Sunday, May 17, 2015

Jibran Nasir in Silicon Valley

Young Pakistani activist Mohammad Jibran Nasir was a big draw at a Silicon Valley lunch organized Saturday May 16 by iKolachi Policy Research Institute under Talk4Pak banner. 

Riaz Haq Introducing iKolachi

The event began with Pakistani-American children lighting candles and performing "Bara Dushman Bana Phirta Hai Jo Bachon Se Darta Hai", a popular song produced after the terrorist attack on the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar that claimed 140 lives, most of them children.

Jibran Nasir Speaking in Silicon Valley

It was followed by Riaz Haq introducing silicon valley-based Talk4Pak Pakistani-American think tank, specifically its focus on the use of social media to counter the false narrative of the religious fanatics and terrorists who are also using  the same media to justify their campaign of murder and mayhem of innocent people.  

Jibran's presentation began with a documentary showing the origins of his "reclaim your mosque" movement with a historic demonstration at Islamabad's Lal Masjid demanding the arrest and prosecution of the radical cleric Maulana Abul Aziz. It was the first-time ever in Pakistan's history that a significant number of young Muslims gathered spontaneously to make such a demand in front of a mosque. 

Jibran shared with the audience the details of the duplicity of the leaders of all major political parties. He showed pictures of PMLN, PPP, PTI and MQM politicians posing with the sectarian leaders of supposedly banned organizations who are known to be responsible for large scale terrorist attacks against Shias and various minority groups in the country. 

Jibran described his organization Never Forget Pakistan and several of its media campaigns in some detail. Here is the "Citizens' Charter of Demands" agreed by the organization: 

The Charter is part of a global movement of concerned Pakistanis opposed to violent extremism in the name of religion. We stand by the victims of such violence and aim to provide them with moral and other forms of support to alleviate their suffering. We envision a Pakistan free of hatred and oppression, where all Pakistanis can coexist peacefully and where diversity in religious thought and belief is accepted and respected. We present the following demands for the Government of Pakistan (“Government”):

  1. We stand for human rights and demand the Government to ensure equal citizenship rights for all Pakistanis.
  2. We oppose Takfir (declaring anyone a non-Muslim/Kafir) and subjecting anyone to persecution on that basis. We demand the Government that takfir be treated and tried as hate- speech.
  3. We demand that the Government take immediate action against all forms of hate speech which may be defined as words, spoken or written, that incite violence and hatred against any community based on their religious affiliations.
  4. We demand that the Government act against any extra-judicial killings or violence in the name of religion and false accusations of “blasphemy”. We demand the reform of Pakistan’s blasphemy law in order to prevent its misuse.
  5. We support the rule of law and due process. We demand that the Government enhance the capacity oflaw enforcing agencies to deal with crime and violence at the local level. Such crimes feed violent extremist groups at other levels.
  6. We demand that educational curriculum at all levels should include teachings that promote compassion,tolerance and respect for human rights. Text books should be revised to expunge any material that incites or preaches hatred and/or violence against any community or section of society
  7. We demand that the Government act against banned outfits and individuals operating in the name of religion. The Government must also publicize the list of banned outfits engaged in sectarian and religious violence and proceed legally against them.
  8. We demand that Pakistani electronic media cease giving airtime to any individual or organization whichengages in hate speech, inciting violence in the name of religion and/or has been declared banned by theGovernment.
  9. We demand that the Government immediately freeze assets of banned outfits and of those who are associated with them and take all measures to permanently cut off their sources of domestic andinternational financing. The Government should impose sanctions, including travel restrictions, on such outfits and individuals.

Among the generally positive reviews of Jibran's speech that have come in so far, the following feedback from Dr. Safwan Shah, a prominent Pakistani-American entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, particularly stands out:

"For an hour I was transported to a place where every new minute inspired me to fall in love with Pakistan again. Who could have imagined, a twenty something young man would have so much charisma, chutzpah and calmness. All that while conveying the most gory and disgusting details of how people of our beautiful motherland kill each other.

Dear Cemendtaur, Thank you for inviting me to listen to Jibran Nasir's talk. He is a gift we must cherish and protect. He is attempting to fuse together the million tiny pieces of our nations shattered self. He is trying to put humpty dumpty together again, hopefully much better than before. He needs people power not prayer to produce the mass movement which will help heal Pakistan's soul by overcoming the demons that terrorism unleashes.

As I processed his words, flowing so sincerely and purely I recalled the 80's. Which we all believe is when the detritus began. That was the time when we gave up on Pakistan. That is when I decided that this battle was too far gone and my best recourse is to turn away from the gleaming, bloodshot eyes of the religious right, hunting for blood.

Seeing and hearing Jibran, I had profound guilt for turning our back and letting these demons flourish and spawn into millions of ideological killers. Seeing Jibran today gave me hope, far more than a glimmer, a gleam, a sustained lightning that kept thundering - my entire body exclaimed, we have people like him too. Thank you.

So, first I want to thank him. Second, I want to say sorry, we gave him a million broken pieces because we could not stop the hammer that had just started to systematically break our society while we just watched and then we turned away.

Please thank Faraz Darvesh for making the effort required to pull all this together". 

Here's a Viewpoint From Overseas interview with Jibran Nasir with Jibran responding to attacks on him: What is Jibran Nasir’s hidden agenda? Who is behind Jibran Nasir? What does Jibran Nasir want to achieve? Is Jibran Nasir maligning Pakistan? Is Jibran Nasir maliciously airing Pakistan’s dirty laundry? Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these and other questions with this week’s special guest Jibran Nasir and co-host Misbah Azam in Silicon Valley, California, USA.


Mayraj said...

Can you share these pics:
"Jibran shared with the audience the details of the duplicity of the leaders of all major political parties. He showed pictures of PMLN, PPP, PTI and MQM politicians posing with the sectarian leaders"

Riaz Haq said...

Mayraj: "Can you share these pics:
"Jibran shared with the audience the details of the duplicity of the leaders of all major political parties. He showed pictures of PMLN, PPP, PTI and MQM politicians posing with the sectarian leaders"

I personally don't have them but you can search Google images of various major party leaders with Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi or Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqui, both of SSP aka LeJ aska ASWJ

For example: Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi with Nawaz Sharif

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan imam jailed for five years for anti-#Shia sermons #hatespeech …

LAHORE: A court in Pakistan has jailed an Imam or prayer leader for five years for inciting hate against a rival sect, officials said Wednesday.

Maulana Abubakar a prayer leader was arrested in February in Kasur district, Punjab, some 50 kilometres south of Lahore, for making a speech against the rival minority Shia sect, a prosecutor told AFP.

“The judge of an anti-terrorism court on Tuesday sentenced the Imam to serve five years in prison for [giving a] hate speech,” the prosecutor said on condition of anonymity.

“The Imam was found guilty of inciting hatred against Shia [people] and raised slogans during his sermon that Shias were infidels,” he said.

The official said that under Pakistan’s National Action Plan against terrorism, authorities have arrested many prayer leaders and courts have sent them to prison over hate speech charges.

The official said he could not give the number of convictions as data was still being compiled about the cases.

Shaikh Saeed Ahmed, a Lahore district prosecutor, confirmed the conviction and sentence awarded to the Imam.

Sectarian violence has claimed thousands of lives in the country over the past decade.

In the latest bloodshed, 44 Shias were massacred in Karachi last week, in the first attack claimed by the Islamic State group in the country.

The National Action Plan against terrorism, which involved the outlawing of militant groups, registration of seminaries and crackdown on hate speech, was announced in the wake of a Taliban massacre that killed 154 people, mostly schoolchildren, in December.

Pakistan also lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty and announced the establishment of military courts in the case of terrorist offences.

Tambi Dude said...

Hmm, I thought all militants are from RAW. what happened to that theory?

Riaz Haq said...

Ravi: "Hmm, I thought all militants are from RAW. what happened to that theory?"

Have you heard about plausible deniability?

Did you watch Ajit Doval talk about India using Jihadis to hurt Pakistan?

Do you know US created and used the Taliban against the Russians before they turned on the West?

And Israel created Hamas to fight the PLO before the Hamas decided to attack its creators?

Tambi Dude said...

"Have you heard about plausible deniability?"

Profound logic. So plausible deniability from India should prevent Pakistan from supplying proof? Here is what Pak can do to start with

1. show the link between the terrorist and India.
2. If (1) is not possible, follow the money and prove how india is sponsoring it.

Have you read Dr. Hoodhboy, Raza Rumi's comment on this so called RAW connection.

While we are at it, has the #Axact scandal force you to revise opinion about the so called 1 billion dollar IT industry of Pakistan. ha.

Riaz Haq said...

Ravi: "Have you read Dr. Hoodhboy, Raza Rumi's comment on this so called RAW connection."

Have you read the history of RAW's covert actions in Pakistan?

Excepts from Mission R&AW by RK Yadav:


Page 21

" Wali Khan (son of Abul Ghaffar Khan) wanted moral, political and other support from Mrs. Indira Gandhi. R.N. Kao sent hs deputy Sankaran Nair to negotiate as the Indian representative. Since Pakistan embassy was keeping watch on the movements of Wali Khan, the rendezvous was shifted to Copenhagen in Sweden where Nair and another R&AW man of Indian mission I.S. Hassanwalia met Wali Khan. Subsequently all sorts of Indian Government till 1977 when Indira Gandhi lost election".

Agartala Conspiracy:

Page 197

"In view of the disclosures of S.K. Nair, it is evidently true that Mujib was implicated in the Agartala Consiracy case at the instance of Pakistan Government. However, it is also true that other accused in this case were certainly agents of Intelligence Bureau (IB) in India"

Fokker Hijacking in Srinagar:

Page 227:

There was an agent of R&AW-Hashim Qureshi in Srinagar.......R&AW persuaded Hashim Qureshi to work for them....A plan was devised that Qureshi would be allowed to hijack a plane of Indian Airlines rom Srinagar Airport to Lahore where he would demand the release of 36 members of Al-Fatah who were in jail in India in lieu of the passengers on the plane. He was directed not to give control of the plane to he Pakistani authorities until he was allowed to talk to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, who was the chief architect of instigating political turmoil in Pakistan at the time....After the plan was given final shaoe, on January 30, 1971, Hashim Qureshi along with another operative Ashraf Qureshi, his relative, was allowed to hijack a Fokker Friendship plane Ganga of Indian Airlines with 26 passengers on board, to take the plane to Lahore airport. R&AW allowed him to carry a grenade and a toy pistol inside the plane. Pakisani authorities at Lahore airport allowed the plane to land when they were informed that it had been hijacked by National Liberation Front activist militants of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. All India Radio soon made broadcast of this hijacking and the whole world was informed that the Pakistan Government was behind this hijacking. Qureshi, as directed by R&AW, demanded the release of 36 Al-Fatah members in custody of Indian Government....The incident overtly gave India the right opportunity which was planned by R.N. Kao, to cancel the flights of Pakistan over its territory which hampered the plans of Yahya Khan to send its troops by air o curb the political movement of Mujib in East Pakistan.

Mukti Bahini:

Page 231

Mukti Bahinin-Brain Child of R.N. Kao

Since the Indian Army was not prepared and well-equipped to r an immediate army actio at that point (March 1971), it was planned to raise and train a guerrilla outfit of the Bengali refugees of East Pakistan by R&AW which would harass the Pakistan Army till the Indian Army would be ready for the final assault to the liberation of East Pakistan. She (Indira Gandhi) then asked R.N. Kao, Chief of R&AW, to prepare all possible grounds for the army for its final assault when the clearance from General Maneckshaw was received for its readiness for the war.

Page 242

"..He (Kader Siddiqui) was the main operative of R&AW in the most vital areas of strategic operation around Dacca. He was serving Pakistani Army when his brother brought him back to East Pakistan to complete his interrupted education just prior to the crackdown of the Pakistan Army. Kader...."

Riaz Haq said...

The 2013 bombing, designed to fan sectarian violence between minority Shiite and majority Sunni Muslims, helped inspire the 28-year-old activist to kick off a six-week tour last month of colleges and universities throughout the United States to tell Pakistanis in America that their homeland is "not a nation of Taliban apologists," that together they could find a solution to the religious intolerance and violence back home.

He spoke at Stanford, UCLA and UC Davis, among other colleges.

"They are stakeholders," Nasir said before addressing more than 100 Pakistanis and Pakistani Americans at Pomona College.

Nasir helps run two grass-roots groups — Pakistan for All and Never Forget Pakistan — that campaign for the Pakistani government to shut down militant extremist groups.

The lawyer turned protester said he hoped the estimated 455,000 Pakistanis living in the U.S. will support the cause and advocate for a more liberal Pakistan instead of simply donating money. With about 40,000, California has the third largest number of Pakistanis in the U.S. after New York and Texas.

"Pakistanis here can be more vocal because there is no threat to their life," he said.

Although the number of extremist attacks has decreased in the last year, there has been an overall surge in such violence in Pakistan since 2007, said Daniel Markey, an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

A 2013 report from the U.S. State Department illustrates the point: Pakistan had the second-most terror attacks in the world that year after Iraq.

"Some of those attacks were the most devastating in terms of loss of life," Markey said. "It's very bad right now."

The cycle of violence repeated itself this month, when armed men opened fire on a bus carrying members of the Ismaili community, a sub-sect of Shiite Islam, in Karachi. The passengers were reportedly traveling to a house of worship in a bus that belonged to an Ismaili welfare society.

At least 43 people were killed and 13 wounded in the worst attack in recent memory against Pakistan's Ismailis, widely regarded as a progressive and largely apolitical community whose members are prominent in the health and education sectors.

In December, a devastating Taliban attack on a Peshawar army school killed nearly 150 people, including more than 130 children.

But the extremist leader of the Red Mosque, an Islamist bastion in Islamabad with ties to the Taliban, refused to condemn the attack and called it understandable.

Unable to stomach the cleric's statement, Nasir organized a protest and took to the streets in response, rallying Pakistanis to "reclaim Pakistan" and "reclaim our mosques."

That's when the threats poured in, he said — from militant groups, from Red Mosque authorities and from the Taliban — warning him to tone down his activism.

"They say I am the one giving Pakistan a bad name. But I am not the one giving Pakistan a bad name," Nasir said. "Religion can never be the root of the problem. Thou shalt not kill ... thou shalt not steal, all these things we learn from religion."

What is corrupting Pakistan is a "perverse" mixture of Islam and politics that leads to misinterpretations of the faith, Nasir said.

"We cannot and should not legislate on how a man reaches out to his god," he said. "Whichever god it is, it is personal."

Riaz Haq said...

If social media can be used to recruit terrorists, it can also be used to stop them.

In testimony before a Senate panel last week, FBI Director James Comey stated that ISIS has over 21,000 English-speaking followers on Twitter and that this form of “crowdsourcing terrorism” is living proof that social media works. Unfortunately, it appears that this type of internet-based recruiting of “Lone Wolf” terrorists has worked yet again as manifested by yesterday’s attack at two military facilities in Chattanooga which left four dead and three others injured. One news source reported that prior to the shooting the suspect posted on his blog Islamic rhetoric referring to “separate the inhabitants of Paradise from the inhabitants of Hellfire.”

Well, if social media can work for ISIS in recruiting these self-radicalized terrorists or individual lone wolf attackers, it can also work against them. As concerned citizens and guardians of our communities we the people can mobilize to report posts from potential lone wolf attackers who seek to injure and kill others. A familiar mantra from law enforcement over the years has been to stay vigilant in our fight against crime. Today, staying vigilant online is just as important—and, as demonstrated by a recent case in Canada— can result in saving lives.

This past February, a Geneva, Illinois woman was arrested in Canada for a shooting plot after leaving a trail on social media, including a post prior to her arrest that said “Let’s go commit mass homicide.” Lindsay Souvannarath posted disturbing pictures advocating race hatred, an allegiance to Hitler and Nazi beliefs, bizarre photos of herself and others, and what appeared to be a fascination with mass killers and their handiwork, especially the Columbine High School shooters and their tools of murder. Police received a tip about a couple planning a Valentine’s Day massacre at a mall in Halifax, Canada, and she was arrested by Canadian police on charges of conspiracy to commit mass murder. Her partner in this thwarted crime committed suicide before authorities could take him into custody.

As responsible citizens who care about our communities, we need to assist law enforcement in serving as their on-line “eyes and ears” when we see threatening posts. Maybe even more importantly when we see posts and also have personal knowledge of potential offenders securing or practicing with weapons or making threats against specific individuals or groups we can “connect the dots” and provide that information to local, state or federal authorities. If you are online and read a post that includes terrorist-related chatter, threats and postings regarding weapons and mass murder, or information on upcoming or planned attacks, don’t assume that someone else will report it. Take personal responsibility and call your local police or federal authorities. If terrorist organizations or lone wolf attackers believe social media works for them, let’s show them it can also work against them.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Supreme Court Orders Blasphemy Law Reforms via @@4christiannews

“In the absence of adequate safeguards against the abuse of the blasphemy law, people falsely accused of the offense suffer irrevocably,” the judgment written Oct. 27 reads

The effectiveness of a Supreme Court of Pakistan ruling that blasphemy laws be reformed to discourage false allegations hinges on the government’s response to the order, a leader of the International Christian Concern watchdog group told Baptist Press.
The three-judge Pakistani bench called for reforms when it upheld the death penalty imposed upon Malik Mohammad Mumtaz Qadri for assassinating in 2011 Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer based on hearsay that Taseer had committed blasphemy.