly?
The birth of excellence begins with the awareness that our beliefs are a choice. -Anthony Robbins