Tag Archives: secularism

India is ready to talk about religion. Is Pakistan?

By Shehzad Ghias

The new Rajkumar Hirani-directed Bollywood movie PK starring Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma has divided opinions in India. ‘#BanPK’ trended on Twitter, there were protests all over India and religious groups burnt posters of the movie at processions but the movie is in course to be the highest grossing Indian film of all time.

India’s silent majority is letting its position on the issue known by supporting the movie. There are no mass protests in support of the movie but the positive reviews online and thousands of people taking to social media to praise it shows India is ready to have the ‘religion’ debate.

There was outcry from religious groups, and threats of mob violence but the courts and the government must be admired for not bowing down under the pressure of these mobs. The Supreme Court passed a verdict simply saying,

“Don’t watch the film, if you don’t like it.”

It is not as if the religious groups are not as strong in India as in Pakistan, it is just that their state is stronger than ours. In a country with the writ of law, mobs cannot act with complete impunity. The Supreme Court judges who passed this judgment were not afraid they would be shot in their chambers after passing the judgment. Having worked in the legal fraternity in Pakistan, I can testify that some judges in Pakistan are afraid to pass judgments based on their feelings and reason in cases which may involve religion.

Continue reading India is ready to talk about religion. Is Pakistan?

Why Pakistan needs secularism

By Akif Khan

In Pakistan, liberals are often accused of working on the Western agendas and being covert agents of “enemies” of Pakistan. They are also thought to be the ones who malign Pakistan’s image by cherry-picking few mishaps in the country. Let us explore the basis of these accusations and why these liberal “fascists” cry for secularism and liberalism and are opposed to Islamic system (aka Khilafat) in the country.

First of all there is this national narcissistic attitude and national state of denial. The incoherent syllabus, media and jingoist protectors of the “ideological boundaries” reinforce this state of narcissism and delusion. We need to realize that there are issues here and we have to address them. The first stage is – to identify these problems, the second is speaking up, third creating awareness and the last stage is where we will be able to move towards finding solutions.

Continue reading Why Pakistan needs secularism

A Wake up Call for Secular India

Shahrukh Khan exposes Indian secularism

Bollywood king Shahrukh Khan has exposed so-called secular face of world largest democracy: India, expressing his agony he is facing for being born as a Muslim.

SRK wrote an article titled Being a Khan for Outlook Turning Points magazine.

Khan said in the article many politicians asked him to go back to his native homeland: Pakistan, after 9/11 incident.

“I sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India”.

“There have been occasions when I have been accused of bearing allegiance to our neighbouring nation (Pakistan) rather than my own country – this even though I am an Indian, whose father fought for the freedom of India. Rallies have been held where leaders have exhorted me to leave and return what they refer to my ‘original’ homeland.”

“I gave my son and daughter names that could pass for generic (pan-India and pan-religious) ones – Aryan and Suhana,” Shahrukh Khan said.

“The Khan has been bequeathed by me so they can’t really escape it.

Khan said that he pronounced names of his children with his epiglottis when asked by Muslims and throw the Aryan as evidence of their race when non-Muslims enquired. “I imagine this will prevent my offspring from receiving unwarranted eviction orders or random fatwas in the future,” said Khan.

Khan said that he was pressed to make the film “My Name is Khan” to prove a point after being repeatedly detained in US airports because of his last name.

He said he was grilled at the airport for hours about his last name when he was going to promote the film in America for the first time.

Courtesy: Pakistan Today
http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/01/26/news/entertainment/shahrukh-khan-exposes-indian-secularism/

Turkey’s former military chief arrested over alleged anti-government plot

By Associated Press

ISTANBUL — A former Turkish military chief suspected of leading an Internet campaign to stir revolt was jailed Friday in a sweeping investigation of alleged conspiracies to topple a civilian government that has stripped the armed forces of political clout.

Gen. Ilker Basbug, 68, was the most senior officer to face trial in the anti-terror probes that began years ago, netting hundreds of suspects, many of them retired and active-duty military officers. The government casts the inquiries as a triumph for the rule of law and democracy, but suspicions of score-settling, long imprisonments without verdicts and other lapses have tainted the legal process.

The investigations serve as a pivotal test for Turkey’s ability to put its own house in order even as it seeks a higher profile in a turbulent region where the Turkish brand of electoral politics and Islam-inspired government is viewed by some as worthy of emulation.

Perhaps most notable about Basbug’s arrest was the muted public response in a country where civilian leaders were once beholden to the generals, and any hint of conflict stirred fears of a coup. The power balance shifted in the past decade as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan undermined the premise that the military brass were the untouchable guardians of secularism, as enshrined in the constitution. …

Read more » The Washington Post

Indian Muslims feel secure under secularism

by Farooq Sulehria

“Secularism is not about lifestyle, it is about ideology and thought. Some of the most liberal souls in South Asia have practiced the worst kind of fundamentalist politics, using their positions to sow the seeds of conservative thought,” says Seema Mustafa. A leading Indian journalist, peace activist and public intellectual, Seema Mustafa also contributes for Viewpoint. In an interview, she discusses different aspects of secularism in the Muslim world. Read on:

Why has secularism not taken root in the Muslim world? If Islam and secularism are incompatible?

Islam and secularism are totally compatible, as is any religion practiced in its true sense. Syria, Libya and Iraq earlier did try to develop as secular states keeping religion out of politics. Last month I was in Syria and in a long conversation, the Grand Mufti in Damascus made it very clear that there was no room for religion in politics, that organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood were unacceptable so long as they insisted on mixing the two, and that the secular character of the Syrian state would not be compromised. …

Read more » ViewPoint

MURDERS OF THREE SINDHI HINDU DOCTORS: CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY

By Javed Qazi

Hardly a day of the great murder of the history of Sindh passed by, that 72 years back, Sindhi Sufi mystic singer, Bhaghat Kanwar Ram, was killed near Shikarpur, that we always remember him on his anniversary day, 1st Nov. We have got a blow due to another shock that three Hindu doctors have been killed by the Bhayo Tribe in Shikarpur. Prima Facie it is due to the fact that recently the persons of this tribe had kidnapped a Sindhi Hindu girl and wanted to convert her religion to escape from the crime of kidnapping. The Sindhi Hindu community, who was in majority in the area prior partition of India, is still living by about 50000 houses, in Shikarpur. They couldn’t let this happen and they got the girl back from the Bhayo tribe. In the tribal context it was shameful for Bhayos that the most weak community, forced Bhayos and got the girl back. In a ray of revenge on very Eid day, just to send a loud and clear message to the Sindhi Hindu community, three Hindu doctors in Shikarpur were killed while they were performing their routine professional work in their respective clinics.

This is same Shikarpur where the great leader of Sindh, Shaheed Allah Bux Soomro was murdered on same grounds, almost 68 years back. Shikarpur was Hub of trade and commerce, which even Karl Marx has acknowledged on his notes on India as colony of British Empire. Prior partition it was either Karachi or Shikarpur which had colleges and best education institutions and hospitals that even Hyderabad and Sukkur was far behind it. Shaheed Allah Bakhsh Soomro was the first premier of Sindh, who was against the formation of Pakistan, was from Shikarpur city. This was due to the fact that communal groups of Manzil Masjid Gah were spread. The symbol of religious harmony, Bhaghat Kanwar the great mystic singer was murdered at that time. Allah Bux soomro another symbol of religious harmony and secularism was murdered at that time.

Continue reading MURDERS OF THREE SINDHI HINDU DOCTORS: CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY

Secularism is necessary for a prosperous and peaceful Pakistan

– Different perspective – The Baloch and Sindhis certainly believe that Pakistan should be more than an Islamic monoculture

By Raza Ahmed

Pervez Hoodbhoy is a familiar name among critics who see Pakistani society in the context of extremism and terrorism. A distinctively fierce critic of nuclear weapons and technology, Hoodbhoy is a professor of nuclear and high energy physics at the Department of Physics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. He has delivered lectures at US and European research centres and universities. In addition to his BS, MS, and PhD degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he has received Baker Award for Electronics and Abdus Salam Prize for Mathematics.

He was awarded UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize in 2003 on science. The same year, he was invited to the Pugwash Council. He has also received the Joseph A. Burton Award from the American Physical Society.

His book, Islam and Science — Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality, has been translated into seven languages. Understandably, Hoodbhoy is one of the most sought-after commentator on nuclear and related issues today. Recently, TNS sat with Pervez Hoodbhoy and focused on various aspects of Pakistani state, society, and regional affairs. Excerpts follow. The News on Sunday: What, in your opinion, is the root cause of religious extremism-terrorism in Pakistan?

Pervez Hoodbhoy: It came from Pakistan’s foreign policy in the early 1980s. The US and Pakistan, with Saudi funding, created the deadly jihadist machinery after the USSR invaded Afghanistan. For over a decade, they armed, financed, and trained the mujahideen. Once the USSR withdrew and disintegrated, the infrastructure should have been disbanded. But then Pakistani generals, like Mirza Aslam Beg, decided to use jihadists to conquer Kashmir and establish strategic depth in Afghanistan. Those mujahideen, “assets” as they were called, are now slaughtering our soldiers and officers whenever and wherever they can.

TNS: Has Pakistan been misdirected because no political or intellectual input seems to have gone into policy making?

PH: Civilian and military governments are to be blamed for today’s catastrophic situation. Although he denies it now, let us remember that Nawaz Sharif was thick with Musharraf on Kargil and had accompanied him to visit the troops there. Our insistence on Kashmir being the number one problem is the cause of many of our sorrows. We did not realise that the well-being of Pakistan, and addressing the grievances of Balochistan and Sindh, is more important than liberating Kashmir from Indian occupation. …

Read more → The News

via → Secular Pakistan

Maududi: Islamisation Will Destroy Pakistan

Syed Farooq Haider, a son of Maulana Maududi. The language of the talk show is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: The Express TV (Front Line with Kamran Shahid and Farooq Haider)

via Wichaar, YouTube

PAKISTAN IN CRISIS

Ahmed Rashid, Author and Journalist

With the recent assassination of Salman Taseer, governor of the province of Punjab, one of the strongest voices for democracy and secularism in the Pakistan People’s Party has been silenced. The government is in crisis, and the economy has been in freefall since the International Monetary Fund halted its loans to the country last year. Ahmed Rashid warns that the situation in Pakistan is potentially worse than in neighboring Afghanistan. This unrest comes at a crucial time when the United States is seeking increased cooperation with Islamabad on the war in Afghanistan and combating terrorism. What is the future of Pakistan’s partnership with the United States, and what will be Pakistan’s role in defining regional order before NATO pulls out of Afghanistan in 2014? …

Read more : The Chicago Council

Badshah Khan: the frontier’s grand old man — Dr Mohammad Taqi

Not only did Ghaffar Khan not seek political high office for himself, he also remained highly critical of his party and family members when they either did not live up to his high standards when in power or had sought such power through compromising on core principles …

Read more : Daily Times

The dirty ‘S’ word in Pakistan: – Urooj Zia

Images aired earlier this month where lawyers and other citizens in Pakistan were seen garlanding and felicitating the murderer of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer might have made those involved look tasteless and crude, but their acts were far from shocking. All his faults aside, Taseer had stood up for a Christian woman who had been accused of blasphemy and sentenced to death by a district and sessions (lower) court. He was killed because he had referred to the blasphemy statutes as ‘black laws’ which are abused at will, and had called for reform. As such, Taseer was killed because he had stood up, albeit in a roundabout way, for secularism and basic humanity.

Secularism is an incredibly dirty word in the mainstream narrative of Pakistan. Over time, malevolent forces of obscurantism, bolstered by the deep state, have worked tirelessly towards transforming the connotations of the word in the national consciousness, until it came to represent, falsely of course, the absolute negation of spirituality. …

Read more : Kafila

‘Islamic secularism’ in Bangladesh: Jyoti Rahman

Bangladesh will mark its 40th year of independence in 2011.  The celebrations have already begun, and will continue until next December.  The TV channels are already playing patriotic tunes.  One such tune is Shona shona shona.  The song says the land, mati, of Bangladesh is better than gold, and under this land sleeps many heroes: Rafiq, Shafiq, Barkat, Titu Mir and Isa Khan.

Who are these heroes?  Rafiq, Shafiq and Barkat were killed by the Pakistani authorities during the language uprising of 1952 — a milestone moment in Bangladesh’s nationalism. Titu Mir defied the East India Company and organised a peasant revolt in the 19th century. Isa Khan was a Bengali chieftain who resisted the Mughals in the 16th century. …

Read more : Kafila

Jinnah became irrelevant after objective resolution. This is religious extremists’ Pakistan!

“YOU MAY BELONG TO ANY RELIGION OR CASTE OR CREED THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BUSINESS OF THE STATE.” – JINNAH

Courtesy: Express TV (Front Line with Kamaran Shahid, 8th January 2011)

via – ZemTVYou Tube Link

A divided Pakistan buries Salman Taseer and a liberal dream

by Declan Walsh in Lahore

Liberals have long been a minority force in Pakistan, reviled for importing ‘western’ ideas and culture; now they are virtually an endangered species.

There was silence in the ancient city of Lahore yesterday as Salman Taseer, a pugnacious son of the soil who made his name by speaking out, was lowered into an early grave. …

Read more : Guardian.co.uk

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To read BBC urdu column, click here

G. M. Syed, a leader who waged a nonviolent struggle against religous fundamentalism

Huston : On Saturday, January 15th, 2011, the World Sindhi Congress and G M Syed Memorial Committee is hosting a gathering in Houston, TX to commemorate the 107th birthday of Saeen G. M. Syed, a leader who waged a nonviolent struggle against Islamic fundamentalism and strove toward the emancipation of Sindh. It is our pleasure to invite you to this event. Your participation would let Sindhis know that people around the world support their struggle for human rights, democracy and secularism.

For the last Seven years we have been arranging similar community events in Houston. In year 2005 Honorable Rick Perry, Governor State of Texas sent special greetings on this occasion. In his message, the Governor said:

Sindhi-Americans continue to play an important role in promoting peace, democracy, and human rights. By putting thought into action, you have reinforced the importance of being civic minded, committed citizens, and I wish you continued success.

Bill White, Mayor of Houston, proclaimed the January 16th, 2005 and January 21, 2006 as “G M Syed Day(s) for the City of Houston.” The program in Houston will be held at BBQ Tonite Restaurant, 4617 Beechnut St, Houston, TX, USA,

Banladesh awards G. M. Sayed for voicing Bangladesh

Sindh – Karachi : Bangladesh’s government has decided to confer Bangladesh National Award to Sindh nationalist leader late G. M. Sayed, late Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizinjo from Balochistan, [the poet of Sindhi language, Late Sheikh Ayaz from Sindh, who strongly opposed the military operation and as a president of Sukkur Bar Association he passed a resolution against the brutal military operation and genocide of Bangalis due to it he put behind the bars. During his imprisonment (May 1971 to January 1972)  in Sukkur Jail, he wrote his “Jail Diary”. He had also  behind the bars from 1965 to 1968 due to his revolutionary poetry in military dictator Ayoub Khan era . In later years it  becomes a piece of Sindhi revolutionary literature.],   Baadshah Khan, Abdus Samad Achakzai, Khair Bakhsh Marri, Ahmad Saleem, Tahira Muzhar, Zafar Malik and Air Marshal (R) Asghar Khan are among the 40 Pakistanis who were chosen for the award.

G. M. Sayed was the first leader in west Pakistan who had dare to strongly condemned and opposed the genocide of Bangladeshis in 1970 by Pakistani security forces during darkest times of dictatorship. The authoritarian authorities of that time decided to give punishment to G. M. Sayed, therefore,  they put G. M. Sayed under house arrest and his house was declared a sub-jail. He had been detained without trial until his death. He was declared “Prisoner of Conscience” by Amnesty International.

G.M. Syed mainly advocated for non-violence, democracy, secularism (Separation of religion from the state), national self-determination, unity among all south Asian nations and states, social and economic equality for all. Long live the struggle of Saeen G. M. Syed for the religious harmony, unity among all south Asian nations and states towards universal peace.

Now Bangladesh selected G.M. Sayed and several other individuals from various countries to award them with its highest civilian decoration.‎

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For more details : Examiner.com

“Jinnah became irrelevant after Objectives Resolution” : Interview with Mubarak Ali

“YOU MAY BELONG TO ANY RELIGION OR CASTE OR CREED THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BUSINESS OF THE STATE.” – JINNAH

By Mazhar Khan Jadoon
First published in The News on Sunday, August 29, 2010

The News on Sunday: How do you view secularism as having evolved in the particular case of India where the kings did not run their empires on the clergy’s instructions but according to political exigencies?

Mubarak Ali: Secularism has been in evolution since medieval times and if you go back to the ancient Ashoka period in India, you will find the ruling pattern to be entirely secular. It was a requirement for all the empires in India, including the Mughal Empire, to be secular and tolerant towards different religions under their rule. Ghauris, Mughals, Durranis and all other emperors had to opt for a secular approach to keep their vast dynasties intact. Clergy was not allowed to interfere in state matters and all the decisions were taken according to practical political exigencies. Allauddin Khilji was one of the great rulers of India who did tremendous welfare work for his people. Once he asked the Qazi whether his acts were according to Shariah or not. The Qazi said no. Khilji told Qazi, “I am illiterate and I don’t know whether my acts are according to Shariah or not, but what I am sure of is that I work for the betterment of my people.”

TNS: Does secularism have any place in Muslim history?

MA: Yes. Almost all the rulers in Muslim history applied the model of secularism during their rule. During the Abbasid period, ulema were not allowed to interfere in the political affairs of state and the caliph was not allowed to meddle in religious affairs. The Abbasid came to power with the help of Iranians who wanted the caliph to remain secular while the clergy at that time wanted the caliph to adhere to Islamic laws and impose Shariah. The conflict was resolved with the signing of a pact regarding state and religion being separate. Great historian Ziauddin Burney, in his book Fatwa-e-Jahandari, also emphasises that state and religion should be kept separate.

Continue reading “Jinnah became irrelevant after Objectives Resolution” : Interview with Mubarak Ali

Supreme Court’s responsibility

SC’s responsibility?

… On Monday, during the ongoing hearings on challenges to certain parts of the 18th Amendment, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry posed the question: “Should we accept if tomorrow parliament declares secularism, and not Islam, as the state polity?” That the question was asked in a rhetorical way was relatively clear: several judges indicated that such a move was even beyond contemplation. That is a troubling position.

Leave aside the remote possibility of secularism being constitutionally approved as the governing ethos of the Pakistani state. The question is really, should the Supreme Court appropriate for itself the responsibility of determining under what system the Pakistani people want to live, as expressed by their elected representatives? …

To read full article >> Dawn Editorial

Jinnah’s secularism

By A. G. Noorani

Courtesy: Frontline

THERE is an aspect to L.K. Advani’s comments on Jinnah at Karachi which has been overlooked. A month or so earlier, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the rabid Jamaat-e-Islami leader of Pakistan, had denounced Jinnah’s famous presidential speech to Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947. Advani’s praise and quotation from the speech has boosted the morale of Pakistan’s secularists who always cited it.

The speech has been quoted in bits and pieces; never analysed as a whole. Nor for that matter the entire and considerable corpus of Jinnah’s record from 1906 to 1948. There is no single complete series of his Collected Works. One such effort ended in 1931. Historians in India, Pakistan and abroad propound fanciful theories from their own standpoints; never mind the record. The speech was neither an act of contrition or repentance nor a reflection of two Jinnahs. He had unwisely used the poisonous two-nation theory to promote under the slogan of Pakistan, his real objective – a power-sharing accord. Gandhi, Nehru and Patel sabotaged the Cabinet Mission’s Plan of May 16, 1946, for United India which was done in complicity with Stafford Cripps (vide “Cripps and India’s Partition”, Frontline, August 2, 2002).

OPINION – Jinnah’s speech was a crie de coeur. He had not changed his outlook. In 1919 he gave evidence before the Joint Select Committee of the British Parliament on the Government of India Bill. His answers to questions by one of its members, Major Ormsby-Gore, bear recalling today.

Continue reading Jinnah’s secularism

Secular blunders!

– CRDP

The late President Anwar El-Sadat of Egypt was assassinated in 1981 by a faction of Egypt’s leading Islamist organisation, the Muslim Brotherhood. The irony is that this was the same organisation that Sadat had purposefully patronised.

He had replaced the charismatic Egyptian leader, Gamal Abdul Nasser as the President of Egypt after Nasser died in 1970. Nasser had ruled the country as a popular president between 1952 and 1970, leaving behind a legacy of staunch secular/socialist Arab nationalism.

Though Nasser remained popular till his death, the glow of his influence across assorted Muslim and Third World countries was somewhat dimmed when Egyptian and Syrian armed forces backed by the Soviet Union were decimated in the 1967 war against Israel. Though Sadat had helped Nasser in toppling the Egyptian monarchy in 1952, and was also an integral part of Nasser’s socialist/secular policies, he initiated a shift. In Sadat’s view, Nasser’s socialist model could not sustain the new sombre realities that had surfaced after the 1967 war.

Sadat’s move towards the western economic model was welcomed by the country’s urban bourgeoisie, but it was vehemently challenged by the pro-Nasser and left-wing student groups and the Arab media. To neutralise the pro-Nasser and left-wing challenge to his shifting policies on campuses and in the print media, Sadat brought back to life one of the staunchest anti-Nasser and anti-left forces in Egypt: the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood had been greatly radicalised by its second generation leadership led by the teachings of Syed Qutb. He had posed the biggest challenge to Nasser’s socialism and the regime’s pro-Soviet and secular make-up. However, after Nasser’s death, Sadat tactfully let loose the Brotherhood, using state power to help the organisation infiltrate campuses and the media.

To appease the organisation, Sadat instructed the state-owned radio and TV channels to not only start regular religious programmes, but to also show as many images as possible of him saying his prayers at a mosque. Sadat also lifted the ban on various Muslim Brotherhood magazines and newspapers. All this was done to soften Egypt’s pro-Soviet and Nasserite image and to mollify concerns of the West and Egypt’s new allies such as the oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

Immediately after Egypt’s 1973 war with Israel — in which Sadat (falsely) claimed to have defeated the enemy — he completely pulled Egypt out from the Soviet camp. However, in 1977 when Sadat, in an unprecedented move, agreed to make formal peace with Israel, the Brotherhood became Sadat’s biggest enemy. Eventually, in 1981, he was assassinated by members of the Brotherhood — ironically the very organisation he had encouraged to nullify the perceived communist threat to his regime.

Something similar happened in Pakistan as well. In the 1970 elections, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party had routed the Islamic parties. But by 1973 Bhutto was under pressure from the PPP’s leading ideologues, asking him to hasten the regime’s socialist agenda. In response, Bhutto purged the PPP of its radical founding members. He then came under the influence of the party’s ‘conservative wing’ that encouraged him to appease his staunchest opponents, the Islamists, (especially the Jamat-i-Islami), which had declared the PPP’s socialism as ‘un-Islamic.’

Though in private, Bhutto accused the Islamic parties of being ‘anti-socialist American stooges,’ in public he went along with some of his advisers’ counsel and declared the Ahmaddiyya community non-Muslim, naively believing this concession would appease and contain his Islamist opponents. The truth is, the Islamists were only emboldened by this gesture.

Also, while purging the left-wing radicals in the PPP (from 1974 onwards), Bhutto is also said to have ‘allowed’ the student-wing of the Jamat, the IJT, to establish a strong foothold on campuses which, till then, were mostly dominated by radical left-wing student groups such as the NSF.

Bhutto, like Sadat, had ignored the Islamist challenge to his regime, and seemed more concerned about imaginary ‘Soviet/ Indian-backed groups.’ His pragmatic indulgence in this regard had the reverse effect. Instead of containing the Islamist parties, his constitutional concessions only emboldened them. Not surprisingly, he was toppled by a reactionary general whom he had handpicked himself, shortly after the Islamist parties unleashed a countrywide movement against the PPP regime in 1976, calling for Sharia rule.

These are just two brief examples of the blunders committed by certain leading secular Muslim leaders that annihilated the over-blown left-wing and secular challenges by regenerating and using Islamist forces against them. This created daunting political and ideological vacuums in societies that were eventually filled by reactionary military regimes, rejuvenated Islamist forces and, eventually, a new breed of extremism — the sort that now worked towards grabbing state power and carving out a theological hegemony, based on mythical and Utopian illusions about an eternal ‘Islamic State.’

Pakistan and Egypt are prime examples; two of the many Muslim republics now desperately trying to reinvigorate moderate and secular forces to open a consensual front against extremism that was once state-sanctioned, to bludgeon opposing secular forces.

One wonders if it is already too late to do that; or if there are any worthwhile progressive sections in society today, in these countries, who can once again demonstrate the same boldness and imagination that they exhibited in the construction of their respective countries’ nationalism before their downfall.

February 18th, 2010

Courtesy – http://wichaar.com/news/296/ARTICLE/18977/2010-02-18.html

G.M. Syed

“Man’s material and spiritual development is not possible without creating a spirit of universal peace and tolerance. For this, the land of Sindh has an exemplary message: a truly generous respect for mankind. Our venerable ancestors and great saints regarded it as real worship and, for centuries, our people have been a living, proof of the truth and success of this message.” – G.M. Syed

G.M. Syed mainly advocated for non-violence, democracy, secularism (separation of religion from the state), national self-determination, unity among all south Asian nations and states, social and economic equality for all.

Why should I respect these oppressive religions?

by Johann Hari

February 14th, 2009
The right to criticise religion is being slowly doused in acid. Across the world, the small, incremental gains made by secularism – giving us the space to doubt and question and make up our own minds – are being beaten back by belligerent demands that we “respect” religion. A historic marker has just been passed, showing how far we have been shoved. The UN rapporteur who is supposed to be the global guardian of free speech has had his job rewritten – to put him on the side of the religious censors.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights stated 60 years ago that “a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief is the highest aspiration of the common people”. It was a Magna Carta for mankind – and loathed by every human rights abuser on earth. Today, the Chinese dictatorship calls it “Western”, Robert Mugabe calls it “colonialist”, and Dick Cheney calls it “outdated”. The countries of the world have chronically failed to meet it – but the document has been held up by the United Nations as the ultimate standard against which to check ourselves. Until now.

Continue reading Why should I respect these oppressive religions?

‘Sindhyat & Essence of Secularism’ International Seminar at Mumbai University

N.C.P.S.L. Ministry of H.R.D. Govt. of India Department of Sindhi, University of Mumbai cordially invite you at an International Seminar on ‘Sindhyat, Essence of Secularism’ on Thursday, January 22nd, 2009, at 11.00 A.M., at

Continue reading ‘Sindhyat & Essence of Secularism’ International Seminar at Mumbai University

Sindh is the Leader of Secularism

by Ghulam Qadir Mallah

Sindhi Musical Show organized by Sindhi Sangat of Ms Asha Chand here in Dubai. Ram Jethmalani was Chief Guest of the event. sindh He had remained Cabinet Minister of the Central Government of India up to long time, Law Minister of India and still having top positions in Indian Govt. Ram Jethmalani in his speech mentioned that Indian top class ministers and leaders of very big parties don’t know what is securlism? They don’t know what is “S” of securalism. But we Sindhi living any where in the world or in Sindh in our very essense are secular people and if any one wants to learn Secularism, they should learn from Sindhis. He qouted one example that before partition when he was a young child he experienced many times Sindhi Hindu children were having new dresses on Eid days and Muslim Sindhi children were having new dresses during DIWALI. He mentioned that kind of practical secularism is almost unavailable in whole India. Therefore, Sindh has always possessed a leading role to experience secularism. I would advise world to visit Sindh and learn secularism from Sindhis.

Commemoration of 13th Anniversary of GM Syed

London- Press Release: World Sindhi Congress (WSC) has organised 13th anniversary of  G M Syed, who struggled all his life for human rights, democracy, secularism and freedom of people.

Over three decades, Saeen was repeatedly detained in various prisons without trial until his death in 1995. The Amnesty International adopted him as a Prisoner of Conscience.

Saturday, April 26th, 2008