Tag Archives: Social Networking

Internet and Social Media in Pakistan – 24×7 with Ayesha Tammy Haq on Business Plus

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In May of last year (2011), I was invited by Tammy to be a guest on her show “24×7 with Ayesha Tammy Haq” to speak on the topic of Internet and Social Media in Pakistan, particularly in the light of the recurrent Facebook ban case that was being contested in the Lahore High Court.

The program was aired live on May 18, 2011. Fellow guests on the show were Jehan Ara, President of P@SHA and Raza Ahmed (aka Raza Rumi) who is a writer and an editor for The Friday Times.

The program went very well and we decided to do a follow-up on the same topic which was aired on May 20, 2011.

Blaagers - 110519 - Business Plus - Tammy Haq - Jehan Ara - Raza Rumi

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Facebook Ban – A Response to a comment on Teeth Maestro

I initially started this as a response to this comment by Arzoo on this post on Teeth Maestro on the subject of Everybody Draw Mohammed Day and the ensuing Facebook Ban but decided it needed to be on my blog for a longer response.

arzoo says:

May 21, 2010 at 2:29 pm

You are not a Religious Scholar as you admitted “I’m not a religious scholar” But yet you make a statement on something you don’t know

You Don’t Agree With All of Scholars Of Islam Including All the Prominent Scholars ? You Disagree with Prophet (PBUH) order to Umer (RZ) to kill the Jew who insulted Prophet (PBUH)

The ruling on one who insults the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)

The scholars are unanimously agreed that a Muslim who insults the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) becomes a kaafir and an apostate who is to be executed. This consensus was narrated by more than one of the scholars, such as Imaam Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh, Ibn al-Mundhir, al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad, al-Khattaabi and others. Al-Saarim al-Maslool, 2/13-

http://forum.chatdd.com/religions/54002-punishment-insulting-prophet-muhammad-saw.html

 

My Response

Dear Arzoo:

I agree with you that the thought of anyone disrespecting our Prophet (SAW) should make your blood boil and make you want to chop his head off. This should be our level of Iman that we love Allah and his Rasool above all even ourselves.

I however disagree that we as individuals should go about chopping heads. This is the duty of the Khalifa to impose such a punishment and as an individual or group of muslims we have no legal Islamic right to harm anyone.

While the incident of the Jew you mentioned may have happened, the order was given by the Amir-ul-Momineen of that time (the Prophet (SAW)) and Omar (RA) would have not been right if he killed the Jew on his own initiative. Today we neither have the Prophet (SAW) in our midst nor a Khalifa. Thus, to impose these verdicts is not in our legal right.

I am all for the Government banning specific links to all that is unsafe and unislamic (includes thousands of porn websites that anybody can easily access, links to terrorist outfits, Nazi websites, and several anti-Islam websites). I am also all for the Government protesting on the international front by sending a strictly worded letter to the country where this all started (USA), raise this issue from the platform of Islamic bodies and in the UN. Blanket bans of Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Flickr, etc have just served to catapult this issue in the limelight as Fatima Ajmal, Sana Saleem and several other Blaagers have highlighted that we have created free publicity for the perpetrators of this filth and then banned our own access to be able to protest it on the forum of propogation!!

Allah (SWT) has made Islam a complete religion and way of life for us. We look at the incident of the Jew and we take it as proof for violence but we do not look at the rage of the Prophet (SAW) when he expressed his wish to go and burn the houses of those Muslims who did not come to the Masjid for Fajr. Our blood does not boil when we see the elite of this country (and increasingly the non-elite) consume alcohol and make fun of Islamic injunctions. Are we enraged when we see our country waging war against Allah and His Messenger (SAW) by allowing an interest based economy?

Granted that if I am not following one part of Islam, it doesn’t mean that I should stop following another part. We should however use this incident to do a self-evaluation and see just how we are insulting the Prophet (SAW) in our daily lives by ignoring all the things he ordered us to do.

At the end of the day, I am reminded of a verse by Allama Iqbal

Na Thi Jab Apnay Haal Ki Khabar
Dekhtay Rehay Logon Kay Aib-o-Hunar
Parri Jab Apnay Gunahoon Par Nazar
To Nigah Mein Koi Aur Bura Na Raha!

This year on Pakistan’s Independence, mend some Broken Windows

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August 14, 2009: Pakistan turns 62, and the Blaagers (name given to Paki bloggers) celebrate by Going Green and Trending #Pakistan on the Twitter Trends (similar to when we trended #PakCricket and Twitter was a Sea of Green). And while I was among those involved in this effort and fully supporting it these past days, a strange void was felt inside. A nagging thought that maybe Going Green and making it to the Trending Topics were feel good measures; a sense of Patriotism that rises up at occasions like this and then conveniently is put in storage for the next appropriate Pakistan Pride moment. We owe it to Pakistan to move beyond just superficial lip service to the ideals of Jinnah and our founding fathers. We must do something to stall the downward spiral we see our beloved country in.

I just finished reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell recently and one particular discussion in the book stuck with me: The Broken Windows theory. This thesis put forward by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in 1982 and further discussed by Kelling in his book Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities gives us a great insight on the problems Pakistan faces right now. We have essentially become a community where there are too many Broken Windows.

So just what is this theory?

Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside.

Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or breaking into cars.

Basically, the premise is that a Broken Window sends a negative signal and people start slowly treating the area around this Broken Window as rundown and derelict. The idea is that if you want to make a big change sometimes the best thing is to change seemingly trivial things. As these trivialities add up we reach a tipping point, and soon we know it the area is no more what it used to be.

Building Up Pakistan

So just what am I talking about? What windows are we breaking? Whether it is that 50 rupee note you slipped the policeman to avoid a ticket for talking on the cell while driving, or the fact that you just flaunted every traffic law that exists while driving an unregistered car without a driver’s licence. Or it is that empty Coke bottle you just threw from the car’s tinted windows.

Patriotism is not just about the paper flags you have decorated your street with, it is also about taking those flags down once the celebration is over. It is not about the huge flag on top of your house, it is also about removing that illegal and unislamic Kunda your house is running on. It is not about blaring National Anthems from your car stereo, it is about respecting the traffic laws as you do so. It is not just about being enraged at the disappearance of the Quaid’s photo from the President’s House, it is about living the ideals of the Quaid.

This year, on this Independence Day, let us resolve that we the Citizens of Pakistan will not shed our Patriotism when the clock strikes midnight. We will instead mend Broken Windows, clean up our mess, and implement the dreams and ideals on which Pakistan was founded on. And as pane after pane is fixed, we will Insha’Allah soon see Pakistan become Evergreen.

“It ain’t easy being Green” – Kermit The Frog

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