Thursday 31 December 2020

Yusuf/Cat Stevens: “There Is No Education Without the Creator”

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Monday 28 December 2020

One Year After Mass Protests, India’s Muslims Still Live in Fear


One year on, the anti-CAA movement has receded into the background, its anniversary barely remembered: Delhi police stopped a candlelight march led by students on Dec. 15. In March, the mass protests were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, but it is hard to say how long they would have survived anyway, given the movement’s vilification by BJP leaders, hostilities from Delhi residents over blocked roads, and the lack of support from India’s so-called secular parties.

The movement has suffered from its own limitations. It failed to engage a larger cross-section of society, building bridges with other distressed communities such as farmers and Dalits, and to counter the BJP’s messaging that it was stirred by Pakistan. The arrests of the anti-CAA movement’s leaders, as well as others who have decried the BJP’s virulent Hindu nationalism, mark the decline of India’s inclusive and consensus-building democratic ethos. Indian Muslims remain in the same precarious situation they found themselves in 2019: living in fear of becoming second-class citizens.

The anti-CAA movement challenged not only the BJP’s Hindu majoritarianism but also the Modi government’s authoritarianism, apparent in its moves to ram through laws such as the CAA or its sudden announcement in 2016 that it would replace certain Indian rupee notes with new ones, causing chaos and lasting economic damage. Using the language of the 1949 constitution, the movement was a tribute to the idea of an India built on secularism and pluralism, an appeal for practicing tolerance.

But it’s clear that the anti-CAA protests did not resonate much beyond an urban, liberal segment of Indian society. Much of the media and the Hindu middle class—the country’s largest demographic—remain solidly behind the prime minister and his politics. Even so, the large numbers of people who joined the movement served as a rude awakening for a leadership confident that it had stamped out dissent. The protests, coupled with a shift in international perceptions, seemed to push Modi’s government to take a step back and soften its tone.

The mothership of the anti-CAA movement was in Shaheen Bagh, a Muslim-majority neighborhood in Delhi. Muslim women led a sit-in there for three months, joined by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. “I sat for 101 days, but no one [from the government] came to meet or speak with us,” said Bilkis Bano, 82, one of the most famous faces of the sit-in. “What could we do when no one came to speak with us?”

Even before the full onset of the pandemic, the anti-CAA movement came to a halt after religious violence ravaged parts of Delhi in February, killing 53 people, mostly Muslims. The students and activists who led the anti-CAA protests—mostly young women and men—were blamed. A Delhi Police investigation, which critics have called biased, concluded that the protests were part of a conspiracy to overthrow the Modi government. In two separate bail hearings for jailed activists, the judges said the terrorism charges were seemingly “targeted” and “vindictive.”

Despite a few political setbacks, the BJP’s brand of Hindu nationalism is gaining strength in the Modi government’s second term.

The arrests of anti-CAA activists and students reflect a narrative that pins blame for the riots on the protesters, and by extension the Muslim community. Delhi police have called activist Umar Khalid, 33—one of the most vocal critics of the Modi government—the “mastermind” behind the Delhi riots. “He has been targeted because he refused to be silenced,” Banojyotsna Lahiri, his partner, said.

Despite a few political setbacks in state elections, the BJP’s brand of Hindu nationalism is gaining strength in the Modi government’s second term. In addition to the passage of the CAA, it has stripped Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir of its constitutional autonomy and prompted fears of demographic change in the region. And in November 2019, after decades of litigation, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of building a Hindu temple on the site of a 16th-century mosque destroyed by Hindu extremists in 1992.

The CAA grants citizenship to non-Muslim minority groups from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The Modi government maintains that the law won’t affect Indian Muslims. But some fear that coupled with the National Population Register, a data collection exercise, and a proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) aimed at identifying those living in the country without the proper documents, the CAA will be used to target Muslims who can’t produce documents and strip them of the right to call India home.

One year after the Indian parliament passed the CAA, the Modi government says it is still drafting the rules to enforce it, and the Supreme Court has yet to hear more than 140 petitions challenging its constitutional validity. Home Minister Amit Shah, who has described undocumented immigrants as “termites,” backtracked on the plan for a nationwide citizens’ register last year, after 11 states not governed by the BJP refused to implement it. But while the government may have put the NRC on hold, it has not ruled out implementing data collection, which some argue is a surreptitious way of reintroducing the NRC.

The stripping of Kashmir’s protected status, the passage of the CAA, and the subsequent crackdown on anti-CAA students at two predominantly Muslim universities have offended Islamic countries that are friendly to India. Iran, Turkey, and Malaysia condemned the Delhi riots in February. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has called on Modi to ensure protection for Muslims and Islamic holy places in India. And after a year of lobbying, Pakistan managed to get the organization to pass a strong statement on Kashmir.

India’s CAA push has even put off friendly Bangladesh, which has refused to accept the return of any Indian residents left out of the NRC. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called the CAA unnecessary, and three of her ministers canceled trips to India amid the protests. The Modi government will likely tread forward carefully, given that Islamophobia in India has become somewhat of a liability—and could be a thorny issue with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.

With state elections due next year in both Assam and Bengal, the BJP is now letting the CAA issue simmer.

The issue is already playing out in Assam state, home to many Bengali-speaking Hindus and Muslims who have immigrated from Bangladesh over many years. The state government prepared a list of citizens in August 2019. But the BJP suffered a setback: Of the 1.9 million people found to be living in Assam without documents, over 500,000 were Hindus who would effectively have to claim they fled religious persecution in a neighboring country to gain their citizenship. BJP leaders have said that Hindus left out of the NRC would be covered under the CAA, and Shah said last year that the NRC would be repeated in Assam. This month, the Assam government said that the list it had declared final in 2019 was not final after all.

With state elections due next year in both Assam and Bengal, the BJP is now letting the CAA issue simmer. In Assam, the BJP’s attempt to make the NRC a Hindu-Muslim issue—rather than one tied to local differences in language and ethnicity—hasn’t quite worked. Winning Bengal, which also has a sizable population of immigrants from Bangladesh, would be a milestone for the Hindu right wing. There, the BJP has tapped into Hindu conservatism dormant among upper-caste communities and worked hard to polarize the base of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who took power after three decades of Communist Party rule in 2011.

“The BJP is in a legal bind when it comes to Assam. But wherever there is some space in the communal game, they are playing it,” said Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty, the author of Assam: The Accord, The Discord.

In the anti-CAA movement, progressive forces couched their pleas to uphold the rights and freedoms of minority groups as a call to defend the constitution. They now recognize the BJP government’s unwillingness to even pay lip service to India’s constitutional values—and the not-so-silent majority’s antagonism toward these calls.


My Journey to Islam [Part 1/3] - Uncomfortable Beginnings

Thursday 24 December 2020

Solution to every problem in this world. POLYGYNY 😂😅


From The Ideal Muslimah Fb page.

Q - How can we solve patriarchy?
Muslim men - Polygyny
Q - How can we lower global warming?
Muslim men - Polygyny
Q - How can we better the education of our Children?
Muslim men - Polygyny
Q - How can we solve the Muslim prisoners issue?
Muslim men - Polygyny
Q - How can we help Syrians and Palestinians?
Muslim men - Polygyny
Q - How we better our food habits?
Muslim men - Polygyny
Q - How can we erase Capitalism?
Muslim men - Polygyny

Poly the supposed answer for men for everything evil in this world lol
I have been working towards helping poor Muslim women and orphans for past 5 years and when I say this I speak from my personal experience and talking to countless women about their hardships and not based on some report.
And the reason for their state is no education, early marriage, No skill to earn a living, absolute financial dependency on male members, abusive husbands or abusive male family member who failed at being a Qawwam.

Or a good male who is in need of support that is not being provided to him. Since my NGO is geared at helping widows, children and women in general I cannot go ahead and help men.
Aaj kal ke so called mardon ke liye har mushkil ka hal second marriage hogaya hai. And poly seems to be the only way to serve Islam and bring about some magical change.
Even if men have money they do not have the emotional intelligence, rehma or patience. They end up abusing first wife psychologically, physically and with the threat of talaq and literally force her to accept second wife.

99% women are not okay with their husband sleeping with another woman. They would rather give in charity and help a sister in need than have to share their husband and their husband's time.
If you want to save and 

serve widowed, single women help them with money and introduce them to other bachelor men.
Don't go ahead and offer yourself, especially when it will break your first wife emotionally and scar her for life with hurt and pain.

Change the mentality of bachelor men and let them marry older, divorced or widowed women.
Disturbed by the idea of men suggesting poly as a solution to everything. Polygyny is not the problem or disagreeable here, the issue is with many emotionally immature men who feel entitled because it's allowed when they can't even manage ONE wife fairly.
Many brothers use spiritual abuse and use the idea of getting another wife as a sort of threat to his present wife (so that she will "fall in line") then he already does not understand enough to manage two households/wives, let alone the one he already has.

BUTTTT The Sunnah is to get married multiple times!
So is serving your family.
So is donating half of your wealth to those in need.
So is helping out in the house.
So is being romantic & attentive to the wife you already have.
So is being tolerant & empathetic not complaining in tougher times to the wife you already have.
So is maintaining good ties with in-laws you already have!
The Quran is the only holy book to state "marry only one" - the explicit condition of polygamy in Islam is to fear injustice between the women involved. That includes hurting the first wife or acting deceitful in order to get a second wife.

The best example, The Prophet ﷺ, was a bachelor who made the habit of marrying divorced and widowed women, only one of his wives - not his first - was a virgin.
Quran doesn't order marrying 4 , it is actually limiting it to 4 , then putting condition of Justice and adding marry only 1.

Tuesday 22 December 2020

It is time to talk about caste in Pakistan and Pakistani diaspora

On September 29, Manisha Valmiki, a 19-year-old Dalit girl succumbed to her injuries from a gang rape committed by four Thakur (upper-caste) men in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. News of the incident caused outrage across India and the rest of the world, including in Pakistan and the diaspora.

I and many fellow Pakistanis have actively participated in social media campaigns demanding justice for Valmiki. But few of us have said much about another horrendous death of a Dalit woman.

On September 30, just a day after Valmiki’s death, 17-year-old Momal Meghwar took her own life in the village of Dalan-Jo-Tarr in Sindh province, Pakistan. A year earlier, she had been brutally raped and filmed by three men who have remained at large.

Meghwar was the 58th woman to take her own life this year in Thar alone. There is a multitude of reasons for this macabre statistic and all are at the intersections of gender, religion, class, and caste.

Yes, caste – a word which many of us Pakistani feminist scholars and organisers, especially those with sectarian, caste, and class privileges in the diaspora, remain unfamiliar with, whether willfully or out of ignorance.

Of course, due to the untiring work of mostly (but not exclusively) Indian-origin Dalit feminists and organisations such as Equality Labs, those of us Pakistanis who have not thought about caste before are learning about caste in India and its diaspora.

However, concerns raised by Dalit and anti-caste thinkers from Pakistan often remain ignored and outright dismissed, especially by caste and class privileged Pakistani Muslims who refuse to see caste, let alone the caste dominance and caste terror prevalent in Pakistan and its diaspora.

Pakistanis need to stop believing that Dalits live only in India. There are about 40 castes, 32 of which were listed as scheduled castes under the November 1957 Presidential ordinance of Pakistan. Meghwars are one of these listed castes, along with Bheels, Kolhis, Baghris and others.

While there are Dalit Muslims in Pakistan, because of the belief that there are no caste hierarchies among Muslims, the castes mentioned as scheduled are necessarily read as Hindu only. It is important to point out the infusion of upper-caste Brahmin supremacy that has coerced and contained lower-caste people into the category of Hindu. Many Dalit-Bahujan people see themselves as part of Indigenous cultures and traditions and reject Hinduism as their religious identification.

Moreover, the majority of Christians in the country are also Dalit – pejoratively labelled as Chuhra. As a recent New York Times article on Dalit Christians taking up scavenging jobs in Pakistan notes, according to the 1998 census, Christians made up only 1.6 percent of the population but filled 80 percent of the sweeper jobs. This caste apartheid is prevalent in Pakistan and yet there is no authentic caste census available.

Just like in India, Dalits face discrimination by society at large and by the state. In a 2007 report on the condition of scheduled castes in Pakistan, journalist Zulfiqar Shah points out that a 6-percent government job quota for scheduled castes from urban and rural areas put forward in 1948 was never ethically implemented and was simply scrapped in the 1990s.

In other words, no political or economic security measures are extended to scheduled caste people who continue to be seen simply as “religious minorities” in Pakistan and marked for violence with impunity.

That is why it is important to call Momal Meghwar’s rape and death by suicide what it is: caste-based sexual violence. While Pakistani mainstream media has mostly stayed silent, in some instances where the incident was discussed, it was made into a case of her being Hindu, a religious minority, effectively erasing caste which is also one of the main factors legitimising violence against lower-caste people by both upper-caste Muslims and Hindus.

The murder of social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch in 2016, which was widely covered by the media, was also linked to caste, but journalists and scholars overwhelmingly ignored that aspect. One of the people who drew attention in public to the role caste played in the killing was anti-caste activist, Auwn Gurmani.

As he explained in a July 2020 tweet: “We remember Qandeel and we also remember she was killed because of her gender, class and most importantly caste background: Qandeel’s caste was Mehra (ماہڑا in Siraiki). Mahar, Mehra, Mehar, Mahara – all these castes have the same origin, scheduled caste in Madhya Pradesh.”

Caste dismissal in Pakistan often comes from the belief that because we are Muslim, caste does not exist in our communities and societies. Unlike Hindu scriptures, the Quran does not establish and condone a caste system. Moreover, unlike India, Pakistan does not have Brahminical cis-heteropatriarchy and Islamophobia governing the nation-state.

The ritualistic, religious, familial, social, economic, political and gendered aspects of caste have their own tones in Pakistan. It is not saffron-tinted, as Hindu nationalism is, but rather it takes a green, Islamic traditional, hue. This is not to say that the importation and translation of Hindutva ideology are not happening across the border and do not affect Pakistani Muslims’ conception of caste.

As Sindhi anti-caste scholar Ghulam Hussain, who has contributed ground-breaking work on caste relations in Sindh, notes, Sayedism and Brahminism are infused with each other. Sayed supremacy – which Hussain labels as Sayedism – comes from the (unproven) belief that Sayeds are genealogical descendants of Prophet Muhammad and therefore have a more authentic grasp on Islam and all social and political matters.

Another anti-caste researcher, Haris Gazdar, points out that “the public silencing on caste contrasts with an obsession with it in private dealings”. There is always violence attached to caste hierarchies of which Gazdar names several examples, such as having pejorative labels to strict taboos around eating and drinking together and sharing of utensils to stealing land to beatings and rapes of men and women of lowered caste people with impunity, all to “keep them in their place”.

Islam is often evoked by upper-caste Muslims as the reason for some of these practices. Pakistani Muslims would argue that lowered caste people from Hindu and Christian minorities eat “haram” (forbidden by Islamic law) food. However, eating with upper-caste Hindus and Christians is not frowned upon.

These Brahminical notions of ritual purity become aligned with concepts of “paak” (pure/clean) and “naapak” (impure/unclean) under Muslims’ casteist interpretations of Islam. Even when lowered caste people from religious minorities convert to Islam, they continue to meet with the same caste-based violence. Conversion to Islam in Pakistan does not de-casteise the lowered caste people who continue to be treated as “untouchables”.

There is also the commonly circulated argument that caste exists only in rural areas of provinces like Sindh and Punjab. But caste dangerously circulates as common sense in large cities as well.

A recent example of this, even among young people who are usually understood as more progressive than their parents’ generation, is a student-led survey at the University of Lahore in Punjab in which students were asked on camera questions about how caste informs choices they make about romantic relationships and friendships. Every single one of these students knew their caste from Sayeds to Arains (a predominantly agricultural caste) to Sheikhs (a lower caste stereotyped as having a business acumen). In the almost nine-minute-long video, it is quite clear that caste is an active and everyday experience for university students in an urban setting.

More survey work needs to be done in urban and rural areas, as well as in the diaspora to fully understand the forms which caste takes at our dinner tables, in our kinships, our attachments, workplaces, and every other aspect of our lives.

As many of us diasporic Pakistanis become invested in liberatory projects of Black Lives Matter and Indigenous sovereignties in the west and educated about caste politics in India, it appears that this is indeed the right time to turn inwards and explore our own experiences with caste. Sayedism – a prime example of upper-caste dominance and hegemony – is quite prominent among us and should be studied both in Pakistan and in the diaspora.

In our pursuit of understanding caste, however, we also need to be very careful, particularly us western-educated, class- and caste-privileged diasporic scholars. Some of us go to Pakistan to focus on caste violence in the menial jobs lower castes are relegated to, such as scavenging or sanitation work.

While I think these anthropological studies have their place and must be done, I am also reminded of scholar Joby Mathew’s remarks in the book Hatred in the Belly: “If any intellectual wants to emphasize the pathetic condition of Dalits through these derogatory images [of scavenging], that itself amounts to symbolic violence”.

Furthermore, when looking into caste-based, gender-based violence and trying to understand a figure such as Baloch in all her complexities, our analysis needs to move beyond the binaries of lower-caste women as either vulnerable victims or heroes. Therefore, it is urgent that we engage with Dalit feminist theory.

And finally, we also have to remain aware and mindful of how Islamophobia and anti-Pakistan violence can be disruptive in our critical work on complicity in various structures of domination. To talk about violence in Pakistan is difficult because of how quickly nationalist non-Muslim Indians – and even those Indian Muslims invested in the idea of Brahminical India – latch onto our critiques to further malign Pakistan as a terrorist Muslim state.

But the intense Islamophobia, casteism, and colonial violence – in relation to Kashmir, for example – in India should not be a reason not to have these important conversations and studies in Pakistan and the diaspora. After all, these violent paradigms are interconnected and know no borders.


Tuesday 8 December 2020



The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "[The angel] Gabriel continued to recommend that I treat neighbors kindly and politely so much so that I thought he would order me to make them my heirs."


The Prophet also said: "A believer will not eat his [or her] fill while [that] neighbor is hungry."


 Sahih Al-Bukhari