گفتار کے غازی

ایک زمانہ تھا جب مجھے اقبال کی بانگ درا کا آخری شعر بہت پسند تھا۔ اس کی وجہ شائد یہ تھی کہ میں ان دنوں گفتار کے غازیوں میں گھرا ہوا تھا۔

ایک زمانہ تھا جب مجھے اقبال کی بانگ درا کا آخری شعر بہت پسند تھا۔ اس کی وجہ شائد یہ تھی کہ میں ان دنوں گفتار کے غازیوں میں گھرا ہوا تھا۔ یہ لوگ باتیں بہت بناتے ہیں مگر ان کو عملی جامہ نہیں پہناتے۔ میرے والد ان کو شائد منافق کہیں۔

مسجد تو بنا دی شب بھر میں ایماں کی حرارت والوں نے
من اپنا پرانا پاپی ہے، برسوں میں نمازی بن نہ سکا
کیا خوب امیر فیصل کو سنوسی نے پیغام دیا
تو نام و نسب کا حجازی ہے پر دل کا حجازی بن نہ سکا
تر آنکھیں تو ہو جاتیں ہیں، پر کیا لذت اس رونے میں
جب خون جگر کی آمیزش سے اشک پیازی بن نہ سکا
اقبال بڑا اپدیشک ہے من باتوں میں موہ لیتا ہے
گفتار کا یہ غازی تو بنا، کردار کا غازی بن نہ سکا

Islamists Everywhere

It seems like Islamists are everywhere nowadays. But the latest trend is intriguing because now it looks like you don’t even have to be a Muslim to be an Islamist.

It seems like Islamists (also here) are everywhere nowadays. Turn a rock and you find an Islamist underneath. But the latest trend is intriguing because now it looks like you don’t even have to be a Muslim to be an Islamist.

Kenny Baer was supposed to be knowledgeable about British politics and elections and was substituting for Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo while Josh was enjoying his honeymoon. But Kenny doesn’t sound much like an expert to me.

Word just came in that the far-far-far left, Islamist candidate George Galloway has defeated Oona King.

Gorgeous George Galloway an Islamist? How? Why? Does the word “Islamist” mean anything? Or is it reduced to a slur now?

The other culprit is a regular one, Daniel Pipes.

Is Grover Norquist an Islamist? Paul Sperry, author of the new book, Infiltration, in an interview calls Grover Norquist “an agent of influence for Islamists in Washington.” When asked by FrontPageMag.com why a Republican anti-tax lobbyist should so passionately promote Islamist causes, Sperry implied that Norquist has converted to Islam: “He’s marrying a Muslim, and when I asked Norquist if he himself has converted to Islam, he brushed the question off as too ‘personal.’” As Lawrence Auster comments on this exchange, “Clearly, if Norquist hadn’t converted to Islam, or weren’t in the process of doing so, he would simply have answered no.”

There is more circular and specious reasoning in the same blog post. According to Pipes, Norquist is an Islamist because he married a Muslim and might even secretly have converted. Also, his wife is an Islamist because she worked at an Islamist organization which was co-founded by Norquist. Thus, through his wife, Norquist is an Islamist. And on and on it goes.

I have profound and vehement political disagreements with both George Galloway and Grover Norquist. In fact, I don’t even like their political style. But come on, they are not Islamists in any useful sense of the term.

While the term “Islamist” might have some meaning among scholars, it has no information value, other than that the person using it doesn’t like the person he is accusing, in normal usage. I guess Bill Allison should be convinced now that the term [Islamist …] is […] meaningless.

Litmus Test for Telecom Meetings

The Bush administration has litmus tests for everything. If you don’t support them, then you don’t count. The latest is the news that Kerry supporters were nixed from a telecom standards meeting.

Via Political Animal, I found out that not only does the Bush administration allow only its loyalists to attend Bush’s Social Security privatization townhalls, it does not let Telecommunication industry representatives who supported Kerry in the last election go to Telecom meetings.

The Inter-American Telecommunication Commission meets three times a year in various cities across the Americas to discuss such dry but important issues as telecommunications standards and spectrum regulations. But for this week’s meeting in Guatemala City, politics has barged onto the agenda. At least four of the two dozen or so U.S. delegates selected for the meeting, sources tell TIME, have been bumped by the White House because they supported John Kerry’s 2004 campaign.

The State Department has traditionally put together a list of industry representatives for these meetings, and anyone in the U.S. telecom industry who had the requisite expertise and wanted to go was generally given a slot, say past participants. Only after the start of Bush’s second term did a political litmus test emerge, industry sources say.

The White House admits as much: “We wanted people who would represent the Administration positively, and—call us nutty—it seemed like those who wanted to kick this Administration out of town last November would have some difficulty doing that,” says White House spokesman Trent Duffy. Those barred from the trip include employees of Qualcomm and Nokia, two of the largest telecom firms operating in the U.S., as well as Ibiquity, a digital-radio-technology company in Columbia, Md. One nixed participant, who has been to many of these telecom meetings and who wants to remain anonymous, gave just $250 to the Democratic Party. Says Nokia vice president Bill Plummer: “We do not view sending experts to international meetings on telecom issues to be a partisan matter. We would welcome clarification from the White House.”

So if you gave $250 to Kerry last year, you are not allowed to participate in the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission meetings, which as you can guess are about telecom standards. Why does the Bush administration remind me so much of banana republics and third world dictatorships?

Collateral

Having a baby means never getting to go to the theater. Collateral was the last movie we watched in the theater. The first half of the movie is very good but the later half is quite bad.

This is the last movie we saw in the theater. That was a long time ago. We used to watch at least a movie every weekend, but that is difficult with a baby. In fact, we haven’t been to the theater in a long time. Even watching movies at home on DVD is not easy. Michelle needs attention soon enough and we have to break up the movie into multiple settings. Or we have to wait until she goes to sleep before starting a movie. But Michelle goes to sleep late (10-11pm).

Coming to Collateral, it started out good. The premise is interesting and Jamie Foxx did some very good acting. I am not a fan of Tom Cruise and don’t consider him to be much of an actor and as usual he didn’t disappoint. Despite the good start, the movie fizzles out in the latter half where we get all sort of cliched and hackneyed scenes, like Foxx’s cellphone battery dying in the middle of a most important call.