Friday, March 24, 2017

Pakistan Day; Adityanath as UP CM; London Terror; FBI Trump Probe

What is the significance of March 23 for Pakistanis? How did Pakistan celebrate its National Day? What does the participation of friendly nations China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in the parade mean?

World's Tallest Building Burj Khalifa Lit Up in Pakistani Colors
What message does Indian PM Modi's choice of Hindu militant priest Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, send to Indian Muslims and the world? Does this election further reinforce the reasons for the partition of India as demanded by Muslims on March 23, 1940?

Who is Khalid Masood, the man alleged to have terrorized London and considered responsible for causing tragic deaths and injuries to many near the British Parliament? How is the Islamophobia industry using this incident to fan the flames of hate? Does Masood have any connection to Pakistan as alleged by some? Is he representative of Muslims and Islam?

Is the FBI investigating "coordination" between the Trump campaign and the Russians to influence US presidential elections in 2016? What does "coordination" mean? Is it active "collusion" to leak damaging Clinton emails and other info? Or simply encouraging such leaks to benefit Trump? 

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/sKxPdYMuA-o




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Looking Back at Lahore Resolution of  March 23, 1940

UP Elections 2017

Husain Haqqani's Shifting Loyalties

Hinduization of India

Islamophobia in the West

Trump's Appointments

Talk4Pak Youtube Channel

Talk4Pak Vimeo Channel


10 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

Tarek Fatah was quick to exploit the tragic terror attack by Khalid Massod by the following tweet:

"Jihadi #KhalidMassod ws born in UK in 1963, but remained loyal to Pakistan, Islam and ISIS. Food for thought, isn't it?"

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C7oiMWKXUAE0uGa.jpg:large

Fact: Khalid Masood was born Adrian Elms and converted as an adult. HE had a prior criminal record. He was not of Pakistani origin.

Abdul Jabbar said...

I really like your blog.You share with us very helpful info.

Riaz Haq said...

The 712-page Google doc that proves #Muslims do condemn #terrorism | World news | The Guardian #Islamophobia
https://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2017/mar/26/muslims-condemn-terrorism-stats

It happened in history class. Heraa Hashmi, a 19-year-old American Muslim student at the University of Colorado, was supposed to be discussing the Crusades with the man sitting next to her. Within a few minutes, however, he was crusading against Islam.

“Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims,” Hashmi’s classmate told her. What’s more, he complained, not enough Muslims were making a stand against terrorism.

Hashmi was perplexed by this analysis. Muslims are constantly denouncing atrocities that have been committed in the name of Islam. Yet many people seem to think Muslims don’t condemn terrorism enough. So Hashmi decided to put the notion to the test. Using Google spreadsheets, she made a “712-page list of Muslims condemning things with sources”, which she tweeted. The list includes everything from acts of domestic violence to 9/11.

“I wanted to show people how weak the argument [that Muslims don’t care about terrorism] is,” she explained.

Her stats struck a chord. Within 24 hours, Hashmi’s tweet had been retweeted 15,000 times. A couple of her followers volunteered to help her turn her spreadsheet into an interactive website and, within a week of the tweet, muslimscondemn.com was born. This was last November, but the website has grown considerably since then and, sadly, flickers into prominence whenever a new attack takes place.

Hashmi’s project isn’t just designed to prove that Muslims are constantly condemning terrorism; she made it to demonstrate how ridiculous it is that Muslims are constantly expected to offer apologies for terrorist acts. Muslims, notes Hashmi, are “held to a different standard than other minorities: 1.6 billion people are expected to apologise and condemn [terrorism] on behalf of a couple of dozen lunatics. It makes no sense.” After all, Hashmi, says, “I don’t view the KKK or the Westboro Baptist church or the Lord’s Resistance Army as accurate representations of Christianity. I know that they’re on the fringe. So it gets very frustrating having to defend myself and having to apologise on behalf of some crazy people.”

You can see that double standard at play in the aftermath of the London attacks. Khalid Masood, the London attacker, was born Adrian Elms in Dartford, Kent and is believed to have converted to Islam in prison. Have we heard Kent natives – hello Nigel Farage! – condemn the actions of the people born in their county? (“I hope my Kentish brothers and sisters will reach out to fellow Britons in solidarity to demonstrate that such hatred will not defeat the inherent bonhomie of the home counties?”) No, we haven’t, because that would be ridiculous. And yet Muslims have often been expected to apologise for the actions of someone on the very fringes of their community, and have done so.

Thanks to Hashmi, all these condemnations are now carefully recorded at muslimscondemn.com. So for anyone asking why more Muslims don’t denounce terrorism, you know where to go.

Riaz Haq said...

Indian history scholar Audrey Truschke says the Hindu-right largely ignore the colonial history and see their history through an Indo-Islamic lens only.
“So, to contradict that narrative or make it more nuanced and complex is a problem, since their current position in the Indian cultural and political landscape rests on their reading of the past,” says Truschke. “But Aurangzeb was a complex king who had a profound impact on the political landscape of 17th- and 18th-century India. As historians, we need to avoid this presentist stance and look at the evidence before us.”

A leading scholar of South Asian cultural and intellectual history, Truschke has just published a book on one of the most hated figures in Indian history, the last of six great kings of the powerful Mughal dynasty, whose empire stretched across the Indian subcontinent during the heyday of Muslim rule in the region from the 16th to 18th centuries.

Since this year’s publication of Aurangzeb: The Man and the Myth, Truschke has been targeted by Hindu-nationalists supporting the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and by other groups, whose current anti-Muslim sentiment traces back to medieval times, when Muslims started expanding into the region.

“My Twitter account is a nightmare right now,” Truschke says. “It hasn’t been fun.”

The popular view in today’s India is that, like other Mughal kings who were hostile to Indian languages, religions and culture, Aurangzeb was a Hindu-despising Islamist fanatic who destroyed Hindu and Jain temples and imposed a military tax on most non-Muslims.

But Truschke, one of the few living scholars who reads pre-modern Persian, Sanskrit and Hindi, had in a prior book argued that the Mughal courts were deeply interested in Indian thinkers and ideas, with elites and intellectuals engaging across cultures. In researching that monograph, Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court (2016), she was the first scholar to study texts in Sanskrit and Persian in exploring the courtly life of the Mughals.

In her latest work, she paints a much more nuanced picture of Aurangzeb, showing how he also protected most Hindu and Jain temples and increased the Hindu share in the Mughal nobility. Rather than hatred of Hindus driving his decisions, Truschke says, more likely Aurangzeb was guided by political reprisals and other practical considerations of rule, along with morality concerns, and a thirst for power and expansion.

That interpretation hasn’t sat well with some factions in India, but Truschke argues that as an academic historian, her project wasn’t to play political football with Aurangzeb to satisfy current agendas. It was to recapture the world of the sixth Mughal king, which operated according to quite different norms and ideas.

“My book looks at Aurangzeb as part of an Indian dynasty in all its complexities and nuances. I don’t ask if he was good or bad; that’s not an interesting historical question,” says Truschke. “I look at him with a purely empirical view, and that has been widely read by Hindu-nationalists as an apology for his Muslim atrocities.”

Truschke says that the current ethno-religious tensions in India were stoked during the British colonial period, when Britain benefitted by pitting Hindus and Muslims against each another while portraying themselves as neutral saviors who could keep ancient religious conflicts at bay.

Modern Hindu-nationalists, meanwhile, saw the political value in perpetuating the conflict and have done so with great success.

https://www.newark.rutgers.edu/news/historian-finds-herself-center-indias-hindu-muslim-conflict

Riaz Haq said...

Noam Chomsky: Is It Fair to Worry About #Trump Staging a False Flag #Terrorist Attack? @alternet

http://www.alternet.org/noam-chomsky-it-fair-worry-about-trump-staging-false-flag-terrorist-attack

Chomsky warns of scapegoating vulnerable people: "That can turn out to be very ugly."

In order to maintain his popularity, the Trump administration will have to try to find some means of rallying the support and changing the discourse from the policies that they are carrying out, which are basically a wrecking ball to something else. Maybe scapegoating, saying, "Well, I'm sorry, I can't bring your jobs back because these bad people are preventing it." And the typical scapegoating goes to vulnerable people: immigrants, terrorists, Muslims and elitists, whoever it may be. And that can turn out to be very ugly.

I think that we shouldn't put aside the possibility that there would be some kind of staged or alleged terrorist act, which can change the country instantly.


Riaz Haq said...

#Aurangzeb Wasn't The Bigot India's Right Wingers Make Him Out To Be On Social Media http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2017/03/28/why-aurangzebs-reputation-as-a-tyrant-and-bigot-doesnt-stand-t_a_22013910/?ncid=fcbklnkinhpmg00000001 … #KnowAurangzeb #Mughal #history

Aurangzeb's life, widely misrepresented by the Hindutva brigade as that of a cardboard despot's, was far more complex

To impose on Aurangzeb the standards of the modern world is to thus make a grave historical error

It's no big news that contemporary India is brazenly partisan about its national heroes, especially the ones who tower over the subcontinent's history. But few figures have elicited as much contempt from a section of the public as well as the political class as the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

Aurangzeb's legacy, in the popular imagination, is one of unmitigated tyranny — reviled as the destroyer of Hindu temples, executioner of Sikh guru Teg Bahadur, and an austere Muslim ruler, who imposed unpopular taxes and curbed expressions of liberal Islam.

In 2015, amid a raging controversy, the ruling government acceded to an extraordinary request from the New Delhi Municipal Corporation to have the name of Aurangzeb Road in the national capital changed to APJ Abdul Kalam Road. The idea was to remove the association of evil, represented by Aurangzeb, from the name of the street and replace it with the name of the former president of India, who, presumably, embodied goodness.

The hatred for Aurangzeb also comes through in his denunciation by the Shiv Sena and other groups that admire his arch-rival, the Maratha warrior, Shivaji. In 2004, a biography of Shivaji by James Laine was banned in Maharashtra because it had dared to raise questions deemed unseemly by his fans. In 2015, a Shiv Sena MP abused an officer on duty on camera by calling him "Aurangzeb ki aulad" (a descendant of Aurangzeb), after he razed some temples during a demolition drive sanctioned by the district collector in Aurangabad, based on high court orders.

Historian Audrey Truschke took it upon herself to write a biography of Aurangzeb for the common reader to disabuse them of the many misconceptions around the Mughal king. At a little over 100 pages, without the paraphernalia of footnotes, it is as accessible as a complex historical narrative can get, without losing its essential core of erudition.

Debunking The Myths

As Truschke says in the Preface, the idea for the book, fittingly, came to her in an exchange on Twitter, a minefield for peddling divisive political agenda by interested groups and individuals. The spirit of the book, with its crisp prose and controlled polemics, hits out at the easy generalisations of social media.

Aurangzeb's life, widely misrepresented by the Hindutva brigade as that of a cardboard despot's, was far more complex, as anyone with common sense would expect, as well as riddled with many contradictions. Those who are familiar with politics should not be surprised by the persistence of the latter either.

Riaz Haq said...


Shivaji spark
Culture police vandalism and politics force the Maharashtra Government to ban the biography of the Maratha warrior king.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/james-wlaines-book-on-shivaji-sparks-controversy/1/196669.html

James W. Laine wanted to redeem history from legends. What the professor of religious studies at Macalester College in Minnesota did not realize was that some Indians find legends more comforting than history.

Laine's slim volume, Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India, published by Oxford University Press, is the latest victim of the culture police. Following the rage of the self-styled keepers of the Maratha heritage against Laine's blasphemy, the Government of Maharashtra has now banned the book.

What about the lost manuscripts, though? On January 5, an angry mob calling itself the Sambhaji Brigade of the Maratha Mahasangh stormed the 87-year-old Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI), Pune, and destroyed priceless manuscripts and artifacts.

They targeted the institute, one of the finest archival centres of the country, because it was acknowledged in the book as Laine's "scholarly home" in India during the time of his research. The loss was a piece of India's own heritage.

A rattled Laine,who considers Pune his second home, even made an appeal that he alone, and not those who assisted him in his research, should be held responsible for the book. The Sambhaji Brigade, saying the ban is more political than official, is threatening to take the book-burning protest beyond Pune.

What's Laine's blasphemy? By "reviewing" the narrative evolution of the legend of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the 17th century Maratha hero who defied the Mughal Empire to found an independent kingdom, he hopes to rescue the biography of "this great man"from"the grasp of those who see India as a Hindu nation at war with its Muslim neighbors".

Today Laine's work is struggling to rescue itself from the grasp of Maratha pride because it raises some "personal" questions about the warrior king. Questions like: Did he have an unhappy family life?
Did he have a harem? Was he more interested in building a kingdom than liberating a nation? Was he least interested in the religion of Bhakti saints? Laine calls them "cracks" in the Shivaji narrative.

Writing in LA Times on January 12, Laine, "always drawn to stories of heroes", defends his scholarly freedom to entertain what he calls "unthinkable thoughts". As he says in the article, "The owners of Shivaji's story had their own set of questions, delivered with a punch: who should be allowed to portray this history?
Should an outsider working with Brahmin English-speaking elites have a greater say in Shivaji's story than Shivaji's own community?" Defenders of the Maratha pride see an intellectual conspiracy in the cracks.

Outraged by a reference in the book to Shivaji's "absentee father", Purushottam Khedekar, founder member and president of the Maratha Mahasangh, says, "We strongly condemn the Brahminic attitude and the heinous propaganda against Shivaji Maharaj."

And politically too, Laine is not getting any support.Sharad Pawar, the veteran Maratha leader, has already warned that scholarship should not clash with public sentiments and faith. Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee, as usual, was an exception. He condemned the violence and upheld the importance of disagreement and debate in a democracy.

Chief Minister S.K. Shinde, under pressure from the Maratha lobby in the NCP and his own party, the Congress, is hesitant about taking action against the violent protesters.



In the time of elections, few political leaders can afford to be on the wrong side of Maratha pride, and fewer can afford to take the side of free expression.

Rizwan said...

I think it is rather misguided for Mr. Faraz Dervesh to suggest that Hussain Haqqani be given an opportunity to explain his viewpoint on Viewpoint from Oversees. We all know he is a liar, so why do you want to give him another forum to spread his lies? He already has an outlet in the Western media. You should continue to use Viewpoint from Overseas as a forum for CONSTRUCTIVE dialogue about Pakistan. Taking on a snake may just get you bitten, and you are likely not achieve anything positive.

Riaz Haq said...

#India state to give life sentences for #cow slaughter @AJENews. #GaurakshaACT #Modi #BJP #Gujarat

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/india-state-give-life-sentences-cow-slaughter-170331154617787.html

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat on Friday increased the punishment for cow slaughter from seven years to life imprisonment as Hindu hardliners push for tougher protections for the holy animal.

Under the stiffened penalties passed by Gujarat's state assembly, anyone caught transporting cows for slaughter could also face up to 10 years in jail.

Cows are considered sacred in Hindu-majority India, and their slaughter is illegal in most states.

"A cow is not an animal. It is symbol of universal life," Gujarat Law Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja told the state's assembly.

"Anybody who does not spare the cow, the government will not spare him."


The amendment still needs the approval of the state governor - a formality all but assured - before becoming law.

Millions from India's huge minority populations - including Muslims, Christians and lower-caste Hindus - eat beef, although it is not widely available.

But Modi's ruling right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party, which recently won India's largest state Uttar Pradesh in a landslide, has long campaigned for the protection of cows.

The BJP's new chief minister in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, has launched a crackdown on abattoirs since taking office in March that has ground the state's meat industry to a halt.

Hindu activists have long accused the Muslim-dominated meat industry of covering up the slaughter of cows and passing off the meat as buffalo, which are not revered as holy.

Cow slaughter is a hot-button issue in India, where even rumours of cows being transported can spark murderous reprisals and religious riots.

Squads of "cow protection" vigilantes are known to roam highways inspecting livestock trucks for any trace of the animal.

In 2015, a 50-year-old Muslim man accused of eating beef was dragged from his home and beaten to death by a mob. Police later said it was mutton.


Riaz Haq said...


What is Hindutva?
A.G. NOORANI

https://www.dawn.com/news/1301496/what-is-hindutva


Savarkar wrote, “... Hindutva is not identical with what is vaguely indicated by the term Hinduism. By an ‘ism’ it is generally meant a theory or a code more or less based on spiritual or religious dogma or system. But when we attempt to investigate the essential significance of Hindutva we do not primarily — and certainly not mainly — concern ourselves with any particular theocratic or religious dogma or creed”. His concern was politics; the political mobilisation of Hindus into one nation.

If not religion, what, then, is the basis for the divide? With crystal clarity, he wrote, “To every Hindu … this Sindhusthan is at once a pitribhu and a punyabhu — fatherland and a holy land. That is why in the case of some of our ... countrymen, who had originally been forcibly converted to a non-Hindu religion and who consequently have inherited along with Hindus, a common fatherland and a greater part of the wealth of a common culture — language, law, customs, folklore and history — are not and cannot be recognised as Hindus. For though Hindusthan to them is fatherland as to any other Hindu yet it is not to them a holy land too. Their holy land is far off in Arabia or Palestine. Their mythology and god-men, ideas and heroes are not the children of this soil. Consequently their name and their outlook smack of a foreign origin”.

The divide cannot be bridged except by obeying Hindutva’s demand for conversion to Hinduism. Savarkar exhorted, “Ye, who by race, by blood, by culture, by nationality possess almost all the essentials of Hindutva and had been forcibly snatched out of our ancestral home by the hand of violence — ye, have only to render wholehearted love to our common mother and recognise her not only as fatherland (Pitribhu) but even as a holy land (Punyabhu), and ye would be most welcome to the Hindu fold”.

Gandhi’s assassination put paid to Savarkar’s ambitions, but the RSS picked up the baton. Its supremo, M.S. Golwalkar, drew inspiration from Hindutva and coined its synonym, ‘cultural nationalism’, in contrast to ‘territorial nationalism’ in his book, A Bunch of Thoughts (1968). Everyone born within the territory of India is not a nationalist; the nation is defined by a common ‘culture’ (read: religion).

Golwalkar wrote, “... here was already a full-fledged ancient nation of the Hindus and the various communities which were living in the country were here either as guests, the Jews and Parsis, or as invaders, the Muslims and Christians. They never faced the question how all such heterogeneous groups could be called as children of the soil merely because, by an accident, they happened to reside in common territory under the rule of a common enemy … The theories of territorial nationalism and of common danger, which formed the basis for our concept of nation, had deprived us of the positive and inspiring content of our real Hindu nationhood ...”

This explains the RSS’ ghar wapsi (‘return to your home’) campaign, simply a repeat of the past shuddhi (‘purification’) movement. Nothing has changed; an unbroken ideological thread binds Savarkar’s Hindutva, Golwalkar’s ‘cultural nationalism’ and the RSS-BJP policies today. On Sept 24, 1990, BJP president L.K. Advani launched “a crusade in defence of Hindutva”, which culminated in the demolition of Babri Masjid, in his presence, on Dec 6, 1992.

Since 1996, the BJP’s election manifestoes for Lok Sabha elections pledge to espouse Hindutva in these terms: “The cultural nationalism of India … is the core of Hindutva.” This explains the Modi government’s systematic purge of educational and cultural institutions. It is a quarrel with history. As scholars Susanne and Lloyd Rudolph remarked, modern hatreds are supported by ancient, remembered wrongs, whether real or imagined. The RSS-BJP combine rejects the concept of composite culture that Jawaharlal Nehru and others propounded.