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THE EXTREME TOLERANCE OF INTOLERANCE IN PAKISTAN (By Asif Zaidi)

 

Pakistan is probably the only country I have seen where hate and intolerance can be and are openly professed in public. By condoning hate language in media, school texts and places of worship; we have created an environment where nothing sells like extremism. Mullahism now largely means livelihood and economic considerations prevail in preaching what sells the best. There is an abundance of fanatically theocratic cults which glorify death and killing, expropriating metaphors from the Quran and Islamic history.  Any sensible cries get lost in the cacophony of extremism in Pakistan. Instead the apologists come out in droves against you. It is these apologists who are forcing the nation’s will, making us lose focus. Some even raised stink when Osama Bin Laden was killed. You cannot be selective in your activism. Speak for everyone. What about the closure to Ahmedi victims’ families? Most of the renowned liberal or investigative journalists are waging a war on reason and hope, for their own advantage. Ever since Z A Bhutto’s government bowing -for its own gain- to the extremists, resorted to every crass argument in the book to carry out the murder of reason and sanity in Pakistan by declaring Ahmedis non-Muslims, Pakistan has been sliding down the path of extremism.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT THE SHIA GENOCIDE AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT (By A Z)

 

PROLOGUE: We have a responsibility, as individuals, as professionals, and as organized groups, to not be passive bystanders, but to speak out publicly on genocidal threats. I take strong exception to the notion that speaking out on the threat of Shia Genocide in Pakistan -if based on a careful review of the evidence and a balanced view of the situation- is somehow a slide down the slippery slope of sectarianism. In fact, not to speak out is a slide down that slippery slope. The most important lesson of Holocaust and all other genocides is this: silence makes one a complicit bystander to genocide.

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DENYING THE GENOCIDE WILL NOT HELP (By A.Z)

 

In separate articles we have discussed how the killing of Shias in Pakistan fulfils the preconditions of genocide. Some people have argued that while it meets all the technical requirements of genocide, not ‘enough’ people have yet been killed to classify this as genocide. Though it can be debated whether or not over twenty thousand Shias killed in Pakistan suffice to qualify it as genocide, in my view acknowledging a genocide as such not only exposes the intent behind its perpetration but also plays a useful role to prevent or limit it. It is much better to do so now than wait for ‘enough’ Shias to be killed in Pakistan.

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PAKISTAN STUMBLING FROM SECTARIANISM TO SHIA GENOCIDE (By A Z)

PROLOGUE: This article attempts to examine the rise of sectarian conflict in Pakistan and how it has assumed genocidal proportions in the extermination of Shias in the country. The attempts to Islamize the state after 1947 reached a high point of social transformation in 1980’s on the heady mix of Islamization and Jihad.

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ALLAMA IQBAL AND IMAM HUSSAIN (by Asif Zaidi)

Iqbal’s range, quality, and quantity are truly impressive. Apart from Urdu, he also wrote prodigiously in Persian and is regarded as one of the most important poets of modern India. In addition to his indubitable genius as a poet, Iqbal is also considered by many as a very important thinker and philosopher.

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RATIONAL THOUGHT AND RELIGION (By Asif Zaidi)

The religion often distrusts rational thought because of its inability to build the essence of religious or mystical experience into a conceptual framework. However, not only can rational thought accommodate the intuitive knowledge of metaphysical reality manifested by faith but can also foster mediation between different faiths by creating a consensus around the common and essential as compared to what is parochial and local.

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WHAT IS A LIFE WELL LIVED? (by Asif Zaidi)

Our notion of what signifies the success of a person’s life is deeply subjective and steeped in our aspirations and biases. However, what is not subjective is that the transformation of a person’s life is fundamentally a result of that person’s effort. Nobody can be of much help in a man’s working upon himself and trying to break a new ground within one’s own being. It is solely up to each individual to define the import and success of his/her life, sometimes proactively and sometimes in responding to the life’s situations and choices.

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ISLAM AND DIVERSITY (by Asif Zaidi)

In the face of negative stereotyping against Islam and Muslims in the post 9/11 world, it is very important for Muslims to return to the pluralistic vision of the Quran and establish cooperative dialogue and relations with other religions in their communities.

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