Tag Archives: Muslim

All set for the sacrifice – a sheep on a motor bike

A Pakistani man holds a sheep on a motor bike after buying it in an animal market in Lahore on November 6, 2011. Eid, the festival of sacrifice, is Continue reading

Mystical Form of Islam Suits Sufis in Pakistan

Posted by Raza Rumi

A New York Times piece where I was quoted.

By SABRINA TAVERNISE- LAHORE, Pakistan — For those who think Pakistan is all hard-liners, all the time, three activities at an annual festival here may come as a surprise.
Thousands of Muslim worshipers paid tribute to the patron saint of this eastern Pakistani city this month by dancing, drumming and smoking pot.
It is not an image one ordinarily associates with Pakistan, a country whose tormented western border region dominates the news. But it is an important part of how Islam is practiced here, a tradition that goes back a thousand years to Islam’s roots in South Asia. Continue reading

Basant: Only festival where people come together

by Sher Ali Khan and Aoun Sahi

The News on Sunday: How can we make basant safe?

Yousuf Salahuddin: To start with, you have to ban motorcycles from Saturday night to Sunday evening because a majority of accidental deaths have been of motorcyclists.

Secondly, there are two companies manufacturing these dangerous strings. The issue is not kite-flying or celebrating the festival; it’s about the deadly string. Children are buying these strings regardless of the danger these put their lives in. So, the manufacturers should be held accountable.

Thirdly, aerial firing has to be stopped. This was done during Shabhaz Sharif’s last term. If he gives the stick to the police, this can be regulated.
Continue reading

East-West exchanges: Lahoris interact with a visiting author

Lahore Nama hosted a small discussion group Lorraine Adams yesterday. Miranda Husain, freelance journalist and a writer  – also an active participant at the event – reports below:

We are happy to humbly term our discussion group with Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Loraine Adams a resounding success, with most of those gathered proudly showcasing their verbal animation skills!

Ms Adams may now be known to many as a critically acclaimed novelist. However, her extensive career in political and investigative journalism means that behind the creativity lies a woman with a solid understanding of US foreign policy, especially within the global war on terror context. Significantly, she believes that despite the recent regime change in Washington, Pakistan remains immensely vulnerable in the face of the world’s largest military machine.

And this really sums up the reason behind Ms Adams’ visit.

Viewing fiction as the best means of engaging the reader’s imagination – while continuously reiterating a shared humanity – Ms Adams has deliberately chosen to set her next novel in modern day Lahore. Thus she aims to use the reader-character relationship as a vehicle to debunk the many false or distorted stereotypes about this country and its people. Such efforts must not only be welcomed, but be seen for what they are: Ms Adams’ personal contribution to the discourse on Pakistan and its position on the world stage at this critical political juncture.

Refreshingly, Ms Adams is not bashful when it comes to recognising that she, as an American and also as a Pulitzer Prize winner, is taken seriously when engaging in such dialogue. Equally refreshingly, this does not stop her from trying to seek out the entire octave range of the Pakistani voice. For she does not believe in speaking for people, but in listening to them.

This is why she asked those gathered to fill in any gaps in her research approach. Thus the discussion leapt from the real or imagined Western media bias against Pakistan to insistent requests that she visit Old Lahore. Also touched upon were issues of class divisions at the national and provincial levels based, among other things, on language. However, the recurring theme appeared to be the heterogeneous nature of Pakistan and its multiple identities, even though these were, admittedly, restricted to the Muslim realm, with no real mention of minority group identities.

Nevertheless, the discussion’s fundamental success was this: what began as a Western-Eastern exchange of perspectives transformed into an exchange of ideas on a human level. And such exchanges must never be underestimated.

*****

Lahore Nama would like to thank Ayesha Nasir for the geneorus hospitality and a great venue for this event.

Images above are from here and here

A lament on the End of Lahore that was..

The End of Islam, the End of Lahore by Billo

Yesterday was, without doubt, one of the most depressing days here. What was termed a ‘debate’ was really a farcical show, another attempt to lampoon the “decadent” west. And here we had two teachers, both with their f**ng American twang, quoting Nietzsche-the nihilism of the west-and Plato (the noble lie..”they didn’t teach you that, did they?”) and Chomsky. A heady brew. The west is in crisis, it has no moral foundations. Pornography, incest…what’s your problem with that?This university is funded by amriki money, to produce ‘brown saahibs’ (Macaulay was wheeled in). And all this in front of the students.
“But how should we respond to the cartoons?”
Follow the will of God. And for that you need to go to the best interpreter, and that is mufti K-A…
More than that, other colleagues were attacked on the platform. The social sciences themselves were irrational, an eye-wash. The social scientists themselves devoid of any logic. We can essentialize, we must. In our tradition we talk of the kaffir and the muslim. Why should we even be concerned with words like freedom, peace, tolerance. They’re out to get us. Look at Bosnia, look at Chechnya. And all this from people who teach Business Studies and Sociology! Oh, the irony.
Now, you might think I’m making this up given that it’s so absurd. But that’s exactly how it was. And this ain’t no crummy university but supposedly the best or one of the best in the country. But what was really shocking was the way in which the vast majority of those around lapped this up, laughing and stomping their feet like f**king clowns.
A few dissenting voices, old Lahore speaking. But I can’t but help feel the game is over. I felt like saying, but have you actually ever listened to Bach. No, it won’t do. This place is buggered. There’s no two ways about it. Fanatics everywhere want people to take sides. But I prefer not to. Let us remain true to our roots and be unsure. As the Allama once said:
Even if the Divine reveals His Face
I’ll still take “perhaps” and “maybe”.