Muslims around the world are gathering for Friday prayers, and in one neighbourhood in the US state of Virginia, the worshippers will enter a building that could hardly be further from a traditional mosque.
At a time when religious differences are sparking conflict in the Middle East and beyond – it is cooperation between two faiths which is allowing this unique programme flourish.
The BBC’s Katty Kay reports on how the Jewish community opened its doors because the area’s mosques could not accommodate all of the growing Muslim population.
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OK. its old hat by now. but here is the Kharian police (town only 15 miles from my village) doing their duty. Patriotic citizens complained that an Ahmedi “worship place” looks like a mosque. No court order was needed (not that it would be difficult to arrange) as the police sprung into action.
According to the SHO, ”Everything was done amicably and peacefully and 80% of the work has been completed.”
Allah o Akbar.
Call it “mosque”. I dare you. I double dare you.
Courtesy: Brown Pundits
Why speak for the Ahmadis?
By Saroop Ijaz
….. there were calls by the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the Jamaat-i-Islami and others for the shutting down of an Ahmadi place of worship (I will be in breach of law if I say ‘mosque’) in Rawalpindi. I do not want to create a false binary here and I am glad that the snooping dame is unemployed now, and commend the people who played their part in bringing that about. Nevertheless, I find it astounding that the happenings in Rawalpindi escaped the notice of our liberal ‘intelligentsia’ almost completely, at least in mainstream public discourse; hence furnishing a near identical example of partially what the television anchor was guilty of. The alternate explanation is grimmer, that being that it was not for failure to notice, but rather fear. ….
Read more » The Express Tribune
Pakistani authorities must do more to protect the Ahmaddiya community, Amnesty International said today amid threats from religious groups to block Ahmadis from entering their place of worship in Rawalpindi on Friday.
An Ahmadi spokesperson yesterday said local religious groups have warned they will not allow Ahmadis to carry out religious activities this Friday, local media reported. ….
Read more » Amnesty International
Visualizing Violence Against Indian Women
(Via SepiaMutiny Newsfeed): A Malayali civil engineer and former software developer, Shemeer Padinzjharedil, came to a conclusion that many BPs have already done through deduction: India is likely a dangerous place for women relative to the Western world. Inspired to debunk the results of a Thompson-Reuters poll of gender ‘experts’ perception of danger to women, where three of the five worst offenders were south asian countries, Shemeer thought the reported statistics would paint a different picture. Given the survey combined questions about statistics with reporting bias problems (sexual assault, trafficking, non-sexual assault) and factors (cultural and religious) for which one could combine statistics about which I would be more comfortable citing (maternal mortality, female literacy and other health stats), he faced a difficult task. Given that the solid numbers are unambiguous, Shemeer decided against deconstructing this picture and sought, instead, to flesh it out with self-reporting by building a site where anyone can report violence: www.maps4aid.com The site is in it’s infancy but you can already see some trends: centers of population and urbanized areas report the most violence regardless of the category. A second site, blogs4aid, has handy bar graph breaking it out by state. For 2010 you may find a few surprises:
Read more » Brown Pundits
Is a Pakistani Christian equal to a fellow Muslim?
“A young Pakistani student belonging to the Christian faith has posed an interesting question through a petition in the Lahore High Court. The question is: Am I, a Pakistani Christian equal to a fellow citizen who is a Muslim ? For those of the readers who missed the news item reported by an English daily, this young student belongs to a low income group, is a practicing Christian and extremely bright. She has been competing to get into the King Edwards Medical College but was beaten on the list by 20 marks by a Muslim student who got the extra 20 marks for being Hafiz–e-Quran. So, now this young Christian girl has filed a plea in the Lahore Court declaring that she and the Muslim student had equal marks but the latter got the advantage of religion. The young Christian student claims that “this is discrimination against religious minority students and a violation of fundamental rights granted by the Constitution of Pakistan.” The petition admitted by the Lahore High Court demands that either the LHC should rule to abolish the policy or should declare that a parallel policy should be made to award twenty additional marks to religious minority students on the basis of their religious knowledge. Fifty eight years after the creation of the country to ask such a question through the courts is both tragic and hopeful”.
Constitution of Pakistan, Part II, Chapter -1, Fundamental Rights, Article 22 says:-
(1) No person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction, or take part in any religious ceremony, or attend religious worship, if such instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own.
(2) In respect of any religious institution, there shall be no discrimination against any community in the granting of exemption or concession in relation to taxation.
(3) Subject to law: (a) no religious community or denomination shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for pupils of that community or denomination in any educational institution maintained wholly by that community or denomination; and
(b) no citizen shall be denied admission to any educational institution receiving aid from public revenues on the ground only of race, religion, caste or place of birth.
(4) Nothing in this Article shall prevent any public authority from making provision for the advancement of any socially or educationally backward class of citizens.
Read more » Pak Tribune
Success and failure
By S. Akbar Zaidi
THE country which was considered to be a basket case in 1971, is today offering a mirror to others on how developing countries can become a development state and is being referred to as the `development surprise` of the 21st century.
At the same time, it has also ensured that democracy is developing as a strong and permanent alternative to military rule, under which it has had many years of painful repression.
That this overwhelmingly Muslim country is also constitutionally and increasingly in practice politically secular is also a lesson for other Muslim majoritarian countries to emulate. The Supreme Court struck down a 31-year-old constitutional amendment and restored the country to its founding status as a secular republic, banning the writings of some radical Islamic ideologues.
The country which in the mid-1960s was heralded as a role model for other developing countries, where the international press had praised its military-led development model no end, stating that it might just reach the levels of development achieved only by the United States, has just appeared as the world`s 10th most failed, or failing, state. On the course towards reaching this rather ignominious distinction, this country has also been called “the most dangerous place in the world”, and a “rogue state with a nuclear arsenal”.
Read more : DAWN
A place to call home
Pakistani-born immigrant credits Canada for helping him explore his identity
by Tayyab Rashid
When I came to North America some 15 years ago, I thought that most of us are migratory beings, or some part of our constitution is. Living in Canada has changed or perhaps expanded my thinking — we are also sedentary souls. …
Read more : via – Siasat.pk – Canadianimmigrant.ca
By C. J. CHIVERS
MOSCOW, Oct. 4 – For eight decades he has been lying in state on public display, a cadaver in a succession of dark suits, encased in a glass box beside a walkway in the basement of his granite mausoleum. Many who revere him say he is at peace, the leader in repose beneath the lights. Others think he just looks macabre.
Time has been unkind to Lenin, whose remains here in Red Square are said to sprout occasional fungi, and whose ideology and party long ago fell to ruins. Now the inevitable question has returned. Should his body be moved?
Revisiting a proposal that thwarted Boris N. Yeltsin, who faced down tanks but in his time as president could not persuade Russians to remove the Soviet Union’s founder from his place of honor, a senior aide to President Vladimir V. Putin raised the matter last week, saying it was time to bury the man. …
Read more : The New York Times
IDPs and the problem with graveyards —Farhat Taj
Relatives of a passed away IDP carry his or her dead body from place to place in search of kind people who will allow the body to be buried in their graveyard. Many people are burying dead bodies in other people’s graveyards for a certain duration of time, with the promise to remove the remains after that time …
Read more : Daily Times
Tales from the thinktank
A brilliant analysis of Pakistan incorporates past and present politics, says Mohammed Hanif
• Mohammed Hanif
• The Guardian,
• Saturday October 11 2008
In the introduction to his third book on Pakistan, Tariq Ali quotes a friend who asked if it wasn’t reckless to start a book about the country when the dice were still in the air. Ali’s reply: he would never have been able to write anything about Pakistan if he had waited for the dice to fall. Ali has had an uncanny record of foreseeing the way things are going. In his 1969 book Pakistan: Military Rule or People’s Power he foretold the imminent break-up of Pakistan, a shocking prediction at the time which came true within two years. In the 80s, Can Pakistan Survive? caused outrage within the Pakistani establishment, but two decades later, on the cover of every current affairs magazine and in every TV talk show, not only is Pakistan being branded the most dangerous place on earth but it has even been suggested that the world’s end is being planned there.