Tag Archives: Revolution

The Downfall of Political Islam

by Samir Yousif

Finally I would point out that political Islam has failed to provide a political model that can compete with other contemporary political models, such as the Chinese model, Western democracies, or even developing democracies such as India and the other Asian countries. That comes with no surprise, as religion, any religion, keeps itself centuries behind.

The theme of my argument is the following statement: Islam, as a religion, has nothing to offer to economic or political theory. This simple idea has serious consequences. Political Islam, when it runs the country, will ultimately fail. It has no appropriate agenda that provides solutions to real political or economic challenges such as underdevelopment, unemployment, inflation, recession, poverty, just to mention a few.

(I will not touch upon the most significant political-socioeconomic issue which is income inequalities, because Islam accepts a society composed of very rich classes living side by side with very poor classes- examples can be found from history or from today’s Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, and Iran). While some Islamists continue to claim the existence of “Islamic economics,” they have failed in producing anything close to a simple theory of economics.

I believe that the main reason for the downfall of Muslim civilisation was the inherent social crisis: a society composed of few rich surrounded by the poor masses kept going by a strong religion. Social and political revolutions took place several times during the heyday of Muslim civilisation, as happened during the Umayyad Caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate, in Muslim Spain, and the famous Zanj Rebellion during the year 869 in Basra. But historians have ignored such revolutions. Muslim economies have failed throughout history to solve the very basic problem: the wage equation. Unskilled and skilled workers were downgraded to the lowest classes in Muslim societies, and were paid the minimum. History has showed that under Islam the wealth of the country went mainly to the Calipha, feeding his palace, army, the royal family, and to the vested interest that the Calipha has chosen himself. The tax system was mainly imposed on the agricultural sector, what was known as the produce tax (Kharaj).

“Islamic economics” is a term used today to justify the significant income inequalities in such societies and to find religiously- accepted investment opportunities for the rich. …

Read more : http://www.document.no/2011/01/the-downfall-of-political-islam/

You say you want a revolution?

by Nadir Hassan

There are few things as drearily predictable as Pakistani hacks watching revolutions in progress in other countries and wistfully wishing we could have one ourselves. The overthrow of the Tunisian government swiftly followed by the likely removal of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt has provided lovers of facile arguments a bonanza.

Beyond puerile platitudes extolling the virtues of spirited street power and pleading with the masses to storm the capital, no one seems interested in explaining exactly who the revolt should be directed against or even who will be directing it. Unenlightening tirades against the ‘establishment’ do not count as an explanation since they are about as specific as a stoned teenager railing against The Man.

Pakistan right now has a flawed, nascent democratic system in place, one that is incrementally becoming less imperfect and more secure. From the holding of elections that were as free as any have been in the country to the passage of the 18th amendment, we have made undoubted progress after the Musharraf blight. Sure, we are all unhappy at the rapid rise of religious extremism and the government’s cowardice in tackling the blasphemy issue. Endemic corruption and a growing economic crisis please no one. But using that as bait in calling for mass upheaval is extremely childish. Democratisation is better achieved through a slow process of elections, bitter political debates and give-and-take between transient governments and the permanent military.

Read more : DAWN

Possibility of “revolution” in Pakistan?

Ripe for revolution? – By Mahreen Khan

…. Despite a wave of public protests, Egypt is unlikely to emulate Tunisia, due to factors also present in Pakistan. Egypt has a sharp religious divide between Coptics and Muslims as well as numerous Islamic groups pitted against each other. Arab analysts cite low levels of literacy and a general feeling of apathy and defeatism in the population as further reasons that Egypt will continue to fester rather than revolt. Pakistan has these and additional factors which militate against a revolution: deep and multiple ethnic, linguistic, tribal and sectarian fault lines; a paucity of alternative intellectual narratives, radical leaders or strong unions; and an elected government and freedom of speech. Ironically, democratic elections and free speech help perpetuate the corrupt, unjust stranglehold of the feudal-industrial power elite. Revolutionary forces require a moral impetus that illegitimate dictatorship provides but elected government does not. Secondly, frustration needs to simmer under a repressive regime until it reaches the temperature for mass revolt. Pakistan’s free media allows an outlet for public dissatisfaction. The often harsh treatment of politicians and police officials at the hands of journalists and judges ameliorates public anger. Vocal opposition parties, unhindered street protests and strikes allow a regular release of fury, draining the momentum necessary for the emotional surge that revolutionary zeal requires. …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Revolution in Pakistan? Is it possible?

by Aziz Narejo, TX

On the contrary, it is highly likely that if the longstanding ‘national question’ is not solved to the satisfaction of the constituents and the provinces are not accorded the rights as promised in the famous 1940 Lahore Resolution which came to be called ‘Pakistan Resolution’, then there is a real time possibility that the country may soon face disintegration.

One hears about a call for revolution in Pakistan every now and then. Recent uprising in the Middle East and Northern Africa has given an impetus to such sentiments in Pakistan. But is a revolution really possible in a country like Pakistan, which is home to divergent and dissimilar cultures and where people are constantly at loggerheads on different issues?

The question can also be appropriately answered if one knows ‘what’ kind of revolution its proponents want.

It is not easy to call for and build a consensus for a revolution in the countries which are not ‘nation states’ or homogeneous. One should be realistic and very clear on this subject. For all practical purposes, Pakistan is a multi-national country. It is home to different people who have distinct cultures with their own languages and history. Their interests are in conflict with each other and they even have their own heroes. Heroes of some are villains for others. How can such a divergent country stand united to fight for a revolution?

Pakistan received a major setback when at the initial stages, the indigenous people and their languages & cultures were completely ignored and outside culture and language were imposed on the country. Resentment to such move was natural. The undemocratic moves to overthrow provincial governments in the initial days in East Bengal, NWFP (now PK), Sindh and Punjab at the whim of the Central government & forcible annexation of Balochistan were harbingers of what was in store for Pakistan. …

Read more : Indus Herald

Twitter blocked in Egypt amid street protests

By David Kravets

(Wired) — Twitter confirmed Tuesday evening that its microblogging site has been shuttered by Egyptian authorities. This came hours after widespread reports that access had been cut off, as Egyptians took to the streets in what many hope and some fear would be a sequel to the revolution in Tunisia last week.

The day’s speculation that the Mubarak administration might have pulled the plug on Twitter underscored the power of the site and other social networks as tools to both coordinate and disperse news of a citizen uprising. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube were widely used in Tunisia’s recent uprising and in Iran last year. …

Read more : CNN

 

TUNISIA: Revolution shows hollowness of Arab system in face of people power

By – Amr Hamzawy in Beirut

The citizens’ revolution in Tunisia that forced dictator Zine el Abidine ben Ali to flee the country provides many lessons for the Arab world. Regimes should keep the lessons in mind to avoid repeating Tunisia’s experience in their own countries, while citizens can draw inspiration in hopes of effecting democratic change. …

Read more : Los Angeles Times

Literature and Revolution

Leon Trotsky’s Literature and Revolution

“Trotsky was perhaps the greatest representative in history of the Marxist school of literary criticism, which itself incorporated what was most farsighted in the aesthetic criticism produced by the bourgeois-democratic revolutions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.”

This extraordinary work of Marxist literary criticism, first published in 1924, is a further illustration of the author’s multifaceted genius. Leon Trotsky, co-leader of the Russian Revolution and its leading orator, Soviet foreign minister and founder and leader of the Red Army, was also one of the leading Marxist critics of this period.

Trotsky subjects the leading trends in literature and art in the early years of the revolution to criticism that is sharp but never tendentious. He illuminates and develops the Marxist method of historical materialism, rejecting “art for art’s sake” conceptions as well as their apparent opposite, the theories of “proletarian culture” and “proletarian art,” then becoming fashionable in certain left circles. …

Mehring Books is pleased to make Literature and Revolution by Leon Trotsky available to readers of the World Socialist Web Site. Click here to order

MQM killing innocent people says Nawaz Sharif

MUZAFFARABAD: Chief of his own faction of the Pakistan Muslim League, Nawaz Sharif, on Sunday accused the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) of killing innocent people in Karachi.

“MQM killed hundreds of innocent people to avenge the killing of one worker,” he said, while addressing a large gathering of PML-N supporters here at University Ground.

Why were 50 people killed on May 12, 2007 and Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry not allowed to leave the Karachi airport?” the former prime minister asked.

Sharif said that he would bring about a revolution to pull the country out of its present state of instability. He claimed that the Muslim League is the name of a revolution and “I myself am a revolutionary.” …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Legendary heroine of Sindh Jeejee Zareena Baloch

– YouTube Link

For the last four decades Jeejee Zareena has remained a symbol of hope, revolution and struggle in Sindh.

Jiji Zarina always quoted Hyder Bux Jatoi, Jam-e-mohabbat piyay Sindh

Jeejee always sangs “Jieay Sindh aen Jieay Sindh, Jam-e Muhabat Pieay Sindh” and “paan khey haan azad ghurjey watan” the entire Sindh danced with her words, because what she sang, what she taught and what she wrote, came straight from her heart.

Continue reading Legendary heroine of Sindh Jeejee Zareena Baloch

Calling it a revolution is a fraud

ANALYSIS: A thoroughly bogus ‘revolution’ —Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

A revolution is a revolution only when it is thorough, otherwise it is a thoroughly bogus revolution. If only the heads of the Sindhis and the Baloch roll down from this revolution’s economic plus law and order guillotine, it is ethnic suppression and not a revolution.

Revolution, like patriotism, has become the last refuge of scoundrels who seek survival by demanding something they pathologically fear and abhor. Altaf Hussain demands a ‘patriotic generals’-led French Revolution and seeks the economic annihilation of waderas and jagirdars (feudals and landlords) by the occupation of their lands. He, his party and others of their ilk want to hoodwink people with bogus revolutionary slogans. Power and pelf make people do things that ordinary mortals like us cannot even half comprehend.

Remarkably, the average wealth of the MQM’s honest middle-class MNAs is Rs 25 million; an impartial assets review since 1980 would reveal the bitter truth. Naturally, redistribution of this wealth is glossed over and not a word about the land that its land mafia owns is uttered. The MQM also opposes flood relief property tax in urban Sindh; duplicitous conduct is it not?

Selective amnesia afflicts these bogus revolutionaries. Neither he nor his deceitful co-revolutionaries ever mention the tyranny at the Okara Military Farms or mazarains’ (tenants’) rights nor demand punitive measures against industrialists and businessmen. They never demand appropriation of the generals’ lands in Guddu, Kotri Barrages or Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal. They conveniently forget the innumerable Chak Shahzads and also the plots and privileges that the judiciary, the bureaucracy and the military have.

All enthusiastically condemn the mirs, pirs, waderas and sardars, but not a word is uttered about the Manshas, Hashwanis, Monnoos, Schons, Razzaks, Habibs, Saigols, Malik Riazs, etc, as if these angel incarnates devote their lives to the selfless and profitless service of mankind. This chorus for revolution brazenly stinks of ethno-centric bias ….

Read more >> Daily Times

Sufi chants and revolutions – Dr Manzur Ejaz

Dr. Manzur Ejaz

Courtesy: Wichaar

If one reads Punjabi [Sindhi] classical poetry, with no presumption of Sufism, it is just good poetry of a certain period that has withstood the test of time. I do not know anybody who would claim that just reading and singing of this poetry would bring social change.

One of our reputable progressive historians asserted in one of his recently published column that chanting Sufi songs cannot change the situation: one needs a modern theory or model to address contemporary problems. I agree with the main assertion but strongly disagree with the intent he has put forth in his argument. His formulation lacks historical perspective of which he is supposed to be an expert.

Continue reading Sufi chants and revolutions – Dr Manzur Ejaz

The Unplanned Revolution:

Observations on the processes of Socio-economic change in Pakistan

Introduction by: Zulfiqar Halepoto, Hyderabad, Sindh

It is indeed a very pleasant news to share with you that a new 350 pages book of Dr Arif Hasan is published by Oxford university press titled “The Unplanned Revolution: Observations on the processes of Socio-economic change in Pakistan”

Continue reading The Unplanned Revolution:

Remembering Leon Trotsky

By: Hisam Memon

A man of revolution, brave, demagogue and replete with wisdom and sincerity “LEON TROTSKY” was assassinated 21st August in 1940 by Stalinist faction with ice axe. He was a friend of great revolutionary hero Lenin, who revolved in Russia in 1917. Which is known as “OCTOBER INQLAB” in our Sindh and I have been observing Russian Revolution has been a mental monument for the people, who learnt much from the Russian literature and revolution.

Now the radicals inclinations have been dimmed and the minds of the people have been dipped into the lust of gaining status and hoarding money.

I know the people talk of revolution, they have memorized their political role and they still have from the past….

How long the same attitude of greatness would be lasting, people plasticize and memorize the things, but are not pragmatic. People searches behind short cut and they are cut from the actual political role.

People are mentally filled with the certain experience and feel that they have done that all individually. ..

I just remember the things and could not have concession in this regard, because it’s a matter of history and history does not forgive.

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