Thursday, January 14, 2010

Should they not tell us to strive for Mercy and Compassion?

For the last few days, there has been much sorrow in my heart. There have been the senseless deaths in Pakistan. The earthquake in Haiti. Yet, when I read something like this, my heart breaks a little bit more.

Many could say, how could you ask for anything more from Pat Robertson, who is an evangelist, and a fundamentalist Christian. Yet, it is these agents of intolerance, who in many ways represent our religions. And when, in these moments of human misery, instead of searching out God's grace and encouraging all of us to reach within ourselves for compassion, mercy and charity towards God's creation, these people condemn those who are suffering, how can one not feel heart broken.

This reminds me of when after the earthquakes in Pakistan in 2007, Farhat Hashmi, a Pat Robertson equivalent in Pakistan, made a statement that the people of Northern Pakistan were paying for their sins. When she should have been extolling all of us to reach within our hearts and show mercy and compassion towards those who were suffering, the only comment of hers which reached everyone, was that somehow those who had suffered, had brought it upon themselves. The human condition can be so heart breaking.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

آسمان خاموش تھا اس دن

آسمان نے روز کے ہی ترہان چڑھتے سورج کو خوش آمدید کہا
روز کی ہی ترہان ماؤں نے اپنے بچوں کو صبح نیند سی جگایا
ایک نے دن کی لئے
لیکن آج بھی آسمان خاموش تھا
اس محرم کے دسویں دن کی ترہان
جو گزرا ہے اور ہم بھولے نہیں ہیں
اس باپ کو، جو اپنے بچے کو سینے سے لگایے
حق مانگ رہا تھا
اپنا اور اپنی اولاد کا نہیں
لیکن وہ حق مانگ رہا تھا
جو ہر انسان کا، خدا سے بخشا ہوا حق ہے
اپنے حکمران سے آنکھیں ملا کے ملنے کا
اپنے حکمران سے انصاف کا حق
اپنی زندگی خدا کی راستے پے، اپنے دل کے راستے پی چلنے کا حق
اور وہ باپ. وہ بیتا. وہ نواسہ.
اپنا حق تو نہ پا سکا، لیکن ہم سب کو شہادت کا راستہ دکھا گیا.
بزدلوں کا راستہ نہیں، جو بھیس میں آ کے، معصوموں کی جان لیتے ہیں
شیطانون کا نہیں، جو وسوسے سے دلوں کو بھکیرتے ہیں
اور آج
ووہی، جو اس کی پیروی کرتے ہیں
اسی باپ، بیٹے اور نواسے کو اپنا قطب مانتے ہیں
انہی نے، نہ جانے کتنو کے دل طور ڈالے
انہی نی، نہ جانے کتنو کی گھر جلا ڈالے
انہی نے ہی، اپنے رنج کے بدلے، کتنو کی دل جلا دے
کتنی ماؤں کے دل توڑ ڈالے
اور آسمان آج بھی خاموش تھا
اور شام ڈھلتے، سورج خاموشی سے آسمان کو اور ہمیں خاموشی میں چھوڑ گیا

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

What about the Pakistani dead?

So, while we witness further war in Pakistan, Manan Ahmed makes interesting, but slightly sarcastic remarks about the shattering sameness of this approach. My favourite line:

They say more Afghans are needed to fight for the future of Afghanistan. I’d say find more Afghans who are done fighting.

He said, “Since 9/11, al Qaeda’s safe havens have been the source of attacks against London and Amman and Bali.” See, again. There is no Islamabad. No Peshawar. No Lahore. No Lahore. No Lahore. Nor, even Mumbai (though, the Indian PM did get that nice dinner). No matter how much thoughtful and thorough review happens, some things are never questioned, nor changed.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Switzerland's odd decision

Interesting perspective on the increasingly odd decision of the Swiss. I never really considered this issue from a perspective of state sponsored deprivation of fundamental rights of worship. Juan Cole raises some interesting issues about how Muslims states do grant fundamental rights of worship and representation to religious minorities, while there are significant issues of discrimination in day to day life. While that can highlight a disconnect between reality and ideals, atleast ideals exist which can be striven for. In the Swiss decision, if it is upheld, even those ideals are under question. Please read.

Maulana Azad’s interview given to Shorish Kashmiri, 1946 | Jahane Rumi

What an amazingly prescient article from Maulana Azad, a muslim leader we hear precious little about in Pakistan.