Posted in freedom, pakistan, pluralism, religion, social evils

Pakistan’s Easter 2016 – Not a beginning to be proud of.


Easter is wonderful occasion celebrating new beginnings with the arrival of spring. With treats like marzipan and hot cross buns, the festivities are such a treat. Like every year, I got a generous share from my Christian friends. I have known many Christians and I have not seen any of them belittling their other sects. Catholics and Protestants live so peacefully. Some segments of Muslims in Pakistan do not. They are so much into sectarian divide and violence that sometimes it is just a shame. And then there are others, who then try to bridge the gaps and portray the best possible character.

Yesterday, many Christians and people from other religions – mostly children and women, lost their lives on a day when new beginnings are celebrated. Such a shameful act. We can blame the government and get angry on the Taliban terrorist but their nexus is so complex that one can’t help much – they are bloody corrupt. However, the mindset of discrimination also exists far and wide in the disguise of being both religious or moderate and it is time to face the mirrors. So, if you have ever professed your religion and your interpretation of your religion as the best or only truth, then you are as much to blame. If you have ever thought or said anything demeaning about another sect or minority in order to feed your false pride, you are equally to blame. Because even you are myopic even to consider only your religion is superior, you are demeaning the other, and one can surely be not the ‘best’ follower. Everyone sins. If you have curbed any human right in the name of religion, you have done bad, if not worse or worst.

I have been harassed by such people in my teenage years. When my chemistry teacher (and not Islamic Studies teacher) at my school started discriminating students based on their sect, I should have understood that Pakistan is brewing to be this messed up and as an adult, I should anticipate this kind of world. I was naive; we are naive. 15 years later, we are truly messed up. Messed up people who are Qadri apologists, blasphemy law supports, India haters, West haters, people who cry on not getting Iqbal Day holiday, people against Holi/Holy holidays, or destroyers of happy celebrations of our brothers and sisters.

Thanks to some of the so-called teachers, not only in Madrassahs but all over, in families, in mosques, in political parties. Let’s face it, many people who are considered honorable in certain societies, are the biggest hate mongers/preachers because they are themselves so corrupt that they can’t see the wrath of their fears. The minute you identify one, just bombard them with questions regarding their intention. This nation needs reality checks every minute. Asking a question requires guts, which we do not encourage or teach in our society, but we need to show some courage now. So after Mullah in the mosque gives a sermon or some uncle, teacher or friend gives advice in a drawing-room, let’s pretend that we have a Q&A session to follow. I am sure many of the people will not utter a word, forget the questions because they are fearful that mobs would just harass them and incite their fears over others. We have become so afraid of God that we have forgotten the softer side of love.

We need street smartness to religion. We have become book-worms. We need intellectuals of religion who can question in order to understand better. Those who teach their kids to question, are confident and greatest teachers who do not run on their ego.

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Posted in freedom, gender, pakistan, social relationships

CLOSING THE GENDER GAP IN PATRIARCHAL MESS


wm

Every year, 8th March is celebrated as International Women’s Day. It is a global day celebrating the achievements of women. At the same time, it is a great time to advocate and reflect on issues related to gender equality, that is men and women (including trans-gendered individuals) should receive equal treatment and not be discriminated against based on their gender. Gender refers to socially constructed characteristics and norms of women and men (and people have the right to assert how they want to identify yourself irrespective of your biological sex).

Globally, the women are fighting to get their deserved share of equality and opportunities; however, the situation is not celebratory for Pakistan. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2014, Pakistan ranks 141 out of 142 countries worldwide.  Large gaps continue to exist between men and women in health, education, politics, and economic participation.  Factors contributing to high inequalities for women include gender-based violence, restricted mobility, lack of education, little awareness of rights, lack of access to and ownership of resources and assets, and limited access to social services. The root-cause of this divide and the outlined factors has been the patriarchal norms of the society.

We are aware of this fact but it is also important to acknowledge that in the modern age, these norms equally harm the men. Humankind is selfish and in my skepticism, men would only join the league when they see the benefit for their own kiln because change of norms is a long-term battle. In order to understand how patriarchy hurts men themselves and how we can engage all genders of society towards equality, I can think of only one solution i.e. raising questions, as I do not have the answers yet. Historically, Pakistanis are encouraged not to question any authority whether it is the family, school, religion or any other area of life so the first step is overcoming our complacency.

Let’s begin with economic development as at the end of the day, it runs the home. This year, the central theme for International Women’s Day campaign is the pledge for parity. Parity refers to the equal pay and leadership opportunities for all genders. But the argument that men ask is that why should women get equal pay in our society when men has more responsibilities for the financial sustenance of families. Orthodoxy in interpretation of religious scripture supports such perception and this patriarchal norm is nothing less than a burden for a family unit in today’s age where the middle class is diminishing quickly. One person earning for the whole family is an unrealistic proposition. If women have the chance for equal pay, the urge of genders to participate increase and the independence of working woman can be mutually beneficial to families if men can keep their egos aside. In many instances, women are the sole-earners or continue to support their families (I won’t bring marital status here because it is so irrelevant) and therefore, the whole idea of one gender bearing financial responsibility is baseless and parity becomes even more important. The idea of family is all about love and support of all kinds. It is an imperative to destroy patriarchal norms and therefore, a pre-requisite to establish other equalities of responsibilities as sharing housework after work and taking care of development of children. Paternal and maternal leaves also helps in maintaining that balance for a married couple.

In return, this participation can help in easing the emotional pressure that comes with patriarchal ideals of manhood. Under patriarchy, a man cannot be vulnerable, sensitive and expressive because he has to be strong enough to sustain the family, its economics and dynamics. Equality can ease out these unrealistic and inhumane expectations that men have created themselves for their creed. Briefly, we need to realize and acknowledge that women do not require men to save their lives. There are plenty of examples of women from diverse backgrounds who fight against the odds to get through every day. The solidarity will eventually help men to understand themselves holistically.

So what questions should we ask as a society to get there? For each of the area discussed henceforth, HeForShe campaign website has been referred to determine questions.

  • Does a healthy family is dependent or interdependent?
  • How would my workplace change positively if all genders were treated equally?
  • Does my workplace support equal pay for equal work?
  • What positive examples of women we have of female co-workers and leaders who are balancing their quality of life?
  • How can we eliminate taboos of using digital technology so that it can accelerate learning, provide economic opportunities and connect them to life-saving resources?
  • How would my family’s life be different if safety wasn’t an issue, in person or online?

For economic development of tomorrow, we will need to start today with good education and health for all genders, especially the girl child because they already have lesser opportunities. For United Nations global goals for sustainable development, 2016 is dedicated to the girl progress. For many societies, a myopic understanding of religion can create a barrier for development especially in what we equate to ‘honor’, which in my opinion, has never been an intention of any faith. One need to think about Mother Mary, Hazrat Bibi Khadija and Hindu goddesses to understand how they had already made a difference in the world before men came and contributed in their lives. Moreover, their initiative was never dependent on permissions from men.

So what question we need to ask ourselves for the area of education and health? They are pertinent to ask because if even we are providing girls’ education, we stereotype their opportunities (also sometimes attach shame) based on our biases of gender roles. Hint: the answers are mostly affirmative based on research and current job trends.

  • Should schools require all students to take computer science classes?
  • Do you think boys and girls can excel at the same subjects?
  • Should schools offer the same number of extracurricular sports to boys and girls?
  • Do we need more positive male and female teachers championing for the girl progress? What does it mean for young boys and girls?
  • Why do you think women now outnumber men on many college campuses?
  • What role models do we have of successful individuals pursuing a non-traditional degree for their gender?
  • What do you think is the biggest health risk in our country? Do genders stereotypes contribute to the risk?
  • Are all genders prepared to provide emotional support with intelligence?
  • Do partners in our society give each other respect for health and choices related to wellbeing?
  • Do you think your families and health system adequately supports mother’s and child’s health?
  • Can genders talk openly about their sexual wellbeing, so they have a sound physical and mental health?

In all the questions, there is a need to shift how we identify, communicate and act our societal roles. How can we embrace diversity and find strength therein? Are we man enough to demonstrate a new definition of masculinity where we are intuned with the feminine traits that we inherit from our resilient mothers, where heroism corresponds not to macho-ism but the emotional strength of kindness, compassion and sensitivity? How can we teach children and teens to be accepting of all genders identities? How can we contribute to making our society safe for all genders? More importantly, what it means to be human – the experience where you transcended and didn’t conform to normative gender expectations.

I know socio-economic realities are harsh, there is no one-size that fits all but these are some starting points towards assimilation and we need to be inclusive. If anyone reading this can engage any one member in your circle of influence – your family member, friend, work colleague or your own workers to think about even a single question and act on the answers, this will push us for the subsequent questions.

As world-renowned feminist Gloria Steinem said “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights”

It is high time that all genders including men set their egos aside and join the collective. Sometimes women also unconsciously try to propagate the patriarchy because everyone has a fair share of baggage. It will not change rapidly; it will be a daily ordeal. Sometimes you will believe in these ideals but it will be difficult to act on it. Personally, I believe in this ideal but I have also faltered because of my share of societal baggage. We all will need to forgive each other at times, and sometimes we learn it hard way.

However, on a larger level, we need to respect the choice of a woman to take her decisions about their identity, beliefs, appearance, mobility, action and nature of participation, marriage and so on. Most importantly, men cannot be secure until they liberate their fear of women (a disguise for fear of what other men or world will say). Men will never be secure until they are fearful of using the next cuss word, sexist joke or dogmatic comment.

Posted in freedom

Why complicate the expression!


To all those who consider Freedom of Expression as an unconditional/unquestionable license, I will say it is a right as per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and every right comes with a responsibility. If you know something can offend a non-offender, you better refrain from it. If you think it will offend an offender (you can UDHR and cosmopolitan ethics as a yardstick), then you better don’t care and express it because sometimes all we need is a disruptive innovation. We also need to understand that one idea can be expressed it multiple forms. From persuasive to provocative and worst to inciting hatred. The idea loses merit when the way it is expressed/narrative does not support the idea in theory and practice. Talking about hatred or violence through inciting hate or ridicule might get an instant response (and sometimes backlash – a.k.a. publicity) but not attitudinal change because the expression does not support the idea. Always ask why (intention) and you will figure out a good answer to how, if  ‘why’ was headed in an ethical direction! Freedom does not mean escape! #twocents Image Source:http://flavorwire.com/450601/no-the-internet-isnt-killing-free-speech/

Posted in care, etiquette, freedom, philosophy, pluralism, reflections, religion, social relationships

Zen midst Chaos


In recent years, in many social interactions, I have come across people who exclude and discriminate people on basis of morals and worldviews. Everyone comes across moralists (one who is unduly concerned with the morals of others) whether they are fundamentalists or pseudo-mystics who always try to run a moral brigade on your head. Ethics while selects the ‘good’ choice in a particular situation based on one’s existential understanding; morality is more about strict rules of ‘right and wrong’. Though their intensity is different, some of them are standing with guns and daggers and some are just being too judgmental (this also have varied forms of expressions). Moralist in any form are equally annoying to those who do not like these chains.

The reasons for such moral stiffness can be many but I believe, the problem lies in our over-indulgence in Platonic thought of dichotomy for all beliefs, decisions and actions, though many times subconsciously. Even the most interpretive and open texts like poetry and literature is translated into worldviews and actions only in this strict way. Right and Wrong. Form and essence. Old and New. Start and End. Mortal and Immortal. Temporary and Eternal. Everything is in pairs, yes I agree, but what about sub-pairs within each.

In this demarcation, we forget to notice the eternal in temporary and temporary in eternal. Sometimes perceiving yourself too right can go to the extreme of hurting other. Other times, something which is apparently perceived as wrong can actually be contributing to other’s good. Then there is also a distance and restraint from material life. Is not spirituality more about balance and unification than our supposed separate worldly and religious domains? Why then are you sent on earth, you should have rested in eternal peace? Embrace the matter in whole, all its beauty and ugliness having beauty.I have also felt that God’s biggest blessing in the world itself is form but we take it for granted. How would you tolerate Art then? If you won’t, you will become staunch to any creative-imaginative ability as advocated by philosophers like Plato and in religion, the extremist groups because of their distasteful moralistic attitude. The act of painting is out of innate desire (both love and lust) and out of love, comes finesse. If you are judging strokes too much, you will never create the painting. I would ask those who say they are intuitive and prefer to go with the flow, how they can be disapproving moralist. Nature is the biggest form which leads to your essence. For me, nature itself defines eternal in a temporary setting. How it can be so soothing when temporal I would ask these fatwa givers. Yes I am concerned about afterlife but it is also important to appreciate God’s different bounties and blessings of this world as well.

One might ignore form on the presumed eternity of essence. Essence was always there, yes but would keep on evolving as it is creation of both mind and heart. Whoever thinks essence remains the same, does not appreciate what interpretation is. Everything is in flux – Science, Laws, Culture and Religion. The only essence that is actualized is God which is beyond our comprehension, that’s about it. The only way to achieve Zen is through prayer where you recognize God and Good, why do we then have to rely so much on outward recognition of our moralistic view-point? That’s why it is advised to pray on regular basis and love on regular basis in all humility. Your love for the divine should not cause vanity. Moreover, prayer which means different to everyone. For some dancing can be immoral but isn’t the beautiful samaa not also dancing and extremely spiritual. Moralist or inflexible people can never appreciate diversity, they can tolerate public constestation of ideas. They enjoy company of only those who can reaffirm their moralist prejudice.

Consequently, for all that incomprehensible and comprehensible, there would be chaos. There would be whirling. Obviously I am against the self-imposed depression and chaos of extremists that has nothing but physical dimensions. When it comes to intellectual, spiritual and emotional chaos has its own beauty, the chaos which the extremism of complacent people will never like to divulge in. Our bodies have not been given survival instinct and will power for no reason. Who guaranteed your life would an easy ride in any possible way, outward or inward?

History has seen the downfall of civilizations caused by mystics of reclusive nature who take no initiative out of fear under the false demeanor of complacency/thankfulness. Many civilizations have survived out of valor. The most philosophy-inclined and vocal Sufis were the ones who inspired generations.Too much Zen can make one idle and one’s inability to handle chaos leads you to a reclusive bubble. But bubbles cannot be forever, one day they will burst. Where then will you go? Back to the judgmental/illlusioned self? The creation is in movement, even in a still object, the atoms are moving.

There is also a different kind of fanaticism in some readers/followers of mystical literature who display lack of conviction in the subtext of the words. All civilizations do suffer from quote syndrome; it is some blabber and passing like Chinese whispers, however meanings are not generated out of it for TODAY. We need to interpret and adorn this symbolic literature with reasoning that is out of love and not out of religion, which means our apparent conceptions of right can no longer sustain. We need to see the goodness/beauty instead. The mystical literature says this as well. Mystical literature is not about your usual moral realms.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

― Rumi

Peace then is full of chaos and not what we understand of peace literally where the act of stillness namely indifference, silence and complacency become illusionary symbols of peace. Reed not only have to be cut to be played but even when it is playing the most beautiful tune, the wind is not free, most of the time it is prisoned. One can either love or waste your time in calculating right and wrong. You can either be kind or judge. When you are judged, you need to love yourself and tell the others not to take their moral vanity too seriously.

There is a thin line between contemplation with perseverance/rigor and being judgmental. Debating of ideas is not about seeing who’s right or wrong, it is not about affirmation, it is about sharing with no strings attached.  Sharing itself should be one’s joy and not appreciation and reaffirmation because conclusions does not have to be mutual, they can be personal, sometimes there would be none. Freedom of expression comes with responsibility and baggage of critique in public domain. Sometimes it would also include refutation. Yes sometimes there will be chaos in sharing as well but it is the responsibility of both parties to be patient. The real patience is where there is contemplation with contest. This patience is developed through trusting goodness of intent on part of the other person from the very beginning. Pluralism in the word itself signifies that it is a mutual value. If you would judge the intent then you will also be judged whether you like or not.

Life does not come on your terms, nor will people, life is not about having zen, it is about recognizing zen in the chaos. It is about understanding that you are always fallible so you cannot expect others to be pitch-perfect on your own terms. You cannot put your moral brigade on any one, no matter how meaningful you think it is. Everyone in your world would not tolerate judgments and then you cannot sigh on their reaction because you were not in control of yours as well.

Rather than being too concerned about right and wrong of others, try to invoke goodness and beauty. Rather than being cold, be warm, even at cost of being angry but be warm, let your clay feel the kiln. The thoughts presented here are also open to debate. Conclusions are not fixed, they will always be personal (even if it represents void of concreteness) even after debate and this fact is already accounted.

Wish you love and strength. Blessed Be.

Posted in freedom, New Media, reflections

My two cents on Facebook Ban Saga in Pakistan


Disclaimer: To avoid the confusion, I am not interested about terrorists here  because they won’t listen. I am addressing to the larger share who won’t bomb themselves up. I am addressing to everyone else, whatever stereotype you want to give them. I will try to refrain as much as possible to label specifics except for PTA and Judiciary.

Few days ago, when I was sick and tired of saying NO to attending the repeating ‘Boycott Facebook’ invites I decided to put a status of my Facebook profile. Those who still don’t know what about Boycott Facebook, it is a campaign started against a user-posted page/event on ‘Everybody Draw Mohammad Day’. Depictions of the Prophet are forbidden in Islam but the page owners has this stance – “We simply want to show the extremists that threaten to harm people because of their Muhammad depictions that we’re not afraid of them.” Very cunning way to get an escape in the name of freedom of expression still my Facebook status read, “Boycott me cause I ain’t boycotting anyone.”

Boycotting Facebook, banning over thousand sites in Pakistan or going gaga over a page is not the main issue let alone the solution. It is the mindset at both ends of the spectrum which is disturbing. One who would go at the limits of using freedom of expression as an excuse to defend their act of hurting feelings of a group which triggers to subsequent hatred. The other who are isolating themselves from the world which is nothing but self-harm. Both are extremists in their own domains.

I would like to highlight my propositions at two levels, first my take why Boycotting Facebook was and is not a good idea and secondly how decision-makers at Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is making fool of themselves by blocking internet sites.

Why boycotting isn’t a good idea?

What do we want to achieve by boycotting Facebook? Okay Muslim community is aggravated on the Facebook owner’s indifference towards the page (of not removing it) but is boycotting really a solution? The issue is not about economics here. Facebook wouldn’t even care if it gets a little shortage in revenue, they can still ignore it on the name of living for freedom. If it succeeds then it would be more disastrous because people will succumb to such ways which aren’t healthy.

Even if it’s not Facebook then there would be some other place tomorrow. Boycotting a site that too a social-networking one means you don’t have an outlet to express at global level and therefore isolating yourself. I know there are sentiments involved and I respect them but where is wisdom in discourse? God has given you both heart and intellect. How many of us are really addressing the points in a way that others will hear?

Why haven’t we highlighted a fact like this about richness of Islamic Art when we are encountering an issue related to art and freedom of expression? Why haven’t we highlighted the fact that this kind of acts can be coined as racist in nature? Why not softer side of Muslims? Why not a tolerant interpretation of Islam? Why not the fact that Quran is compiled in a chronological manner but it was not how revelation took place? Why not the fact that Quran doesn’t contradict itself in verses but builds on the discourse like any academia would do too? Why not focus our discussions on history and personality rather than a superficial sketch of Prophet as they made in their minds? And why not this verse from Quran,

“Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.” (2:62)

How many of us have actually put statements like ‘I won’t draw cartoon of Jesus because He is also my prophet’. Personally I won’t want to draw cartoons of Buddha or even Gandhi, they were honorable personalities, even if they weren’t I won’t. Won’t promote anything derogatory, against my ethics at least.  For me when sensitivity is not PRACTICED & we don’t want to learn about others then the sort of freedom of speech and liberal call also seems very narrow as you are still not informed. Moreover in the name of individuality and expression whether it is a cartoon or a hate-speech or in the name of pseudo-intellectualism, we have forgot to honor emotions of others.

This is true both for majority of Muslims and westerners today, we don’t know about each other and the worse part we don’t want to know. We are also in oblivion when we don’t want to reflect and learn about ourselves in a larger domain by which I mean to say branching out into different disciplines like history, culture, literature, arts and sciences. Because whether we like it or not but some of us if not all are ignorant who like to live in a state of nostalgia and not building much worth of to be remembered when they are gone.

We have lost our intellectual honesty and emotional patience. MMA politician getting constipated by someone’s comment on TV said “but remember in emotions anything can happen” and as a student of Muslim Philosophy I say, cherish your emotions but be patient with others, that’s peace (salamti) of Islam. I prefer Karen Armstrong over him any day.

During an interview with Karen Armstrong:

Q: Do you see the cartoon controversy as an issue of free speech?

A: The cartoon controversy was fueled on both sides by extremists. There were secular fundamentalists, with in-your-face, one-sided, free speech. That same newspaper refused to print a caricature of Jesus. In this climate it is particularly dangerous.

We should be following tradition of leading by action if we ‘boast’ our love. Then why do we always fail only in that sphere, humiliating ourselves and also in others eyes. I am not comparing, the only point is that every one is accountable to his/her own and that’s where the care should go not at pinpointing. Even in marketing, it doesn’t end at saying but actually doing the job. In the end, it comes to both side of the extreme; but you come first, don’t forget, no excuses accepted.

How PTA isn’t acting wise right now?

Now the second part, PTA has become a nuisance and have been subjected to a lot of insult in new media including twitter #fbpkban. I have said so much that I don’t want to write any thing. Still these people should understand that censorship which is just down-right blind doesn’t work. Firstly you are taking away mode of expression and communication from people who use it for networking in personal and business concerns. People are asking why YouTube, Wikipedia etc, I ask why Facebook itself in the first place. Discourse will only create awareness and sadly PTA has snatched this chance from us and people behind the event are gaining popularity –> Following the complete ban of Facebook in Pakistan, the offending page has 80,000 members and growing as of Thursday evening.  Moreover, we do you want to create a day of judgment forced over people. Let the people themselves decide and test their faiths, whether they want to go on such degoratory pages or not and with which intention. It is like generalizing intentions of whole nation or community. Some might go there and start relevant and rational conversation and able to change minds. Oh Pakistani democracy and lawyers doesn’t believe it that?

Thank God there are tolerant people too and for some liberals, I would say when you are talking about freedom of speech, do support it but not the malice. PTA ban the malice and try to get selective while attempting that, if you can’t manage please don’t try. In this case doing nothing is better than propagating insanity.  Ban all those anti-anything and vulgar videos first; having said that it won’t make me happier until you ban starplus because it gives my head and soul some serious ache.

An important after-note

If Facebook didn’t delete the page, I would still not boycott because I don’t think that is a correct way to launch our protest so I can’t understand why they are banning. It appears that this is not out of love for God and his prophet but fear of sin, though I am no one to make a judgment. No wonder why we won’t debate and if we do why can we be civil about it. Seldom we become judge-mental like judges of my country. And for the supporters of Lawyers Movements, the concept looks good in theory but in our country the reality is not so rosy; azaad adilya (free judiciary) I don’t think so. They don’t care about criminals as they are busy either protesting or supporting protests. Our nation isn’t less gullible, they will always prefer rhetoric over reflection whether its governmental authorities. political parties, newsroom hosts or clerics.

My understanding of this issue has been enlightened by this keynote address delivered at commonwealth press union conference in 1996, that is a decade ago.  I wish somebody appreciates the wisdom mentioned in this extract.

“The problem comes, of course, when Freedom of the Press is stretched beyond this meaning and used to shield the press – not just from government interference, but from any sense of social accountability. And that is when press liberty turns into press license. Just as press freedom is a means for holding governments accountable, so must the press itself be held accountable for the way it does its work.

Accountable to whom? To the political leaders of the moment? Never. To the larger community and the cultures that comprise it? Always – provided we see the community not as a mere majority of the moment, but as an organic, pluralistic entity.

…Freedom of the Press does not mean the right of any journalist to write and to publish anything he or she wants to say. It is not acceptable for a reporter to cry “censorship” when an editor or a publisher questions his accuracy or his judgment. Nor is it acceptable for editors, managers and proprietors to slip their solemn responsibilities by invoking the same line of defense. They may sometimes say they don’t want to “meddle” with the contents of their publications. This is a weak and dangerous excuse. And too often that comment really disguises an abdication of moral responsibility.

This abdication is particularly troubling when it is used by proprietors or editors to mask their personal quest for financial gain or political influence – or to sustain divisive sectarian agendas. For in the final analysis, the press and those who manage it must also be held accountable to the collective judgments of the community.

Responsible journalists and managers will not want to shield themselves from such judgments. To the contrary, they will eagerly seek them out. They will want to know what thoughtful readers are saying and how responsible advertisers are thinking. They will talk constantly with scholars and religious leaders, with artists and business leaders, with scientists and labor leaders, with educators and community leaders – and yes, with politicians and diplomats and governmental leaders as well. And through such continuing interaction they will develop and refine their sense of how the larger community can best be served.”

Keynote Address at the Commonwealth Press Union Conference
His Highness the Aga Khan
October 17, 1996 Cape Town, South Africa via http://iis.ac.uk/view_article.asp?ContentID=101416

Some rational-emotional posts worth reading:

  • Why I won’t boycott Facebook, Blog post by @Fursid
  • Hypocrisy of PTA, by Huma Imtiaz
  • Pakistan Electronic Purdah / Veil, by @AbidBeli
  • It’s a Good thing Facebook was banned writes Sami Shah, writer and standup comedian
  • Opinion peace from FoxNews by Tommy De Sano