Haqqani vision of a tolerant nation integrated into the world community aligns with Pakistani and US interests
By Farahnaz Ispahani
As US-Pakistani relations plunge to new depths, Americans need to look beyond media reports on tactical issues such as aid and counterterrorism. The direction Pakistan takes will be of great strategic significance to the world.
The manner in which my husband, former Pakistani ambassador Hussain Haqqani, is being treated in our homeland reflects the shrinking political space ….
Read more » gulfnews.com
Countering Extremism in Pakistan: Need of Political Approach
By Jamil Junejo
ESCALATING sectarian and religious violence has made a disquieting situation for religious minorities in particular and other vulnerable sections of society in general in the country. In just less than a year, a number of such cases from murders of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer and Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti and mishandling of a 10-year-old Christian girl for her alleged misspelling of a word, the Sept 19 massacre of 26 Hazara Shia in Mastung to expulsion of Ahmedi students from a university in Punjab and scores of other such incidents have put the social, religious and sectarian harmony at peril.
By Tarek Fatah
Today, millions of Sikhs and their friends around the world are celebrating Gurpurab, but few outside India know the significance of this day or its history. It’s the 543rd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith and one of the greatest symbols of pluralism and tolerance in the world.
The 5,000-year old Indian civilization, born on the banks of the Indus [Sindhu/ Sindh] and nurtured …
Read more » The Huffington Post
Combat Jihad By Destroying Its Conceptual Roots
by Farzana Hassan
Osama Bin Laden’s lethal legacy continues into the second decade of the 9/11 attacks. Like a hydra, terrorist cells sprout in various corners of the world, promoting their hate-filled agenda and its deadly consequences for unsuspecting victims. The strategies of the terrorists have changed considerably, but their goal remains the same—to replace pluralism, democracy, and peaceful coexistence — with intolerance, demagoguery and violence. …
Read more » propagandistmag
by Waseem Altaf
As for Muslims, they were to associate themselves with the Arabian Peninsula and not the subcontinent, with Mohammad Bin Qasim and not Raja Dahir, with Mecca and Medina and not Moenjodaro and Harappa. The relationship with the soil and the soul of the subcontinent was buried forever.
Although the Two-Nation theory did suit the interests of some, it was a total negation of the concept of pluralism and mutual coexistence. …
Read more → ViewPoint
From San Francisco to Sarajevo – by Michael J. Totten
Stephen Schwartz was raised a communist in the San Francisco Bay Area and once worked for the Cubans. Then he became a Republican and converted to Islam in the Balkans. When he’s not busy with his duties as the director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, he writes books and articles for magazines like The Weekly Standard.
His analysis of the Middle East and the Muslim world generally is more fresh and interesting than that of most. He is the first Westerner to use the word “Islamofascism” to describe the “use of the faith of Islam as a cover for totalitarian ideology,” and he did so not as an “Islamophobe” but as a Muslim believer. Those who yearn to hear from moderate Muslims, and those who have somehow convinced themselves that the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood are the moderates, really need to hear what he has to say.
MJT: So, what are your thoughts on Egypt?
Stephen Schwartz: Well, during the first two weeks most of the usual chatterers had no chattering to do. Everybody was stunned. Nobody had an answer. A lot of what should have been said was considered politically incorrect. Nobody for the first two weeks wanted to say there weren’t just two alternatives in Egypt, Mubarak or the Brotherhood. There were three alternatives—Mubarak, the Brotherhood, and the army which really rules Egypt.
Egypt has been controlled by the army since 1952. In certain kinds of countries the military takes over because it’s the only stable force. But in other countries the army is more ideological. Some of the armies in these latter countries develop a political ideology that I and a few other people have called the concept of the “army-party,” meaning the army acts as though it were a political party. It’s not simply a matter of a military dictatorship or a regime based on a militaristic or fascist party, and it’s not always necessarily an ideological phenomenon, but the army acts as a political party. It acts as a political force, and it acts as a political arbiter.
MJT: Like in Turkey, for instance.
Stephen Schwartz: Turkey is an example. There are lots of examples in Latin America. Argentina was an example. Algeria and Egypt are examples.
MJT: And Pakistan.
Stephen Schwartz: Yes, and Pakistan. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Egypt has an army-party.
MJT: It does.
Stephen Schwartz: So it’s not a question of Mubarak or the Brotherhood. The army will not, I think, permit the Brotherhood to take power, but the army will shuffle things in some ways. There may not be much of a change at all. When Mubarak said he wouldn’t run in the next election, well, the election is seven months away. How do we know there will be an election?
I’m for democracy throughout the world. I want bourgeois democracy everywhere. I’m an activist for it, but I’m also cautious about euphoria. I think a lot of people have been swept away by hope in the Egyptian case. They think this is the beginning of the great Arab transformation, but they don’t notice that there are few political alternatives in Egypt. There’s no labor-based party. There’s no bourgeois party. There are no parties representing particular social and economic interests.
The most important point, in my view, is that Iran and Saudi Arabia are two countries where democratization, or, at least, popular sovereignty, means leaving Islamist ideology behind. The problem with Egypt is that democratization, to a certain extent, represents a leap into the void. The Egyptians haven’t yet learned about Islamist ideology, through experience, what the Saudis and especially the Iranians have learned. We don’t want them to have to learn it.
MJT: But how are they going to learn it without learning it?
Stephen Schwartz: They can learn it by looking at the experiences of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan. They don’t have to suffer it in their flesh. People in the West rejected Communism without having to live under it, thank God.
The other problem is that the weight of corruption and despotism in Egypt is so heavy and has persisted for so long. I often compare Egypt with China in this sense.
Democracy in Iran could lead to social reform in Saudi Arabia and a stiffening of the resistance to radicalism in Pakistan. It could conceivably change the whole Muslim world.
MJT: The Arab world doesn’t look up to Iran or Pakistan.
Stephen Schwartz: No.
MJT: Arabs do look up to Egypt, though, and in different ways to Saudi Arabia.
Stephen Schwartz: If Iran becomes democratic, if the Iranians overthrow the clerical state as we should all hope and pray for every day, there will be a tremendous impact in Saudi Arabia.
MJT: You think?
Stephen Schwartz: Absolutely.
MJT: What kind of impact would you expect?
Stephen Schwartz: If Iranians overthrow the clerical state and put Islamist ideology behind them, they can move quickly along the path of democracy and stability. Iranians are very well educated, very sophisticated.
MJT: The Saudis don’t seem to be so educated and sophisticated about democracy. ….
by Jamil Hussain Junejo
Peace has been remaining most desired and higher value of human society throughout the Human history. All the humanist Religious leaders, philosophers, writers, Artists have been laboriously striving hard for establishing societies where the value of peace reigns supreme. Peace holds such high esteem and concern because it is prerequisite for establishing developed and advanced societies aswel states which could be marked with social and economic justice, equality, freedom and rule of law.