Of Historical Musts & Clashing Desires!

Perhaps, for people who never heard of democracy, passing through a transitional phase of enlightened despotism was necessary and perhaps even a natural part of their societal evolution. 

But for people who have been exposed to democracy, not to mention modernity, no matter how indirectly or vicariously, and for people who know it through direct experiences and contacts, even if they do not completely appreciate its complexity and its demands on them, the task of achieving it through a necessary period of dictatorial transformations becomes that much more complex. Continue reading

A few thoughts on modernity

First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations. 

Many if not most of the main problems facing us in the region and hindering the process of change and modernization therein are psychological in nature. One such problem is the inability of our people to reconcile themselves with the necessity of making that crossover from the traditional to the modern. Instead, most seem to believe that they can keep one leg in each world thus maximizing their benefit, that is, they think that they can avail themselves of all those advantages that modernity has to offer while holding on as hard as they can to traditional values.  Continue reading

Muslim reformers need to shout

First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations. 

In their first women conference in Hyderabad, India, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind president Dr. Mohammed Abdul Haq Ansari asserted that, “[i]n the name of liberty, women are being sexually exploited and misused for promotion of brands. But reality is that dogs are given better treatment than women in the western countries.” Continue reading

Few Secular Observations Regarding Islamic Reformation

A paper presented at a conference in Europe 

Abstract

The rise of Islamic Radicalism makes it more necessary than ever to come up with an equally Islamic alternative that can appeal to the Muslim peoples in the course of time. This alternative cannot be produced without reevaluating the very fundamentals of the Islamic faith, history and worldview, a process that will most likely assume the proportions of a full-fledged Reformation.

The argument here is that such a Reformation is indeed a must for the sake of salvaging the meager remains of Muslim identity and empowering the Muslim peoples to take a more active  part in drawing up their future destiny(ies). The desired reformation, nonetheless, will need to satisfy certain secular conditions first so as to prove viable on the long run. After all, its influence is bound to extend beyond the sphere of practicing and believing Muslims to involve all the peoples of the world, religious affiliations notwithstanding.   Continue reading

A Unity of Expectations

A certain unifying reality is continuously imposing itself upon us, all of us, regardless of how we choose to define ourselves or each other. This reality is called Modernity, and it is in fact a process, a very ruthless process, despite the ennobling ideas born out of it and those that gave it birth.

It is so, because it is uncompromising in its demand that our very sense of identity should be as fluid, continuous and, so seemingly unending, as history itself. Modernity does not accommodate a rigid sense of identity, those who exhibit or insist on having such a sense will always be in conflict with Modernity even when they seem reconciled with it. Continue reading

The Improbable Yet Necessary Dialogue

The missing yet necessary role of intellectuals in ME and World Affairs

This is not simply an essay on intellectuals, their role and the dialogue that they need to champion, but an attempt by a young and aspiring ME “intellectual” to present his own personal views and his own personal critique of the way things are in the world today.

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