Is There a Religiously Designated Islamic Political System? By Asif Zaidi


While political movements that function in the name of religion have been a world phenomenon for centuries, in the modern age it is only Islam that, in the recent times, has become associated with radical fundamentalism in an essentialist manner. Hence the world view of the traits of this radical fundamentalism gets transferred to Islam itself. These radical Islamists espouse exclusivity in both moral and political domains and have converted political activity into a purified theology of politics without which, according to them, a society or an individual cannot function in entire conformity with Islam. This is what signifies political Islam in today’s context. Tarek Fatah, in his book ‘Chasing a Mirage’ correctly points out that “the issue of succession and the incessant and obsessive urge to establish the Islamic State has made the Muslim Ummah a prisoner of its own delusion”.

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‘Women in Hiding’, Directed by Taliban, Running Successfully in Dark Corners – by Asif Zaidi


The above production has now hit the marketplace of Karak, a town in KPK, which is ruled by the PTI. Karak is the district headquarter of Karak District, whose population is almost entirely comprised of Khattak tribe. This news can be seen in the following article in the country’s arguably most respected newspaper.

According to this piece, a committee of local clerics (ulema) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Karak district banned the entry in markets of women who are not accompanied by a 'mehram' (a family member not eligible to marry the woman in question). We wait to see how the PTI’s government in the province reacts to the news.

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Yesterday I wrote a piece named “Malala and our Hypocrisy” and brought a lot of thunder upon myself, mainly in the form of Facebook messages.. Also if you go to the Facebook pages ‘The Fans of Truth’ or ‘Let’s Build Pakistan’ or if you see the same article on LUBP site page and read the comments underneath:

There is nothing but filth and abuse for Malala, a young kid who almost died, using the language one probably wouldn’t use for a rapist murderer.

Not a single concrete allegation.

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We are ready to judge Malala even before she has done something wrong and not willing to judge Taliban even after they have killed tens of thousands. Why?

To me, this ‘why’ is nonsensical. What else can one expect? When you have a society that takes at its founding the hatred and degradation of women and minorities, when that society inscribes that degradation in its most hallowed document, and continues to inscribe hatred in its laws and policies, it is eccentric to believe that its citizens will derive no ill messaging. It is painful to say this, Malala Yousufzai is not a victim of Taliban but a victim of our hypocrisy.  This is not our system malfunctioning. It is our system working as intended.

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Osama Bin Laden Inquiry Leads to a Scathing Report – by Asif Zaidi


The leaked accounts of Osama Bin Laden Commissions’ report reveal a scolding that the ISI spooks will not be proud to show Mom. The report is particularly critical of the failure of Pakistan intelligence and security agencies to know that the planet’s most hunted man continued to live in their midst for many years. The report makes an attempt to move beyond just rhetoric, previously observed in such instances, and seeks to be somewhat precise in its account.

While the authorities may be ruffled by the findings, a bigger source of insecurity is being uncomfortably exposed. Hence, the report has been hushed. Once again one can glimpse the skipping demon of hypocrisy and incompetence in the thick of it all. Feeling offended, of course, is one of modern Pakistan’s great pursuits.

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Is Egypt Looking for its Next Pharaoh? – by Asif Zaidi


While I may support liberal ideas and politics and be dead against all forms of theocracy, I have no choice but to call a spade a spade; it just is what is. July 3, 2013 was no different from the grain of Egyptian history and it amounts to most significant subversion of democracy, sabotage of constitution, and the exploitation of power by the Egyptian Army. It is not the first time Egypt has experienced this but it is totally out of sync with the modern times. It is true that Egypt gave Morsi a year to prove that he would govern for all Egyptians as he promised but he failed. He ran a government that acted outside the law in its hasty quest to impose upon Egypt their sole vision of a state governed by theocratic principles - a government that was taking on the form of tyranny. However, unless the Army acts with great restraint and steps away from the political arena as soon as possible, history will gloss over Morsi and Muslims Brotherhood’s incompetence and will judge the power-drunken politically motivated generals harshly.


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A friend sent me the below picture seeking my views. While the question is quite unscientific and I avoid ‘nontechnical’ discussions in most matters, particularly science, I find it apt to comment on this to address the doubts it may create in some minds. The question itself is ‘naïve’ because whether or not a species form is extant there is substantial evidence of their past existence through transitional fossils and other scientific means. While craftily designed to create doubts about the evolution, the question covers only the evolutionary history of primates, in particular the genus Homo, and the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species of hominids (or "great apes"). The study of human evolution involves many scientific disciplines, including physical anthropology, primatology, archaeology, linguistics, evolutionary psychology, embryology and genetics.

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A DIEU! MADIBA – by Asif Zaidi

Good bye, Madiba as you leave us in awe of you. We say “a dieu” today to a gifted leader, an exceptional statesman, and an extraordinary human being who became a symbol of human worth. I still feel myself mesmerized by his tenderness, humility, and introspection that nobody expected as the apartheid melted away and Madiba emerged from three decades of persecution and imprisonment. Madiba never looked backed. He showed no bitterness, did not fulminate or gloat, did not even ponder long. He just went about the work of building a nation. He was not satisfied with his victory, he was determined to do one thing only, and that is to serve life itself for he clearly saw how each race is stitched together by the life. Madiba’s life is a shining field of light because he felt one with all humans and never alone, not even during the years consigned to solitary confinement.

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