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Wake-up Call to Muslims

Muslims have to work out the solutions to their problems, themsleves:- (1) Read online or dowlnoad E Book, pdf ...

28 September 2016

Pakistan may approach the International Court of Justice should India violate the 56-year-old treaty.Pulling Out Of Indus OG

Pulling Out Of Indus Waters Treaty Would Be An 'Act Of War,' Warns Pakistan

Pakistan may approach the International Court of Justice should India violate the 56-year-old treaty

A day after Indian Prime Minister met senior government officials in New Delhi to review the 56-year-old Indus Waters Treaty, a senior Pakistan official has warned the country would approach the United Nations and the International Court of Justice should India pull out "unilaterally" from the pact.
The water sharing agreement, which has survived multiple conflicts between the two nations, governs the use of water resources from six major rivers – Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum -- that flow through the subcontinent.
According to media reports, Sartaj Aziz, Foreign Affairs adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said, "the international law states that India cannot unilaterally separate itself from the treaty" and doing so could amount to a "breach" of the treaty, giving Pakistan good reason to approach the UN Security Council.
"Between the two countries, this act of revocation can be taken as an act of war," he said.
According to media reports, Indian government is planning to exploit to "the maximum" the capacity of Pakistan-bound rivers in the treaty-- Indus, Chenab, Jhelum" as per the terms of the pact, and expediting the construction on three dams on River Chenab; Pakul Dul Dam, Sawalkot Dam and Bursar Dam.
As per the pact terms, India can use 20 per cent of the Indus' water before it reaches Pakistan but hasn't exercised that option in nearly 30 years.
On Monday, while reviewing the treaty, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, "Blood and water cannot flow together." India has thus far not scrapped the treaty, but some media reports suggest the Indian government may consider that option if Pakistan didn't end hostilities.
Some observers have suggested that India should revoke the agreement as a retaliatory move against Pakistan following the militant attack in Uri last week that led to 18 army casualties. However, ecology experts have warned that doing so could result in massive flooding in Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Ahmer Bilal Soofi, a former federal law minister in Pakistan, told Dawnthat if India were to stop the flow of the waters of the rivers, it would set up an international precedent that would be closely watched by neighbouring China, which could use that as an argument to suspend the waters of the Brahmaputra river.
"India may have already damaged itself by even considering the suspension of water flow as an upper riparian and the Chinese government must be watching Indian moves with interest," Soofi said.

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Humanity, ReligionCultureSciencePeace

25 September 2016

 Geopolitical wranglings

Global politics is a complex web where one development can lead to many others, and one intervention to mitigate a conflict can expose the fissures of many other dormant conflicts. However, it always remains a hard task to find some direct relation between two distant and different conflicts and international interventions in those conflicts such as in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many authors have critically analysed and found some major flaws in the strategies adopted by the US and the West towards the Middle East and Afghanistan, which caused huge human sufferings and triggered multiple conflicts in both regions. The recently released Chilcot report, comprising the findings of the UK’s Iraq war inquiry, has discussed at length Tony Blair’s strategic ambitions about Iraq and how he manipulated Afghan invasion for another war in Iraq.

Hasan M. Sadiq in his book The End of the Great Game has tried to trace a direct link between these two wars. He thinks that these were part of a great game played out by the US whose real target was Pakistan.

A Pakistani-American and computer programmer by profession, Sadiq has tried to analyse a host of very complex issues including the Kashmir conflict, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the nuclear race between India and Pakistan, and pre- and post-9/11 relations between Pakistan and the US in his maiden publication comprising 16 chapters. He has attempted to connect the dots around his basic thesis that the US wanted to control the Middle East to ensure global hegemony, and Pakistan military and nuclear arsenal were major hurdles in achieving this objective; China entered the scene a bit later, distracting the US from its major goal.

Hasan M. Sadiq offers his perspective on the US’s global politics and policies towards Pakistan
He argues that since the first Gulf War, the US has been trying to ‘manage’ Pakistan with a view to ensure that it would not be able to provide military assistance to the Gulf states, in case of any conflict there. A new alliance of China, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan emerged in the region, which has become a hurdle in the way of the US great design. According to Sadiq, this alliance is gradually neutralising American influence not only in the Middle Eastern and South Asian regions but also in the rest of the world. To regain its influence, the US wanted to denuclearise Pakistan and to contain Pakistani defence spending. He also sees the conflict in Afghanistan, which he calls ‘war’ as part of the US strategy. He believes that “the main goal of the US war in Afghanistan, which has now lasted over 14 years, was to degrade Pakistan’s expanding nuclear program, which otherwise has the potential to threaten US hegemony over this vital energy-rich region of the world.”

Sadiq considers the US and Pakistan as vital actors in the regional chessboard and China as an emerging actor, which is also challenging the US hegemony in the region. The last chapter, which depicts the title of the book, provides an interesting viewpoint on what the author calls ‘the great game’. He points out that the US dependence on Middle Eastern oil and energy resources is decreasing but it still wants to control the Middle Eastern oil for geostrategic reasons, which include to prevent the Russians from gaining control of these reserves; control its own installed dictators in the Middle East; fuel the economies of the West by receiving cheap oil; deplete the energy resources of the Arabs to preserve its own energy resources; and bring to market its own energy resources and continue to control the geopolitics of the world from its own shores. Sadiq thinks the larger threat to these US policies in the Middle East is the increasing arsenal of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. He sees all international attempts for reduction of nuclear arms, as part of the US efforts to contain Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities, including the 2010 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty knows as New START signed by the US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

“In May 2001, China and Pakistan publicly announced the joint development of Gwadar port in southwest Pakistan. Gwadar, adjoining the Iranian sea border lies strategically on the waters of the Persian Gulf, also known as the Straits of Hormuz. It is across this strategic access from where most of the Middle East oil is supplied to the West, Japan, and China. If left unchecked by the U.S. this development can undermine its power not only in south Asia, but also in the Middle East. In addition, if U.S. intentions remain on track to control all the Middle East oil, as per my theory, then China with the help of Pakistan could position itself to fight against a U.S. imposed oil blockade from Gwadar port. China already knows how the US reacted when the Soviets marched into Afghanistan in 1979. Being the second largest consumer of oil, is China worried that the US plans to occupy all the Middle East oilfields? If indeed this is the reason why China has entered Gwadar, then there could be some truth to this worry.” — Excerpt from the book
One finds a frequent argument made in the book that Saudi Arabia and China are partners of Pakistan in order to subjugate the US efforts. This is the reason, the author argues, that Saudi Arabia always comes forth to support Pakistan when financial restrictions are imposed on it. Although the Saudis’ Afghanistan policy always remained mysterious and even difficult to predict, the author alludes to a speech made by Prince Turki al-Faisal in 2010 in which he said that Saudis do not want to give up on the Taliban. They will continue to support the interests of the Pakistanis against the Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras, who form the Northern Alliance group and are supported by the US and India. Hence, he concludes that “it is highly unlikely that Pakistan would support any peace deal between the Taliban and the US, which denies the Taliban its full representation in any future Afghan government.”

As far as China is concerned in this equation, the author has put in Zbigniew Brzezinski’s words that China appears to be driven by its own interest of consolidating Pakistan “as a counterweight to India and to gain through it a more proximate and safer access to the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.” Of course, this is not in the interest of the US which sees China’s growing economic, military power and partnership with Pakistan as a threat to its hegemony in the region. The writer sees proxy wars in Afghanistan and pressure on Pakistan’s western borders as a tactic to build pressure on Pakistan.

The book is a very frank commentary based on the feelings of a Pakistani expat in America. The author is not an academic by practice but he has tried to offer his analysis of the US’s global politics and policies towards Pakistan.

Geopolitical wranglings
Review by Muhammad Amir Rana,
The reviewer is a security analyst. He is the Director of Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), Islamabad.

The End of the Great Game
By Hasan M. Sadiq
ISBN: 978-9692308809
HMS Books, Pakistan

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Humanity, ReligionCultureSciencePeace

View from US: Pulpits and lies

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will take the stage at the first general election presidential debate this year
The world watches while America loses its moral compass. It stands at a crossroads — one that leads in one direction to an unknown place (Donald Trump) and in the other to the same old place (Hillary Clinton). Both candidates are rated negatively at historic levels. The greatest casualty is truth, character and transparency. In the first presidential debate on September 26, both will likely resort to falsehood and braggadocio instead of focusing on substantive issues of terrorism, foreign policy, national security, healthcare, economy and employment.

The bigger bully in the room will win.

For 18 months we’ve watched Trump and Clinton slug it out. With just a few weeks left to the elections, Trump incites his voters towards ugly confrontations. Never before has America been so divided, so polarised, so disgusted. As the oldest candidates ever to run for president (Clinton would be the second oldest president in history, Trump would be the oldest), both hide the real state of their health. Trump and his supporters insist Hillary is very sick physically, while Hillary and her camp assert Trump is sick mentally and therefore unfit to be the leader of the ‘free world.’

The lady in the pantsuit has put “half of Donald Trumps’s supporters” in a “basket of deplorables”, calling them “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it”. Hillary Clinton is absolutely correct. Yes, it’s a fact: half (or more) of Trump’s supporters are rabid racists. He has spearheaded and activated dormant white supremacy groups gunning for people who don’t share their religion or look like them. On September 11, an arsonist set fire to the Islamic Center at a Florida mosque that the Pulse nightclub shooter, Omar Mateen, attended. The same day, in New York, a Muslim woman in hijab walking on Fifth Avenue was set on fire by a man with a lighter. More hate crimes are expected. The 70-year-old billionaire has successfully poisoned the well by targeting American -Muslims as his object of hate and loathing. If he is elected president, his supporters will have just one message: “You Muslims need to get back to your country.” And 69 per cent of these bigots are convinced that Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya.

The first presidential debate on Sept 26 between Clinton and Trump could be the most watched event on US television history but will it go beyond rhetoric?
On the flip side … Section 60, Grave 7986 is the most frequented site at Arlington cemetery in Washington this summer. With its Islamic crescent and Purple Heart inscription, it has attracted scores of visitors who leave behind messages of support and sympathy for parents of the slain Captain Humayun Khan. Pakistan-born Khizr and Ghazala Khan have received more than 4,000 and counting handwritten letters about their son. A woman whose father lies buried a few feet away from Humayun writes: “I’ve been thinking about the ways politics and bureaucracy has tainted my love for this country. But seeing your parents, learning about you — has shown and reminded me of the dignity, love and blessings stitched into the diverse fabric of the United States.”

It is a universal truth that almost all politicians around the world are inveterate liars. If you had to choose between the huckster and conman Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s secretiveness, whom would you choose? Or, if you had to choose between Nawaz Sharif’s gobbledygook on offshore accounts that his children hold and Asif Zardari’s alleged corruption earning him the title of ‘Mr 90 per cent’ whom would you choose? The problem with this sort of question is what you call a ‘binary choice’, meaning there are only two things to choose from.

What is the ideal yardstick for judging leaders? This is a tough one! Exercising our individual right to choose, we can often stumble. Our subjective judgement can be flawed, biased, slanted or warped. We can be small-minded, dogmatic or chauvinistic depending on who we judge. The worst specimens, according to many, are the pundits. David Brooks, who writes in the op-ed pages of the New York Times, is honest enough to admit: “I’m paid to be a narcissistic blowhard, to volley my opinions, to appear more confident about them than I really am, to appear smarter than I really am, to appear better and more authoritative than I really am.” He says he tries hard to keep away from a “life of smug superficiality”. Still, he can flounder at times, like most of his colleagues in the media.

Do opinion writers, columnists and television anchors really suffer from a delusional sense of infallibility, the same way politicians do both in America and in Pakistan? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes’. But here’s the big difference: while politicians win elections by lying to their electorates with tall promises, media persons merely succeed in preaching to the converted. The rest of the populace turns to social media for news, especially in an election season though social media is not immune to this problem either. The deranged Donald Trump is a master tweeter, pulling in millions of followers who swallow every word he tweets.

So who can check facts on both Trump and Clinton for their lack of accuracy? It’s the media, stupid, says the Los Angeles Times in its editorial. It blames the journalists for giving airtime to lies spewed out by Trump’s and Clinton’s surrogates without contradicting them. Some of these surrogates are paid by candidates to defend them on television, which in itself is a very dishonest practice by TV channels. It’s like an infomercial paid by the candidate to pitch for him and mislead viewers. According to the Los Angeles Times, there has been little sober public analysis of where the candidates stand and where their policy positions would bring the world. Instead the media, especially talk show hosts, have been “thrashing about over relative trivialities.”

Recently at a back-to-back ‘Commander-In-Chief Forum’ with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the moderator Matt Lauer failed to dispute the latter’s outright lies. The New York Times censured Lauer for his lack of preparation in its editorial ‘A debate disaster waiting to happen.’ The moderator of the first presidential debate owes it to American people to challenge both candidates, especially their lies. If he fails, he’d have done the country a grave disservice.
View from US: Pulpits and lies
by Anjum Niaz, Dawn.Com

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Humanity, ReligionCultureSciencePeace

12 September 2016

USA gun violence deaths outfigure in large than Terrorism

According to figures from the US Department of Justice and the Council on Foreign Affairs, 11,385 people died on average annually in firearm incidents in the US between 2001 and 2011.
In the same period, an average of 517 people were killed annually in terror-related incidents. Removing 2001, when 9/11 occurred, from the calculation produces an annual average of just 31.

Some 13,286 people were killed in the US by firearms in 2015, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and 26,819 people were injured [those figures exclude suicide]. Those figures are likely to rise by several hundred, once incidents in the final week of the year are counted.
The US spends more than a trillion dollars per year defending itself against terrorism, which kills a tiny fraction of the number of people killed by ordinary gun crime.

Using numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we found that from 2001 to 2013, 406,496 people died by firearms on U.S. soil. (2013 is the most recent year CDC data for deaths by firearms is available.) This data covered all manners of death, including homicide, accident and suicide.
According to the U.S. State Department, the number of U.S. citizens killed overseas as a result of incidents of terrorism from 2001 to 2013 was 350.
In addition, we compiled all terrorism incidents inside the U.S. and found that between 2001 and 2013, there were 3,030 people killed in domestic acts of terrorism.* This brings the total to 3,380.

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Humanity, ReligionCultureSciencePeace

06 September 2016

Why Muslims Should Never Have To Apologize for Terrorism

Picture this: You wake up in the morning to hear your wife screaming at you because it's pouring rain outside. She hates the rain and now her day is ruined because of you. You go downstairs only to hear your children yell at you because they broke the toaster. They can't have waffles now and it's all your fault. On the way to work, you stop and fill up gas only to hear everyone at the gas station curse you out because gas prices have risen. You arrive at work only to see all your coworkers gathered around your desk demanding that you apologize for the printer being jammed. On the way home from work, everyone on the highway screams at you because they are upset with the rush hour traffic.
Quite a ridiculous scenario, right? Can you imagine always being blamed for things that you have absolutely no control over? Can you imagine always being asked to apologize for these things? Can you imagine being hated whether or not you do apologize? This is what being a Muslim in America today feels like.
I am a proud American, raised in Texas. I'm a college student. I'm a humanitarian. I'm an aspiring physician. I'm someone who hopes to revolutionize access to medicine and healthcare in the United States and in war-torn countries across the world. I also am a M-u-s-l-i-m, one of over 1.6 billion who are blamed whenever an act of terrorism occurs as if we are nothing more than this 6-letter word hijacked by those who wrongly use our religion to justify their heinous crimes.
As a Muslim American who continually strives to do everything I can for the betterment of my community and this nation, I am tired of being asked to apologize and condemn terrorism that I have absolutely nothing to do with.
Here Are Five Reasons Why Muslims Should Never Have To Apologize for Terrorism:

1) It's ridiculous to ask us to apologize.
As a practicing Muslim, I know that my religion teaches peace. I am so certain of this fact that I will award anyone $10,000 if they can find me a verse in the Quran that says it's ok to kill innocent people or to commit acts of terror. This is an open offer that will never expire.

I also know that Muslims, as a religious group, are not terrorists. I have factually proved this. I also have factually proved that you are more likely to be struck by lightening, crushed to death by a couch, or killed by a toddler, than to be killed by a Muslim.
This being said, why should I have to apologize for a violence that I have no connection to? A violence my religion blatantly stands against.
Ask yourself: Should car manufacturers have to apologize when drunk drivers kill people using their vehicles? Should you be required to apologize to the police if your sibling gets a speeding ticket because you share the same last name? Should every single gun owner in America have to apologize whenever someone is killed by a firearm? Should weathermen have to apologize for cloudy days? Should pharmacists have to apologize for your allergies? Should I have to apologize for the typos of another writer?
Unless you can find that $10,000 verse or unless you blatantly hear a Muslim explicitly supporting terrorism, please understand that asking us, both individually and collectively, to apologize for terrorism would be just as ridiculous as the questions above.
2) It should be obvious by now that Muslims condemn terrorism.
By now, it should be very clear that Muslims condemn terrorism. All it takes is a simple Google search of any terrorist attack to find the plethora of Muslims publicly condemning it. Try it out. For example, here areover 40 examples of Muslims condemning the Charlie Hebdo attacks. And here is an example of how Muslims all across the world condemned the Paris attacks.

Muslims condemn terrorism, we always have. This is a fact. And just as I shouldn't have to reassure you each morning that the sky is still blue, Muslims should not have to reassure you that we still condemn terrorism every single time a terrorist attack occurs.
And frankly, if you don't already believe that Muslims condemn terrorism by now, then no apology or repeated broken-record condemnation from any Muslim or Muslim organization will help cure your intolerant hatred.
3) Muslims are at the very forefront of combating terrorism.
The only thing more ridiculous than asking people to apologize for something they have no connection to is to make people apologize for something they are working so hard to combat.

Muslims want to defeat terrorism just as much as any other American, if not more. This is why we have Muslim women like Niloofar Rahmaniand Kubra Khademi who are at the very frontlines fighting terrorists. This is why millions of Muslim youth are taking a stand against ISIS. This is why tons of Muslim groups and scholars repeatedly issue statements condemning ISIS, many even being beheaded by ISIS for doing so.
This is why more than 120 Muslim scholars from around the world joined together to write an open letter to ISIS, denouncing them as un-Islamic by using Islamic terms. This is why Muslims are being killed by ISIS for publicly opposing this terrorist group's persecution of Christians.
For the same reasons that firemen don't apologize for fires and doctors don't apologize for heart disease, Muslims should not be expected or asked to apologize for something they are working so hard to combat.
4) Muslims are the largest victims of terrorism.
According to the Counter Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Al-Qaeda kills over seven times more Muslims than non-Muslims. According to the UN, Muslims are the largest victims of ISIS. According to the State Department, Muslims are the largest victims of terrorism in general. No matter where you look, you will find that the strongest association between Muslims and terrorism is one in which Muslims are victims of it.

There is a sad irony in how Muslims are the largest victims of terrorism yet also receive the most hatred for it. Just as it would be wrong to blame African Americans for slavery, starving children for world hunger, and toddlers for school shootings, it is equally wrong to blame Muslims for terrorism when we are always the victims of it.
Want me to call the leader of ISIS and tell him to stop committing terror? Give me his contact information; I'd be happy to. Any Muslim would. But just know that the conversation would begin with us, ISIS's largest victims, telling him to stop hijacking our religion to justify killing Muslims who actually follow it.
5) If we have to apologize for terrorism, then so should everyone else.
This last point is especially important. Why are Muslims the only group that are required to apologize for and condemn the actions of criminals that associate with their group?

To put things into perspective, ask yourself: Why aren't all white males asked to apologize for the slavery that white males endorsed less than two centuries ago? The slavery in which one third of slaves were Muslims. Why aren't all Buddhists asked to apologize for the radical Buddhist monks in Mynammar that are violently attacking Muslims? Why aren't all policemen asked to apologize for the racist cops that are dropping the bodies of unarmed blacks like leaves in the autumn?
You must understand that just as you are detached from the heinous crimes mentioned above, I am just as detached from the terrorism that so many keep trying to link me with for no other reason than me being a Muslim.
You must understand that by asking me whether I condemn terrorism, you are questioning my humanity.
By Omar Alnatour, 
Follow Omar Alnatour on Twitter: 
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Americans are losing faith in religion’s ability to help solve social problems

Image result for aMERICA LOSING faith in religion

Throughout US history, religious leaders and institutions have played a vital role in addressing the issues of the day. The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which witnessed a horrific shooting in June last year, was used in the struggle against slavery as a site for organizing and activism. Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership of the civil rights movement was definitively shaped by his role as a preacher.
However, the share of Americans who think that churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship contribute to solving crucial social problems is declining rapidly, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.
In August 2008, 75% of Americans said that religious institutions and leaders contributed at least somewhat to solving societal problems. That percentage had fallen to 65% by July 2012, and further declined to 58% in the most recent survey.
Roughly 4 in 10 Americans now say that religious leaders and institutions do not make a significant contribution to solving social problems.
The changing perceptions of Americans on the role of religion could be partially attributed to the growth in population of those with no religious affiliation. (Between 2007 and 2014, the percentage of Americans who described themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” rose from 16.1% to 22.8%, according to Pew research.)
As might be expected, those with no religious affiliation are less likely to think that religious institutions play an active role in solving societal ills. Only 38% of the non-affiliated say that religious leaders and institutions make a contribution in this area, as compared with 65% of Protestants and 63% of Catholics.
“Part of what’s reflected here is the changing religious composition of the country,” said Greg Smith, deputy director of religion research at Pew Research Center and one of the lead authors of the report.
However, that does not explain the shift entirely. The percentage of those who believe that churches help solve social problems has declined almost equally across age, religious belief, geographical location, and political affiliation. “It is striking just how broad-based this change is,” said Smith.
If organized religion indeed is retreating as a force for social change, it doesn’t necessarily mean that activism itself is waning.
In a 2015 opinion piece in the Washington Post, social activist Rahiel Tesfamariam pointed to the decentralized nature of movements like Black Lives Matter, and argued that modern activism in many cases no longer needs, or even desires, the imprimatur of churches.
In the 1960s, she wrote, the authority of clergy “infused the civil rights movement with traditional values—hierarchical leadership, respectability politics and the guiding principles of reconciliation and nonviolence. Today’s movement has dismissed these criteria, operating without centralized leadership and accepting as many straight women and LGBTQ people on the front lines as straight men.”
Follow us on Twitter @qz.
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