The recent attacks on Buddhist monasteries in Ramu and the earlier torching of Hindu temples in Hathazari leave us devastated. The rage worldwide surrounding the production of the film “Innocence of Muslims” and the indisputable fact that Islamophobia is on the rise is no less a matter of concern. Salma had insisted that I peep into the exhibition ‘1001 Inventions’ while in Washington D.C. for the “All Roads” board meeting at the National Geographic Society. It was sobering to look at the role Islam has played in what was otherwise known as the ‘Dark Ages’. Since youtube is still blocked by our far-from-able gatekeepers, I’ve uploaded the video on vimeo. If only a fraction of our investment in technology, and in particular on war machines, was spent in teaching our children to become better human beings…
“Daddy, what is blowback?”
Here’s a fable to tell our children, by the fire, in a not so-distant post-apocalyptic, dystopian future.
Once upon a time, during George “Dubya” Bush’s “war on terra”, the Forces of Good in Afghanistan captured – and duly tortured – one evil terrorist, Abu Yahya al-Libi.
Abu Yahya al-Libi was, of course, Libyan. He slaved three years in the bowels of Bagram prison near Kabul, but somehow managed to escape that supposedly impregnable fortress in July 2005. Continue reading “THE ROVING EYE: Mr Blowback rising in Benghazi”
I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I strongly sense conspiracy in the whole sordid “film maligning the Prophet” fracas, which, in a few hours, claimed the lives of three American diplomats and delivered a devastating blow to the Arab revolutionary upsurge, and to the new democratic and pluralistic awareness that both lay behind that upsurge and was its most precious product. Let me hasten to explain, however, that I use the questionable term, conspiracy, not in the sense that everyone from the makers of the film to the hysterical demonstrators that attacked the American missions in Cairo and Benghazi are in cahoots; nor do I base my argument simply on “who benefits most”, which almost invariably is the conspiracy theorist’s most crucial analytical tool.
What I really mean by “conspiracy” here is that the Prophet Muhammad is in fact wholly secondary to the real motives of the various parties to the ugly and bloody brawl. Yet, somewhat like the conspiracy theorist, I base my argument more on a reading of the events and their context, rather than on concrete, tangible facts. Continue reading “Conspiracies of convenience: what's behind the film fracas?”
“Artist advised to paint works that are pleasing …not satirical…socio political works can only be exhibited during gai jatra..?
Artist’s paintings should be self explanatory? “a picture should speak a 1000 words”.
Artists need to follow traditional parameters while painting religious iconography….modern interpretations will be considered blasphemous
The state can take action against artists if these guidelines are not observed”
Sangeeta Thapa on ?Facebook?quoting or paraphrasing the?official?’police’ reaction.
Watching the Kathmandu gallery episode unfold on social media is a fascinating eye opener . ?So much to learn ?so ?much to think about. so many spaces to open up. in the ?minds of artists and even their local audiences. Continue reading “Contemporary art and cultural clashes in kathmandu.”
Right-wing politics all over the world seeks to victimise the weak and powerless by falsely claiming victimhood, says Shivam Vij
In neighbouring Pakistan, an Islamic cleric recently accused a young Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, of blasphemy, a charge punishable by life imprisonment. He said she had burnt some pages that contained verses from the Quran. The 14-year-old girl hails from a poor family and suffers from downs syndrome. An eyewitness to the event showed courage and told a magistrate the truth: it was the Muslim cleric who had put those burnt pages in Rimsha’s bag. The cleric has been arrested and is set, in turn, to be charged with blasphemy.
I have been thinking about the incident. Insulting somebody’s religion is bad. It may cause offence. Often it is intended to cause offence. If somebody insults Islam, by doing things like burning pages containing verses from the Quran, it is bound to outrage a Muslim.
But what happens when the Muslim has burnt those pages to implicate a Christian? Where does the outrage disappear? Why are the right-wingers and the mullahs in Pakistan suddenly silent? The cleric’s lawyer had threatened the judge that if the girl is let off she could be lynched — such was the outrage! Where has the outrage suddenly disappeared? Where are the calls for lynching the blasphemer to death? Continue reading “Don't pseudo-sentiments get hurt, not even pseudo-hurt?”
Ramallah, occupied Palestinian territories –?A dirty mattress fills up a space barely two metres long and?one metre wide. A suffocating stench emanating from the toilet hovers over the windowless room, and a light turned on 24/7 means sleep is a distant dream. This is the infamous Cell 36 in Al Jalameh Prison in Israel. It’s one of the cells that many Palestinian children have either heard of or, worse, been inside when placed in solitary confinement. Continue reading “Palestinian children 'abused' in Israeli jail”