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Match fixing: shameful and unacceptable

The News of the World exposes cricket match-fixing scandal

The match-fixing allegations are not new for Pakistani cricketers. In the past, such allegations have been proved within the country. The recent scandal with circumstantial evidence broke out by a British tabloid is simply mind-boggling and shameful. We hope that a fair inquiry will remove the mist from the narrative presented by the media. But a thorough inquiry must take place and all the recommendations should be implemented.

Even if there is a grain of truth in the allegations against 7 members of the the team including Mohammad Amir whose bowling was ironically praised in the ongoing test match, it is a matter of serious concern and brings shame to all Pakistanis.

That such an incident happens at the world stage when Pakistan is struggling to recover from a major natural disaster and seeking international assistance has ramifications for the country and its people.

What is wrong with us? Is it that bad? The absence of rule of law and flouting of ethical standards in every sphere seems to be our fate?

Perhaps, another conspiracy – as I just heard a few people on the television. No. We must admit that we are sliding down and we need to face our grim realities and do something about it.

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August 29th, 2010|Pakistan, Sport|6 Comments

Coincidence…

Just found out that I was quoted on The Guardian twice. Made me smile a bit in these gloomy times.

Here is the copy of the page.  Click here to see the two stories on Data darbar carnage and fake degrees of Pakistani politicians.

July 5th, 2010|Journalism, media, Pakistan, Politics|2 Comments

First woman to lead Friday prayers in UK

This is such an interesting development. Much as it is preaching to the converted syndrome. But as such scattered reformist acts occur within Islam is a welcome development. Debate and dialogue is important for a dynamic religion such as Islam which has been maligned and stereotyped in this age of corporate media and gross generalisations.

Story and picture from the Independent (By Jerome Taylor): A Canadian author will become the first Muslim-born woman to lead a mixed-gender British congregation through Friday prayers tomorrow in a highly controversial move that will attempt to spark a debate about the role of female leadership within Islam.
Raheel Raza, a rights activist and Toronto-based author, has been asked to lead prayers and deliver the khutbah at a small prayer session in Oxford.
She has been invited by Dr Taj Hargey, a self-described imam who preaches an ultra-liberal interpretation of Islam which includes, among other things, that men and women should be allowed to pray together and that female imams should lead mixed congregations in prayer. […]
June 15th, 2010|Islam, Religion|6 Comments

UK Election: Yasmin Qureshi, MP

Yasmin Qureshi, a barrister in the UK, is one of the few Muslim women of Pakistani origin to have entered the British Parliament. Despite the overall inconclusive results of the election, Qureshi’s election is most delightful.

YQ has been an old friend and colleague in the United Nations. […]

May 12th, 2010|Personal, Politics, women|1 Comment

The closed minds that deny a civilisation’s glories – where I was quoted

I was most pleased to read this piece by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown entitled The closed minds that deny a civilisation’s glories. I would like to thank Yasmin Alibhai, whom I have always respected for her integrity and courage, to have quoted a few hurried lines posted by me in response to tge butchery perpeterated by the extremists in Pakistan and elsewhere:

Muslims are seeing Koranic injunctions where none exist
Confused Dad Mohamed from somewhere in the US sends his dilemma to an Islamic guidance website through whom Allah apparently communicates his orders – on how we dress, what we do minute by minute, unholy TV programmes, wicked vitamins and even wickeder relations between males and females.
I paraphrase Mohamed’s frantic appeal for clarity. His children watch cartoons, and have stuffed toys, quilts and pillow cases with Mickey Mouse on them. Is all that halal? Now many of us detest the addictive and manipulative Disney brand which targets young children. But this fully grown, procreative adult cannot trust his own mind and seeks instructions from unverified voices of authority. How abject is that?
These global sites control people, push through Maoist “cleansing”. Miserable mullahs are closing down the Muslim mind and heart the world over. Meanwhile “true believers” desperately seek enslavement and thank their enslavers. The questions posed are startling in their naiveté. May we sing? Is it OK for a man to listen to a woman singer? Do I watch a female newsreader? Yes, says a wise one – as long as she is properly covered up and not wearing perfume. Don’t laugh. It is tragic, not funny.
Somehow in the last decade or so, millions of believers have been persuaded that they are repositories of sin because they watch films, love music and paintings, read books, experience temporal pleasures and ecstasies. Remember the ferocity with which the Taliban destroyed all pre-Islamic treasures? Saudi Arabia is guilty of similar vandalism. Thus they seek to recreate the piety of triumphant Islam. Well they didn’t have cameras, mobile phones, cars and computers then. Should these be banned too?
Muslim children are now programmed to obey – robbed of imagination, independent thought and refinement. UK Muslim parents are increasingly coming out against school visits, music and drama, novels, exercise, scientific facts. Teachers know these parental demands leave Muslim children under-educated and emotionally numbed, rendered unresponsive to artistic words, sights and sounds.
This is a travesty of our history, our love of truth and beauty, the intellectual energy that throughout history uplifted Muslim civilisations. The current Science Museum exhibition of Muslim inventions that shaped the modern world proves we were never the barbarians promoted in Western demonology. Some of the earliest manuals on surgery and optics, astronomy and flying machines came out of Muslim regions. And those same places were creative hubs producing great works of art, incredible buildings and intricate crafts.
There is no Koranic injunction against the depiction of the human form, yet pictures from previous ages would today not be painted – a kneeling, sensual angel by an Ottoman artist in the mid-16th century, a man filling his cup of wine. Passion plays were performed through the centuries in all main Arabian conurbations. Poetry was written and recited by both men and women. Music, devotional and romantic, was in every household. All that is under threat today.
The Pakistani blogger Raza Rumi writes: “Who are these butchers of culture? What religion do they follow? They have no religion except barbarism.” Exactly. British Muslims for Secular Democracy (of which I am chair), supported by the British Council, is tomorrow organising a conference on artistic and cultural freedom at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Speakers include Miss Pakistan (who is also a professor), fashion designers, the entrepreneur Saira Khan, painters, stand-up comics, musicians, writers, others who are concerned. The event is open to all. Check the BMSD site. We will be launching an advisory guide for teachers on protecting the interests of the Muslim child. […]

February 15th, 2010|Guest Writer, Islam, Islamophobia, media, Middle East, Religion|5 Comments

Sir Salman Rushdie’s fatwa against freedom of expression

BY SHAJAHAN MADAMPAT

SIR Salman Rushdie, that beloved symbol of freedom of expression, has now turned Khomeini, so to speak, exposing, in an ironic twist of tale, the hypocrisy and double standards that marked the entire liberal case for unqualified and unrestrained freedom of representation.

The man, in whose defence the world’s intelligentsia mounted an intellectual blitzkrieg against the alleged medievalism of the Muslim masses, has threatened to sue the publishers of a book about him by a former police officer, Ron Evans. In his forthcoming book, On Her Majesty’s Service: My Incredible Life in the World’s Most Dangerous Close Protection Squad, Evans dares to paint a rather unflattering portrait of the writer, whose unflattering ways stirred up controversies ever since he began to write. Rushdie alleges that the book “destroys his character” and “presents wholly made up incidents as facts.” […]

August 17th, 2008|Islam, Islamophobia|4 Comments