Shaheryar Ali

It’s a very sorry state of affairs. For more than 2 years now I have been writing about the dangers of “intellectual hegemony”, “selective radicalism” and “double discourse on Rights” being prevalent in Pakistani corporate media as well in Pakistani blogging community.  The Pakistani blogging community though is generally better than the media corporations but unfortunately is plagued by the same myopic intolerance when it comes to any dissenting views regarding the myths about Pakistan, its origin, its democracy and its national interests as defined by Right-of center media guru or a section of ex-Stalinists now turned liberals or centrists intellectuals.

 

The freedom of expression always is the freedom to express views which are deemed controversial. The demand for freedom of expression always arises for the marginalized opinion, one which is not acceptable to the state, rulers, moral vanguard of the society etc. It’s precisely this very right to differ, to challenge the dominant views that creates the issue of freedom of expression in the first place. Its so because, any other opinion one which operates within the realms of what is “acceptable” to the society or state in never in danger of suppression. Noam Chomsky for example points out that if we conceive freedom of expression as something for opinions which are acceptable than even Hitler was in favor of such freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is explicitly the freedom to be able to differ; to express opinions deems offensive, those which challenge the “fashionable conformities” weather political, nation or social in origins.

 

hamid-mir-media-bullyFew days back we saw one of the most heinous witch hunts in intellectual history of Pakistan. It started with attacks on the section of Pakistani columnist who have a Left wing background and who took a stand in support of democratic transition in Pakistan and tried to put forward a different perspective on Judicial Movement, war on terror and media activism. These people are a very tiny minority within Pakistan’s booming media business. Their view by no stretching of imagination can be called a dominant view in Pakistani media. The friction between these intellectuals and their opponents on the right side of political spectrum are ideological tracing its roots in the right-left polarization in Pakistan during 60s and 70s. The few left wing intellectuals who have survived the McCarthyist witch hunts by state and owners of media houses are now being put on media show trials by Pro-Taliban and Pro-Army TV anchors and columnists. Every abuse and every allegation from being an alcoholic to being a traitor have been put on them.

 

What these people themselves have been doing in media is nothing but shameless propaganda in name of news coverage. Mr Haroon Rashid who is on the forefront of this witch hunt against the tiny progressive element in Pakistani media , has been distorting facts and history in his columns but with a shameless face gives lectures about “modesty” and “tolerance’ to the victims of these witch hunts. I can go on and on about his academic honesty but I find it waste of my time. Simple two things can expose his dishonesty. In one of his Mccathry inspired columns against the socialist/ex-socialists intellectuals he shamelessly wrote that “Reds opposed Pakistan, once it came into being they never get out of shock”. It’s a shameless blatant lie. Communist Party of India and the Progressive Writers Association supported the demand of Pakistan. They even collaborated with Jinnah, the election manifesto of ALIML in 1946 elections was written by a communist Danial Latifi and many communists joined Muslim League as policy. Ironically it was the mother party of Mr Haroon Rashid Jamate Islami opposed Pakistan and Maudaudi compared it to “cooking of Pork” but Pakistani right forgets these historical details. After that I remember reading one of his columns against the great Urdu poets Ahmad Faraz. Every abuse and every label that Mr Rashid could think on was put on the great poet who recently died. In order declare Faraz infidel and traitor Mr Rashid quoted a verse which questioned the validity of divine revelation. Taking on the verse Mr Rashid went on and on to condemn Ahmad Faraz to great extant. What was ironic was the simple fact that the verse was not of Ahmad Faraz but of another progressive poet Mr Zaheer Kashmiri. Mr Aser Chohan wrote a column to clear the facts but Mr Haroon Rashid never had the decency to either apologies or retract the defamatory remarks.

 

Hamid Mir, who sadly has become a stain on the name of his great father, Prof. Warris Mir who was himself a victim of Jamate islami sponsored witch hunt in the 80s has taken this witch hunt to new heights. On his popular programme The Capital Talk he and Mr Ansar Abbasi , the pope of pro-Taliban media establishment  took on the blog “Let US Build Pakistan” and put baseless allegation on it without any evidence. The language they used rings bells of alarm to anyone who is familiar with these crooks and their methods. It was said that the “blog is trying to create misunderstandings between Army and Media”. This is an open threat. It was said the blog is being run from presidential palace .etc etc. This is the most absurd thing which I have ever heard. Who has given these people the right to put baseless allegations without giving any proof? Let US Build Pakistan for the whole period of Lawyers Movement kept supporting the deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan, even when the PPP government was using delaying tactics. The photograph of his lordship the most honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Chuadhry was prominently and permanently on display on side bar of the web site with explicit declaration: “This blog supports the restoration of deposed judges”. I bet this also came from the presidential palace?

 

Will Mr Chief Justice take any interest in the law of Press council and rules of engagement by the media barons? Or every ones name, reputation and character is at the will of this anchrocracy? The Pakistani blogging community had previously suffered the attack by state during the 3rd November emergency rule by General Pervez Musharaf . No one knows better about “right to dissent” than the lordship who himself exercised it in front of General Pervez Musharraf. Let Us Build Pakistan is a blog which openly supports Pakistan Peoples Party; it has never claimed to be an “independent news source”. They have explicitly mentioned their ideological ties with the largest and the only federal party of Pakistan. Last time I checked right to support Pakistan Peoples Party was not declared a crime in Pakistan. Anyone has the right to disagree with “Let US Build Pakistan” and “Pakistan Peoples Party” but no one has the right to spread disinformation. What was done on Geo TV was libelous defamation. People of Pakistan have a constitutional right to support and join any political party and to express views in its support. I would appeal to all people of conscience to support right of Let US Build Pakistan blog to express their opinion in a threat free environment

 

What was most insensitive was the reaction of the Pakistani blogging community. Nothing of solidarity was observed. Pakistan Peoples Party and its support many be “out of fashion” in the class which blogs but let me tell my community that if right to have an opinion became focus of media witch-hunting none will be spared, not even the self proclaimed secular nationalists of Pakistan who are rabidly anti PPP and anti Left. The right may be busy focusing on PPP and a wider anti-PPP ideological alliance appears to be in place but as PPP govt goes many of you will be the target as well. Let US Build Pakistan is remarkable blog in many respects. It has shown remarkable strength on issues on which many of us shy away

1)      This blog has took a early and bold stand against Talibanization and sectarianism

2)      This Blog has took a conscientious stand on rights of Pakistani Miniorities

3)      This blog showed a remarkable strength of conviction and conscience when it supported the restoration of judiciary against wishes of many in the Party whom they support. [I for example who is writing this article to support Let Us Build Pakistan was and is critical of lawyers movement and judiciary but this never came in way of either me or Let Us Build Pakistan]

4)      This blog is pioneer in “Media Criticism” and has frequently demonstrated the “ideological biases” of Pakistani media hence upheld the fundamental right of people of Pakistan to un biased and/or alternative news and opinions

5)      This blog has taken a democratic stand in support of marginalized groups and nationalities of Pakistan

6)      This blog has covered the silent anti-Shia genocide taking place in Pakistan which finds no coverage any where,

I want to tell that I am proud of Abdul Nishapuri and the team of Let Us Build Pakistan, for being brave and for writing what they believe in. I also congratulate them for openly declaring them to be supporters of Pakistan Peoples Party unlike their detractors the Hamid Mirs, Shahid Masoods and Ansar Abasais who don’t have the moral courage to openly declare their political allegiance and wear the masks of being “independent” analysts and doing overtly political propaganda. I will only say to them what has been declared “greatest punch line in history of America”, it was in one of the “anti-communist hearings during McCarthy’s witch hunt. “Have you no decency Sir—-”

I would like to salute the bloggers who raised their voice in support of Let Us Build Pakistan,  Rabia Shakoor, Umair Wasi and Pakistan Media Watch.

To my fellow bloggers who are indifferent and silent at plight of a blog which they don’t like because it supports PPP and Zardari and is critical of Army and agencies etc I will just say dear friends, today it is Nazir Naji and Lets Us Build Pakistan, who will be next think about it——–

Ode to Pakistani Bloggers, the poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller the poem which has become the greatest indictment of inactivity of German Intellectuals during Nazi regime

 

“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me”

The links to various articles on this issue can be reached here, here and here. here

Geo TV and Selective Freedom of Expression.

To what extant these Media Jihadis can Go and scale of abuse read this article in Saudi Gazette.

Shaheryar Ali

091028125531_mast_fm226Today is the third day of censorship being imposed on the BBC in Pakistan BBC news goes on air throughout Pakistan via a series of privately owned FM networks. With the explosion of private TV channels in Pakistan, the standards of journalism have a suffered a great deal. An ideological media fuelled by militant Islamism and Pakistani nationalism is on an ideological crusade in Pakistan whose first victim has been “objective reporting”.

Pluralism and democracy has been completely lacking in the local free media of Pakistan. All the news papers and TV channels have exactly same editorial policy. One gets the feeling he or she is reading sameBBC-Urdu news again and again. Most of it is objectively incorrect. Most of this media has been fiercely loyal to the policies of Pakistan’s ruling oligarchy. It may take sides on different issues which represent the interests of different factions of oligarchy depending on the Right wing and Pakistani Nationalist dominated press’s opinion of whose “patriot” and whose not but when it comes to broad general interest of the oligarchy inform of the ideological boundaries of state, the media is wholly partisan without any significant exception. The mania against India, denial on state involvement in nuclear proliferation and Islamic fascism, denial of existence of anti colonial struggles like those in Balochistan and Pakistani occupied Kashmir [written and Azad Kashmir or Free Kashmir in all Pakistani media] are to quote few examples where all Pakistani media has exactly same opinion to express, the opinion of Pakistani ruling elite and its state institution

Censorship_Press_Obey2Pakistani authorities always had a problem with the BBC. From the day BBC had collaborated with the local FM radios to increase its coverage in Pakistan; it is being opposed by Pakistani authorities in one way or another. There is usual bureaucratic red tape which always comes in handy when Pakistan wants to censor the BBC. This contract is incomplete and this rule has been violated bla bla bla. The real reason is that Pakistani authorities are fearful of objective reporting. Being a Lefti I am no fan of BBC, but unfortunately the standards of journalism have been deteriorated to such an extant in Pakistan that BBC appears to be the most objective news source in Pakistan. That’s a pity but that’s a fact!

The real crime of BBC is not what is officially being cited, i.e. violations of laws and procedures because if “Rule of Law” was such an important issue in Pakistan, it would have checked the local news channels as well. According to the society for Alternative Media in Pakistan, all news channels in Pakistan are in violence of PEMRA law through which they were granted licenses. None of them have deposited amount fixed in law of their annual income in treasury which they were bound to do so. These news channels do not go off air because they are doing state propaganda to a vulgar extant. BBC does that too, but it tries to maintain at least an illusion of objectivity, even that is not acceptable to Pakistan. The crimes of BBC are:

 

Reporting on Balochistan:  The coverage of BBC Urdu service on Balochistan cannot be called pro-people or pro-Bloch by any means, its crime is that its “reports” about Balochistan: Which no one else does in Pakistan. It tells that people are dying, some people are demanding freedom. Its will give opinion of the resistance as well that of government.

Coverage of Divergent views on Judiciary, Army, Nuclear Issues and Taliban: This along with the views of state institutions and other parties

 

Like laws apply differently to two chief justices who broke the law and took oaths of loyalty to same military dictator, depending on whom Jamate Islami and the Right supports, Laws apply differently to BBC and Geo in Pakistan. What’s going on Pakistan against BBC is a hideous press censorship. Even more hideous is the role of Pakistani media which cries foul every time it’s touched but is silent on the continuous censorship of Baloch press and the BBC. Same goes to most Pakistani bloggers, the stalwarts of secularism and Jinnah’s vision who also don’t see anything which is on the wrong side of this Post-colonial state. None wrote any thing against continuous harassment, closure and censorship of Baloch press and now of BBC.

We have not learned anything

3533542872_4f7b8b27cf

Shaheryar Ali

It was a fine evening when Raza Rumi told me about the idea of the new blog-zine Pak Tea House which he was launching. He wanted me to write for it. I had never written anything before for the public but his encouragement led me to join Pak Tea House. My article was one of the first published in Pak Tea House. Raza Rumi knew perfectly well that i was an opinionated young lad. I was experimenting with new rhetorical strategies to de- stabilize the dominant discourse emerging from the the Islamic world and Pakistan. Things went well till Raza Rumi handed over the blog to Mr Yasser Latif Hamdani. A dogmatic Pakistani nationalist with obsessive hatred of Gandhi, Bacha Khan, Karl Marx and any thing Left. His highly dishonest interpretation of progressive writers and his outright bigoted attacks on freedom fighters led to the initial disagreement but i continued writing. Things got worse when Raza Rumi’s “progressive blog” became outright McCarthiest . It has the great honour of “reviving” the McCarthy era’s terminologies like “Pinkos”. All these titles like “communist”, “pinko”, etc etc are used on dissenting voices. Any one who dares to disagree with the great temple of Jinnah now built at Pak Tea House becomes a traitor.

I dont find Mr Hamdani worthy of a response since i dont engage myself with bigots. My earlier letter of protest to Raza Rumi can be reached here and will explain the back ground to my readers. The rebuttal has actually made me laugh. I can understand the pain and the frustration. The secular elite of Pakistan always had a strange dogmatic remedy for troubles of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It was to blame it on “India”. Curse Gandhi, Nehru, Congress, the Soviet Union, the “commies” etc etc

The failure of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the success of India have made our patriotic elites delusional. Jinnah’s Pakistan is one of the greatest mythological retreats these people have. The facts unfortunately dont change. The cancerous patriotism which wants us to love the cancers we have because its our own has already destroyed this country. The drum beating of partition histories, or highly selected versions of it, does not change the reality. It doesn’t. India is a functioning secular democracy with a really independent and and pro- rights judiciary. Pakistan on the other hand is the text book case of failed or failing state. Ruled by military dictators, the neo fascist state has committed genocides in East Pakistan and Balochistan.

I can understand the frustration, when Pakistan’s president, its Prime minister, its Chief Justice all sit in line and are taught governance by Ambassador Hoolbroke. Begging money around the globe, the state and its politics has always been micro managed by United States of America. With Obama’s new policy of bracketing Pakistan with Afghanistan, i can understand the pain and frustration. Patriotism is not covering all these hideous facts; rather it is to highlight these so that change can come. The Jinnah’s Pakistan where editors of Pak Tea House live is so shining and perfect that it doesn’t need any change.

Late Eqbal Ahmad once commented on the Neo-Fascism, one of the defining characters of Neo fascist states was their obsession with the cold war and its rhetoric. These people still live in the time of cold war. The mantra of Pinko, commies, Marx all represents the same case! The articles on which the gentleman has commented had nothing to do with Marx, Marxism, and its theory or practice. How much Marxism do these people know is evident from the quality of articles on Marx which they publish. All this is identity paradox of these people; want to be Lefti for romantic reasons but have hatred for the left. This man even once declared Faiz Ahmad Faiz as “military collaborator” repeating the notorious charges brought up by Liaqat Ali Khan’s government which brought about one of the bloodiest read scares.   Champions of secularism maintain Afghan Jihad as “one of the most glorious Jihad” of 21 century. One is surprised to hear this especially looking at what Pakistan is going through today that any self styled patriot could say any thing like that. But its fact, not only this, the creation of Islamic fascist monsters and mercenaries to infiltrate Afghanistan is also appreciated. The only objection he has to it  is that Pakistani state couldn’t control it. These democratic and secular values I fail to understand, I abhor them and will continue to do so.

Why my writing is so objectionable to these clowns because I highlight the ironies and fallacies of the grand propaganda mechanism at work in Pakistan in name of history, political science, nationalism etc etc. Its not very far back when this man was cursing India after Mumbai attacks. He denied the existence of Ajmal Kasab. He even went as far as denying existence of Faridkot in Pakistan. I even than wrote that politics of denials will not work. The whole world than saw the shame and humiliation which these hawks brought to the nation when press in United Kingdom and later Daily Dawn exposed Ajmal Kasab and FaridKot . Not only this but ironically they had written that the place was indeed liked a “Jihadi factory” and a recruiting ground for LeT. Writing dogmatically in grip of passion result in irrational swings , Asif Ali Zardari was his hero, he was foolishly writing qaseedas of him all for the wrong reasons, now he is on his hit list again for all the wrong reasons.

Facts speak for themselves, that’s why I understand the frustration, the resultant abuses and witch hunts, when I was writing on administrative failure of Shahbaz Sharif in Punjab, I was writing on how due to his policies and his government’s continuous support to religious fanatics will push Southern Punjab to calamity. Today whole world is crying about Southern Punjab. My continuous warnings on Southern Punjab becoming the hub of religious extremism are now haunting the whole country as a specter. He was than busy writing qaseedas of Shahbaz Sharif as champion of progressive cause. Later it was discovered that his government was sponsoring violently bigoted anti ahmedi and jihadi organization Tehriq e khatam e nabuat. Now he once again had to swing back on his position. Ahmadi children are being incarcerated in Punjab on his orders, no court has intervened. His administrative skills, even Ayaz Amir , who is the sitting MNA of  PML-N has now written 4 times on governance and administrative style of Shahbaz Sharif criticizing it as highly centralized, populist and leading to administrative disaster. But these clowns who pose as secular and do politics in laps on Jamate Islami and PML-N like the scoundrel Aitzaz Ahsan have lost all insight in their delusional dogmatism.

When history slaps I know it stings a lot so I can understand the frustration, the judicial movement, I had long maintained that nothing will change and its all a right wing political agenda with a constitutional rhetoric. I had pointed out in the start of the movement that the slogans of restoration of constitution and restoration of judiciary are reactionary slogans; one should speak of “reformation of constitution” and “reformation of judiciary”. I was writing that the constitution of Pakistan itself is cause of these problems. At that time we are also abused by these clown, now they understand that Chief Justice has to work within the constraints of constitution given by PPP.  We were saying that all along that instead of sitting in the laps of Jamate Islami and PML-N and General Hamid Gul these secular clowns should protest for a greater cause! To bring about a new social contract. The right wing was defeated and would have easily come on table but they brought them back to position of strength.  When Aitzaz Ahsan and his cronies were singing the songs of this constitution on tv 24./7didn’t this fact crossed their mind?  The proud “constitutional movement” didn’t realized which constitution it is following? Other day I heard one such clown on TV saying our movement has made 73 constitution so popular that now even the street people know its clauses! Now suck on these clauses!!

I can understand the frustration, history has slapped them on their faces, the ISI managed Black Revolution, couldn’t live for even few days!. The extra judicial murders of Baloch leaders exposed the character of restored higher judiciary once again. What change did it brought when still FIR of the martyred leaders could not be registered? According to the Asian Human Rights Commission’s report, Pakistan Army is holding Baloch women in torture cells and using them as sex slaves. The commission has published numerous reports of such nature and they have widely been read in legal circles in Pakistan. The case of Zarrina Marri , have specially been highlighted again and again by the commission as well as the progressive political workers. According to the commission Miss Marri is being held in a torture cell run by Pakistan Army and being used as “sexual slave”. Why Supreme Court of Pakistan is blind to this sort of state terrorism?

I can understand the frustration of these thugs very well. The failure of judicial revolution has become so obvious that its embarrassing. If any one is not delusional and not living in “Jinnah’s Pakistan” its evident to him like July’s sun. Not only it’s the failure of mythological rhetoric of non existent Pakistani nationalism, it is turning into a crisis which could destroy the whole democratic transition. Take the example of Mr Ayaz Amir, famous intellectual and MNA of PML-N, one of the most active supporter of Judicial movement, his latest column is a lament of all what’s going wrong in the Supreme Court. The intervention by Supreme Court in matters of executive especially in taxation resulted in even him reprimanding the judges! I had already pointed out in my writing this trend of ignoring “Trias Politica” by Supreme Court. The honourable judges are not at fault, they have been continuously pushed towards politics by these clowns who have these disastrous theories about “Jinnah’s Pakistan”. Their agenda is now a civil Martial law of a kind, non democratic government of technocrats [these clowns themselves]: An experiment which had already failed in Bangladesh.

His most honourable lordship the Chief Justice of Pakistan whose Soumoto notices have now acquired legendary status. His lordship takes interests even in minute of issues and resolves them. One latest example of judicial activism after restoration is “protecting the chicken of Islamic Republic of Pakistan from eating pork”. The great reward his lordship will have in court of All mighty Allah for this great deed. Chicken have now been saved from eating pork the most evil animal, by eating pork perhaps chicken of the Islamic republic underwent some organic change [reminds me of the great theoretical debates on nature of Transubstantiation in Europe in heyday of Church of Rome] and these pork-eating-chicken when consumed by the pious men of land of pure could destroy the Islamic credentials and abilities.

The secular clowns rejoice on triumph of Jinnah’s Pakistan and black revolution, I am in midst of spiritual ecstasy, our nation has found the Momin of Iqbal , rejoice Tahirah Abdullah and Aitzaz Ahsan and Pak Tea House, his lordship said: “Pakistan is an Islamic nation. In an Islamic country, we cannot grant the permission to feed haram meat to people. It brings disgrace to the nation.’’ Lets us all curse Gandhi, Congress, Bacha Khan and Communists, Pinkos faggots, who were feeding nation pork. I am sure now that Aitzaz Ahsan and other secular clown can sit in Jinnah’s Pakistan drinking Whiskey and eating Halal [?] chicken, we are closer to [?] our secular utopia

I am condemnable, indeed should be hanged because I dare to ask these elitist thugs high on wine of Jinnah’s non existent Pakistan and in grip of violent anti communism of cold war and McCarthy eara, that the Blochs women who are being treated as sex slaves and the Ahmedi children in dungeons of SS’s Punjab police worth even less than Chickens of the Islamic Republic??? My only fault is  this.

Mein zeher e hilahul ku kabhi keh na saka Kand!

Asian Human Rights Commission has identified 52 torture cells in Pakistan maintained by ISI , Pakistan Army, FIA and other state agencies where political workers and activists are continued being tortured, those in these torture cells are unlucky , the chicken of Islamic Republic have more rights than these poor people. This is my crime to raise the non convenient facts, to ask bitter question for which I am labeled commie, Pinko, traitor. But I will keep asking this question.  I abhor these cancers I will never accept these evils in name of patriotism. They say patriotism is a scoundrel’s last resort. They killed Hasan Nasir because according to them he was not patriot. Faiz and Fraz were also traitors in their eyes.  These witch hunts are not new for us. We will keep fighting.

Bala se hum ne na dekha tu or dekhen ge

Faorough e gulshan o soat e hazar ka mosam

Last but not the least, today when Prime minister of Pakistan is about to have a crucial meeting with his Indian counter parts, the hero of these scoundrels Mian Shahbaz Sharif’s government has dissociated itself from the appear against the release Hafiz Saeed, the monster of Muridkey [whose agent Ajmal Kasab was defended by these thugs who couldn’t find Faridkot on Pakistani map] in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. This clearly is to sabotage the meeting and keep Saeed out of jails. One more act of patriotism perhaps!!

Finally to my friend Raza Rumi, since after publicly protesting against the editorial policy of PTH I had stopped writing for PTH. There were exceptions to it because I contributed occasionally on his insistence. He knew all the back ground; he knew perfectly well that I am not the only writer who has suffered at PTH witch hunt. Despite my numerous pleadings, he didn’t remove my name from PTH list of contributors. I kept doors open tried to maintain a courteous relationship but my friend didn’t showed the grace worthy of his stature. He let his blog repeatedly being used by those who have a personal agenda against me. He could have taken his agenda on his personal blog.  I was Part of the PTH team and being one of its co editors for a long time, he failed to protect my interests. The failing standards of editorial borad can be seen from the fact the rebuttals are being published without giving links to the articles I wrote. What is ironic is that lies and distortions are being allowed, one such statement is PM Gilani being one of the largest land owners of Southern Punjab. He is not even a modest land owner of Multan. They were earning their lively hood by running beauty parlors, schools n stuff in Multan. The largest land owners of Southern Punjab are Gardezis, Qureshies, Khakwanis, Makhdooms of Rahim Yar Khan etc. Association with Pak Tea House has now become one of the bitterest experiences of life. I had an idea about that, in post modern conditions the modern tendencies have become reactionary. When I wrote my first article for Pak Tea House[it was one of the first articles to be published in PTH] I predicted it. But I had no idea it will become so dirty. Thans Raza for every thing. I hope now you will remove my name from PTH

Pak Tea House: A Coropreal Being No More. November 7, 2007.

“Hello “world!”. A very simple line it appears to be but it haunts me. What is the world? World was understood either as “A totality of Objects” or “A totality of Facts”. There was a world, where we use to have a “Pak Tea House”, which enjoyed a corporeal being.

A solid real object that was alive, living and healthy. Objects float in time and time is condensed in epochs which determine the spirit of objects. The epoch we entered had a peculiar spirit. It enchants and bewitches . The objects are reduced to their use value, loosing their corporeal being and solidity to a mere exchange value, becoming ghosts”

The De-Realiztion is Complete!!

Well done Aitzaz Ahsan , Tahirah Abdullah Civil Society and Jinnah worshiping  secular clowns who marched with Jamate Islami and PML-N. Those who became hysteric on Governor Taseer’s take over. Crying for “good governance” of Shahbaz Sharif. One clown i encountered on blogosphere was declaring Shahbaz Sharif “greatest administrator” of Punjab since Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. Yet another wrote a “qaseeda” of Sharif trying to prove his secular-progressive credentials. Ironies of History, these elitists thugs who gave life to dying Pakistani right wing consider “One man populist-authoritarian” model of governance as “good governance”. They also consider “bureaucratization” and “centralization” key to “good governance”. In the age of de-centralization and de-regulation , distribution of responsibility and power this man restored the British Colonial model of administration and yet he is being hailed as model of

Shahbaz Sharif. The Punjabi SS

Shahbaz Sharif. The Punjabi SS

“good governance”. Irony is that most of these clowns hold degrees from United States and UK. More conscientious has been Ayiaz A Mir , the MP from Shaif’s party who has written consistently against Shahbaz Sharif’s mode of governance. The lawyer’s movement and Civil society’s delusions have resulted in return of Right. Southern Punjab has become hub of Islamic fascism thanks to Shahbaz Sharif’s “good governance”. Taliban have thrown leaflets in Multan. Shahbaz Shaif action was to “ban dance” in Lahore. Than he oversaw DVD burning in Lahore. When Lahore shook due to a series of blasts targeting a cultural festival , our secular-progressive and according to HH General Hameed Gul “socialist” CM ordered his chief secretary “to check the spread of Obscenity in name of culture”. Some days back our restored Punjab government darling of Civil society and secular bloggers sponsored the Jihadi “Khatam e Nabuat Conference”, targeting the minority Ahemdi community. The Shirif Loyalist “free judiciary” first released the Monster of Lal Masjid Molana Abdul Aziz

Islam with"Red"Socks

Islam with

and than banned two folk singers on charges of obscenity. Now this report by Asian Human Rights Commission, tell every thing. Irony when lawyers movement supported these thugs in name of “rule of law”. I will say shame on opportunists like Aitzaz Ahsan and Tahira Abdulla

Where is Justice? Where is Justice Iftikhar and his “soumoto”? But our glorious Judge cant see Ahmedies or Balochs.

[Honourable Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary , reciever of Harvard Medal of Freedom has never took notice of any extra-judicial murder or torture of an Ahmedi or any murders [some of them conducted in police/state/judicial custody] of those accused of Blasphemy]

We hope and plead that Chief Justice of Pakistan will act to save lives of these kids. I hope that i am proven wrong on Judiciary and indeed its proven that it has become free! i hope

Qatal e Tifl’an ki manadi ho rahi he shaher mein

Mugh ku bhi maa’n manid e Moosa baha de Neher mein

[The children are being murdered on state decree o my mother throw me in Neil as Mosses mother did [to save his life]

Shaheryar Ali

PAKISTAN: Government of Punjab kept four teenagers and a man in illegal detention on Blasphemy charge

PAKISTAN: Government of Punjab kept four teenagers and a man in illegal detention on Blasphemy charge

ISSUES: Illegal detention; medical treatment; threats; false charges
———————————————————————

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that four children were illegally arrested under the blasphemy laws on January 28, 2009. They are in dangerous health conditions in the jail and their parents are not allowed to visit them according to jail policy. One, Mohammad Irfan son of Mukhtar Ahmed, 15 years of age came down with typhoid fever due to the jail’s inhuman, unsanitary conditions. His health is in a precarious state with the jail authorities not allowing him to see a doctor. The detention of the four children has been proved illegal. The senior police officer has submitted a report to the government of Punjab province that the children are innocent and charges of blasphemy as arrested, accused persons are baseless. It is reported that the government of Punjab did not want to annoy Muslim fundamentalists, who are allies of the provincal government, as they will create problems for the government.

CASE DETAILS:

Four students from grades nine and ten of the Superior Academy and Mr. Mubashar Ahmed had been arrested on January 28, 2009. Charges were made that they wrote the name of the last prophet of Islam, peace be upon him, on the walls of a toilet in a mosque. (See further: AHRC-STM-022-2009) The students are kotsultan_bnrMuhammad Irfan (14), son of Muhammad Mukhtar, Tahir Imran (16), son of Abdul Ghaffar, Tahir Mehmood (14), son of Muhammad Aslam and Naseer Ahmed (14), son of Nasrullah. All five are from the Ahmedi community, a minority sect of Islam. It was declared infidel for making amendments in the constitution. The five are victims of the Punjab provincial government working against the Ahmediah sect by holding a conference against the community. On April 11, 2009, the provincial government arranged a conference on the finalization of prophethood and a resolution was passed to purge all officials from the provincial government who are from the Ahmediah sect.

The whole process of the arrest of four students and one aged person was illegal because an investigation, mandated by law prior to the registration of a blasphemy case, was not held. According to an amendment made by parliament in 2004 in section 295-C of the constitution, police officials, not less than senior superintendent of police, are obligated to thoroughly investigate accusations of blasphemy before presenting criminal charges. But police, under the pressure from Muslim fundamentalists’ groups, have not followed the due process of law and arrested five persons. The provincial police, under threats of strike and agitation, made no investigation for almost one and half months just to please the fundamentalists’ groups. The Layyah district police also have not made any investigation, in spite of the fact, that the case was registered in the same district. This was again due to violent reaction from the Muslim

Kids in Chains , Islam and Justice

Kids in Chains , Islam and Justice

groups. The senior superintendent of police (SSP) of another district, the Rajan Pur, Mr. Pervez Rathore was assigned to conduct the investigation and prepare a report in which the police will submit a challan (case diary) in the court against the accused persons. The SSP, after thorough investigation, declared that the case of Blasphemy against the accused students and a man, was false. It had no base and the accused persons were to be released as no bad intentions were involved. The report was sent to the ministry of the interior, government of Punjab, at the end of March 2009 for the withdrawal of the cases against the five accused persons on blasphemy charges.

The report from the senior police officer is still waiting for action from the government of Punjab since January 28. In addition, another illegal process has surfaced because according to the law, police have to produce challan (case diary) immediately after the investigation is completed. The government has stopped producing students before the magistrate’s court and parents are still not allowed to visit their children in jail. One student, Mohammad Irfan, contracted typhoid fever and the others are suffering from several other diseases. On the instruction of the first class magistrate, Layyah, the provincial police have to submit the challan on April 28. However, it was again deferred to May 12. The local police say that they could not submit challan as they are waiting for instructions from the government of Punjab. The Layyah district police fears that if they release all the students then Muslim fundamentalist groups will resort to violence and kill the accused persons.

Victim’s pictures Credit: The Persecution of Ahmadiyyah Muslim Community Blog

When Taliban target a city, their usual first act is to throw leaflets in the Music and DVD shops ordering them to shut down these because music is obscene and is destroying the moral character of the “youth”. After than they threat the traders of suicide bombings. Next step is a ritualistic burning of CDs and DVDs.
When they take over an area, they ban music, on their check posts , they destroy the CD players of any car which comes by. They destroy all tapes and CDs.
They threaten and torture the local singers and artists who they call prostitutes [dancing girls].
In Swat they brutally murdered a famous singer Shabana because she was “destroying the moral fabric of the society”
Our great Whiskey drinking champion of secularism Aitzaz Ahsan and the corrupt manipulator of foreign aid [Which has resulted in NGO becoming richer and the poor, poorer] the Civil Society for the last two years sat in the lap of religious Right which included fascist Jamate Islami and center right PML-N and de-railed the Anti-Taliban agenda of the secular parties which are in a very week coalition in name of “restoration of judiciary” which according to them was the greatest tool to fight Taliban and all over crisis facing Pakistan.
Today our “free judiciary”, Lahore Hight Court banned 41

Nasebo Lal

Nasebo Lal

Albums of two singers Nasebo Lal and Noora’n Lal both of which belong to the poorest of the poor “Gypsy” tribes of Pakistan who live by singing on the streets. Their halmark is to use a special milk pot, known as “gadvi” as a music instrument. These singers are known for their explicit and erotic songs which have traditionally made them popular in lower classes. Nasebo and Nora’n were discovered by film Industry and made them into two of the most popular singers in Pakistan. Of course our English speaking elites find them “distasteful” and “vulgar”. They only listen to AC/DC and Punk Rock and other western pop/rock music which preaches Bible.
The PML-N govt which these pseudo secular goons have brought back with help of Army had previously banned dancing in Lahore as well and also held a “dvd burning” in Lahore.
Now, their obsession free Judiciary has banned these two singers bcz they were destroying the morals of our youth. The 80% dispossessed who listened to these erotic songs have been saved. Our Urban lads and our bloggers with their broadband connections and air conditioned homes have full access to tons of porn un regulated, and they keep writing on “Shanakth festival” thus de-contextualizing fascism.
Pakistan has become Eqbal Ahmad’s “Land Without Music” and i suggest that Aitzaz Ahsan and Civil society and our Army-ISI -Judiciary worshiping and Zardari hating secular community should dance on Aitzaz Ahsan’s poem with beats of Taliban’s bullets and rhythm of free judiciary

Adal Bina Jamhoor na ho ga—
A democracy with censorship. Congratulation , after releasing Molana Aziz of Red Mosque by free judiciary this is our 2nd step toward Lawyer-civil society’s Utopian society

The great fruits of Long March continue—

Context of the Article: Portrayal of Women in Pakistani Media: Another Jab at Pakistani Liberal Thought by Freethinker

Shaheryar Ali

“The sex Industry sells clothes and the fashion Industry sells prostitution and pornography”

Beauty and Misogyny, Sheila Jeffreys

After reading a wonderful post by a friend and fellow blogger I am forced to write on the issues of Objectification of women, the developed of a hegemonizing and selectively politicized discourse on “emancipation of women” and its highly inaccurate linkage with commercial fashion Industry which has nothing to do with “women lib”. The only relationship it had with political and social movements of women liberation had been extremely hostile one. One often encounter’s mediocrity in disguise of advance intellect but the way “intellectually challenged” have been hegemonizing Pakistani intellectual scene is a real tragedy. This painful awareness disturbed me a lot after reading a lot of responses to Freethinker’s excellent post which objected to objectification of women by Fashion Industry and Corporate media in Pakistan and their ideological mimickers masquerading as anti-commercial “alternative media”. While freethinker was objecting to the “representational discourse and imagery”, trying to demonstrate the fakeness of hypereality [Jean Baudrillard] , one which has nothing to do with “reality” but rather is nothing but an image created, circulated , authenticated, idolized and incorporated into perceptual consciousness of humans by capitalist mass media , fashion industry and other such hegemonizing entities , the intellectually challenged media monkeys perceived it as an attack on personal choices , on liberalism and cultural pluralism etc etc. ”]Thesis[war of Pakistani Identity]The general ignorance which plagues English speaking Pakistani elite and its allied intellectual class is ironic in this sense, that their dogmatism is similar to those who it usually attack ie primitive Taliban. They are ignorant about the advance theoretical positions and philosophies which have emerged as “emancipatory critiques” of established knowledge ie Western Rationalism, Marxism/Stalinism, Logic and Analysis. Freethinker’s critique was not on the dress choice of a famous Pakistani model but rather on it being the “representative” of women. This was an attack on “Simulation”. The ground breaking critique on Mass Media and Visual Arts by French philosopher Jean Baudrillard revolves around three key concepts

1) Simulation

2) Simulacrum

3) Hyperreality.

In his philosophical cosmos a simulation is a process in which representation of things replace the “things being represented”. This is a very problematic notion because it causes “de-humanization”; the main concern of intellectuals like freethinkers. With the tremendous power that Visual media holds in late capitalism, this process of the representation becomes more important than the “real-thing”. Signs are thought of as representing reality, Signs than mask the reality, Signs than mask the “absence of reality”. With this we enter a simulacrum, a state where Signs have no relation with Reality what so ever. With Global mass media invasion, copies of copies are created and bombarded on Human Retina. No longer has the simulation reflected an original but simulation is reflecting a simulation. With the mass media and fashion Industry’s portrayals of women as beauty and sex objects, freethinker was calling for appearance of “real woman”. One which works in a cotton field goes to college, dances on a shrine, a typical lahori house wife wandering in bazaar, slightly over weight not much self conscious. The real woman which we never see on mass media or Fashion Empire which portrays a certain image of women based on male chauvinism.

”]Anti-thesis [War on women bodies]The second aspect of Freethinker’s critique was “problematization” of practice of “politicizing women’s bodies”. The ignorance about more advanced techniques of critical pedagogical dialogues led to further “misrepresentation” of Freethinker’s critique as favoring one side of the war being played on women bodies. To contextulize it let me give you an example. When General Musharaff sided with United States in War on Terror, state adopted a policy of “Enlightened Moderation”. Women’s bodies became the arena of war on terror. General Musharraff’s state sponsored the fashion industry of Pakistan and also the mass media which mushroomed in Pakistan. The commercial interests of media empires, fashion and cosmetic industries led to “objectification of women” on mass and visual media. The Ramp-show models were being represented in London and Paris as “other face” of Pakistan. [Just as the offending post against which Freethinker protested]. These simulations were being politicized as representative of a “secular progressive Jinnah’s Pakistan”. The result of this politicization of women bodies resulted in a barbaric attack on Women’s bodies from the Right Wing. “Burqa” emerged as a “resisting symbol” of Musharraff’s enlightened moderation. Whilst Mush’s were simulations existing only on media, Taliban threaded the “real women” on streets, with Acid. The ultimate anti-thesis of this politicization of simulations was Burqa clad suicidal militants of Red Mosque.

The war which was hyperreal [where reality is replaced by simulacrum] resulted in worse crimes against real women who never were being represented. Why hyperreality is dangerous, the whole violent debate in Musharraff era revolved around “obscenity of fashion shows”, “western cultural invasion” in name of “emancipation of women”. All NGO’s and modernists kept debating this useless notion , war against “co-marathon” in Lahore . All this was in name of “women rights”. Despite the marathons, and establishment of a vibrant fashion industry the “plight of real woman” is same. No serious debate took place on domestic and sexual slavery of women in Pakistan, All anti women laws remain, no debate on reproductive and abortion right, this despite the war in name of “women rights”. This is hyperreality. 8 years nation was polarized on women emancipation, liberalism, secularism and nothing has changed on ground. Because every thing was fictitious a simulacrum of mass media. The real women is paying the price now her safety is under threat.

Iqbal Hussein's paiting

Iqbal Hussein's paiting

The politicization of women bodies is one of the most important causes of mass crimes against women. Dr Robina Saigol has done an excellent study on how Pakistani Nation State politicizes women’s bodies and its consequences. Its is called Militarization, Nation and Gender : Women’s bodies as Arenas of Violent conflicts. Just as a critique on media portrayals of women was considered an attack on Pakistan Patriotism, a patriotism which revolves around either converting women into a “Barbie doll” of a “burqa clad sub human”. The inherent insecurity of Pakistani nationalists lead them to slogan mongering like Long Live Barbie Doll without realizing the amount of exploitation which goes on in such Industries.

Why we are so concerned about how women are portrayed on media for commercial interests, because overwhelming evidence exists on the harmful effects it causes on “real women”.

“Extensive research has demonstrated the negative results of female beautifulobjectification in the media. Depression, appearance anxiety, body shame, sexual dysfunction, and eating disorders are only a few among the growing list of repercussions (Fredrickson & Noll, 1997). In addition to the objectification of women, the media commits another assault on the dignity of women. This assault is the dismemberment of women, and it has not received the attention it deserves (Kilbourne, 2002). Kilbourne (2002) pointed out that advertising is a 100 billion dollar a year industry. Each day we are exposed to more than 2000 ads. Advertising can be one of the most powerful sources of education in our society. Many women feel pressured to conform to the beauty standards of our culture and are willing to go to great lengths to manipulate and change their faces and bodies. Kilbourne suggests that women are conditioned to view their faces as masks and their bodies as objects. Through the mass media, women discover that their bodies and faces are in need of alteration, augmentation, and disguise. In addition, women are taught to internalize an observer’s perspective of their own bodies. This phenomenon is called objectification (Fredrickson & Noll, 1997). Advertisements are loaded with objectified women, and only recently have the effects of objectification been explored. However, the effects of the dismemberment of women in advertising have been neglected. Dismemberment advertisements highlight one part of a woman’s body while ignoring all the other parts of her body. Dismemberment ads portray women with missing appendages or substitute appendages. Of course the ads are only symbolic of dismemberment, but the symbolic imagery creates nearly the same effect.” The Objectification and Dismemberment of Women in Media , Kacey D Greening.

47503ca290403_1130b1use1What was truly condemnable that the images which were posted in retaliation of Freethinker’s criticism included what have been called “dismemberment of women”. The images highlight one part of women’s body neglect others, like in this case face and breasts. One should note that one never comes across image of male model showing just his crotch! With these images bombarding the mass media, it alters the reality and consciousness. This results in viewing women just as pleasure objects and toys; this is the first step in converting women into prostitute. Pleasure and sex which can be bought apart from woman’s soul: conditioning men into thinking of women as objects and pressurizing women to “conform” to sex-beauty protocols this de-humanizing continues. It is not about what dress some one is wearing, its hyperreality and politicization of women’s bodies which we are objecting. I am concluding this article by giving position of a radical feminist to add another perspective to the issue

“Yet fashion is still misogynist. It commodifies women, encourages them to believe that they must endure pain in order to be sexually appealing. Designers advertise clothes by picturing them on clear-skinned, breastless cadavers, in so-called “women’s magazines”; these magazines run articles that discuss how fashion can help you — an averagely fat, slightly be-zitted woman — come close to this standard of beauty. Fashion invites every woman to make the old trade of sex for money and happiness.”

Anti-Fashion: Patriarchy necessitates prostitution necessitates fashion, Chase Olivarius McAllister

Shaheryar Ali

“Every Kiss Begins With Kay Jewelers”

With Pakistani Liberal’s new found love for Capitalism during General Mushraffs golden age of “Enlightened Moderation” Valentine Day has become the latest new festival in Pakistan. Now Islamists and religious fanatics in their usual opposition to any thing western have opposed Valentine’s Day on the premise that it promotes “obscenity”. The expression of Love is outrageous in their eyes and it erodes the moral and social fabric of the society, which if I decode means “that some how it dilutes the forced ‘gender segregation” in the Pakistan. Religious Right in Pakistan is not the only one in this their counterparts in India the Saffron brigade behave similarly

This opposition is not on Valentine’s Day rather it is to some thing which this day is thought to be representing that is Love and opposition to War, Violence and State authority. Modern day practices of Valentine’s days have nothing to do with the spirit of this day. Like every thing else Capitalism has converted this expression of Love into its anti-thesis. On onside Capitalist consumerist degeneration has resulted in “commoditization of Love” essentially equating love with wealth. The card industry, cosmetic industry, Diamond industry, Fashion Industry, the media Industry all in order to exploit the most beautiful of human emotion have contributed in building stereotypes, promoting prejudices and cultural hegemonies. The first victim of this is Love itself which is reduced to the category of a commodity which can be bought. This assault on Love is compounded by the market built sexism and promotion of highly loaded “stereotypical gender roles”. A general survey of the promotion campaigns around the world on Valentine Day reveals that it promotes a very shallow and sexist role of a woman. Most of it is based on the premise that woman can be wooed into love by showering her with expensive gifts. Diamond and Gold monopolies have shamelessly promoted this image of woman virtually equating love with a form of prostitution. Overall this approach enhances the already existing male chauvinist attitudes towards the women who are considered commodities themselves and “pleasure-toys” which can be bought by a DeBeers ring.

Muslim Gay Pride

Muslim Gay Pride

A shameful example is this commercial which states “every kiss starts with Kay Jewelers”. In most of the promotion activities “men” are shown to be buying gifts for the “women” thus enhancing yet another of male chauvinist myths that “Men are the bread winners” reducing women to a mere dependent of the male who remains happy with a constant supply of diamonds, roses and chocolates. Yet another stereotyping this Valentine’s Day industry is building is what I call the “Jock and the Cheerleader” complex. A particular image of a boy Jock and a Cheerleader is repeated over and over again. This creates a complex in other boys and girls who don’t subscribe to this image. The societies governed by capitalism live on “conformity” carefully constructed resemblances which assures ones survival at social and economical level. There is an immense pressure on young people especially teenagers to “fit-in” otherwise they fall in “nerd”, “sissy” , “freak” and other “un-kool” categories. These in advanced countries have resulted in high teenage suicide rate, campus violence and murder. This complex is than banked upon by the “cosmetic mafia”, the “fashion industry”, “drug trade” and medically unregulated and monstrous “cosmetic surgery industry”. All these mafias are busy in their exploitation in Pakistan’s Valentine day boom. The hair transplant and plastic surgery clinics have mushroomed in Urban Pakistan and are unregulated and engaging in malpractice. They perform procedures ranging from liposuction to hymenoplasty. This to provide the Pakistani males the “Virgins” they want to marry. The image of male which is portrayed on Pakistani Valentine related media is a fair post teen urban male clad in Levi with an expensive multi media mobile phone, bulging muscles and an Ipod listening to western music. He is surrounded by admiring females they too fully urban dolls manufactured in some latest in vogue saloon. This is against which most young Pakistani has to compete and look up to the result is frustration, street crime and campus prostitution.

When the problem of sustenance of capitalism was being discussed in Western Europe after the war it was identified that Capitalism also operates in the realm of ideology by creating conflicting identities and it is the key to its sustenance. This “operation in contradiction” is visible in the pseudo-conflict between the pro-capitalist seculars and Islamic fascists around the Valentine’s Day. It is to be noted that forces like Jamate Islami in Pakistan and Hindu Nationalists in India who are notorious for their disruption of Valentine Day’s activities are vehemently Anti-communist and Anti-Left and pro-Capitalism. Jamate Islami has been on the forefront of resisting anti capitalist reforms of PPP in 70s and has supported “free market economy”. Thus first they allow the capitalization of Love and than protest on its “cultural manifestations”. The extreme fear, violence and confusion this phenomenon creates results in “de-humanization”, “dejection” and a sense of “de realization”. A poetic expression of this de-realized love in time of violence has been done by Awais Aftab the brilliant young Pakistani blogger. By expressing his torment on loss of love in age of violence and confusion Mr Aftab has emerged as an “alternate voice” in otherwise cooperate and Jihadi dominated discourse on Valentine day. The poem is called “Vitriolage” and it opens with these lovely lines

No Shiv Sena threatens me
Nor do Talibans bind my hands
Yet in the miasmatic world
In which i breathe
There is no Valentine’s Day
For you, for me

The entry can be reached here. Whilst the Pakistani blogsphere is conformist to a strangulating degree, a dear friend “freethinker” has deconstructed Valentine’s discourse by celebrating Love and Subversion..

Gay Valentine stereotypes

Gay Valentine stereotypes

The dominant discourse on Valentine’s Day around the globe is “segregationist”, “totalizing’ and “de-humanizing”. This is extremely hegemonizing defining love in a strict “heterosexual” relationship. Love is only an emotion which is present between a “biological male” and a “biological female”. This corporate capitalist agenda disenfranchises whole of Homosexual humans. Reducing them to the status of “perverts” and “deviants” they are deprived of their humanity and rights, the political expression of this corporate and capitalist bigotry can be seen especially in United States where the corporate and its political allies the Moral Majority and Republicans have started a witch hunt against homosexuals by “defining” categories like “marriage”, “inheritance” and “family” in strict heterosexual terms. This in this sense becomes a strictly “fascist phenomenon”. By bombarding retinas and minds with pictures and visuals of love as a “heterosexual only” phenomenon, minds are being slowly transformed for annihilating a whole deviant population. Unfortunately even the self proclaimed “liberals” and “secularists” of Pakistan are insensitive to politics of gender and sexuality and even their notions of “human rights” and “pluralism” are plagued by essentialist prejudices of modernity. None of the major aggregation of Pakistani bloggers or Blog-zines has dared to challenge the conformity or protest at the segregationist interpretation of Love on Valentine’s Day. Across the border situation is batter. Blogbharti the aggregator of Indian Blogosphere published an article by an Indian Gay blogger Crazy Sam on Valentine’s Day. By doing so Blogbharti subverted the segregationist and exclusionary discourse on Love. Blogbharti should be congratulated for this act. Sam’s passionate plea is for “Equal Love”, he speaks about the segregated society and segregated love, reminding the straight heterosexual couples that the “fear” they feel on Valentine’s Day due to threat from the fascist goons is everyday reality of Gay of Life in India.

“Now just think about a small percentage of population who always has felt this unfairness that you are all feeling right now, every single day! Yes I’m talking about gays. For us gays, we could never think of celebrating Valentine’s Day with our special person in open places because we never felt secure to express our love. There is this fear always echoing in our minds (and not on Valentine’s Day alone) about what others would think and react if they see us holding hands or sitting across a table looking into each others eyes or giving a peck on the cheeks. It is not a good feel to always search for a secluded place to exchange such small tokens of love” Read the full article here

Sam maintains his own blog by the very “deconstructive” name of “The Straight Friendly Gay Blog”. It must be understood that

Jihad For Love

Jihad For Love

“exclusion” is the sole of a fascist society. Nothing is more dangerous than “exclusionary discourse” especially in Pakistan. Taliban couldn’t be defeated by pseudo-secularist discourse which is conformist and exclusionary. The Liberal Muslim’s insistence on constructing an “enlightened spiritual Islam” fails precisely because it becomes apart of dominant “Islam is the greatest and most democratic and liberal religion in the world” discourse in which Taliban and Liberal Muslims are united. The subversion is thus not achieved and all resistance becomes futile. This discourse insists on keeping “the others” invisible, the invisibility slowly evolves into amnesia and at this stage Genocide begins. How these apparently contradictory discourses merge can be demonstrated. While the Islamic Fascist says Homosexuals must be killed or there are no homosexuals in muslim world thus pushing gays towards genocide. This will result in protest by many even from western world who will focus on Islam’s objection to homosexuality. The Liberal muslim while vehemently oppose to Taliban will brand it “Islamophobia” and Euro-centricism giving examples of historic tolerance of homosexuality in the Past. To the general public which hears to “consensus opinion” message goes “Its all west’s fault they are enemies of Islam” because this is what both Mullah and secular is saying. The marginalized group is forgotten and keeps becoming victim of the dominant discourse. Ahmedin Nijad declared there are no homosexuals in Iran. This is a dangerous exclusionary discourse. Muslim Gay filmmaker Pervez Sharma has subverted this by making documentary recording “same gender love” in Muslim Societies. The film has got critical acclaim and awards and it challenges exclusionary discourse as well Islamophobia. The title itself is deconstructive “A Jihad for Love”

“Fourteen centuries after the revelation of the holy Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Islam today is the world’s second largest and fastest growing religion. Muslim gay filmmaker Parvez Sharma travels the many worlds of this dynamic faith discovering the stories of its most unlikely storytellers: lesbian and gay Muslims.

Filmed over 5 1/2 years, in 12 countries and 9 languages, “A Jihad for Love” comes from the heart of Islam. Looking beyond a hostile and war-torn present, this film seeks to reclaim the Islamic concept of a greater Jihad, which can mean ‘an inner struggle’ or ‘to strive in the path of God’. In doing so the film and its remarkable subjects move beyond the narrow concept of ‘Jihad’ as holy war.”

The film has been criticized for not challenging the theological objections to homosexuality but at least it has tried to challenge the strangulating invisibility imparted on Muslim Gays by Ahmedinijad and likes.

The Pakistani secularists or liberals who becomes tear eyed at the “barbarity” of ignorant Mullahs who wont allow the “love” who hate flowers and chocolates should keep in mind while they defend a corporate degenerative, exclusionary, stereotypical caricature of Love , they can Love even in most fascists of the societies, Taliban’s Afghanistan didn’t banned straight marriage nor did Hitler but in Iran these two teenage boys were hanged only because they loved each other and with Sharia in place in Swat this is the fate which awaits us , the Pakistani Gays if you people remained conformists

Hanged for Love, Iranian gays

Hanged for Love, Iranian gays