By All That You Hold Dear!

Edward Said’s book ‘Orientalism’ was the first academic attempt in the western world to debunk the myth of clandestine, impoverished Eastern world.

Snake charmers, streets filled with begging children, uneducated pristine brunettes, spice-loving vegetarians, the oil supplying terrorists, wife-beating fanatics, and exotic colorful performances, this is all we have in East for what westerners care. This prejudice entwined with outright lies have dominated western literature from the times of first orientalists’ interactions with the Islamic world. Muhammad Asad’s book ‘Road to Mecca’ sheds light upon it from the perspective of a Jewish convert to Islam.

Intellectually dishonest commentaries on Quran by Schacht, Nöldeke, Blachere and Puin spoke of ridiculous misinterpretations, cherry-picked excerpts, distorted rulings, misquoted texts and white lies. Earlier seminaries where these orientalists were educated and funded are the same institutes that western world today prides itself.

These Jesuit Christians slowly indoctrinated the otherwise friendly population of European continent against its Semitic cousin for their personal gain, in some cases for the perceived service they had done to Christianity.

Gerd R. Puin, a German professor of Arabic in Saarbrücken, writes in his article in Atlantic Monthly in 1999, surprisingly after centuries of first interactions with Arab world:

My idea is that the Koran is a kind of cocktail of texts that were not all understood even at the time of Muhammad. Many of them may even be a hundred years older than Islam itself. Even within the Islamic traditions, there is a huge body of contradictory information, including a significant Christian substrate; one can derive a whole Islamic anti-history from them if one wants.

There has been a consensus even among western scholars these days on how ridiculous this assumption is. One of the best book to have tackled all the false assertions of Orientalists is Professor Mustafa Azmi’s work, ‘The History of the Qur’anic Text from Revelation to Compilation : A Comparative Study with the Old and New Testaments”.

In his magnum opus, Professor Azmi not only rejects allegation after allegation orientalists have concocted against collection and dissemination of Islamic texts but also provides a juxtaposition of these procedural methods with Christianity and Judaism. An Indian National with a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Cambridge, Professor Azmi currently works as Professor Emeritus at King Saud University.

Has this all been a huge misunderstanding between the west and the east or it’s a carefully choreographed clash of civilization with its roots in theology? One of the leading scholars in the western world on the Middle East is Bernard Lewis. Despite his Jewish background and inciting views on Islamic history, he categorically denied Muslim violence in crusading years.

While it’s a documented fact that unlike Christian vagabonds who ransacked Muslim population after crusade victories, Muslim armies after the recapture let them walk away and didn’t retribute the violence. It was so ravaging that Pope himself had to come out and apologize for that to Muslims.

Stanford Shaw in his book on Ottoman Empire argues that condition of minorities in Ottoman Empire was way better than they had in their own so-called countries where Isabella Ferdinand massacred Jews for not converting to Christianity subsequently expelling them to the Ottoman Empire where they lived happily.

Lord Macaulay’s speech in British Parliament in 1835 is probably a verbatim explanation of why this jingoist ambiance is necessary for public support these governments need to continue its onslaught on foreign countries to bring bank the plundered booty. After first invasions of Indian subcontinent this was his report:

I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in the country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and therefore,

I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”

Two centuries later after a crippled independence based on divide and rule, Subcontinent today is half stable countries at daggers drawn with each other. Education, jurisprudence, politics and administration all are run by same English maxims. Capital punishment under section 302 of Penal Code of Pakistan 1860 is a perfect example of this. Pakistan came into being in 1947. How on earth is Penal Code of Pakistan written in 1860?

In the wake of the recent surge in populist politics in Europe and Islamophobic rhetoric, it is no surprise that fifth columnists among the ranks of Muslims have been trained and educated for centuries.

Quilliam Foundation, a London-based think-tank, founded by Majid Nawaz, a self-proclaimed scholar and secular critic of Islam is a perfect example of it. Its relations with Gatestone Institute an Islamophobic group is an evidence example of such synergies.

RAND corporation’s report ‘Civic and Democratic Islam’ is a document that outlines the western strategy of infiltrating ranks of Muslim academia and civil society to pave the way for a secular and western revolution. It highlights religious divisions and emphasizes the importance of supporting the factions that are in line with western foreign policy.

It is both unfortunate and tragic to see Christianity join hands with Judaism in the propagation of such outrageous views about the Islamic world. Christian Science Monitor’s reports are some of the most biased reports on the Muslim world. People like Irshad Manji and Ayaan Hirsi are being painted as if they are the epitome of Islamic ideals of a woman. Ironically this is not how western world reacted to the conversion of Lauren Booth’s conversion to Islam.

In the battle of protecting the world from the dark forces, sons of the west always leave out the east as if we have no love for our freedoms, values, convictions, identities, and progeny. While these white heroes wage wars against the deteriorated villains and Arabs, we the darker just sit around and enjoy falafel and kebabs!

This 19-year-old woman will swim in the Olympics for Pakistan

“It’s not necessarily ‘Oh, I’m doing it to get to the Olympics myself.’ I’m also doing it for the girls in Pakistan,” says Lianna.

“Because if they see me doing it, and they’ve seen me swim and they’ve seen me train and they’ve seen me being able to go to the Olympics, then they know, there’s no reason they can’t go to the Olympics as well,” she adds.

Mind you, Lianna is no newcomer to swimming, in fact, she has been a professional swimmer since she was 12.

SOC Films stated, “Having competed in the Asian Games, the FINA World Cup (Dubai 2011), FINA World Aquatics Championships (Barcelona 2013) and the FINA World Championships August 2015, held in Kazan-Russia, Lianna has been representing Pakistan internationally since 2010. Most recently, she won the Gold Medal at the South Asian Games held in India in February 2016.”

Lianna will be competing in the Women’s 50m freestyle category tomorrow.

This is the second documentary Sharmeen Obaid has made under the banner #DreamBigPakistan, of the two women representing Pakistan in the Olympics.

Google Chrome to replace Adobe Flash with ‘much faster’ HTML5

Google Chrome will adopt the HTML5 technology instead of Adobe Flash, a move the company says will improve speed and efficiency of one of the most popular browsers.

Come September, Chrome 53 will begin to block the software opting instead for HTML5, a “much lighter and faster” option, the tech giant announced ina blog post on it’s website.

What this essentially means is that users will witness reduced page loading times and save more battery life.

Adobe Flash, while being the pioneer in bringing video, gaming and animation to the web, is also notorious for crashing quite often, and causing security issues.

By December, Chrome seeks to replace Flash content with HTML5 completely. The only difference users will encounter when visiting sites that require Adobe Flash is that they will be required to enable Flash.

Currently, Chrome blocks large chunks of Adobe Flash content but lets smaller processes run in the background, not only slowing efficiency but also sapping battery power.

Son ‘misinformed’ about Hanif Mohammad’s death, says father is alive

KARACHI: As media outlets fervently reported the passing away of Pakistan’s finest batsman Hanif Mohammad on Thursday, his son told reporters soon after the news broke that he had been “misinformed” about his father’s death.

Shoaib Mohammad told reporters that his father’s heartbeat was faint and the family mistakenly believed that he had passed away but that he is still breathing and on the ventilator.

The 81-year-old, who is suffering from lung cancer for which he underwent surgery in London in 2013, was shifted to the ventilator earlier after his health deteriorated.

Hanif was admitted to the Aga Khan Hospital three weeks ago after he faced breathing problems, son Shoaib Mohammad told Media on Jul 31.

The man with nerves of steel

Born on Dec 21, 1934, in Junagarh, the ‘Little Master’ played 55 Test matches for Pakistan between 1952 and 1969, averaging a fine 43.98 comprising twelve hundreds.

The right-handed batsman was one of the country’s early cricketers who played an integral role in Pakistan achieving Test status.

Pakistan was granted Test status after the team rode on Hanif’s invaluable 64 runs at the top-order to win a four-day first class contest against Marylebone Cricket Club, chasing down a daunting 288-run target at the Karachi Gymkhana cricket ground.

Regarded as the most compact batsman in the world during his playing days, Hanif could bowl with both arms. He also kept stumps at the competitive level at various occasions.

Hanif, a man with nerves of steel often weathered storms with his immaculate technique when Pakistan’s batting line-ups collapsed.

In 1958-59, Hanif surpassed Sir Don Bradman’s record for the highest individual first-class innings.
In 1958-59, Hanif surpassed Sir Don Bradman’s record for the highest individual first-class innings.

His phenomenal 16-hour-long 337 against West Indies at Bridgetown – which saved Pakistan from imminent defeat – will be always be alive in history books. It remains the longest innings in Test history and was the longest in all first-class cricket for over 40 years.

It was also the only Test match instance of a triple century in a team’s second innings until it was equaled by New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum against India in 2014.

In 1958-59, Hanif surpassed Sir Don Bradman’s record for the highest individual first-class innings. Hanif made 499 before being run out attempting his five hundredth run. This mark stood for more than 35 years before being surpassed by Brian Lara in 1994.

In all, Hanif made 55 first-class centuries and finished with a strong career average of 52.32.

Hanif was named as Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1968. In January 2009, Hanif, along with two other Pakistani players (Imran Khan and Javed Miandad) were part of the inaugural batch of 55 inductees into the ICC’s Hall of Fame.

Pakistan, England observe minute of silence for Quetta blast victims

LONDON: Pakistan and England cricket teams on Thursday observed a minute of silence for the victims of Quetta blast that killed 70 before the start of the fourth Test at The Oval.

The two teams also donned black arm-bands.

Read: Oval Test: England lose Hales early on

A suicide bomber targeted the emergency services ward at Quetta’s Civil Hospital Monday, killing mostly lawyers and journalists, and leaving scores injured.

The blast at civil hospital took place soon after dozens of lawyers gathered at the hospital following the killing of the Balochistan Bar Association President, who was shot dead on Monday morning.

England, who lead the four-Test series by 2-1, elected to bat first after Alastair Cook won the toss.

Pakistan made two changes in the line-up. Iftikhar Ahmad, who replaced Mohammad Hafeez, was handed a Test debut.

Left-arm medium-fast Rahat Ali made way for Wahab Riaz.

England remain unchanged from Edgbaston Test.