Entries Tagged 'bihablillah fi sabilillah allah nigehban' ↓

CJ Resotred

Time to sleep now.

Never would I have thought that this Long March would succeed. Not ever. It’s brilliant. Like a lot of people, I’m not totally trusting of this restoration plan, because it does not immediately go into effect. But as it stands now, it’s brilliant.

Gillani came on TV at 5:45 am to say that PPP is keeping its promises, as it always intended. Whatever. It doesn’t matter, the lies, right now. I’m just completely thrilled. Let’s hope it sticks.

It’s not fashionable in lefty circles (where I seem to belong) to have an attachment to national flags or anthems. And to be honest, I don’t usually.

But as the national anthem played before the Prime Minister’s speech, I followed along with the words, which I haven’t heard in a long time. And I got snagged at these:

مرکزِ یقین شاد باد

Markaz-e-yaqeen shaad baad

May the centre of your faith stay alive.

Three days ago I sat with my mom and Sarah and pontificated at length about the pointlessness of this long march and the way in which the lawyer’s movement has been reduced to merely symbolic actions. I am happily eating my words.

The centre of my belief is strong again. Things happen. Someone asked me on chat if I thought it was the Americans who caused this or Kayani, the Chief of Army Staff. And I expressed a shrug but the truth is, no power broker would have cared people hadn’t, for the past 4 days, been on this long march, facing riot police, braving tear gas and coming out in droves. If the final nail in the coffin of Zardari’s current bout of authoritarianism was a phone call from somebody powerful, that’s okay. They only stated the obvious – that your’e screwed if you stick with this plan.

And so it goes. It has been said again and again over the past two years that the Chief is no saint. But that statement, bandied about as if it should mean something, is based on the notion that the symbol of the movement should be above reproach. We should be able to, in time, call them Hazrat Chief Justice. Well, it’s okay. We don’t have to like the guy much. At some point, for reasons that were part personal gain and part opportunity to finally act in favour of the nation, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry exercised his powers as an independent arm of the triumverate democractic system. Masses of people supported him. That’s the reality. He’s no saint. But by God he’ll be independent. And that’s a step in the right direction.

16 March 2009 is a good day. Let the core of your belief that things can change have its day.

Long March

I’ve written a sort of eye-witness plus hopefulness account at Global Comment. Have a look:

This morning at the Lahore High Court, things looked bleak. There were maybe two hundred people in the entire complex by 11 a.m. Getting to the High Court itself was like playing a game of PacMan – constant blocks, looming riot police, retracing of steps to get as close as possible to the complex. Inside, it seemed that this thing wasn’t going to take off. One rally was stuck in Model Town with Nawaz Sharif. A hundred people were stuck a block away from the court, getting beaten up by the police.

Then they started coming. Lawyers began filtering in from all across the barricaded city; followed by the first batch of protesters from around the block; then the Student Action Committee; the Concerned Citizens of Pakistan; the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam, an Islamic political party; the Tehreek-e-Insaaf, Imran Khan’s party. By 12:30 pm, the premises were filling up and the square in front of the High Court gates was teeming with people shouting slogans and waving flags.

Read the rest of this article.

Obama and the Death of Racism

About a month ago, maybe more, I toyed with the idea of not voting because the US incursions on Pakistani soil, unilateral and unwarranted, killing Pakistanis indiscriminately in the name of the war on terror, made me angry. And I remembered how, over a year ago, Obama had said that he would support unilateral action in Pakistan if they had actionable intelligence Osama bin Laden, may God curse his name, was there. My logic was that it doesn’t matter who gets elected: they’re both going to bomb my country.

I suggested this to my (very white) mom and she sent me a terse reply: “A single issue voter is no voter at all.” And I was ashamed. And I requested my absentee ballot.

In 2004, I was in Seattle and my father asked me on the phone, “Are you voting?” I said I was. He said, “Vote well. You’re voting for all of us.” Too bad my vote only counter for one.

So yesterday, as Virginia was being declared for Obama, I called up my father in Islamabad and said, “Obama mubarak!” He said, “Khair mubarak!” and we marvelled at how soon it was clear. He told me what was happening on Fox News, which I have failed to find on my Lahori TV, praise be, and he said – that suddenly the Fox anchors have changed their tune. They’re speaking well of him.

By saying that, well, it’s a great day for race relations and anyway, his mother is white and she raised him; his father wasn’t even in the picture, really; and his poor grandmother than just died… My father said, “It was like they were trying scrub his colour off.”

Great day for race relations, then.

For anyone who thinks that racism is dead, take note: the first thing even father, my die-hard Pakistani father said after the “mubarak” was “I hope they don’t kill him.”

If someone so removed feels that…

from Black Amazon:

Dear God

Bless him Jehovah

Allah

Mother Earth

Yahweh

OBEAH

ANCESTORS ALL

please don’t grant us another picture.

Please not another Myrlie

Not another Coretta

not another going back till that ship on that sea woman rocking now fatherless children

Not another beautiful ” strong black woman” punished by lonliness for loving a man trying to be good. Not another group of brothers in tears kicking themselves because they FELL FOR IT THIS TIME AGAIN. That they believed that this time work would pay off.

who was responding to BFP:

don’t think that I’ve truly understood until yesterday exactly how terribly the black community has been hurt. How devastated the black community was by the violence inflicted on them. How deep the ache of murder, lynching, rape, benign neglect, and threats etched themselves into the black community.

I mean, I had known–but not really, not until last night.

What made it clear to me was not the sobbing black people the cameras kept flashing to, or the black college kids that walked so purposefully to my local voting center, or even all the former civil rights leaders that *told* us all what it meant, point blank, to have a black man as a president.

It was the way the first thing so many black folks said immediately after the announcement was–sweet Jesus, protect that man. It was the way so many black folks said that not so secret prayer, the way one friend didn’t look away from the television as she reached out almost desperately for another friend’s hand.

It was the fear of hope realized. What could ‘they’ do to the small tender bubble of hope that had exploded into reality?

Fuck Off Out of My Country

Yesterday: Well, Bush, McCain, Obama: it’s all the same to me. US ground troops landed a helicopter on Pakistani soil, got out, shot a bunch of villagers “indiscriminately” says Dawn, got back into their helicopter and fucked off. (Edit: yesterday it said “indiscriminately” and today I can’t find the source in Dawn.)

The bit in scare quotes are the bit I’m scared of. And the bit that’s disputed. Along with ground troops actually coming in. I googled the story and most US sources or international media are reporting it as if it was definitely Al-Qaeda that was hit. What we have is that 20 people died, most of them women and children. Someone got back from one of the agencies recently, which is what those parts of the northwest are called, like Waziristan. He was corroborating other stories. That the local “Taliban” are just thugs for hire and always have been. And that the locals, from the community, are now putting together militias of their own to fight the thugs and keep them off their land.

Today: The US is claiming it was soldiers that died and there was no ground attack. And it was all coordinated with the Pakistanis. Look here. And at the longer AP report.

Obama, McCain, Bush. They’d all go looking for bin Laden in Pakistan, unilaterally, without worrying about fucking with Pakistani sovereignty or killing innocent Pakistanis just living their lives between one set of bullies and another.

Talk about Black Flag Days. When Zardari is elected president tomorrow, vile stain of a man that he is, find me a ray of fucking sunshine then.

Zia ul Haq is alive and well.

The US Department of Justice is apparently considering changing its rules to profile Muslim- and Arab-Americans. I think this is ingenious. I think that what they should do is enlist the likes of true Islamophobes like Daniel Pipes, put on some spiffy army hats, grow moustaches of varying styles and stomp around town. I think that would be great. Because fascism only looks good if you dress for it.

Fuckers. This after Obama, who I’m still gonna vote for, voted yes on FISA, the bill forgiving the phone companies that complied with illegal governmental wire-tapping and snooping on the private lives of Americans.

It’s not a great day for freedom and democracy and chocolate chip cookies.

And finally, for today…

Robbers burned alive in Karachi.

I just don’t understand. Bolta Pakistan and Capital Talk both addressed this, but they seem not to be fully aware of the horror. Check them out on Pakistan Politics. It’s absolutely horrific.

I’d better go study. I can’t stand knowing what’s going on in the present anymore. It’s ancient Arabia for me.

“He tried to kill my daddy!”

A while ago, Asif Ali Zardari was interviewed by the BBC about what would eventually happen regarding the restoration of the judiciary. Zardari equivocated in his sleazy fashion, saying that, because he wants the “majesty of law” restored, “we” will come up with a plan that does not allow for the abuse of power that Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s SC was able to get away with. When asked what he meant, Zardari lost his shit, essentially, and said

I have come to power… People’s Party has come to power. We have lost our leader to politics, the fourth leader we’re losing to politics, we intend to \change the system… so that no other Asif Zardari stays in prison under trial for 8 years and Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry does not say, I have not read the case so I can hear the case … in that case i was languishing in prison for two years and i went to Chaudhry Iftikhar five times. The judiciary has killed my father in law, they admit judicious murder

Sound familiar? Yeah. To me too.

یعنی انہوں نے صاف کہہ دیا ے کہ کسی صورت افتخار چودھری کو اپنے عہدہ پر بحال نہیں کیا جائے گاـ یا چیف جائے گا یا اسکا اقتدارـ تو اگر تیرہ سے اٹھائیس اور اٹھائیس سے سو بندہ بھی بینچ پر لانا پڑا یا آئین میں ترمیمیں کر کر کہ اس کا بھوسہ بنانا پڑا تو سب جائز ہےـ بس زرداری صاحب کو انکا انتقام حاصل ہوـ

اس طرح تو پھر بش نے بڑا تھیک کام کیا کہ صدام ٓحسین پر غصہ ہے تو عراق پر بم گرا دوـ آصف زرداری کو چودھری افتخار نے جیل میں ڈالا تو پاکستان کی عدلیہ کو آئین میں لپیٹ کر گنگا میں بہا دوـ

مجھے معلوم ہے کہ پرانی بات ہو گئی ہےـ لیکن بات بجا ہےـ ڈوگر کی عدلیہ میڈیا کا نوٹس لے کر اس سے ڈانٹ کھا کر نوٹنکی بنتی جا رہی ہےـ زندہ بادـ

Gotta Love It

via Gul Bukhari at Pakistan Politics:

Absar Alam, Bureau Chief of Geo News was summoned by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and asked to apologize for a news ticker broadcasting a meeting between Justice Nawaz Abbasi, a judge of the Supreme Court, and the Secretary Interior.

What ensued was surely, not just a First Ever, but hopefully also the Last Ever event of it’s kind to happen in Pakistan. The first shocking revelation was that Justice Nawaz Abbasi was on the three judge bench of the Supreme Court endeavoring to hear/try the proceedings of this Suo Moto Notice (involving his own complaint). Mr. Alam had to address Justice Abbasi directly to remind the honorable gentleman that he was not qualified to hear the case since he was a party in the case.

Embarrassingly, it doesn’t end here: Mr. Alam refused to apologize to the judge and asked for time to hire a lawyer to represent him. The journalist further proceeded to tell the supreme court judge that he, and the media in general, were doing the most important duty as citizens by protecting, safeguarding and upholding the constitution, by ensuring no one desecrates article 19 of the constitution (which essentially safeguards freedom of speech)!

In a fit of fury, Justice Abbasi wrote out an order banning any programs, mention, clips or coverage of the judiciary by the print and electronic media in toto. At which stage even the counsel from the state advised him to review and rescind his order, as it was very likely to be violated. The Justice in question had, using a ticker announcement, in effect issued a broad based gagging order on all forms of information and news coverage with regard to the judiciary issue. On the 12th of May.

It’s absolutely hilarious. It’s also scary. I don’t want to lionize the Nov. 2 judiciary overly, but their suo moto notices were a little more relevant to actual justice, rather than entirely in the service of the ego of the judges. The only place I disagree with the author, Gul Bukhari, is the assessment that it’s sad that the judges backed down in the face of a protest from Absar Alam. I think it’s great. I think cooler heads eventually prevailed and realized that this was going to become absolutely farcical. I don’t have any particular insight on whether or not there should be a contempt of court law in Pakistan – being not the least bit qualified to have an opinion – but the fact that we don’t worked entirely in the favour of what’s right in this case.

Meanwhile, May 12 came and went, and the judiciary was not restored. Hopelessness may be kufr, but what happens if it is so frequently affirmed?

Yoni Ki Baat – Global Comment

I wrote a sort of review of Yoni Ki Baat, the South Asian rendition of the Vagina Monologues for Global Comment. This is my shameless promotion, let me show you it.

Chay Magazine Call for Submissions

CHAY MAGAZINE
Call for submissions
(Visit http://chaymagazine.org for details)

Deadline: May 15, 2008

Having observed in Pakistani society, a disturbing tendency towards fear and shame around issues of sex and sexuality – that is to say, around a normal human interaction – the founders of Chay Magazine feel that sex and sexuality should enter the public discourse. The taboo and silence around sex and sexuality are oppressive on all of us, irrespective of gender, and lead, at the very least, to unhappiness in our daily lives and, more often, to violence, shame, depression, ill health and general social malaise. We at Chay Magazine endeavor to bring to the Pakistani reading public a place to converse about those things we are most shy of. Our hope is that, through this, we can become braver and stronger, more powerful, self-assured, and just and fair members of society.

Our focus is on Pakistani society and our themes emerge from this context. However, Pakistan is only our starting point. Chay Magazine aims to enter the fray of international feminist discourse and, as such, we invite writers of all nationalities, geographies, stripes to contribute. We are not so much interested in where you come from as in what you have to say.

For the first few issues, we have outlined some broad themes, which are listed below. While we are looking in particular for work around those themes, we are always looking ahead to later issues so, if you have some work kicking around that you’d like to submit, feel free.

Let’s Talk about Sex
o Talking about sex and sexuality – why do it, the taboos around it, the problems with it, the silences
o Sex/Gender, gender roles and gender identity
o Talking about sex and romance
o Standards of “moral” conduct relating to sex

The Politics of Sex
o Sex-positivity
o Sex and feminism in Pakistan
o The politics of shame
o Religion and sex(uality)
o Visions for a new Pakistani Feminism

Marriage
o Sex: enjoyment, coercion, guilt, force
o Sex and marriage
o Domestic violence and rape
o Virginity

Promiscuity
o Saying no and saying yes
o “Sluts” and “whores”
o Sex-work
o Religion and Sex
o Virginity
o Re-appropriating language

We are looking for

– Feature Articles 500-1000 words. These can be analysis, commentary, historical explorations or any other non-fiction on the theme of the issue.
– Poetry and Fiction. There is no real restriction on the subject of the poem or story. If it gives a nod in the direction of the theme, we’re happy. Please send no more than 3 poems or fiction pieces in the vicinity of 1000 words.
– Artwork. Again, there is no particular restriction on artwork. If there is particular work you are interested in submitting, please email in with a query.
– Translations. We accept original translations of thematically relevant works in any genre, from any language.

Send queries and submissions to: chaymagazine AT gmail DOT com . Please attach .rtf or .doc files (we cannot accept .docx files), .jpg or .pdf for images. Please send in a small bio along with your submission as well.

We are an utterly non-profit, non-commercial, money-less concern; therefore we cannot offer any compensation to our writers. In time, we hope to become rich, famous and commercial, at which point we hope to offer you pots of money.

Sincerely,
Kyla Pasha and Sarah Suhail
Co-executive editors, Chay Magazine

Black Flag Week

I’m a little late coming in on this, but is anyone else bothered by the possible appropriation of Shi’i symbolism (or ignorance of it) in this black flag week thing? Has anyone cottoned on to that? Am I being too sensitive, now that I’m in Amreeka with the sensitive folk?

And when he thought thereon…

Mark 14, King James Version. Source:

42: Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.
43: And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.
44: And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.
45: And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.
46: And they laid their hands on him, and took him.
47: And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
48: And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me?
49: I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.
50: And they all forsook him, and fled.
51: And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:
52: And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
53: And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.
54: And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.
55: And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.
56: For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.
57: And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,
58: We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.
59: But neither so did their witness agree together.
60: And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
61: But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?
62: And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
63: Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?
64: Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
65: And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.
66: And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:
67: And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.
68: But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.
69: And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.
70: And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.
71: But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.
72: And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

Mark 14

King James Version. Source:

1: After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.
2: But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.
3: And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
4: And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?
5: For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
6: And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
7: For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
8: She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
9: Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. Continue reading →