Monthly Archives: February 2006

Is this the infamous clash?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

ARE we witnessing today the clash of civilizations predicted by Samuel Huntington after the Cold War ended? One would have liked to believe that this is not the clash. But how else would one interpret the calculated publication of the blasphemous caricatures of the Holy Prophet(PBUH) — they were actually commissioned by the culture editor — by the Danish weekly, Jyllands-Posten and the violent reaction they have provoked in the Muslim world — again incited by a group of extremist Muslims.

What needs to be noted is that the civilizations that are clashing are not those of the Muslims and the Christians. The confrontation is between two cultures, that of the fanatical extremists on either side. There are the demonstrators all over the Muslim world who are going overboard in their protests against those they hate (their government, the Americans and anyone they have a grouse against) and they are using the cartoon episode to mobilize public support. Over 30 people have already lost their lives on account of the violence unleashed. There are others, mainly Europeans, who are concealing in a subtle manner their racism in the name of freedom of expression and secularism.
Continue reading Is this the infamous clash?

Hudood laws must go

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

LAST Tuesday was women’s day in the National Assembly. Four bills directly relating to them were introduced in the house. The most important of these was the one moved by the PPP (Parliamentarians) simply titled the Hudood Laws (Repeal) Bill 2005. The Hudood Ordinances, the most anti-women and anti-social of laws to be placed on the statute book in Pakistan, were never brought before the Assembly.

They were promulgated as ordinances by a military dictator and have from their inception remained anathema to most women and human rights activists in the country. Once the implications of the Zina Ordinance came to the forefront, women rallied round the Women’s Action Forum, which was created in September 1981, to fight this evil law.
Continue reading Hudood laws must go

Creating hope for education

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE challenge of providing education to each and every child in Pakistan is so enormous that it is difficult to be hopeful about achieving the Dakar Education Forum’s target of education for all and the millennium development goals that seek to have every child enrolled in school by the year 2015.

More disturbing is the fact that the government, whose responsibility it is to ensure universal primary education, has virtually abdicated its role.

Having contrived the concept of public-private partnership, our rulers have left it to the private sector, mainly in the form of entrepreneurs, NGOs, CBOs and civil society organizations, to fill the vacuum so created.
Continue reading Creating hope for education