save the children

As a mother myself, its rather difficult for me to imagine another mother’s plight who might have lost her child. in fact i dont even want to imagine that kind of pain. it will be unbearable for me.
But the attack on APS and their brutal slaughtering of approximately 150 children forced me to think otherwise. i thought of the pain the mothers of all the martyred children will go through the rest of the lives. for the next 24 hours i could think of nothing else. And then i started reading about the other victims of this heinous act: children who were still alive but were seriously injured. i started thinking about the pain of their parents, standing beside their child’s bed in hospital, unsure of their child’s future. that was not any less painful to even think about. imagine the uncertainties, the insecurities these parents must have and might still feel. they dont know if their child will live and if will live, will he be able to walk properly or will he ever be able overcome this horrific incident.
i feel goosebumps every time i even start thinking about the pain.
and then each time i cant stop myself think about parents in tharparker where children are dying in front of their parents, in hospital beds due to malnutrition. is it less painful to lose your child in one blow? or to lose your child bit by bit i front of your very own eyes?
every time, i break down into tears because i dont have an answer.

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khoon ke ek ek qatrey ka intiqaam

it was a news i wish i never heard in my life….an incident that would never happen in my utopia of imagination. but its a real world, a world where monsters live disguised as humans and no one is safe. not even young innocent children.
i still cant believe that the sky didnt fall when 6 barbarians entered premises of a school, handpicked children to kill, told them to recite their kalma, fired at their legs first to make sure they suffer as much as possible before dying, shot them on their eyes and head and left them to die. approximately 150 of them.
its a scene right out of a horror movie …. oh i wish it was! because its not. it happened in peshawar in army public school. it actually happened more than 24 hours ago and i still cant believe somebody could actually be so cruel that they could plan and then execute this! they didnt stop even after seeing innocent faces, they didnt stop even after seeing their blood spilled on the floor.
they didnt stop and nearly 150 innocent angels died. they will never go back to their mothers. their mothers will never be able to make their favourite meals for them, will never be able to hug them, will never be able to kiss them goodbye in the morning before school….because they will never go to school again.
everyone was quick to condemn these attacks. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif went on to say we will avenge for each drop of blood spilled by the terrorists. it sounds good….but is it good enough to comfort the mothers of victims. No, absolutely not!
we, as a nation, need to understand we are all responsible for yesterday’s attacks.
why, you may ask.
Because we supported the jihad movement in the 70’s and 80’s spear headed by zia ul haq.
Because we let the afghani refugees in and never told them to go back.
Because we let those afghani refugees smuggle everything to and from afghanistan from drugs to weapons.
Because we were sympathetic towards Taliban during the 90’s. a large section of the society still is.
Because we thought musharaf was a traitor when he tried to get rid of these terrorists.
Because we actually toppled over musharaf’s government when he took action against these barbaric monsters.
Because we wanted to talk with lunatics who do not understand anything other than bombs and money.
Because we brought someone in power and making him prime minister who calls zia ul haq (the father of these problems) his mentor, by democratically electing him
Because we dont care how many children die as we have an ever imcreasing birth rate (311 children have died only in tharparker in the first 11 months of this year)

Just another random post

Right now, I just had some random stuff to share with everyone.

To start off, here’s something which I received as a forwarding from an old friend. Safi this one’s for you 😉

1. Once, all villagers decided to pray for rain, on the day of prayer all the People gathered but only one boy came with an umbrella…

THAT’S FAITH

2. When you throw a baby in the air, she laughs because she knows you will catch her…

THAT’S TRUST

3.Every night we go to bed, without any assurance of being alive the next Morning but still we set the alarms in our watch to wake up…

THAT’S HOPE

4. We plan big things for tomorrow in spite of zero knowledge of the future or having any certainty of uncertainties…

THAT’S CONFIDENCE

5. We see the world suffering. We know there is every possibility of same or similar things happening to us. But still we get married??…

THAT’S OVER CONFIDENCE

Movie Recommendation

Traitor

A lil old, two years to be precise but for me its something which I didnt even know about till just a few days back. It’s  an intelligent  movie with mesmerizing performance by Don Cheadle (Samir) who plays a quite, devout Sudanese-American muslim snatched early in the movie for having ties with a terrorist organization. The best thing about the movie is that it stays away from racial/religious stereotyping and very clearly shows how the so called ‘jihadists’ are actually damaging Islam.

Green Zone

Wont say much about it, its an angry film and Matt Damon does a good job enacting the role of a US army officer who wants to do more than just follow the commands. So as not to add any plot spoilers, all Id say about the movie is about how power-hungry politicians would maneuver any situation to keep themselves in power. Might not have done too well at the box office (perhaps cuz at times it starts to feel like a documentary) but the movie is very well made.

Dear John

Sweet and romantic. Its a story of a handsome, polite young army officer and a beautiful girl whose love gets tested when they stay apart because of the war on terror. The whole movie rests on a very thin plot but it works because of the great chemistry between the lead characters. I would have appreciated if the ending was better thought of but over all it was a nice chick-flick.

Shutter Island

Loved it to say the least. A dark and creepy psychological thriller which may not work for everyone, especially those who want to see action packed or sci-fi thrillers. But it surely works for people who look for a strong storyline, great performances, the director’s vision about their favorite book and dont mind watching really long movies: well over two hours. This is one of the few movies with story adapted from a book that didnt really let me down. I just hope the ending was better portrayed, it leaves the people, even those who have read the book, a bit confused and asking for more explanation. In a nutshell, its a technically sound movie with a very carefully constructed plot and the type of performance that you expect from an actor of the caliber of Leonardo di Caprio.

And the Biggest Surprise!

I never imagined, not even in my wildest dream, I could ever like Arif Lohar, but this one really rocks. Or perhaps its just the team at Coke Studio that has made this version so awesome. Btw, the girl, Meesha Shafi, is Saba Hameed’s daughter and lead singer for the band, ‘Overload.’ She has an amazingly strong voice to say the least.

The story of Majid Nawaz

Note: What follows is by Majid Nawaz himself and was published in Guardian.

Ten years ago, I was sent from Britain by a global Islamist group to recruit in Pakistan. Stepping off the plane in Lahore, I slowly breathed in the scene around me. With minarets and azans almost like background props and mood music, the Muslims I saw in every direction whetted my appetite for revolution. We were going to radicalise the country and foment a military coup against the democratically elected “client” ruler, Nawaz Sharif. I was 21 years old. I was part of a vanguard to set up a Pakistani branch of Hizb ut Tahrir (HT), so that their future caliphate could go nuclear. Nothing was going to get in my way. Nothing did.

Ten years on (during which I spent five years as a prisoner of conscience in Egypt), I recently returned. I had left HT and recanted Islamism. I was back, determined to reverse some of the Islamist fever I had helped instil. Whereas in 1999 Pakistanis thought my wife and I were Arabs due to her “Egyptian” headscarf, now rumours were rife about acid attacks on women walking the streets uncovered. I was older, wiser and smarter. This time, the revolution would be against Islamist hegemony.

I was on a four-week, nationwide university tour to speak against Islamism and to urge students towards pluralistic, democratic values. Contrary to western mythology, Islamist radicals are found among the educated, the elite and the socially mobile. Yes, a minority of Pakistani madrasas provide an ample supply of jihadists, but the ideologues are smart and modern.

Bin Laden, Zawahiri or, indeed, the many pseudo-intellectuals of HT are highly educated and socially mobile. Many madrasas are simply antiquated religious schools belonging to the conservative but apolitical Barelvis, Pakistan’s majority religious denomination. Jihadists despise this faction. Nine days ago, a jihadist blew himself up in a Pakistani mosque, murdering the leader of the Barelvis, Dr Sarfraz Naeemi. The poor are simply used as jihadist cannon fodder.

Thus it was that we began in Karachi and worked our way around the country. We ventured deep into the deserts of interior Sindh and then across into the turbulent outback of Quetta, Balochistan, where the Taliban and al-Qaida fighters are said to be headquartered. From there, we crossed into the Punjab, ascended into Kashmir and then finally up to Islamabad. In our flak jackets, with a security detail in tow, we addressed thousands of students.

In Quetta, armed separatist students threatened to shoot anyone coming to the talk. Their gripe was with the Pakistani government from which they wanted independence. Like so many things in Pakistan, our role in this was eventually settled over a cup of “chai”.

My first real taste of the diversity that is Pakistan came here. I met popular revolutionaries who despised Islamists, yet wanted to secede, in some cases by violence, from Pakistan and “Punjabi hegemony”. They began their speeches in the name of Allah, but ended with: “Death to Pakistan.” They blamed the “Punjabi” government squarely for the ills of jihadism. Destroying Pakistan was not exactly on my agenda.

Pakistan and its problems are not monolithic and are not all related to Islamism. Corruption, ethnic and economic factors and a lack of leadership all play out differently in each province. I found the people of Sindh to be hugely sympathetic to our message. Conversely, the people of Mirpur, in “free” Kashmir, from where more than 90% of British Pakistanis come, and where sterling is a currency of choice, were hostile to the west. It was in Punjab where I found most of the denial culture. The west was to blame for everything, including sending me as an agent to set up HT in Pakistan and then as an agent trying to push back HT. You see, the trouble with conspiracy theories is that they were invented by the infidel west to stop Muslims thinking.

In Lahore, I was attacked by a British member of HT. He, like many others, had left the UK to recruit vulnerable Pakistani students. He was also a teacher at a private university. After this attack, we started receiving death threats. Our security advised us to cancel the rest of the tour. We chose to carry on.

It is true that Pakistan has exported its fair share of Jamaat-e-Islami Islamists and pro-Taliban jihadists to British shores. Many Pakistanis are in denial about the role their country has played in the growth of Islamism and jihadism. When we pushed them, however, most acknowledged the rise of the “religious right”. Denial is never a good thing when trying to solve a problem.

Here in the UK, after the release without charge of the 12 Pakistani student terrorism suspects, we could do with a dose of truth serum too. During the rise of British Islamism in the 1990s, HT was exported to Pakistan from Britain by the likes of me. In London, in 2000, I met Sandhurst-trained Pakistani officers who had been recruited from here and were being sent back to Pakistan to instigate a military coup.

The man who physically attacked me was a British citizen who joined HT in the UK. British members of HT also played crucial roles in exporting their group to Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, Mauritius, India, Egypt and Denmark, among others. I know because in each case I know the people who did it. Only when the people and governments of Britain and Pakistan take responsibility for the rot on their doorsteps can we start moving seriously towards solutions for the problem of extremism.

Our tour was partly to initiate such a thought process. By showing people that one does not have to be against Islam to be against Islamism, we hope to resolve the moral dilemma that many face.

Military means can only ever be a stop-gap. As the near Taliban takeover in the northern regions of Pakistan showed, if civil society cannot segregate the masses from Islamists, then American drone attacks will be the least of our worries.

Do more

Continued from the previous post. Obviously wat follows is merely my opinion based on wat I have read, seen and gone through. It will be a bit random as I am only trying to put everything in one single post.

After the death of the Prophet (SAW), the time of the Caliphate of Hazrat Omar (RA) is usually deemed to be the time wen the maqasid of sharia were being achieved although a lot of people had (and still have) reservations. Obviously, the best time has to be that of the Khulfa-e-rashideen but the other three Khulfa had to deal with many civil wars during their eras and most of the time we forget talking about their reforms and ‘good governance’. Since then, there has been no muslim ruler (Hazrat Omar (RA) hated to be called a ruler, he preferred the modest Ameer-ul-momineen) who has been able to achieve even a fraction of that.

Today, as we see the world, it is a shame that it is in fact the Scandinavian countries that come close to achieving the maqasid of sharia. Obviously they have laws that permit vulagrity, illegitimate live-in couples and so on so forth but they value life and the government protects their right to be allowed to practice the religion they belong to, to get free education, to get opportunities of employment and to get their wealth and property protected (arsonists dont go around burning other people’s property there).

Challenging the writ of the State

Soon after the death of the Prophet (SAW), the Ridda Wars broke out because Hazrat Abu Bakar Siddiq’s (RA) Caliphate was not accepted and the writ of the State was challenged. The issue got so heated up that there was no option but to go on war.

Although there were lot more misunderstandings in the coming years, the writ of the state was once again challenged in a brutal way during Jang-e-Siffin by a group of people who were known to be very pious Muslims but in fact ended up calling Hazrat Ali (RA) kafir. This whole issue led to Jang-e-Neherwan and later shahadat of Hazrat Ali (RA).

Today, the writ of the state is being challenged in the worst manner. I dont like the government and it is their mistakes that its all come so far.

It is important to understand that everyone sporting a beard is not someone who has the authority to implement a sharia. The Prophet (SAW) has very clearly talked about such people: “There would be a group of people among you who would recite the Book but it will not go beyond their throats, they would pass through teachings of the Deen as an arrow passes through the prey. They would kill the followers of Islam and spare the idol-worshippers.” [Sahih Muslim]

Zaid Hamid on Operation Rah-e-Haq

PS: I am not a Zaid Hamid fan and I do not necessarily agree with everything that he says but I think he has summed it up quite well in the video

Maqasid al-Sharia

Ibn-e-Maryam hua kare koi
Mere dukh ki dawa kare koi

I know I am bad with the shairi thing and most probably I have gotten the shair above wrong, apologies for that, but thats not the point of the post. The point of the post is to talk about the self-proclaimed sualiheen aka holy beings aka messiahs aka Talibans.

But before talking about Taliban and whether we like em, support em or not, i think its important to understand what the buzz word, Sharia, is all about.

Now this will obviously be a summary and/or an introduction to the topic and will not include a lot of minute details.

Sharia

The word Sharia itself has been used only once in the Qur’an [45:18] and can literally be translated to mean ‘way’ or ‘path.’ It is the legal framework (based on fiqh) for the private and public lives of Muslims providing laws for politics, economics, family, hygiene and several social issues. (Do read The Comparison with the Common Law here)

The objectives of Sharia

The law was basically developed for the falah of the people, both in this world and in the hereafter and thus include all aspects of life.

  1. Protection of Religion: To protect the freedom of practicing religion, specifically the 5 basic pillars of Islam. To provide basic health facilities so as to enable all to undertake activities of physical ibadat (includes marriage at appropriate age) and help people in earning halal rizq.
  2. Protection of Life: To promote meditation through salaat (mental relaxation) and physical health through medical facilities and exercise. Family health to be protected through laws on quarantines during epidemics and the isolation of persons with contagious disease. This category also includes laws of revenge, qisas andhomicide.
  3. Protection of Progeny: To provide medical facilities to the females to ensure a healthier society. This category also includes the laws related to marriage (the contract itself), divorce, custody of children, adoption, inheritance and also illegitimate relationships (zina) and the children that might be born as a result of such relationships.
  4. Protection of The Mind: To provide services that would provide mental peace and laws that keep people away from alcohol, drugs and other addictive habits. This may include a lot of laws that govern the economical condition of the society (poor economic condition can lead to mental imbalance) and false accusations.
  5. Protection of Wealth: To facilitate people in ensuring proper usage of their zakaat. This category also includes laws about financial independence of women and regulations about property, trade, preservation of property rights and the punishments for stealing.

Do we know of a country that protects religion, life, progeny, mind and wealth?

Weapons of Mass Destruction II

Just a quick post.

I have been thinking of writing a post on my opinion on Talibans and how I view them…Here are two posts that I think have been very well written and although might not be depicting my view completely, they come really close. I do not necessarily agree with each and everything in these posts.

  1. The first one is by minerva and is just based on her FB updates and her conversation with someone on FB.
  2. The second one comes from across the border and looks at the Pashtuns, their roots, culture and how the Talibans used that for their advantage.