Stories about Shariah

Mohammed bin Salman is breaking the chains of a ‘regressive’ society – will the rest of the Muslim world follow?

During his recent visit to the US, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), sat down with CBS news for what can only be termed as a remarkable interview. Many interesting statements were made, but what was most shocking was undoubtedly his criticism of the law in Saudi Arabia. According to him, the unisectarian implementation of Shariah in Saudi Arabia since 1979 is to blame for what the country has become over the years, and its radical laws are the reason his generation has suffered the most. He further elaborated that according to Shariah, there are no pre-defined garments for ...

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Why are Iranian women protesting against the hijab now?

Religious freedom has been a pipe dream for years now, especially for women, who are subjected to male dominants in this society. A major portion of the woman population has embraced this situation as a norm and continues to cultivate it within the minds of their young girls as well, others, however, have not. They have strived and fought for basic rights, such as education, health, the right to vote and the liberty to go out unaccompanied. While the tide of feminism and many socialist organisations have washed part of the misogyny that exists in numerous societies, there is still ...

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How the two-faceted mindset of moderate Muslims ends up aiding militancy and terrorism

In recent years, there have been growing concerns that Islam’s major problem, as well as the world’s, is Islamic radicalisation, since Islam is one of the major and fastest growing religions of the world. These concerns are being voiced in various countries and have yielded various reactions ranging from apologetic defence (whereby some of the western liberals interpret it as a ‘reaction’ to the US hegemony) to outright xenophobia. Radicalisation is a major problem and there is no question about its lethal potential to inflict harm in the form of religious extremism and terrorism. However, though present, it is not as widespread in the Islamic world as is ...

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The dirty old men of Pakistan

In the world we live in, there is no dearth of pious men who believe that most of the world’s problems can be fixed by giving their women a little thrashing. And this business of a man’s God-given right to give a woman a little thrashing has brought together all of Pakistan’s pious men. A few weeks ago, Pakistan’s largest province passed a new law called the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act. The law institutes radical measures that say a husband can’t beat his wife, and if he does he will face criminal charges and possibly even eviction from ...

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What do Nawaz Sharif and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have in common?

It has been reported that our embattled Prime Minister, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, is looking increasingly towards President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey for inspiration in how to establish civilian supremacy in Pakistan and to face off challenges from the powerful military as well as political opponents.    If this is true, then one can only hope that Mian Sahib emulates Erdogan in his earlier avatar as a committed democrat and not in his most recent reincarnation as an unabashed autocrat. It is hard to believe now but there was a time when Erdogan was the great hope for a truly ...

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What if your child was abducted by the ISIS?

I read recently that ISIS has been abducting children and training them to become soldiers in its cause. I read the news story in horror, as it went on to say that the children were instructed to go back to their homes and kill their parents. I began to imagine what that scenario must look and feel like,  She got on all fours and started crawling. She was careful to make no sound, just as she was taught. She winced slightly as her knees touched the cold floor. Steadily, she kept inching on for a few more minutes until she ...

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PEGIDA anti-Muslim riots: Is Germany flirting with its dark past?

There is no such thing as racism in Germany. Or at least in theory, there isn’t. After the Second World War, Berlin was reduced to rubble by the Allied Forces, revealing the horrors of the Holocaust that Nazism left behind. At the time, the question, “how did we let this happen?” was never fully answered. The Allies and the Soviet were too busy contemplating the future of Germany. The issue of intolerance and racism was never really dealt with but was rather suppressed deep within the sub-conscience of the Nazi apologists. And overnight, anti-Semitism became unfashionable. But looking back after 70 ...

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Subramanian Swami, I guarantee you that the ISI did not fund PK

Dear Subramanian Swami, Unlike Aamir Liaquat, I do not wish to engage in a tirade of abuses and vitriol of hate. I will not mention any ‘dandas with jhandas’ or ‘pichwaras’ or ‘teesri hockey sticks’, but I simply hope to appeal to your ability to see reason. You claim that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of Pakistan has funded the Bollywood movie PK. You say that your sources trace the funds to Pakistan through Dubai. Sir, I do not know what you are smoking but please can I have some too? Who financed the PK film? According to my sources it is traceable to Dubai and ISI. DRI ...

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12 and married

The small private clinic was echoing with mixed voices – those of ear-piercing shrills and loud excitement. Waiting to see my doctor, I realised the commotion in the maternity section with nurses rushing through a storm of women – aunts and grandmothers waiting on news of a baby child. Passing it on as regular routine at the clinic, I was alarmed when the doctor came out scolding the elderly woman in the group who was wailing, claiming the doctor did not do enough to save the child. The doctor told the waiting family, “The poor girl would have died in labour. She was ...

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Where did Jinnah’s Pakistan go?

On August 11, 1947, certain words echoed in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan with much emphasis. “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”  These words were proudly stated by none other than the founding father of our nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. After 66 years of struggle, sacrifices and long-fought battles to procure democracy in Jinnah’s Pakistan, ...

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