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.

I’m Not On Orkut

Some dumb fuck has decided to create a profile on orkut under my name. It has some details in it that are real because they were stolen from my old orkut profile. But mostly it’s a bunch of bullshit. I don’t know who created it and for what reason, but I don’t really give a fuck. This is just so everyone knows: I’m not on orkut. So don’t call me or write to me expecting something exciting and dirty.

As a friend of mine pointed out, there’s an element of funny. Apparently, my communities are “Body building” and “body building in pakistan.” Genius, that is.

Anyway. Yeah.

Yer Mom

I was reading this post on Oppression Olympics by Octogalore just now and something about this comment by Daisy struck me particularly:

And my question, quite seriously: Who do they think those people WERE in the 60s and 70s, having sex in disco bathrooms, engaging in group marriages and Bob-and-Carol-and-Ted-and-Alice type encounters? All of those people are my age and older now. It’s like they have some idea that all old people just retire and instantly become Baptists, or something. I dunno.

Another old woman and I had a long discussion the other day, about how conservative the young seem to be–and does liberalism mark us as “old”? Odd that ‘stylistic’ liberalism (willingness to try new fashions, music, clubs, vacation spots, foods) is popular with the American young, but NOT idealistic or intellectual liberalism.

My mom belongs to that generation, the hippie dippie liberal all-we-need-is-love generation. She was mostly chilling out during that time, more a thinker than a marcher, and her hippie dippie-ness resided in her associations and conversations rather than anything else. Continue reading →

As GlobalComment’s Newest Celebrity Editor…

…or summat, I thought I ought to point out that GlobalComment is in fact one of the most interesting sites in which to find poetry, not just because they publish mine upon occasion, but because poetry resides there in the midst of politics and commentary, which is where it ought to be. So go have a look at GlobalComment’s poetry line-up. And if you find what you like, I shall point you in the direction particularly of their sister site ArabComment’s stuff on and from muslim women because it is consistently intelligent, more interesting than MWU!’s progressive fundamentalism (okay, that might be an exaggeration) but still countering western notions successfully.


I have just been named Contributing Editor on GlobalComment and I am absolutely chuffed! Thanks to Natalia and the rest of the GC folks!

آج کی شاعری

ہمیں بھی جلوہ گاہِ ناز پر لے کر چلو موسی
تمہیں غش آ گیا تو حُسنِ جاناں کون دیکھے گا

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

Not Girl Enough

A friend of mine just got fired from her job because she didn’t dress feminine enough. This was in Lahore. Because that’s what’s important in a teaching job – girlie-ness.

Some days the world is just disgusting. Which leads me to my next post…

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

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

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

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.

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

Migraines and Panic make Kyla Much Blog

I was sitting with my prof this afternoon, hesitantly reading Arabic hadith at him and working out what they meant, when a small poinpoint of evil hit me behind the eye. I lost focus on what I was reading or saying, as I usually do in migraine land. Luckily, we had been through the larger part of our work so we both kind of teetered and fell off the precipice of attentive with a sweet little thunk. And that was good. Continue reading →