The problem of trust deficit in our society

Published on: 21/11/2019 | Comments: 1 comment 

CHITRAL:? We often, almost on daily basis come across news about breach of trust episodes in our society. Whether it be the promises of politicians who abruptly turn about on their claims and promises, or of horrendous episodes in everyday life relating to the deficiency of trust prevalent in our society.

A couple of days back a video clip went viral on the social media where a full load of dead chicken was intercepted and the person carrying the dead chicken said he was on his way to supply them to a well known restaurant in Rawalpindi. Similarly, almost on daily basis we hear of dog meat being sold as mutton and donkey meat as beef. We keep seeing videos of how cooking oils are made of intestines of dead animals, and how hair removing chemical powders are added to milk to give it a thick texture.

The other day, this scribe was at a pansari (herbs dealer) shop. When the shopkeeper was asked about powdered form of a certain herb, the shopkeeper said we can make the powder in front of you, as we do not keep the powdered herb because no body will trust it to be pure. This is the state of trust deficiency in our society. This problem may not be so grave in other societies as we are facing. It is imperative that we admit the fault and try attend to it.

Think tanks should research on how to reduce this trust deficit in our society where every body is distrusting everybody else, whether it be in personal relationships, collective relationships, trust in institutions, even trust in own self vis ? vis self respect is depreciating at an alarming rate .. CN report, 21 Nov 2019

Use mosques to improve society

Published on: 11/08/2018 | Comments: 3 comments 

Chitral: The rapidly deteriorating moral fiber of our society is because no importance is given to character building and moral science. Mosques can prove a great nursery for preaching and nurturing moral values, but what we see, mosques are only used for praying and when speeches are delivered they are all about Huqooq Allah (religious rituals) only. No importance is given to Huqooq ul Ibaad (character building). The result is that people are becoming prayer goers in increasing numbers while their moral fiber is deteriorating in the same proportion.

The continuing alarming spate of suicides in Chitral would not have reached this stage if prayer leaders had stressed upon the sanctity of human life and the sin of committing suicide early enough. Similarly the alarming rate of telling lies, hypocrisy, bribery, adulteration, forgery etc would not have reached this stage had our Ulema preached against them.

If Mosques, Imam bargahs, Jamat Khanas are used for preaching moral values besides offering prayers the society can improve greatly in this respect. Our Ulema and religious scholars should put their heads together and device methods how Mosques can best be used for improving the character traits of Muslims alongside prayers and rituals. .. CN report, 11 Aug 2018

A hypocrite society (urdu)

Published on: 01/08/2018 | Comments: 1 comment 

‘Politics of hate’ sees demonisation of civil society: report

Published on: 22/02/2018 | Comments: No comments 

The “politics of demonisation” provided fertile ground for human rights abuses in 2017, exemplified by the response of Europe and Donald Trump’s US to the refugee crisis, and the shrinking of civic space in South Asia, rights group?Amnesty International said on Thursday in its 2017 report.

The British-based group in its annual report took particular aim at the US president’s “transparently hateful” executive order banning entry to citizens of several Muslim-majority countries.?The report,?The State of the World’s Human Rights,?covers 159 countries and delivers a comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

Amnesty. Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The report said that the year 2017 for South Asia marked the continuing shrinking of civic space as human rights defenders were publicly demonised. Freedom of expression was criminalised online as journalists, bloggers and activists were subject to intimidation, threats, smear campaigns, violence and enforced disappearances.

In South Asia, governments invoked law and order, national security and religion as they engaged in attacks against religious minorities, criminalised freedom of expression and subjected civil society to a campaign of intimidation, threats, smears and violence, the report said.

?Over the past year, the region was marked by assaults on civil society. Journalists, bloggers, activists and others human rights defenders have been vilified and subjected to threats and violence. Meanwhile, online, invasive new cybercrime legislation has been used to criminalise freedom of expression and subject people to unlawful surveillance,” said Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International?s South Asia Director.

?South Asia also remains one of the most dangerous regions to be a member of a religious minority. Muslims in India and Sri Lanka, Shi?as in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Hindus in Bangladesh have all come under attack over the past year. In each case, the governments have either failed to protect them, been indifferent to their fate, or even encouraged a climate of hostility,? he added.

Repressive laws

In?India,?the report said, the authorities were openly critical of human rights defenders, feeding a climate of hostility and violence against them. Repressive laws were used to stifle freedom of expression, and journalists and press freedom came under increasing attack.

“Several journalists and Human Rights Defenders also lost their lives. Freedom of expression in universities also remained under threat. Journalist Gauri Lankesh, an outspoken critic of Hindu nationalism and the caste system, was shot dead outside her home in Bengaluru by unidentified gunmen in September. Criminal defamation cases were brought against several journalists,” the report said.

“The home ministry said that it had refused to renew the foreign funding licence of the NGO known as People?s Watch because it had allegedly portrayed India?s human rights record in a ‘negative light’ internationally,” the report added.

Other South Asian countries?Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and The Maldives?did not fare much better either as?Violent attacks on journalists and?human rights defenders continued.

In?Pakistan,?enforced disappearances became more widespread and more frequent, taking into their sweep bloggers and activists from across the country. Violent attacks on journalists continued, including two reporters attacked in their cars.

In?Afghanistan, human rights defenders faced constant threats to their life and security. In June, at least four people were killed when police opened fire on demonstrators outside the presidential palace in Kabul.

In?Bangladesh, the authorities continued to crack down on peaceful dissent, including online expression. Criticism of the government, or the family of the prime minister, triggered criminal cases.

In?Sri Lanka,?families attempting to arrange stones as memorials for loved ones lost during the 26-year internal conflict were stopped by security forces. Human rights defenders were subject to surveillance and intimidation. Women human rights defenders in the north and east reported that interactions with the police were often degrading and sexualised.

In the?Maldives, a popular political blogger and activist, Yameen Rasheed, was killed in April. In March, journalists from Raajje TV received death threats for their coverage of the King of Saudi Arabia?s visit to one of the atolls.

Attacks on minorities

Religious minorities across the South Asian region faced attacks from violent mobs while the authorities either failed to protect them, did not hold the perpetrators accountable, or even stoked a climate of hostility against them, the report said.

“In?India,?dozens of hate crimes against Muslims took place across the country against the backdrop of a wave of Islamophobia under the Hindu nationalist government. At least 10 Muslim men were lynched and many injured by vigilante cow protection groups,” the report said.

“Demonstrations against attacks on Muslims were held in several cities, but the government did little to show that it disapproved of the violence,” the report added.

In?Bangladesh, in November, more than 30 homes belonging to Hindu families were ransacked, looted and torched in Thakarpara village in Rangpur.

Sri Lanka?saw a rise in Buddhist nationalist sentiment, including attacks against Christians and Muslims. In September, a group of hardline Buddhist monks attacked the homes of Rohingya refugees in Boosa, southern Sri Lanka.

In?Afghanistan?and?Pakistan, armed groups continued to attack religious minorities, with the bombings of Shi?a mosques on both sides of the border.

‘Encouraged to hate’

The crisis in Myanmar and reported massacres of Rohingya Muslims are the consequence of a society encouraged to hate and a lack of global leadership on human rights,?the report said.

The human rights group said that ?hate-filled rhetoric? by leaders was normalising discrimination against minorities.

“We saw the ultimate consequence of a society encouraged to hate, scapegoat and fear minorities laid bare in the horrific military campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya people in Myanmar,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty.

Amnesty said the international community had failed to respond robustly to “crimes against humanity and war crimes from Myanmar to Iraq, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen”.

It said that leaders in countries such as the United States, Russia and China were not standing up for civil liberties and instead were “callously undermining the rights of millions”.

Trump effect

The British-based group in its annual report took particular aim at the US president’s “transparently hateful” executive order banning entry to citizens of several Muslim-majority countries.

“Throughout 2017, millions across the world experienced the bitter fruits of a rising politics of demonisation,” said the report, which was launched this year for the first time in the United States.

It accused leaders of wealthy countries of approaching the refugee crisis “with a blend of evasion and outright callousness”.

“Most European leaders have been unwilling to grapple with the big challenge of regulating migration safely and legally, and have decided that practically nothing is off limits in their efforts to keep refugees away from the continent’s shores,” it added.

Shetty singled out Trump for criticism, saying the travel ban “set the scene for a year in which leaders took the politics of hate to its most dangerous conclusion”.

‘Avalanche of online abuse’

The report also praised the #MeToo campaign for drawing attention “to the appalling extent of sexual abuse and harassment”.

But it warned that Internet giants were part of the abuse problem and that they had too much power in shaping narratives and propagating “Fake News”.

“The avalanche of online abuse, particularly against women, and the incitement of hatred against minorities, drew weak and inconsistent responses from social media companies and scant action from governments,” it said.

“These concerns are compounded by the extreme concentration of control in only a handful of companies over the information people view online.”

It added: “The capabilities deriving from this to shape public attitudes are immense, including virtually unchecked potential for incitement to hatred and violence.”

It said that the “willingness of prominent leaders to tout ‘fake news’… coupled with attacks on institutions that act as checks on power, show that free speech will be a key battle” in 2018.

“We must refuse to accept narratives of demonisation and build instead a culture of solidarity,” it concluded.

.. Source

Kasur crime: Role of religious preachers in checking crimes in the society

Published on: 24/01/2018 | Comments: 1 comment 

Chitral : According to a news report, the child rapist and murderer now in police custody in Kasur town of Punjab, had confessed that immediately after committing the heinous crime and dumping the body of the seven year old girl in a rubbish heap, he had gone off to attend a mehfil Milad. This news quip connotes a long, sad rather scary story behind our moral degradation.

The fact that the culprit darted towards a religious congregation after committing the crimes says loudly that he believed attending the mehfil Milad would eradicate his sin and lessen the burden of his conscience. This belief, the most dangerous virus that plagues the muslim mind today has been inculcated by religious preachers who never give any importance to a human being’s duties towards fellow human beings and only keep preaching about prayers and rituals. and consider the same to be a tool to delete all their sins .. CN? Editorial, 24 Jan 2018

Also read Editorial in the Urdu section