Stories about conservative

Save the shalwar!

As summer approaches I see colourful billboards everywhere! Skinny models in glam make-up are wrapped in designer fabric – all to impress female consumers. The models wear long qameezes and short ones, baggy shirts and tight ones – what they do not wear are shalwars. The traditional shalwar has all but disappeared from the modern silhouette. It has been replaced by the more Western inspired pants, capris, trousers and churidaars. The shalwar suit that was once a cultural icon is now, nowhere to be seen! The dupatta has met a similar fate. Not so long ago, the dupatta was a cultural symbol worn by Pakistani women and was ...

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Should Muslims celebrate Valentine’s Day?

The internet has been inundated with emails, Facebook posts and videos encouraging people to boycott Valentine’s Day and claiming that Islam prohibits the holiday. One video made by a group of young boys quotes historical references to prove that V-Day is un-Islamic. I received a text message that said “Speak against the kuffar and boycott Valentine’s Day!” A student in one of the classes that I teach said: “Celebrating Valentine’s Day is gunnah.“ While another said: “Do you know the Americans came up with this event to mess with us? They’re trying to take Muslims away from their faith by showing them such celebrations.” Perhaps these ...

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Karachi Lit Fest: Liberalising the liberals

“And if the festival is attended predominantly by people from one part of town,” said co-organiser Asif Farrukhi in his opening address, “so what?” Really – so what? Even if the venue had been more central, the odds are that people from across the bridge wouldn’t have turned out in throngs. It is people from ‘this side of the bridge’ who generally attend these literary or literary-ish events, and the Carlton Hotel, however ill-appointed its halls, was a terribly convenient venue for the Defense crowd. At least the rooms and auditoriums were overflowing with enthusiasts. No, I am not going to make snide ...

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Biased media: We are all to blame

People tend to believe everything they see on TV. In Pakistan, this means that they only believe one side of the story. News channels in Pakistan often resort to selective censorship, preventing opposing views to be heard. Right vs left Over the past month a majority of the media has behaved recklessly and has given up on presenting both sides of the story. By and large most news groups in Pakistan push a right-wing agenda while a small sub-section promotes the liberal agenda.  Just as right-wing channels refuse to present the other side of the story, liberal media will not showcase the right ...

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Two faces of the hypocrisy coin

Although it’s a common human trait (one of the most abundant natural commodities, individually and collectively) I try to focus on the society that I live in, and while focusing on my society, I try to scan it from both perspectives, the so-called conservative and the so-called liberal perspective. The so-called conservative Pakistani society is dominated by conservative factors. The overwhelming majority of the urban middle class, especially in Punjab, highly reveres the religious clergy and looks upon it for guidance. But as the saying goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, the contractors of religion tend to degenerate into ...

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