The cancer of religious fanaticism in Pakistan

October 19, 2018

— Nasir Khan, October 19, 2018

The cancer of religious fanaticism and barbarism in the shape of Islamism, which, by the way, has no relation to a global religion, Islam, is devouring Pakistan and its peace-loving people. But in this mess, sane people have to speak up and combat the ignorant and indoctrinated people, who are operating as the defenders of Allah, the Prophet and Islam.

But let me say it to all those who think about their country, Pakistan, and its people, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, freethinkers and humanists that Almighty Allah, the Great Prophet Muhammad and Islam are under no existential danger in Pakistan or anywhere else.

Who is in danger are the ordinary people who have been misled and falsely indoctrinated by fanatic clerics and political manipulators for their selfish and nefarious motives. It may be difficult for many to swallow this bitter pill of truth, but there is no other way to fight the cancer of fanaticism than to face the truth and find ways of combating it.
————

Angry Muslim protesters demonstrate outside a local Hindu temple in Reharki in Sindh Province, Pakistan, 2016.

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Standing against the brutal colonial power of Israel

October 4, 2018

Nasir Khan, October 4, 2018

The young Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was released from an Israeli prison on 20 September 2018. Despite the continuous harassment and the threats of imprisonment, she has been subjected to by the Israeli authorities to stop and stifle the voice of this brave poet, she has not surrendered her human right and human dignity to speak the truth on behalf of her people, the Palestinians, whose land was forcibly taken from them by a colonial power in 1948 with the help of imperialist powers and since then it has been busy ethnically cleansing step by step the land of its people. 

The tragedy of Palestine continues, and there is no indication that Israel will stop its crimes in Palestine or accept the Palestinians’ right to their own land, and liberty.

The name of Tatour’s country and of all the Palestinians is Palestine, not Israel.

Israel can kill as many Palestinians it wants; it may imprison as many Palestinians it wants; it may expand as much in the land that is still in the hands of the occupied Palestinians, but one thing is certain that all these actions of Israel are crimes under international law and clear violations of all norms of the rules of law. If no one does anything about it then that is because Israel has the military, economic and diplomatic support of the United States and some other countries.

The people of Palestine want an end to the brutal Israeli occupation of their land freedom from this colonial militarist power. The people who sacrifice their lives to break the siege of Gaza and liberate their country are heroes, even children are heroes fighting against a cruel power. Israel has one solution for them: shoot them and terrorize kill them if they protest or if they want to break the illegal Israeli siege of Gaza, which is the largest prison in the world where almost two million Palestinians of Gaza are condemned to suffer. That shows how powerful Israel and its supporters are!

The poets and writers who stand for resistance are heroes in a great struggle. A people who refuse to remain the slaves of the Zionists will suffer, no doubt, but one day they will be free.

Thank you Dareen Tatour for your bold stand! We who seek freedom for all the colonized people and stand for human rights hold you and people like you in high esteem. The struggle should go on.

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Islamists and their versions of Islam

September 26, 2018

Islamists misuse of Islam is a dangerous phenomenon for democracy and common social and political values of the present age.

Islamic-Sharia-Law

by Nasir khan

For the last two three decades the term ‘Islamist’ has commonly been used in political discourse. It stands for those misguided and indoctrinated ignorant Muslims whose aim is to impose their fanatical versions of Islam on others.

But we should keep in mind that Islam as a world religion is followed by people with different world-outlooks who are divided into numerous sects. Furthermore, these followers have varying interpretations of the role of political power, about the leaders of the Islamic community (the Ummah), the rights and obligations of the rulers and the ruled, etc. etc.

These views of Islamic law, Sharia, cover civil and criminal law that again are subject to four main schools of jurisprudence within the Sunni jurisprudence while the Shias have their own jurisprudence. There is little chance of any unity of ideas among them.

What is most alarming about the Islamists’ general world-view is their negation of the universal dimension and inherent tolerance of this world religion. Instead, they put forward a narrow and anti-social version that goes against all principles of democracy, respect for religious minorities and inculcate discrimination against the followers of other faiths.

The whole process can be termed as creating mental and religious ghettos, absolutely closed to rational thought but hell-bent on myopic divisions. In such a suffocating universe, there is no room for mutual accommodation, acceptance of secularism in a multi-religious and multi-cultural world in which we live in Europe and some parts of America.

The Islamists misuse of Islam is a dangerous phenomenon for democracy and common social and political values of the present age.

Which way for Pakistan?

September 7, 2018

— Nasir Khan, September 7, 2018

Many people had hoped and wished for a positive change under the new prime minster, Mr. Imran Khan, in the public policy towards the religious minorities of Pakistan, which have been subject to all sorts of social and political discrimination and disabilities for  the last seven decades.

But the hasty removal of the newly-appointed economic advisor, Dr Atif R. Mian, by the new prime minister shows the hold of the Islamist extremists on the state and administration is tight, and they won’t allow any recognition of the legitimate rights of the members of any religious minority whereby they could take part in the administration of the state.

Dr Mian is a well-qualified economist, but his religious identity as an Ahmadi, according to the undue pressure on the Islamist extremists, disqualifies him from being in the economic advisory council! It shows the old pattern is in place and the religious fanatics, who consider themselves as the sole custodians of Islam in Pakistan, will not allow full democratic rights and equal opportunities for employment to the members of the religious minorities in Pakistan.

I appeal to all progressive and democratic forces to help defend the rights of the religious minorities in Pakistan. Pakistan should become an all-inclusive democratic state, and not a playground for the orthodox theocratic fanatics and hoodlums.
————–

thenews.com.pk
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has asked ace economist Atif…

Detaining a Poem – Poem by Dareen Tatour

August 1, 2018
Detaining a Poem – Poem by Dareen Tatour
Translated from the Arabic by Andrew Leber
One day,
they stopped me,
shackled me,
tied up my body, my soul,
my everything…
Then they said: search her,
we’ll find a terrorist within her!
They turned my heart inside out—
my eyes as well,
rummaged through even my feelings.
From my eyes they drew a pulse of inspiration;
from my heart, the ability to sketch out meanings.
Then they said: beware!
She’s hiding weapons deep in her pockets.
Search her!
Root out the explosives.
And so they searched me…
Finally, they said, accusing me:
We found nothing
in her pockets except letters.
We found nothing except for a poem.
————–
Dareen Tatour at the Nazareth Magistrates’ Court, July 31, 2018, where she was sentenced to 5-months prison for her poetry by the Zionist.
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A Zionist colonial state or a secular, democratic state?

August 1, 2018

— Nasir Khan

In my view, the Zionist oppression in Palestine will not stop or come to an end as long as the Zionists have power in Israel, no matter what we may wish or hope for. We know that in their brutal treatment of the captive population of Palestine, they are aided and abetted by the Arab reactionary despots and collaborators while the major source of the Zionists’ power lies within the US government, the US Congress and the deceptive media.

That also means that democratic forces and people standing with the occupied people of Palestine have to carry on their political struggle without any illusions.

One day the whole of Palestine will be free from the clutches of the colonial settler state of the Zionist oppressors. It is possible to replace this anachronistic supremacist and racist state with a secular, democratic state in which the Jews and the Palestinians could live as equal citizens in peace and freedom and thus build a model state in the Middle East for others to emulate.

‘Resist, My People, Resist Them’ – Poem by Dareen Tatour

July 31, 2018
From the site Arabic Literature (in English), Dareen Tatour Palestinian poet was put under under house arrest in Tel Aviv charged with “incitement through social media, and now on 31st July, 2018, an Israeli court has sentenced her to a 5-month prison term.
 
Here, the poet Tariq al Haydar translates Tatour’s words into English:
 
Resist, My People, Resist Them
Resist, my people, resist them.
 
In Jerusalem, I dressed my wounds and breathed my sorrows
 
And carried the soul in my palm
 
For an Arab Palestine.
 
I will not succumb to the “peaceful solution,”
 
Never lower my flags
 
Until I evict them from my land.
 
I cast them aside for a coming time.
 
Resist, my people, resist them.
 
Resist the settler’s robbery
 
And follow the caravan of martyrs.
 
Shred the disgraceful constitution
 
Which imposed degradation and humiliation
 
And deterred us from restoring justice.
 
They burned blameless children;
 
As for Hadil, they sniped her in public,
 
Killed her in broad daylight.
 
Resist, my people, resist them.
 
Resist the colonialist’s onslaught.
 
Pay no mind to his agents among us
 
Who chain us with the peaceful illusion.
 
Do not fear doubtful tongues;
 
The truth in your heart is stronger,
 
As long as you resist in a land
 
That has lived through raids and victory.
 
So Ali called from his grave:
 
Resist, my rebellious people.
 
Write me as prose on the agarwood;
 
My remains have you as a response.
 
Resist, my people, resist them.
 
Resist, my people, resist them
 
From the site:

My reply to an anti-Muslim Hindutva disciple in India

July 16, 2018

Nasir Khan, July 17,  2018

Hello Ruby Kaushal! Merely out of curiosity, I looked at your Profile and some comments you had made. Most of what you write is in Hindi, but a few small posts and comments are in English. You were exactly as I thought after reading your comment here on this link: A Hindutva extremist who tells Indian Muslims if there is anything they do not like then they should leave India and go to Pakistan!

In fact, it is a popular solution which many anti-Muslim Hindus and their militant Hindutva organization freely offer to over 200 million Indian Muslims!

For instance, in your 9 July post while writing about Muslims, you say, “If u want religious supremacy just leave this place and move to your communal comfort.” By ‘this place’ you had meant India and by ‘your communal comfort’ you meant Pakistan!

Unfortunately, your views as a Hindutva activist are meant to spread hatred and disinformation. You wouldn’t like others to expose the role and activities of the Hindutva either! Just look at what you post in your comments! No doubt, other Hindutva right wingers will support you for what you stand for. No surprise there!

To tell the facts about the activates and political crimes of the Hindutva are ‘prejudiced views’ in your words. So, no one should say anything about the Hindutva forces. If anyone in the world wants to know the truth about them, they should turn to the Hindutva for information!

The Hindutva extremists and hatemongers against India’s religious and marginalized ethnic minorities do not like anyone, like me, to tell the facts about them. That is not difficult to understand why they do so.

But I will continue to expose these extremist right-wing forces and people. They are a danger to India’s multi-religious and multi-cultural State, its secular democracy and its democratic institutions.

The dominant anti-Muslim hatred in Indian Hindus

July 11, 2018

– Nasir Khan, July 11, 2018

It is not the religion, Islam, but the follower of that religion, Muslims, who are the victims of social, political and economic discrimination by most Hindus, including even those who are not members of militant right-wing Hindutva parties and organizations. There is so much overt and covert anti-Muslim hatred and enmity towards the Indian Muslims that things look quite abysmal and bleak for these marginalized people now and in the future.

However, a tiny minority of progressive and tolerant Hindus is active to combat such communal forces, but they are in the minority and are struggling against the prevailing trend where the right-wing extremist forces have the upper hand.

 —

http://caravandaily.com/portal/very-disturbing-to-see-particular-religion-being-targeted-taapsee-pannu/http://caravandaily.com/portal/very-disturbing-to-see-particular-religion-being-targeted-taapsee-pannu/

 

 Very Disturbing To See Particular Religion Being Targeted in India: Taapsee Pannu

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It is “very disturbing” to see a particular community being targeted in the country, says actor Taapsee Pannu, whose latest film “Mulk” centres around a Muslim family caught in a terror plot. — File photo

The discrimination against Muslims was a big reason for her to take up her next film ‘Mulk’, Taapsee Pannu said.

MUMBAI (PTI) — It is “very disturbing” to see a particular community being targeted in the country, says actor Taapsee Pannu, whose latest film “Mulk” centres around a Muslim family caught in a terror plot.

The discrimination against the community was a big reason for her to take up the project, the 30-year-old said.

Referring to the politically charged climate in the country, Pannu said, “It’s very disturbing, I’ll give you an example from my own life. My manager is a Muslim, my driver, my house help are Muslims.”

“… my life is run by them. It’s very disturbing to realise that a particular religion is being targeted,” she told reporters at the trailer launch of the film.

“If I were to feel disturbed in their presence then I would be disturbed whole day and night because my life is run by them. It’s very disturbing to realise that a particular religion is being targeted. These people are inseparable to me. So this was a big reason for me to do the film. I thought if someone has to stand up then I would like to take that responsibility. This fear and this disturbance in my mind, I vented it all out through this film,” she said.

Directed by Anubhav Sinha, “Mulk” is a courtroom drama that also features Rishi Kapoor, Neena Gupta, Rajat Kapoor, Manoj Pahwa, Kumud Mishra and Ashutosh Rana.

“This (the discrimination) was a big reason for me to do the film. (I thought) if someone has to stand up then I would like to take that responsibility,” she said.

Mr Sinha, who was also present at the event, said the team thought they were swimming against the tide when the film started out. But the positive response to the trailer has vindicated their stand.

“It’s not about Hindu-Muslims, we have had these clashes before. It’s such a diverse country, everybody has fought everybody. Hindus have fought Muslims, Sikhs have fought Hindus, Shias have fought Sunnis, Brahmins have fought Thakurs,” he said while discussing his film.

July 5, 2018

–Nasir Khan, July 5, 2018

About the gods I have no means of knowing either that they exist or that they do not exist or what they are to look at. Many things prevent my knowing. Among others, the fact that they are never seen.

— Greek philosopher Protagoras (486 BC – 411  BC)
———

I have many Facebook friends who are Muslims, Christians and also the followers of many other major religions.

As a Humanist, I respect all these people for whatever they believe in, but without being part of their outlooks in such matters. Why? I am an ordinary man who is not endowed by the divine powers to delve deeper or comprehend theological intricacies about which only the learned divines and scholars can give some authoritative explanations or interpretations for the intelligent and the chosen people. I know I do not fall in the lucky category of those chosen ones. In saying this, I am not being sarcastic.

In any case, my Muslim and Christian friends and readers should be happy what Protagoras said was a long time before the emergence of Christianity and Islam, the two great religions that taught so many things about God.

No one from such believers should blame Protagoras for his views because he didn’t know what absolutely true and divine religions of Christianity and Islam, which came a long time after his death, would reveal about the true and the really powerful god, the creator of the universe, omniscient and omnipresent.

 

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