The Hindus outrage Hindus

"Enlightenment liberalism, as all other ideologies, has emerged from a particular set of historical circumstances of particular societies.  It came about mainly a reaction to the omnipresent church’s rigorous rules suppressing the desires, expressions and creativity of everyday Christians. It wasn’t much of a surprise, then, that the ideologues and activists of the Enlightenment avenged the harsh religious repression by banishing religion from the public space."

Don’t write Brotherhood off too soon

(Published in The Daily Star, Lebanon, July 16, 2013) Alejandro Jodorowsy said, “Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness.” The French filmmaker’s remark was resoundingly vindicated by Egypt’s liberal elites. They led massive crowds against President Muhammad Mursi and succeeded in getting the all-too-willing army to overthrow his year-old democratically elected government....

Syria: Needed US-Islamist detente

THE UNITED STATES has taken a welcome step to tackle the Syrian crisis. It has joined Russia in arranging a peace conference in Geneva next month, which, unfortunately, would also expose America’s diminished global standing. The end of Syria’s murderous Bashar al-Assad regime will come, however, from its eventual attrition from the uprising. A main...

Pakistan’s scary quest for roots

WHY IS PAKISTAN being riven by Sunni-Shia and Sunni-Ahmadi strife? A scholar at Columbia University shares his thoughts on the question in a New York Times op-ed entitled “Pakistan’s tyrannical majority.” Manan Ahmed Asif quotes Muhammad Ali Jinnah telling Pakistanis: “[E]very one of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations...

Abbas to U.S.: Go fly a kite!

The Independent echoed the common Western views of  Salam Fayyad’s resignation. The Palestinian prime minister’s exit had “thro[wn] into doubt the future of the Palestinian Authority and the peace process with Israel,” observed the liberal British newspaper. Has Fayyad’s parting really caused  – or rather reflected – the crisis facing the Palestinian government and the...

On to the Malian quagmire?

ISLAMIST GUERRILLAS  are fighting back French and Malian forces in northern Mali, from where they were expelled last month by invading French forces. The Muslim militant group Mojwa (Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa) has twice engaged the French in sustained gun battles in Gao, the region’s largest city. The guerrillas have vowed...

Obama’s sermon on extremism

President Obama  told the U.N. General Assembly that Muslims must shun “extremism” and exercise “tolerance” for their adversaries. He was referring to the violence-prone protest rallies that the American film “Innocence of Muslims” has triggered in many Muslim countries. The amateurish video shows  the Prophet Muhammad in pornographic poses and other demeaning postures. Some Muslim...