All posts by aaina-e-pakistan

Dramatic moustache causes man to flee hometown

PESHAWAR:

Malik Ameer Muhammad Afridi has become a celebrity in his own right owing to his 30-inch long moustache curling up to his forehead which he proudly displays along the streets of Peshawar.

Aside from the usual looks of amusement, Afridi’s gangling moustache managed to draw the attention of members of militant group Lashkar-e-Islami.

The iconoclastic facial hair caused him to abandon his hometown of Bara in Khyber Agency after the militants declared it ‘un-Islamic’.

“It was the summer of 2008, when members of the LeI arrested me and took me to a religious scholar who declared the moustache un-Islamic and ordered it to be shaved,” he said.

The pride of Afridi’s life was shaved at gunpoint. Refusing to be cowed by the militants’ threats, however, he decided to move to Peshawar so that his moustache may thrive unfettered.

Afridi said he has not been able to visit his hometown for four years owing to the threat of ‘anti-moustache’ militants. “I left my dear homeland, my friends and relatives and prepared to sacrifice all that but will not compromise my moustache,” he said.

Afridi has been living in Peshawar after braving ‘anti-moustache’ hardliners in Khyber Agency.

Now, he proudly displays his handle-bar moustache in the relatively secure environs of the provincial capital. The 47-year-old runs an electronics business in Deen Plaza and says, “My moustache style is unique. It has made my tribesmen proud as no one in Pakistan has such a moustache.”

Afridi also said his moustache had gained him respect, adding that people even give him their turn while standing in queues outside banks and other places.

Afridi’s moustache-care regime is elaborate. Spending 30 minutes grooming himself every day, he uses oil extracts of almond and coconut to nourish the hair. He then fashions the handlebar whiskers into crescent-like curls using a German-made gel.

However, his gangling whiskers did not amuse his wife. She urged him to get rid of it since he had run afoul of the militants.

Despite his wife’s protestations, Afridi said he would only surrender his moustache – over his dead body.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2012.

Live Session with Pakistani Human Rights Defender and HRFP founder, Naveed Walter

Live Session with Pakistani Human Rights Defender and HRFP founder, Naveed Walter
Join us this Saturday to hear from Naveed Walter, founding member of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP)! When it comes to reporting and monitoring human rights violations occurring in Pakistan, HRFP is one of Global Human Rights Defense’s trusted partner organizations. As the founding member of HRFP, Walter has been a defiant defender of human rights in Pakistan for over 25 years. During this time, he has fought against such violations as blasphemy charges, abductions, forced marriages of minority girls, and violence and assassinations targeted against minority groups.Live Session with Pakistani Human Rights Defender and HRFP founder, Naveed Walter
In the upcoming zoom session, Walter will share his experience as a practicing human rights defender. He will touch upon the dangers and challenges he has faced, his inspiration and motivation that drove him to continue his job, the situation minorities face in Pakistan, and how these groups are facing systematic descrimination.
This event will occur on the 6th of February at 16:00 (Amsterdam time zone) through the zoom platform. To register, follow this link: https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSfvGAXWh4M…/viewform…
We hope to see you there!

Youth missing after being detained in a military operation in Kech

The Pakistani security forces are reportedly carrying out a military operation in district Kech of Balochistan. They have allegedly detained youth in a house raid and moved him to an unknown location.

According to the details, the Pakistani forces raided a house in Tump at around 11pm and detained a youth on Tuesday. The youth, identified as Javed s/o Khalid Rahim, has been moved to an undisclosed location.

The family members have revealed that the forces barged into the house and attempted to arrest Javed. The women tried to stop them but they were also mishandled.

The authorities have not commented on the incident yet.

The recoveries of Baloch missing persons have seen a sudden spike in the past couple of days – at least 19 people have returned home after years of confinement. But the incidents of “enforced disappearances” have not stopped. Political circles and analysts claim that the rate of disappearance vastly outstrips the rate of recoveries – more people are missing than are being recovered.

The Balochistan Post has also received reports of three “enforced disappearances” in Bolan, where the security forces detained a man along with his two sons during a military operation and moved them to an unknown location.

In another separate development, a mutilated dead body was recovered in Gomazi area of district Panjgur. The man has been identified as Sanaullah s/o Bahar Jan, a resident of Gomazi. The dead body is said to be ten days old.

Sanaullah had gone missing in January this year, and his dead body was found in a stream near Gomazi. His neck bore the scars of a noose – an explicit sign that the man had been asphyxiated to death.

The cause of death has not been officially determined yet. The authorities have seized the body for autopsy and further investigations.

It is pertinent to mention that another dead body was found in a dam in the exact same area few days ago. The man was identified as Asadullah s/o Muneer, a resident of Tusp in Panjgoor.

The Balochistan Post

Atheistophobia: It’s time to talk about the most persecuted minority in the world

While apologists create mendacious claims of the “New Atheist” threat that is persecuting Muslims – very little attention is given to how atheists have been a persecuted minority for centuries

When I wrote ‘Death to Infidels’ – I had two questions.

“How many more Avijit Roys, Washiqur Rahmans and Ananta Bijoy Das are required before the world accepts the issues with Islam? How much more should the body of proof weigh before society admits Islam is in need of reform in the most desperate way?”

The questions were based on the probability of the answer. So I wasn’t shocked to hear about the murder of Niloy Neel – although I was deeply saddened and I continue to remain in a place where I have no doubt these bloggers are targeted for their critique of Islam.

The Guardian also published details regarding the release of a global Islamist hitlist that vows violence on prominent Islam critics, atheists, secularists, non-Muslims and liberal Muslims. Remember, this is all emerging from Bangladesh – the same Bangladesh Reza Aslan had deceitful described as secular, 100% equal nation to suit his own dishonest narrative – but then again, I don’t expect much integrity from a privileged man living in the comforts of Western secularism while vilifying atheists, secularists and Islam-critics just to protect a cherry picked interpretation of Islamic scripture. As I had previously exposed – Reza Aslan is an apologist for Islamism – because he holds firm in the claim that Islamism is the antidote to Jihadism.

While apologists create mendacious claims of the “New Atheist” threat that is persecuting Muslims – very little attention is given to how atheists have been a persecuted minority for centuries. Both in historical and present-day context – atheists and secularists are scorned and dehumanised by society worldwide.

According to a 2012 report by Gallup, it was found that 58% of Americans will vote for a Muslim presidential candidate over an atheist candidate who received only 54% support. Although very close in number – the vast majority of Americans are more favourable towards Muslims than atheists. If a society has more trust towards a Muslim than an atheist to lead their country – it is safe to argue that Muslims are less persecuted than atheists. And could this discrimination towards atheists be a result of the dominant religions within the U.S.A. that vilify atheists in general?

Even prominent American figures like Oprah Winfrey are confused how an atheist can function as a compassionate human being without a belief in God in comparison to a Christian like herself who respects the savagery of a genocidal Biblical God who has no qualms about murdering newborns and punishing rapists with a payment of 50 shekels. How astonishing is a theist’s moral hypocrisy?

Maybe if theists actually read the scriptures of their faith, they can understand why atheists are intolerant of mainstream religions. But I doubt many would ever acknowledge the barbarism incited within their religious books – because that would mean having to admit how hateful and vicious their God is and deriving “morals” from him is galactic bigotry in comparison to an atheist who derives morals from the simple fact that everyone deserve human rights because it is fundamental to their survival as human beings.

What’s frightening about being an atheist in context to Islamism is the sheer volume of scripture that go a step further in disparaging atheists – it has numerous quotes that literally incite violence against them – and thus implying atheists are the most evil creatures in the kingdom of Allah that must be punished at all time. This is a well-respected sentiment held by a vast majority of Muslims – and it can be easily substantiated by all Islamic nations that have criminalised atheism and apostasy – where the resulting punishment is death.

The persecution of atheists doesn’t end with Islamic nations – it’s a global trend that testifies to how atheists are the most persecuted minority on Earth. Blasphemy laws also prevent atheists from expressing their atheism and challenging ideas that systematically abuse them. By logic, blasphemy is anything that questions theocracy – and as a result – even merely addressing how religion abuses atheists can be defined as a blasphemous act, leaving a person criminally charged, prosecuted and sentenced to death or imprisonment. This means an atheist is denied even the legal right to protect themselves from the tyranny of theists.

To record – there has been no confirmed cases where atheists have persecuted theists in the name of a disbelief in a personal god (atheism). People like Cenk Uyger and Reza Aslan have made a career out of equating the criticism and intolerance for Islam to “attacking” 1.6 billion Muslims and portraying them as a singular group of worshippers. Uyger and Aslan claim the entirety of the Ummah are persecuted by atheists – while conveniently forgetting how much the Ummah propagate hatred and violence towards vocal atheists worldwide which is precisely the cause of so many attacks on Bangladeshi atheist/secular bloggers’ and the impending violence vowed upon more atheists and secularists around the globe.

Terrorists such as the Islamic State consist of a multi-national identity and their only common ground is Islam and their Muslim identity. But according to Uyger and Aslan – these are people who are persecuted by atheists. It wasn’t enough for these men to romanticise the abuse Muslims perpetuate on atheists, non-Muslims and liberal Muslims – they had to maximise the slur against them. Prominent vocal atheists such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, et al are now being described as “New Atheists” – a pejorative that attacks their character for being unapologetically intolerant towards religious bigotry – but more specifically – Islamic bigotry.

“New Atheism” isn’t reserved only for famous atheists but also vocal atheists in general – which explains why people as Eiynah (Nicemangoes), Ali A. Rizvi, Taslima Nasreen, Sarah Haider, Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, and even I, Aki Muthali, etc., are called everything from “New Atheist” to “native informant” and “white supremacist”. Apparently, we brown people are not entitled to a decent standard of human rights, therefore by exposing the religious and cultural abuse of our native lands, we are committing treachery against our own. Another implication is that brown people cannot behave rationally, therefore we must be pacified with white-guilt and tolerance for the racism, sexism and misogyny we commit in the name of religion and tradition.

Recently, a so-called “journalist” by the name of Murtaza Hussain who works for The Intercept, the online publication co-founded by Glenn Greenwald and company, publicly shamed Maajid Nawaz, a prominent Muslim figure in the U.K. for criticising Islamism and then went on to racially attack Nawaz as a “porch monkey”. Hussain’s anti-black sentiments was really telling but devout Muslims and pseudo liberals all defended Hussain’s racism and nodded their heads in agreement. Ironically, Nawaz is also labeled a “New Atheist” for his work with Sam Harris. Nawaz then addressed the issue with a brilliant report via The Daily Beast, titled “Don’t Call Me ‘Porch Monkey’”.

This is only one example pertaining to how people react to the criticism of religious abuse. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from and what your belief is – as long as you dare to criticise the tyranny of religion, you are immediately apostatised by theists – and especially, Islamists and their pseudo liberal allies. But for the lads at The Intercept, it’s not enough to just racially belittle people – they went further by doxxing me for criticising Islam then doubled down and justified their behaviour.

The second doxxer, repeated the abuse by using one of his three confirmed sockpuppet accounts which exclusively retweets and favourites his posts on Twitter. Ultimately, I concluded The Intercept as a mediocre publication that has no qualms using racism and threats to silence vocal atheists and secularists. If men with room temperature IQ who resort to doxxing and racial slurs are the brains behind The Intercept – it’s easier to sum up the quality of the reports it releases.

Atheist bloggers who are critical of Islam are being threatened universally and yet, a publication that prides itself in being transparent and pro-whistleblowers continue to employ racists and those who insinuate threats by exposing personal information of atheist bloggers. How could “journalists” make a conscious decision to publicise real names of bloggers who are obviously using pseudonyms? If they believed their implied threat through such exposure will confine or limit me in any way – they clearly displayed their intellectual degeneracy that is no different from the psychopathy of corporate/Wallstreet brass. My passion for human rights will not be crippled by Islamist-fanboys and fangirls – so be prepared – because free speech is coming to town.

And speaking of ‘free speech’ – atheists and secularists are also systematically denied the right to speak in educational institutions because of theistic rage over criticism of religion. Recently, Maryam Namazie, an ex-Muslim feminist and secularist, was blocked from speaking at Warwick University because the university feared Namazie’s anti-Islamism stance would offend Muslims. Namazie has proactively rejected Islamism and denounced Islamic misogyny. Yet her lecture was considered dangerous because Muslims would have hurt feelings over their privilege and abuse being intellectually challenged. How many other atheists and ex-Muslims have faced this same scheme of discrimination? This is neither the first time nor the last. Sadly, for universities that succumb to fascism – it seems they are maintained by juvenile bigots with no respect for the foundation of Education.

Islamists’ and pseudo liberals’ attack on free speech is just another form of theistic hypocrisy. All the vile scriptures of religion remain a juggernaut of a problem that cannot be reformed by logic – which explains the century upon century of debating human rights. And while the debate remains in gridlock – it is women, girls, LGBTQ, atheists and secularists who pay with their life and dignity – that is what God is built on. And that is the God theists worship. If you want to limit free-speech – then come prepared to have religious scriptures banned as hate-speech too – if not, quit meddling with atheists’ right to express their ideas and beliefs.

While the world exclusively scrutinises Western secular nations for slavery, racism, imperialism and colonialism – they turn an intentional blind eye on the same abuses sanctioned under theocratic nations, mainly in the Middle East. Slavery is still alive there. Where is the outrage?

The kafala-system once had a different meaning. Today it is bound by a more sinister definition – it is used in the 21st century to enforce the Islamic “tradition” of slavery where mainly Africans and south and east Asian migrants are lured in with a decent job only to be beaten and raped while doing forced domestic labour and eventually murdered – and if they can’t escape, they commit suicide or die trying to escape. This isn’t “modern slavery” or “domestic slavery” – it is the same slavery the Westerners have long disposed of. I hear no #IStandWithMigrantWorkers trending for the plight of these people being systematically used as slaves by rich Arab Muslims of the East – yet the bleating of how much evil Western secular nations are is a ceaseless banner of pseudo-liberalism being utilised to deflect and deter any conversation regarding this Arab slave crisis – because as you know, as well as I – any form of concerns raised is shut down by the shrieking of “Islamophobia”, followed by “Western foreign policy” and “colonial feminism”. Slavery is rampant in the Middle East – so I ask again – where is your outrage?

The pseudo liberals demand tolerance for theocratic sentiments while it is the embodiment of rape-culture, misogyny and phobias – providing the perfect platform for violent opportunism, especially when it comes to enforcing gender-apartheid, sexual dominance, racism and anti-atheism. In mainstream religion, the only concept of “consent” for women and girls is the predetermined vows of marriage – and even that is given by force through cultural submission that breaks their spirit to preserve the twisted sense of patriarchal “honour” which ironically dwells inside female sexuality. The same scriptures that make males violent religious fanatics, also indoctrinates females to submit to the misogyny and sexism that dehumanise them.

The only thing religion has materialised is the abuse on those it discriminates. Everything else it claims to be or do is yet to be confirmed as fact. No evidence has surfaced to validate religion. However, evidence has arrived to denounce it a hundred times over and lampooned until kingdom comes.

Intellectual dishonesty becomes mechanical to theists as a result of cognitive dissonance. They expect empty flattery for their religion. It’s even more shocking to theists when they are told fundamental human rights of individuals is not at their disposal to redefine in accordance to their “religious liberty”. Surely – the Satan is amongst us now!

It is the systemic contempt that continuously establishes systematic structures of abuse and if you’re unwilling to eliminate systemic contempt cultivated by Islam or any other religions – you’re part of the problem.

The monstrosity of religion wants to dictate and mold human rights and create slaves to wash its feet under the guise of liberalism – which is why pretending to be shocked by vocal atheism will not be appreciated in 2015. Oh, that Atheistophobia is truly damaging religion’s divine reputation – and not a single hyperbolic tirade, false equivalency and evasive answers will save it from the wrath of every person it dehumanises.

Aki Muthali (Nation PK)

Pakistani activist fears for father after jailing

A prominent Pakistani activist who fled into exile voiced fear Wednesday for the life of her father, saying he was thrown back in jail in what she sees as retribution for her outspokenness.

Gulalai Ismail, who won international recognition for her campaigns for girls before falling afoul with authorities, said her father, who recently survived Covid-19, was denied bail on charges she says are trumped up.

“I managed to escape Pakistan and I think it has hurt the ego of the people who run the system very badly. Now they are taking revenge,” Ismail told AFP from New York, where she turned up in 2019 after months on the run.

“They have basically kept my parents as hostages to pressurize and blackmail me as since coming to the US I have not been silent on human rights,” she said.

During a previous jail stint shortly her escape, Ismail said her father was forced to sleep on the floor of a jail cell filled with some 60 people including drug addicts.

“His life is at risk and I am very afraid as a daughter that he will not survive this detention,” she said.

Mohammed Ismail, 65, is a retired professor who himself has a history of activism. He suffers kidney, heart and back problems and had only just tested negative for Covid-19 after a month of recovery, his daughter said.

Their mother, who also had Covid, was granted bail but their father was denied it during a hearing Tuesday, she said.

He was remanded to three days in custody but his daughter feared that the detention would be prolonged as lawyers will again need to apply for bail.

Her parents face terrorism charges on accusations they sent support including weapons to extremists who carried out a 2013 suicide attack on a church in Peshawar that killed 82 people, and an attack two years later on a Shiite mosque.

Gulalai Ismail’s sister, Saba, called the charges preposterous, saying her father was an outspoken opponent of extremists including the Taliban even before the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Gulalai Ismail co-founded an organization in 2002 to promote gender equality in the deeply conservative northwestern district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, winning awards and being welcomed by former first lady Michelle Obama.

But she came under scrutiny when she began to speak of abuses in an army crackdown on Pashtun militants near the border with Afghanistan including what she said were forced disappearances and sexual assaults, with women too stigmatized to speak out.

Yahoo News