“What this will cost me, I will soon find out”

The first shot is fired in what promises to be an epic battle between (Hilary) Clinton and (Jeb) Bush for the throne in 2016.

Monica Lewinsky explains in Vanity Fair how her boss took advantage of her (before) and how she was made a scapegoat (after). Will these revelations cause a set-back for the Clintons or improve their standing? There are only 730 days (approx) left to find out!!
Lewinsky says she became reclusive during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s
campaign for president in 2008 for fear that she would be used for
political purposes and that she feels “gun-shy” even now as Clinton
considers another run in 2016.

Despite Lewinsky’s trepidation,
she writes in a forthcoming issue of Vanity Fair that she now feels
compelled to emerge from the shadows because, “Should I put my life on
hold for another eight to 10 years?”

It is time, she writes, to
stop “tiptoeing around my past, and other people’s futures. I am
determined to have a different ending to my story. I’ve decided,
finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my
narrative and give a purpose to my past.”

She continues: “What this will cost me, I will soon find out.”

Lewinsky, now 40, broke her years long silence about her affair with
President Bill Clinton in the article to appear in the May 8 issue of
Vanity Fair.

Indeed, Lewinsky writes that the scandal continues to affect her
ability to pursue a career despite her master’s degree in social
psychology from the London School of Economics, because employers do not
want to attract the attention of the news media. But she says she has
turned down eight-figure offers to exploit her celebrity status because
“they didn’t feel like the right thing to do.”

She writes that
she regrets her affair with Clinton, but says the popular view that the
president pressured her into it is wrong.

“Sure, my boss took
advantage of me,” she writes, “but I will always remain firm on this
point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the
aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful

Link: http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2014/05/monica-lewinsky-speaks


Rafia Zakaria middle-fingers the (complicit) West

As a keen observer of both the global South and North, Rafia Zakaria is well suited to comment on how narratives are being written in the world press. She bluntly accuses the West of white-washing away the western complicity in the rise of the Taliban and Boko Haram and other extremist groups, leaving poorly off third-world countries with the stigma of being “that country” which is full of monsters performing acts of evil. First it was Pakistan and now it is the turn of Nigeria to be a victim of western negligence (and often outright malfeasance) and now facing an international campaign of vilification.

 Well yes, and no. One can stretch the imagination and claim that India is being portrayed in the Western Press as “that country” where rapists are running wild, with even six month old babies not being spared from the clutches of monsters (yes, really). The insults are coming fast and furious on Twitter: what is wrong with Indian men? Not just any Indian men, but conservative Hindu vegetarian men. It was none other than an Alicia Muller May an american diplomat based in India who made this astute statement:

“It’s the vegetarians that are doing the raping, not the meat eaters. This place is just so bizarre,” Alicia Muller May wrote in 2012

We can throw statistics back and forth (gun crime in the USA is a nice, soft target) but at the end of the day this is the truth: Americans (westerners) think of the brown and black people as uncivilized barbarians (all of them). And Rafia Zakaria is certainly correct that the West is good in covering up its complicity.

But if there is ever going to be an opportunity to set the matters right the brown world must do better than sit around and complain that America is being mean and not helpful enough. There was after all a very good reason why Pakistan, for example, invited the USA to come to the village well and poison the drinking water (so to speak). The expectation was that with the help of USA, Pakistan can fend off India. When sufficient help did not materialize in 1965 (1971, 1998,..) there was a lot of pain and heart-break. Surely it is up to the browns to stop the sword-fighting and start investing in plough-shares?
There was a time in Pakistan when the doings of the Taliban were also
just beginning. It was a time when Pakistanis never believed that the
Taliban, a ragtag group of itinerant fighters, with their bonfires of
CDs and their floggings of women, would be able to expand their sphere
of operations to other parts of the country.

The story of how
they did manage to do so is a sad and complex one, with chapters
detailing a superpower invading Afghanistan and bombing a portion of
Pakistan and littering the country with its intelligence agents and
security contractors. Those chapters are omitted from the world’s
imagination, in which the difference between a Taliban fighter and an
ordinary Pakistan is next to none.
The conflation is enshrined even in
the American definition of drone targets: every man over the age of 16
in a strike zone is automatically and always a ‘combatant’. The truth of
imperium is the truth the world accepts.

In the process of
fighting both the local insurgency and American intervention, Pakistan
became ‘that’ country,
occupying a place in the world’s imagination
alongside problems so complex that it does not belong to the normal
moral order of things. Pakistan is the country where a schoolgirl can be
shot by the Taliban for wanting to go to school,
an act so ghastly that
it functions to create the moral extreme that defines other nations as
‘good’, in relation to Pakistan’s ‘bad’.

Becoming ‘that’ country,
Pakistan’s citizens can tell you, involves having the human rights
violations of your present being dislodged from context, extricated from
narratives of global inequity, so that others less unfortunate can
count their blessings.
They, after all, are not ‘that’ country, the one
that stands at the darkest edge of misfortune, the most hapless case, at
the fringe of the fellowship of nations.

Nigerians should take
note and beware. Within the global imagination, the issue of abducted
schoolgirls seems to be marching in just the same direction.

the beginning, most global media outlets did not cover the issue at all,
discarding it with the disdain that accompanies misfortunes in parts of
the world used to misfortune. When the story was taken up by the CNN
and other gods of the global media, its details and context were happily
snipped away and moulded into the familiar form: an Islamist group, a
ghastly act and an ineffective government.

The boring specifics
of income inequality, Western complicity, ongoing insurgency, and
military repression are all subtracted to leave the skeleton of a story:
a group of abducted schoolgirls in a faraway place where people are
callous enough to allow such things to happen.

When singular acts are
used to construct the dynamics of complex problems, however, those
agitating against groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Taliban in
Pakistan are erased from the stories.

The consequence is a global
context in which a grotesque act becomes the source of moral castigation
of an entire nation, a step in the process of making it ‘that’ country,
a place that exists in the global imagination only to mark the furthest
boundary of badness, where anything can happen. As Pakistanis can tell
Nigerians, it is a costly sentence; often, an undeserved one.

Link: http://www.dawn.com/news/1104659/becoming-that-country


Boko Haramis, alternative models, and the good old days…

I have to run, so this is a mishmash. More coherent arguments to follow.

Boko Haram has (at least for a few days) put one particular “non-western” alternative form of social organization front and center: the partly imaginary, partly historical “Islamic model”. Observe their leader Abubaker Shikau in action:

The video starts with quranic verses and Jihadi slogans and bears more than a little resemblance to similar efforts from the Pakistani Taliban. These are people who believe they are on the right path and they are not doing something wrong; they are fulfilling the will of Allah. In fact, they are the ONLY people fulfilling the will of Allah. In this, they are one step ahead of other murderous gangs in ungoverned African countries. They have a coherent ideology and they sincerely believe it is superior. And most of this speech could be repeated without adverse comment on PTV or Saudi TV as long as you take out the specific threats to the current rulers of Nigeria. The bit about marrying girls at 9 years old and 12 years old reflects a continuing Islamic clerical obsession with what we would now call pedophilia (though of course child marriage, with or without fairly early sex, was pretty much normal in most of the world for a long time, being commonplace, though not universal, in India, China, the Middle East and Africa ).
Incidentally, a White woman on twitter said Boko Haram sounds so Hollywood. She refuses to believe its real. Its a Western front to disrupt Africa to get at their natural resources. I kid you not.

Anyway, this is a problem.

It is a practical problem in the sense that murderous gangs with coherent ideologies have a longer life span and greater power than murderous gangs who are just murderous gangs (see 20th C for many examples, most completely in glorious Democratic Kampuchea).
But it is also a problem in another sense; it is a problem for moderate Muslims. For 50 years, the “moderate” response to the modern world has been based on fictive loyalty to the perfect model of early Islam and EXTREMELY selective adoption of that model. This is an important point. There are Christians and Jews and Hindus and who knows, Shintoists, who believe they follow the “essence’ of their great (and superior) religion and tradition (the two words are used interchangeably based on context and need) but do not feel bound to imitate every particular act or order of their glorious ancestors. In fact, they are even willing to re-examine what those acts supposedly were…which ones actually happened, which ones are likely fake, which ones are apocryphal, etc. But the “moderate Muslim” model adopted in most Muslim countries (Turkey being a notable exception under the Ataturkists, but now reverting to mean) adopted complete (even if insincere in many cases) agreement with classical texts and traditional accounts of early Islam as the publicly accepted consensus model, while carrying on with very different lives by ignoring inconvenient traditions and theological points.
This process has led to problems. But they too shall pass. My description of the process was given in this earlier comment:

Phase 1: “moderates” obtain license to rule from colonial powers and being half-educated opportunists for the most part, and with some encouragement from the CIA (whose own ignorance of such things is legendary), some of them mindlessly repeat “Islamic formulas” in designing the curriculum and ideology for their new “nations”.
Phase 2: In Pakistan’s case, a specific CIA project to arm and train Islamic terrorists for Afghanistan, leads to dissemination of tradecraft (how to make bombs, set up secret cells, take hostages, spread terror, etc) to specially selected young morons while the magic curriculum infects PMA level “strategists” with just enough confusion to lose sight of their own future vulnerability to such nonsense. The high level of corruption and nepotism also creates resentment, pool of recruits, yadda yadda yadda. .
Phase 3. Idiot ruling elite now includes haramis who actually believe in boko haram level BS. They are a small minority but the majority is has been ideologically paralyzed by their own over-smart curriculum and propaganda. BOOM BOOM BOOM…But its a passing phase. If the haramis win, its over in a few years, if they lose, its over in a few years.

But it will get worse before it gets better. See the above video. We have trained similar psychopaths in our Jihadi organizations. Alhamdolillah.

From another earlier comment thread on facebook:

Omar Ali Boko haramis are going to send all of Karen Armstrong ‘s diligent apologia straight to hell
13 hours ago · Like · 2

Amer: Sex slaves and trading of women was very much part of Islamic history from day one so this man is just a shining example of an Islamic tradition.
10 hrs · Like · 1

Omar Ali: But to be fair, in early Islamic history all this was very much within period norms. WTF are the haramis doing in THIS day and age?
1 hr · Like

Ahmed : Well, if the general premise of Muslims is that the Prophet’s actions and teachings are good for all times and all humanity, then it’s quite natural to descend to this level of tragic absurdity.
1 hr · Edited · Like

Omar Ali: Ahmed you said “the general premise of Muslims is that the Prophet’s actions and teachings are good for all times and all humanity” …Yaah, but you know muslims dont really mean that (except for the nutcases, retards and haramis, all of whom are in a minority). EVERYONE i know selectively borrows from the quran and even more selectively from hadith and mostly ignores both. Thats just a meaningless line people repeat because they learned to repeat it in Islamiyat class. Its not taken THAT seriously. Look around you.
1 hr · Like

Coming to Pakistan in particular, someone asked if and when this may happen there. I think the Pakistani state is an order of magnitude more competent than the basket-case Nigerian institutions. So I think right now this is unlikely at this scale. But smaller scale events will happen.
But the Pakistani state and army have to come out of their Islamiyat-Pakstudies stupor to recover. They may do it. They may not. If not, what then?
Here is my summary of who may be in a position to save us if the Pak army fails (I sincerely pray to Allah that they do NOT fail)

Punjab can only be saved by the Khalsa.
Pakhtoons can only be saved by Afghanistan.
The Baloch can only be saved by China (i.e. if the Chinese switch sides)
The Sindhis can only be saved by? …India? I dunno. I await input on this one.

And of course, even short of time, I have to bring in Tariq Ali and Pankaj Mishra. I will just say this: the modern (“Western”) model of the nation state is not the only way society can be organized. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Show me where Haramis or Trotskyites or Leninists have created something better and different and we can talk.
Cuba is a modern nation state. Just not as liberal as some, but maybe to the liberal side of others that managed to survive. The essential elements include borders, army, police, bureaucracy, schools, colleges, exams, nationalism and propaganda, in no particular order. Various political systems (modern democracy being the best of the lot till now) can manage this state. And of course, Marxists and Leninists have managed them too…I just meant they managed them AS modern states, not as some alternative “system” that rejects modern states. Something like that.
We will get back to this…
Gotta run.


Gandhians with Guns (savage Avatars)

Western liberals (and third-world worshippers of W-Ls ) frequently emphasize the sacredness of the “sacred ancestral lands” of tribals. This is an effective strategy to put a stop to any mining or other activity that threatens to disturb the pristine environment in tribal lands. The idea is that the noble savages will stay that way forever. At times they may venture outside the reservation and pose for a few pictures with Dr Livingstone types. These “adventures of Tintin” stories will then be perused by the elite in the comfort of their wifi-enabled homes.

Now we have a case that (alleged) muslim migrants from Bangladesh are occupying the sacred lands of the Bodos. The Bodos are taking a (not so noble) savage like approach to the problem. Of course as far as civil society is concerned it is the evil Hindutva forces that are actually to blame (because tribals are by nature gentle people and can never ever inflict harm on others).  

The inconvenient truth is that the current campaign of murder and mayhem draws directly from the original Bangal Kheda movement (in the 1960s) which was aimed at evicting all Bengalis (Hindus, Muslims) from Axom, just like Shiv Sena goons presently in Maharashtra are happy to beat up Biharis of all stripes.

These man-made tragedies by Gandhians with guns will keep on recurring, unless the patron saint ditches her comfy house in Delhi and heads out for the thousand-star Hotel Kokrajhar. It will be really worth her time to get involved and let the tribal (lions) and muslim (lamb) communities live once more in peace and harmony.
Text of a statement issued by Civil Society Groups and Concerned Citizens

We, the undersigned, express our profound sense of grief and alarm
over the gruesome massacre of Bengali-speaking Muslims on 2nd May. This
most recent round of killings — in which 32 people, mostly women and
children have lost their lives— is another link in the long and bloody
sequence of ethnic cleansing being carried out by tribal Bodo militant
groups with impunity.

For years, Hindutva politics has successfully created the bogey of the
‘Bangladeshi’, rendering Muslims as suspects and targets, locked in a
perpetual battle with the tribal Bodos. In his rally at Silchar, the
BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate reiterated precisely this. He said:
“There are two kinds of people who came from Bangladesh to Assam: those
brought as part of a political conspiracy for vote bank politics of a
particular party (Muslims) and others who were harassed in the
neighbouring country (Hindus). Those brought for vote bank politics and
smugglers must be pushed back, while the second category must be
accommodated.” (Silchar, 22nd February).

More recently, poll violence at Harbhanga polling booth of Gossaigaon
under 5-Kokrajhar LS(ST) Constituency was followed by a brutal police
crackdown on on the villagers of Harbhanga, Jamunatari, Balabara. Many
victims and conscious citizens in BTAD think that the incident of
Harbhanga Polling Booth was meticulously planned to teach non-Bodo
inhabitants a lesson for voting against the atrocious ruling

The immediate provocation for the 2nd May killings seem to have come
from the communal statement made by Pramila Rani Brahma, BPF (formerly
BLT, a terrorist militant organisation) legislator and former
Agricultural Minister of Assam who accused the Muslims of not voting for
the BPF candidate Chandan Brahma. She demanded that BPF (a Congress
Alliance partner in Assam State Government and ruling party in local
BTAD administration) should therefore support BJP.

Immediately after her statement, separate incidents of violence broke
out: a prominent Non-Bodo journalist of BTAD Mr. Dhananjoy Nath was
attacked; three people were killed on the spot at Narshingpara, and
another girl child injured;. at around 12:00am mid night, a heavily
armed militant group killed eight people and injured at least four
including women and children at Balapara. These were to be a prelude to
the mass killings that were to follow the next day, ie., 2nd of May,
2014, when a group of forty heavily armed militant set ablaze nearly 70
houses and killed about 21 people and severely injured many more in
Gampara near Gobardhana of Baksa district of BTAD area. Dead bodies are
still being recovered and the death toll will rise up considerably.

Mr. Siddique Ahmed, a minister in Assam government who has visited the
violence affected area of BTAD, has concluded that the members of BPF
were involved in the massacre, and has also demanded the arrest of Smt.
Pramila Rani Brahma. It has also come to light that guns provided to
forest officials have been used in the massacre, thus directing
suspicion towards Khampa Borgoyary, Deputy Chief of BTC and Executive
member of Forest Dept of BTC .

We therefore demand the following:

  1. An SIT headed by a serving IPS officer or Supreme Court judge
    should be instituted. The state police and other security forces
    deployed in BTAD which have miserably failed to provide security to
    Non-Bodos and Muslims cannot be relied upon to fairly investigate this.
  2. Pramila Rani Brahma should be arrested and prosecuted at the
    earliest to instil confidence for the due course of law in the minds of
    aggrieved families.
  3. Investigate the role of Khampa Borgyoyari whose close aid Amiya
    Brahma and others were arrested for carrying out the targeted killing.
  4. Deploy more Paramilitary Forces to ensure security of the Non-Bodo peoples and particularly Muslims.
  5. Provide adequate compensation to the family of deceased and to
    the injured persons and rehabilitate victims displaced by indiscriminate
  6. Investigate and take strict action against police personnel responsible for the post-poll assault at Harbhanga village.
  7. Seize all illegal arms and ammunitions from the BTAD area without fail.
  8. Rework and revise the BTC accord so that the democratic aspirations of all sections of population residing in that area is met.
  9. The Election Commission should take notice of the public
    statements by Pramila Rani Brahma — which apart from being provocative
    also amount to a flagrant violation of model code of conduct.

Link: http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?290600


The real difference between Pak and Bangla

This event serves as a timely reminder of the realities (and contrasts) of Pak and Bangla societies of today. Unlike the Awami League ruled ex-Pakistanis, individuals/communities in Pakistan facing accusations of blasphemy will not have the police and the law on their side.

Another way of looking at the same issue is to consider the number of muslims in Pakistan who have faced the brunt of blasphemy accusations, and the number of (falsely accused) people who are condemned to lifetime in prison in order to protect themselves from societal fury.

That said, in the long run the fast-track and slow-track (cleansing) plot-lines are likely to merge and both lands will achieve Hindu-free status. This may actually help reduce strife in South Asia (peace of the graveyard) so this is not completely a bad thing. However the effects of polarization will be the most severe on the unprotected minorities (which includes free-thinking people). That will certainly be a tragedy and must be avoided at all costs.

mob of nearly 3,000 attacked Hindu households and a temple in eastern
Bangladesh after two youths from the community allegedly insulted the
Prophet Muhammad on Facebook.

Police on Monday arrested 17
people, including the principal of Bagmara Madrasa, for the attack on
the temple and over two dozen households at Homna in Comilla district,
about 100km south east of Dhaka, last week.

Locals and police said teachers and students of eight
madrasas in Homna upazila led the assault on Hindus at Baghsitarampur

Twenty-eight families have been affected in the attacks.
A mob of nearly 3,000 carried out the attacks and looted belongings of the Hindus, most of whom were poor farmers and fishermen.

said a call was made from the loudspeakers at Jamia Arabia Islami
Emdadul Ulum Madrasa at Rampur village near Baghsitarampur to launch the
attack on Hindus.

Before the assault, leaflets were distributed
for the last several days in the madrasas claiming that two Hindu youths
had slandered the prophet in a Facebook post April 27.

arrested the principal of Bagmara Madrasa at Muradnaga in connection
with the attacks. However, the main accused, Nazrul Islam, who took the
lead in distributing the leaflets is still at large.

Link: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/bangladeshi-hindus-attacked-comilla-district-prophet-muhammad-bodo-militants-bangladeshi-muslims/1/359195.html


From dunce to genius in two blows!!

A (supposedly) low IQ man gets beaten up in a bar and is now recognized as a genius. Now it so happens that most folks who walk in the BP world are already smart, handsome and rich so this information is of not much use. But for the rest of us lesser folks not blessed with s, h, and r, hope now will spring eternal.

Of course he also suffers from PTSD/OCD but then again being a genius is so liberating that ….Padgett wouldn’t change his new abilities if he could. “It’s so good, I can’t even describe it,” he said

have made some progress in figuring out how a man who received severe
brain injuries suddenly became a mathematical genius. They say that an
area behind the crown of the head, known as the parietal cortex, appears
to have become more active, according to a report in Live Science. This
region is known to combine information from different senses.

Jason Padgett was an ordinary furniture salesman in Tacoma, Washington,
US. In 2002, he was assaulted by two men outside a karaoke bar resulting
in severe concussion and an injured kidney. As Padgett recovered, he
suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, a psychological condition
usually seen in war veterans.

As he progressed, Padgett
realized that he was seeing the world differently – everything looked
like it was made up of geometrical shapes. He saw a circle as made up of
overlapping triangles. He could draw complex geometric shapes. He saw
shapes when shown mathematical equations, a condition known as
synesthesia where two senses get mixed up – you see a particular color
when you sense a particular smell, and so on.

One day a
physicist saw him making these shapes in a mall and was struck by
Padgett’s abilities. He persuaded Padgett to join college, where he is
studying number theory. As his abilities and how he acquired them got
known, brain scientists got interested in finding out what had happened
in his brain.

Berit Brogaard, a philosophy professor now at the
University of Miami and her colleagues used functional magnetic
resonance imaging (fMRI) to study Padgett’s brain, according to Live
Science. The scans showed that the left parietal cortex lit up the most,
while areas involved with visual memory, sensory processing and
planning also showed activity, according to Live Science.

transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) the scientists zapped specific
areas with a magnetic pulse which either activates or inhibits the area.
When the parietal cortex was thus zapped, the synesthesia faded.
According to Live Science, Brogaard has earlier shown that when brain
cells die, they release chemicals to increase activity in surrounding
areas. This may have happened in Padgett’s case.

It appears
that abilities like Padgett’s may be dormant in every brain and they got
released after the injury. However, Padgett has suffered other
consequences too – the PTSD, an obsessive-compulsive disorder and high
social anxiety, Live Science reports.

Yet Padgett wouldn’t change his new abilities if he could. “It’s so good, I can’t even describe it,” he said.
Link: www.livescience.com/45349-brain-injury-turns-man-into-math-genius.html


The (muslim) divisions of the Dewan (Ajmer)

It must be an irony of sorts that the two nation theory (TNT) which managed to strengthen the barrier between Hindus and Muslims (leading to disasters for both sides) has created that strange beast: a muslim who is considered as an outsider in both India/Pak. This can be a person from a liberal muslim family which chose to stay back in India. This can also be a Shia/Ahmadi in Pakistan who can still recall with pride the contributions of their families towards the Pakistan movement (and in support of TNT). These days such individuals/communities are branded as ISI agents in India and RAW agents in Pakistan.

As the latest outburst from Shaan shows, even an A-star hero like Ali Zafar will be accused of being a traitor because he works in Bollywood. How about the Pakistani authors (Mohsin Hamid, Fatima Bhutto) whose publishers are in India (and who have significant sales in India)? Fatima of course looks gorgeous in a (un-islamic) saree while managing to drive Paknationalists crazy. Tasleema Nasreen is an extreme example where liberal Hindus kept mum when muslim thugs in Kolkata and Hyderabad were violently assaulting her and rioting in the streets (the lib-Hs atoned by shedding crocodile tears when Hindutva forces launched a non-violent assault on Wendy Doniger’s book). The vote-bank (women) politicians (Mamata in Kolkata and Sonia in Delhi) ensured that a renowned woman of arts became an outlaw in her adopted country.  

Which brings us to Kashmir. To the best of our knowledge there are no muslim organizations in India dedicated to the Kashmiri cause, also no prominent muslim voice who stands up for the rights of Kashmiris (muslims). They have the formidable backing of the upper-caste duo of Arundhati Roy and Pankaj Mishra….and that’s it.  

But what about the maulanas who should have no fear of earthly agencies? Surely they can raise their voice against injustice of fellow muslims who are clamoring for Sharia rule? No such luck. Instead we have a war of words launched by the Dewan of Ajmer (dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti) against Pak Army chief Raheel Sharif (see below). This is not an isolated outburst. The Dewan had also proposed a boycott of Pakistan PM (Raja Parvez Ashraf) when he visited the dargah in March 2013, when the beheading of Indian soldiers (in Kashmir) was dominating the headlines. 
dewan of Ajmer dargah on Monday asked the Union government to snap ties
with Pakistan over its army chief Raheel Sharif’s statement describing
Kashmir as ‘jugular vein’ of his country.
Syed Zainul Abedin
Ali Khan while addressing heads of various shrines in Mehfil Khana
expressed disappointment at Indian government’s poor response to the

“Such nonsense statements issued on a routine by
Pakistan’s politicians, diplomats and sometimes by their non-state
actors should be reciprocated in similar manner. Kashmir is an integral
part of India. It is highly uncalled for them to peek into our internal
affairs at a time when they are struggling to control sectarian violence
in their own land,”
Khan said. He demands a paradigm shift in Indian
foreign policy especially towards Pakistan.

Islam preaches
cordial relations with neighbors and Pakistan being an Islamic republic
has never put this tenet in practice, he said adding that Pakistan’s
interference in our affairs gives them an opportunity to build a popular
stereotype for Muslims here.

He also talked about terrorism
and communal conflicts in the country and advised the upcoming
government that every political party should come on a single stage on
these issues. They should demand the ban of every sort of relations with
Pakistan, he said

Khan raised the issue of Muslim killings in
Assam by Bodo terrorists as an apparent attempt to kindle sectarian
violence in the north-east region. The heads of shrines unanimously
condemned the killings and called for an action plan to ensure that
violence ends and people who fled their homes may return.

fresh killings are an outcome of some political leaders fanning
religious sentiments. These killings took place in the midst of Lok
Sabha polls and Election Commission should investigate if these are
fanned due to political reasons?” Khan said.

He also urged
Muslims to rally behind the new government at the centre and participate
in every nation-building activity. “Community is lagging behind in all
social and economical parameters. Time has come that we should set short
term goals including focus on educating our new generation,” Khan said.

Link (1): http://snapjudge.blogspot.in/2013/03/bjp-hails-ajmer-dargah-heads-boycott-of.html
Link (2):  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Sever-Pak-ties-Ajmer-shrine-head/articleshow/34700144.cms


How did the muslims vote?

The general trend in times of extreme peril is to vote for the Congress- as one voter in Axom says, it is almost second nature for muslims to vote for the GOP. This makes sense. If the Congress collapses there is no national party which will carry the muslim vote. That will be perilous for the muslims (and dangerous for India as well).  

As Hasan Suroor explains in the Hindu, voting for a secular party does not have too much appeal for conservative muslims and there is a pent up demand to have their own party. This would be of course a daughter of the erstwhile Muslim League which expired once Pakistan was born. The problem with this approach is that a nation-wide muslim party will not fly (yet) and lead to more divisions and in-fighting.

In a nutshell if a right-wing nation-wide muslim party does materialize, Congress will vanish and BJP will become the natural ruling party of India.

Here are then the trends of muslim voting in select states.

Maharashtra: ….at a meeting convened by former
MLA Yusuf Abrahani before the last phase of Maharashtra polls, Muslim
NGO representatives decided Muslims should vote for Congress-NCP . “CM
Prithviraj Chavan assures he will address demands. Delegates took home
the message that they have to set aside their grouse against the
Congress,” says Abrahani. “In all Muslim-majority pockets in the state,
the community voted single-mindedly to stop the Modi wave,” says Maulana
Mahmood Daryabadi of All India Ulema Council, one of several
socio-religious groups that helped decide how the community votes.
 In the 2009
elections in Aurangabad, where Muslims constitute 3.5 of 14 lakh voters,
a BSP Muslim candidate took away 32,000 votes, helping Shiv Sena’s
Chandrakant Khaire win.

“This time the community closed ranks
and voted en bloc for Congress candidate Nitin Patil,” Aurangabad-based
activist Mohsin Khan says. That candidates don’t share their religion
hasn’t deterred Muslim voters. In Bhiwandi, Maharashtra, the community
didn’t back Mumtaz Ansari (BSP) and Jalal Ansari (AAP), voting instead
for Congress’ Vishwas Patil. Activists claim that apart from Medha
Patkar in Mumbai North East, no other AAP candidate in Maharashtra has
got a sizeable number of community votes.
 Bihar: ….organizations like Jamiat Ulema, Imarat
Shariah, Momin Conference , Jamiat-ul-Quraish and Milli Council appealed
to the community to vote for a strong, secular candidate. Community
leaders claim that Bihar’s 14 electoral constituencies, with 20% to 68%
Muslim population, ignored appeals by Shahi Imam (Congress supporter)
and Shia cleric Maulana Kalb-e-Jawwad (Congress detractor) and went with
advice doled out at local mosques.  Maulana Muzaffar Raza, a Shia cleric
in Patna city, says the biggest concern for Muslims is to stop Modi.
“Muslims are not scared of Modi. They hate him,” he says.

In 2009, NCP candidate
Tariq Anwar had lost from Muslim populated Katihar, Bihar despite having
2.55 lakh votes. With three other Muslim candidates together bagging
over one lakh votes, a BJP candidate took the seat. It was the same
story in Bihar’s other Muslim constituencies, which is why this year
JD(U) candidate Akhtarul Iman, pitted against sitting Congress MP
Asrarul Haq in Kishanganj , withdrew his candidacy. It left the party
red-faced but sent a strong signal to the community . “I preferred to
sacrifice myself to check the division,” Iman says.   Axom: ….in 2011, the All
India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) led by
businessmanturned-politician Badruddin Ajmal wrested 18 assembly seats
from Congress in Assam’s Muslim constituencies. This year, as the
Congress mobilizes the Muslim electorate to ensure the vote isn’t split,
Ajmal too pledges support towards their plans.
Fear of being branded
‘illegal immigrants’ is a major driver for Assam’s Muslim population —
30% of 1.88 crore voters — to support Congress. This is despite the fact
that the party failed to protect or ensure justice for them after one
of the nation’s worst pogroms in 1983. Mohammed Nurul Islam from
Alisinga, one of the 14 Muslim villages where riots occurred, claims the
village votes as one. “Perhaps it has become our habit to vote for
Congress,” the 65-year-old says. Abdul Karim, 60, who also survived the
massacre, explains, “The party takes heed of our concerns even if it
does not fulfill all our demands.”
Many of these Muslims feel more
secure with Congress than BJP, which has made Bangladeshi influx a
rallying point in electoral campaigns.
Delhi: ……have seen potential in AAP. Locals
from Batla House, Jamia Nagar, Shaheen Bagh and Abul Fazal Enclave say
they voted for AAP to rid the community of the ‘terror’ tag. “BJP
leaders have declared us terrorists and Congress has done nothing for
us,” says Rehan, a student from Jamia Milia Islamia.

Seemapuri, a Muslim area dominated by ragpickers , AAP scored big during
the assembly elections and is expected to sustain this lead. The area,
which had an 80% voter turnout in 2009 and has always voted Congress,
understands neither AAP nor Congress gain from a split vote. “Divided we
fall. Our consolidated vote has to go to either party, or BJP wins,”
Gulzar Saifi of New Seemapuri says.

Bengal: Muslim majority
districts like Malda, Murshidabad and North and South Dinajpur have
generally voted Congress. In parts of Bengal with a 15 to 35% Muslim
population, the vote is split between Trinamool Congress, Congress and
 In the last assembly polls, a large section of Bengal’s Muslims
voted for Trinamool but are dismayed by Mamata Banerjee backtracking on
promises. “Muslims here have seen through her symbolic gestures like
wearing a stole ‘hijab’ . Nothing substantial has been done for our
betterment,” says lawyer Sagir Ahmed though other Muslim locals pledge
support for Didi. The Urdu/ Hindispeaking Muslims, in pockets of Malda,
adjoining Bihar, and Kolkata, lean towards Trinamool as the party
supports local recreational clubs, which are strong influencers in their
areas. “Mamata’s official doles to the clubs will translate to votes
for Trinamool ,” says Mohammad Sohail Beig, secretary of Haji Nurul
Islam Charitable Trust that operates in Muslim areas of Metiabruz and
Garden Reach.



Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/stoi/deep-focus/The-mind-of-the-Muslim-voter/articleshow/34269439.cms


“I abducted your girls. I will sell them”

“There is a market for
selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will
sell women. I sell women”


So says the son of Devil. This is simply devastating news (though not surprising).
We just feel blind, intense, yet helpless anger, but then again it is perhaps better (for our sanity) to direct our gaze towards the millions of injustices happening on our door-step.

The world would be a better place if these vermin were wiped out, though logically the head of the snake* is what needs to be lopped off (fat chance of that happening).
All in all, a terrible day for humanity.
* response to Asok: the Wahhabi movement based in Saudi Arabia and allied organizations worldwide preaching the gospel of hate and intolerance
Fears for the fate of more than 200 Nigerian girls turned even more
nightmarish Monday when the leader of the Islamist militant group that
kidnapped them announced plans to sell them.

“I abducted your girls. I
will sell them in the market, by Allah,” a man claiming to be Boko
Haram leader Abubakar Shekau
said in a video first obtained by Agence

“There is a market for
selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will
sell women. I sell women,” he continued, according to a CNN translation
from the local Hausa language.

Boko Haram, listed by the
United States as a terrorist organization, means “Western education is
sin.” In his nearly hourlong, rambling video, Shekau repeatedly called
for Western education to end.

“Girls, you should go and get married,” he said.

The outrageous threat
means the girls’ parents worst fears could be realized. Parents have
been avoiding speaking to the media for fear their daughters may be
singled out for reprisals.

“Wherever these girls are, we’ll get them out,” Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan vowed Sunday.

But he also criticized
the girls’ parents, saying they weren’t cooperating fully with police.
“What we request is maximum cooperation from the guardians and the
parents of these girls. Because up to this time, they have not been able
to come clearly, to give the police clear identity of the girls that
have yet to return,” he said.

According to accounts,
armed members of Boko Haram overwhelmed security guards at school last
month, pulled the girls out of bed and forced them into trucks. The
convoy of trucks then disappeared into the dense forest bordering

On Friday, Nigerian
authorities updated the number of girls kidnapped to 276. At least 53 of
the girls escaped, leaving 223 in the hands of their captors, police

Authorities said the number of missing girls could grow as police fill in spotty school enrollment records. Families had sent their
girls to the rural school in Chibok for a desperately needed education.
The northeastern town is part of Borno state, where 72% of primary-age
children never attended school, according to the U.S. Embassy in
Twelve northern states
follow Sharia law. In recent years, Boko Haram has carried out dozens of
attacks, killing hundreds of people at schools, churches, police
stations, government buildings and elsewhere. Targets include
Christians, senior Islamic figures critical of Boko Haram and people the
group believes are engaged in “un-Islamic” behavior, the U.S.
Commission on International Religious Freedom says.

Though Nigeria has
Africa’s largest economy, driven largely by oil, poverty remains
widespread: Nearly 62% of the country’s nearly 170 million people live
in extreme poverty, according to the CIA World Factbook.
That dichotomy takes
center stage this week as a World Economic Forum meeting convenes
Wednesday in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja. The country “already plays a
crucial role in advancing the continent’s growth; yet it is also
emblematic of the challenges of converting natural wealth into solutions
that address persistent social challenges,” the World Economic Forum on
Africa says on its website.

The United States is
sharing intelligence with Nigeria to help in the search, according to a
U.S. official with direct knowledge of the situation. “We are sharing
intelligence that may be relevant to this situation. You are going to
see a focus on this in all three channels of government: diplomatic,
intelligence and military,” the official said, speaking on condition of
anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information.