Mir Suhail Qadiri
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Mir Suhail Qadiri, a 26-year-old cartoonist with the Srinagar-based publication Rising Kashmir is disturbed over Facebook's removal of his cartoon on the hanging of alleged militant Afzal Guru. This, he says, is a blatant attempt to put an end to the debate over the controversial execution. Although wary of making any overt political statement, Qadiri adds that Guru was a militant for some and a martyr for others. "Through my cartoon, I wanted to take the debate to the world. It was a question I asked through my art."
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Between the regressive leftist hypocrisy of Jeremy Corbyn and the xenophobic exhortations of Donald Trump, ex-Muslim activists provide a lucid perspective on Islamism. They articulate that it is possible to criticise religious ideologies while simultaneously denouncing bigotry against its practitioners; that human life is sacrosanct, but ideas are not. You'd think these secular warriors (non-jihad variants) would be the darlings of Western liberals, but instead, the political left treats them as pariahs, as much as their own native community does.
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Academics are academics, and public intellectuals are public intellectuals, and sometimes the twain shall meet. Yet many who have crossed the divide have resorted to methods or arguments as public intellectuals that their academic avatars might never have tolerated. The same presumably applies to the 125 US-based university professors who last week released an open letter decrying the "uncritical fanfare" surrounding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's forthcoming visit to Silicon Valley. Unfortunately, their statement is astonishingly ill-informed and poorly argued.
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The internet has become an invaluable space for speech, especially in times when fear and intimidation have become a pervasive mode of governance, and increased surveillance a technique for monitoring the citizen's speech and behaviour. The Supreme Court has played a historic role in ensuring that speech should and must be used to halt the increasingly untrammelled power by the State and its representatives.
Wordpress.com is inaccessible to internet users in Pakistan, after the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority asked SIPs to block access to the blogging platform. While self-hosted Wordpress blogs still...