Archive for April, 2007

There is no compulsion in Islam

Posted on April 21, 2007. Filed under: Talibanization, Terrorism |

A lot of people are coming to my blog through a search for a Hadith that allows ‘stopping evil with their own hands’. Yes, such a saying does exist in a book compiled decades after the death of the prophet and his companions. The Quran in my view takes precedance over all hadith. For those who are looking for Islam’s position on forcing their view of an Islamic life upon the rest of the population, may I present a sampling of verses from the Quran that explicitly admonish any forceful imposition of Islam on others.
2:256 There is no compulsion in religion, for the right way is clearly (different) from the wrong way. Whoever therefore rejects the forces of evil and believes in God, he has taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way, for God is All Hearing and Knowing.

16:82 But if they turn away from you, (O Prophet remember that) your only duty is a clear delivery of the Message (entrusted to you).

6:107 Yet if God had so willed, they would not have ascribed Divinity to aught besides him; hence, We have not made you their keeper, nor are you (of your own choice) a guardian over them.

4:79, 80 (Say to everyone of them,) ‘Whatever good betides you is from God and whatever evil betides you is from your own self and that We have (O Prophet) sent you to mankind only as a messenger and all sufficing is God as witness. Whoso obeys the Messenger, he indeed obeys God. And for those who turn away, We have not sent you as a keeper.”

11:28 (Noah to his people) He (Noah) said “O my people! think over it! If I act upon a clear direction from my Lord who has bestowed on me from Himself the Merciful talent of seeing the right way, a way which you cannot see for yourself, does it follow that we can force you to take the right path when you definitely decline to take it?°

17:53, 54 And tell my servants that they should speak in a most kindly manner (unto those who do not share their beliefs). Verily, Satan is always ready to stir up discord between men; for verily; Satan is man’s foe …. Hence, We have not sent you (Unto men O Prophet) with power to determine their Faith.

21:107 to 109 (O Prophet?) ‘We have not sent you except to be a mercy to all mankind:” Declare, “Verily, what is revealed to me is this, your God is the only One God, so is it not up to you to bow down to Him?’ But if they turn away then say, “I have delivered the Truth in a manner clear to one and all, and I know not whether the promised hour (of Judgment) is near or far.”

22:67 To every people have We appointed ceremonial rites (of prayer) which they observe; therefore, let them not wrangle over this matter with you, but bid them to turn to your Lord (since that is the main objective of religion). You indeed are rightly guided. But if they still dispute you in this matter, (then say,) `God best knows (the value of) what you do.”

88:21, 22; also see 24:54 And so, (O Prophet!) exhort them, your task is only to exhort; you cannot compel them to believe.

36:16, 17 (Three Messengers to their people)Said (the Messengers), “Our Sustainer knows that we have indeed been sent unto you, but we are not bound to more than clearly deliver the Message entrusted to us.’

39:41 Assuredly, We have sent down the Book to you in right form for the good of man. Whoever guided himself by it, does so to his own advantage, and whoever turns away from it does so at his own loss. You certainly are not their keeper.

42:6, 48 And whoso takes for patrons others besides God, over them does God keep a watch. Mark, you are not a keeper over them. But if they turn aside from you (do not get disheartened), for We have not sent you to be a keeper over them; your task is but to preach ….

64:12 Obey God then and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away (no blame shall attach to our Messenger), for the duty of Our Messenger is just to deliver the message.

67:25, 26 And they ask, “When shall the promise be fulfilled if you speak the Truth?” Say, “The knowledge of it is verily with God alone, and verily I am but a plain warner.”

60:8 Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.
 

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A new Pakistani cricket team for the new captain

Posted on April 19, 2007. Filed under: Cricket |

Now that we have a new captain, we must set upon the task of selecting the rest of the team. I am hereby proposing a team on a selection criteria, different than has been used before. Beards are out, clean shaves and fauxhawks in. Arabic recitations on camera is out, speaking proper English is in. Flashing at every short pitched delivery outside the off-stump is out, compact stances and good orthodox technique in. Paindoo production out, blue blood in.

Not everyone in the eleven chosen below qualify on all criteria. But on the whole we will have a team that plays better.  And as a bonus, it looks and sounds better on and off the field.

Salman Butt

Yasir Hameed

Shoaib Malik

Mohammed Yousef

Hassan Raza – For the love of God, the guy is closing in on 10,000 runs in domestic cricket and still can’t get a place on the team. He is only 25. We can still get a world cup out of him.

Bazid Khan – Son of Majid Khan, nephew of Imran Khan, very talented with good technique to boot, winsome batsman for Pakistan As and in domestic cricket.

Abdul Razzak

Mohammed Sami – Now that Shoaib ‘drama’ Akhtar has rid the team of himself, we have to let Sami develop himself like we all know he can.

Umar Gul

Mohammed Asif

Danish Kaneria – Every team needs a genuine spinner and he is the best in Pakistan. Spinners are winning ODI games around the world. Please don’t make him have to convert to Islam to play for his country.

I know what you are thinking. Alibhae forgot to add a keeper. No, I didn’t. Yasir Hameed keeps. Did you know he has averaged 15 more runs than the chipmunk who keeps for us presently. Check the stats yourself.

Coach: Aaqib Javed

Connection to golden yesteryears courtesy of Bazid Khan and Faisal Iqbal. Give them a chance and they’ll show you good crickets runs in their blood. With a squad like this we can bat down to number 8. We have opening flair. A solid middle order. Big hitters at batting tail for the final slog. We have three genuine fast bowlers, and a specialist spinner in Kaneria.

We can field a different team for the tests that includes Inzamam, Younas, Yousaf, and Danish. Younas can captain that squad and Shoaib be his VC on the test side.

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All hail the new Captain

Posted on April 19, 2007. Filed under: Cricket |

So the PCB has finally decided upon a new captain in Shoaib Malik. For a while there it seemed as if the issue of the captaincy was going to be another big drama. People were throwing their hats in, others were retrieving their caps out of the ring. Mad house.

Shoaib is a good cricketer. Unlike most Pakistani batsmen, he hasn’t made any fuss of his position in the batting order. Instead, he has let the willow do the talking for him by playing well at any position he was inserted into. His contributions with the ball make him into a potent all-rounder. On top of that he is the best fielder in the team and that includes our wicket keeper. Those in the know have opined about his sharp cricketing mind and his team spirit. Pakistani cricket teams of our youth were admired as much for their fighting spirit in losing as for their flamboyant wins. That attitude came from the top down. Lately, it seemed top was lacking in passion. Lets hope this new direction in terms of leadership also signals a change in the way teams are selected and cricketers are developed.

As a cricketer he is a good fit for the job over the long term. Then there is the ‘it’ factor. Is he it? Has he got it? I think he is, and he does. He is a smart looker. He took care of his school boy hair a while ago all by himself. He has yet to be pictured in a beard or flip flops. And most importantly, he can speak English. I know I am going to get flak for this comment. But dammit we are not a nation of jahils. English is the international language of cricket. We can’t have someone up at the podium make us all look like idiot fundoos. Whatever happened to Pakistani cricketers being smart with dress and demeanor. Shoaib can bring that back.

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Shilpa, Aa pappian jhapian pa lein hum

Posted on April 16, 2007. Filed under: Stupid people |

Just a couple days ago, a great hue and cry was raised and a fatwa issued against a Pakistani woman, after pitures of her recieving a peck on the cheek made the urdu tabloid press. It is now the turn of religious fanatics in India to frown at the public display of affection by two people at a public event. The offenders over there are Richard Gere and indian actress Shilpa Shetty. The two were present at an event to promote AIDS awareness amongst transport workers in India. Truckers in India are a high risk group when it comes to contracting and transmitting AIDS.

At some point Gere decided to lay a slurpy one on Shilpy and she coyed, the attendee crowd cheered, next day the streets jeered. And then they decided to engage in that time honored tradition of third world protestors: efigy burning. Both Richard and Shilpa were represented amid the passion drama replete with slogan, smoke and flame. Did someone say HOT.

 shilpa-gere-kiss.jpg

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The Land Grab behind the Lal Masjid / Jamia Hafsa drama

Posted on April 13, 2007. Filed under: Jamia Hafsa Ninjas, Lal Masjid, Talibanization |

Ninjas from the Jamia Hafsa have been illegally occupying the children’s library. Mind you it is the only public children’s library in the capital city of Islamabad. That alone says some things about the priorities of our people but lets save that for a later thread. When I first heard the news, I was a little bemused and thought this was just going to be a 1-2 day sit-in, civil disobedience action. Three months into the occupation, it clearly is much more.

A lot has been said about the illegal nature of the ninja occupation. Blogistan has been afire with threads and comments in all direction from all view points. The story has been picked up by all major international media. But surprisingly there has been little investigation into the motives. I was a pleasantly surprised to find a new angle on the whole thing. Most of what follows is me paraphrasing this article and parsing it out for an easier, comprehensible read.

The library under occupation happens to be just down the street from the Madrassa. In between lie three plots of land. The library and these parcels of land are owned by the Ministry of Education, through its arms: the Department of Libraries and the National Book Foundation. The land it seem, was obtained for future expansion of the children’s library. But a few years ago the madrassa, it seems decided to usurp the land for its own benefit. They expanded onto the street, back into the green belt, and sideways onto library property. No one from the ministry or CDA was able to challenge this land grab effectively.

Then the recent demolition by CDA of some illegally constructed mosques probably sent shivers up the spine the (mis)management of Lal masjid. They were guilty of the same crimes and could be next in line for the demo squad. And therein he seems to have hatched a great plan to save his gaddi(seat). He was going to be proactive about protecting his illegal construction. The occupation of the library by the Ninja squad starts making sense now. The terrorizing of the neighborhood has a new context now.

In short time the madrassa started expanding Jamia Hafsa and building on the vacant plots of land of the Dept. of Education. And they built enough to expand their capacity from a paltry 500 students to the 5000+ they are housing now. Whoa! Were the owner ministry and the city government caught snoozing. Not really but they do seem unwilling to act forcefully. Read on.

The construction of a small part of Jamia Hafsa was initiated in 1999 behind Children Library. It was in late 2002 that it was extended on the land owned by two departments of the Ministry of Education. This illegal construction on ministry land must have enjoyed tacit support from the Islamabad administration for they took no action against the encroachment.

On May 3, 2003, the then Secretary Education, Tariq Farooq wrote a letter to Chairman CDA to get the plot vacated but nothing was done. When CDA failed to get the land vacated, the Education Minister, Lt.Gen (retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi, officially requested the Interior Minister, Aftab Sherpao on December 31, 2004 “to look into the matter personally and direct CDA to arrange possession of land to department of libraries at the earliest.” The interior minister did not respond to that request and since then neither Javed Ashraf.

The then Chairman of National Book Foundation, Ahmed Faraz also lodged FIR against Maulana Abdullah’s sons, Ghazi Abdul Rashid and Maulana Abdul Aziz over encroachment of the land. CDA then intervened and offered a place in lieu of those two plots. Unfortunately, department of libraries didn’t get any substitute plot and also lost in January 2007 the possession of Children Library, which was providing healthy entertainment to a number of children.

Interestingly, General(retd.) Qazi, who is also former DG ISI, intervened to the extent that when the female students of Jamia Hafsa invaded Children Library in January 2007 to settle their scores with the government, he did not give a single statement over such an unlawful act.

So the good general seems to have no qualms about giving up the rightful claims of the department he is supposed to be a guardian of in favor of the ISI’s old partners at Lal Masjid.

Reaction from CDA: According to the sources, after the land was bought in 2001, first CDA delayed handing over the possession to the ministry and then the land was encroached. Since then Ministry of Education has been officially requesting CDA to hand over the possession of those three plots. CDA in turn has been requesting Deputy Commissioner for taking action. Those three plots, holding a tall building of Jamia Hafsa as of now, actually belong to the two of the departments of Ministry of Education. The payment of two plots was made by the National Book Foundation and of one by the Department of Libraries.

Acting Chairman CDA, Kamran Qureshi substantiated the fact that the land belongs to National Book Foundation and Department of Libraries. “It’s certainly encroached and we have sent almost over 120 notices to them and also to Islamabad administration but no action was taken by the Deputy Commissioner,” said Kamran Qureshi.

According to a senior official of Islamabad administration, “the administration should have done something if CDA had requested. And CDA could also use its enforcement staff if it actually wanted to get the land vacated.”

Reaction from Interior Ministry: When Sherpao was asked about the illegal construction of Jamia Hafsa in 3 to 4 years on the land owned by Ministry of Education right next to Children Library, he denied having any such information about the ownership of land and saying rather annoyingly, “your information is not correct and the madrassah has been there since long. How can it be constructed within such a short time period.”

Initially the minister could not differentiate between the Jamia Hafsa and Jamia Faridia. He thought that contentious Jamia Hafsa was located in E-7. The Interior Minister, who is supposedly dealing with the issue, doesn’t even know that the female students, who are a hindrance in any action taken by the police to arrest the kingpin Ghazi Abdul Rashid, were a very small part of Lal Masjid. They have burgeoned in 3 to 4 years. Either he is helpless or he wants to disown the fact that Ministry of Education did bring the matter to his notice and requested him to get involved personally but for some reason he had to turn a deaf ear to it.

Reaction of the Police: In 2004 the then IG Islamabad and SP entered Lal Masjid to arrest wanted Ghazi and his brother Maulana Abdul Rashid, but the female students came to their rescue.” “Consequently the IG was transfered. Such an action taken against the IG by the government has strengthened them even more.”

On 21st January, an FIR was lodged by watchman Muhammad Ehsan of the Children Library, against the Jamia Hafsa students over illegally occupying the library. Since then the FIR seems to have languished on govt. desk. The police look on from afar but are powerless to act, as the generalisimo atop the chain of command seem to have lost his wits.

When IG Islamabad, Iftikhar Ahmed was questioned about the delayed action against Ghazi and about the lethal charges against him in 2004, he responded, “I assure you, we will arrest him and the law will take its course. We are only being careful about taking any action against him since he has taken refuge behind those female students.” He further said, “Those FIRs against him still stand and we are waiting for the right time but whenever the action is taken, we are afraid, may result in bloodshed.”

If you thought that was the extent of the land grab, think again. The Lal Masjid itself is under illegal occupation of the mullah brothers. You see the mosque is a property of the Department of Auqaf.  The Khateeb (guy who leads prayer services and says the khutba on Fridays) and the muazin (dude with the good voice who sings the azaan-call to prayers) are employess of and appointed and paid by the department of Auqaf. Read on.

Deputy Director Auqaf, Malik Afsar said, “Ghazi’s presence in Lal Msjid is due to his brother Maulana Abdul Aziz who was employed as khateeb of Lal Masjid in 1998 after his father was slain. Although we terminated his services as khateeb in 2004 but he is residing there in blatant violation of law.”

He said, “Auqaf department has nothing to do with the matter since it was sent to district administration and AC is looking into the it. Officially the khateeb and muazan of Lal Msjid is Ayub Abid.” So will the real khateeb and muazin of the Lal Masjid please stand up, please stand up.

On the whole the article makes for a depressing read. This is a city, a country, in which the ordinary citizen cannot get his basic rights. But the generals, and the gaddi nasheen politicians, and the bureaucrats, and the mullahs steal with impunity. While we the citizens are fighting, in the blogistan and on the streets of Pakistan, about what if any Islam’s role should be in the running of our country. The poverty pimps and the jihad whores are playing us all like puppets.

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Nilofar, Seenay nal lag ja, tha kar ke

Posted on April 12, 2007. Filed under: Fatwa, Stupid people, Talibanization |

I have spent two days trawling the web for the supposedly racy picture of the Nilofar Bakhtiar that earned her a fatwa from the Halwa courts at Lal Masjid. Will someone please show me. I am somewhat of a collector of inappropriate female images and would love to have the one that earned our tourism minister the wrath of the Halwa brigades.

The picture was apparently taken after she had just paraglided into Paris with an instructor, and he gave her a congratulatory hug. The stunt was part of events to raise money for victims and survivors of the 2005 earthquake that killed more than 75000 in Pakistan. How quickly we have forgotten our tragedy always amazes me.

The minister is said to have brushed the threats aside. This Lady has some cajones. She was part of the group who attacked the court during Nawaz Sharif’s govt. Still she might be being foolhardy. The murder of Punjab minister Zille Huma by an islamic fundamentalist is still fresh in our collective memory.

Her paragliding stunt may have been for a noble cause. Certainly did more for victims of the earthquake than any mullah. And it might have done some good for the image of Pakistan and Pakistani women, painting them as strong and progressive. Alas, the fatwa has made bigger news and undone any improvement in Pakistan’s image. Minister Bakhtiar’s job of selling Pakistan as a tourism destination just got tougher, and not just because she is watching out for crazded islamic killers.

Update: I finally found the pictures: courtesy of the MicroPakistan blog, now featured on the blogroll. neelofar.jpg Click the thumbnail for a full size picture.

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Is match fixing still a problem in Pakistan cricket team?

Posted on April 11, 2007. Filed under: Cricket |

 The question has recently been raised by a number of people. All of them from within Pakistan. All of them stakeholders in the health of our national passion. But who really knows. I for one, don’t know. But I think it is a very valid question, and I sure would like an answer.

Matchfixing in cricket is not a new problem, and Graham Stewart explored some history for TimesOnline. Neither is corruption in professional sports limited to Cricket. And it is not just us brownies who have tarnished the image of the gentleman’s game. Everone seems to have taken a tour of the crapper. DNA timelines some major headlines in this context.  

A number of Pakistan team members have struck back at the accusations, defending themselves on camera, and threatening legal action against the accusers. That much was to be expected. You wouldn’t think they’ll come out and say, yes we still do it. Still it is difficult to get away from the cloud of suspicion that follows the Pakistani cricketers.

We can’t hide from the fact that in the not too distant past, Pakistani cricketers have been found guilty of various instances of match fixing by a Pakistani court. The report of the Justice Qayuum inquest into match fixing by Pakistani cricketers named names. It is now well known that all major players in our teams of the last 15 years had been involved in match fixing. Salim Malik, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Ijaz Ahmed, Saeed Anwar, Mushtaq Ahmed, Inzamam-ul-Haq, and Akram Raza, Ata-ur-Rehman all were found guilty then and handed varyious bans and fines. Basit Ali, Moin Khan, Shahid Afridi, and Azhar Mehmood, all were cast in a suspicious light, but let off for lack of enough evidence against them.

Off all those who played for Pakistan in those years only a handfull, namely Rameez Raja, Aaqib Javed, Aamir Sohail, Rashid Latif have come out of the fiasco clean. Rashid Latif even resigned his captaincy protesting the corruption of fellow players. And most believe it was his pointing out the issue that earned him the ire of the PCB and the team and his premature axing from the squad. And he has recently aired his suspicions about match fixing still going on.

2000 was an eventful year for cricket with regards to match fixing. An inquiry in India followed the one in Pakistan. Cricketers from Australia, South Africa, India , Pakistan, West Indies, and Sri Lanka all turned out to have been involved to various degrees and many were punished. After all that, in a september 2000 article, Rafi Naseem sounded hopeful that the problem had been taken care of. Those deemed the worst offenders had been sidelined. Others had sought forgiveness and gone about restoring their tarnished images. There have been suggestions from those in the know that the present bearded state of Islamization of the Pakistani team occured after they started repenting their sins and sought peace of mind in religion.

The driving force behind corruption in sports is gambling. BBC showed it clearly exists illegaly in Pakistan even today. But in term of money in the market, The Lahori bookies are likely dwarfed by the rackets run by organized crime in Bombay and Dubai. Legal sports betting adds to the stakes.

So here is what we know: Sports betting and Gambling on cricket is still going on strong. Many cricketers who were involved in the rackets are still involved with the sport as team members and management. Bookies are still persuing cricketers. The last link in the chain is yet undiscovered. All it takes to complete the chain again is bookie-cricketer contact. And that requires an investigation.

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Talibaat-e- Jamia Hafsa dance for the jehadis

Posted on April 10, 2007. Filed under: Humour, Jamia Hafsa Ninjas |

I found this video on youtube a while ago. What better time than now to share some hijabi gyrations.

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Ab tera kya banega Kaliya

Posted on April 9, 2007. Filed under: Jamia Hafsa Ninjas, Talibanization |

On Friday, the citizens of Islamabad were blessed with the establishment of a new court system, with its own jurisprudence, and its own methods of imposing verdicts. The Lal Masjid mufti courts have been established by a group of rebellious islamists. It is going to run parallel to the two existing parallel court system that precede it, namely the real court system and General bastard Zia’s federal shariat courts.

In the light of what happened recently to the terrorists of the Islamic courts union in another hotbed of islamist terrorism, and more succinctly, to the chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme court, the establishment of another court seems mistimed at best and suicidal at worse. Oh they did mention something about suicides at the Hasba/halwa courts opening shots. Let me go look up Friday papers. Meanwhile, general saab please drag the chief justice of this new court through the streets of our capital. If for no reason than to keep up with precedence.

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Pakistan’s blood red Temple of Doom: Lal Masjid

Posted on April 9, 2007. Filed under: Lal Masjid, Talibanization |

A person commented in our piece on the Jamia Hafsa drama and tried to insinuate that we and some moderate visitors to this blog were unaware of the situation on ground in Islamabad. That we had somehow just become aware of Lal Masjid as this terrorist threat became public fodder. No my friends, we are well aware of the geography and history of Lal Masjid. Liptondicha being a born and bred son of Islamabad is well versed with the political history of the masjid.

Lets start today with a brief intro to the place. Lal Masjid, located on aabpara road in central Islamabad is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, mosque in Islamabad. Its central location places it with in very close proximity of various government offices, the ISI among them. There was a time, before being eclipsed by the newer, bigger, shinier, Faisal Mosque, when Lal Masjid was Islamabad’s main mosque. The presidents and the powerful in Islamabad used to offer ceremonial prayers in Lal masjid. The imam of the masjid used to to be the additional secretary of religious affairs. That was in the days of the moderate Islamic republic of Pakistan.

Then came the tyrant Zia, forcing a twisted view of Islam upon the people for his own benefit. He was helped on this path by the CIA. The dictator needed to stay in power after murdering the popular elected premier of the country. The CIA needed brainless foot soldiers to halt the advance of socialism in Afghanistan. The Proximally located ISI had found its jihadi HQs just down Aabpara road in the form of Lal Masjid. Madrassas were established and used to produce indoctrinated cannon fodder for the new jihad in Afghanistan. And thus began the long process that finds us here today. The taliban terrorists, having been defeated by the west are now eyeing our own home. This is our own blow back effect. The CIA coined this term to define the un-intended consequences of its operations or policies. The problem with our blowback is it threatens to blow up in our faces and tear our heart out.

Dire as the situation seems, all hope is not lost. Who better than a self-proclaimed moderate muslim general and president to clean up the mess of another self proclaimed fundamentalist muslim general and president.

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