Thursday, 29 September 2011

De-constructing Zaid Hamid part 4

(an abridged version was published on

Deconstructing Zaid Hamid

“In order to reach the truth, it is necessary, once in one’s life, to put everything in doubt.” Descartes

Professor Khawaja Masood, in his article, Marx and Iqbal, wrote,
Before Marx, human genius had accomplished much by giving a scientific interpretation of many natural phenomena. But in the study of social development the past thinkers only groped in the dark. Marx pioneered the scientific study of society. In the words of Engels spoken at the graveside of Marx, he discovered the law of development of human history just as Darwin discovered the law of development of organic nature: “the simple fact hitherto concealed by an over-growth of ideology that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc.: that, therefore, the production of the immediate material means of subsistence and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people during a given epoch form the formulation upon which the state institutions, the legal conceptions, art and even the ideas on religion of the people concerned have been evolved, and in the light of which they must, therefore, be explained instead of vice versa as had hitherto been the case.”
These profound ideas are repeated almost verbatim by Iqbal in his first book Ilm-ul-Iqtisad: “There is no doubt that religious principles have played an extremely influential role in the course of human history, but it is also clearly established by daily observation and experience that earning a livelihood is the constant concern of man and it is this concern which quite imperceptibly and unconsciously shapes his external and internal instincts. Reflect how poverty or insufficient provision of the necessities of life effect the conduct of man. Often poverty and deprivation so encrust the clean state of human soul that morality and culture are completely corroded.”
According to Engels, Marx “discovered the special law of motion governing the present-day capitalist mode of production and the bourgeois society that this mode of production has created. The discovery of surplus value suddenly threw light on the problem, in trying to solve which, all previous investigations of both right-wing economists and socialist critics, had been groping in the dark.”
Iqbal’s view on surplus labor closely follows that of Marx. He says in Ilm-al-Iqtisad: “If the wealth of the landlord is not the result of personal effort, then his property is unjust. In view of this fact some scholars maintain that this injustice is produced by the private ownership which is harmful to the national interest. Accordingly, land is not the property of a particular individual and should be nationalized.” Similarly, “the profit which in the present conditions goes into the pocket of the capitalist should accrue to labor. And, increased productivity which is the fruit of labor should entirely benefit labor, and capitalists have no claim over it.”

Episode 7 

Ali Azmat opened the show by saying that this is a soft revolution.
They start discussing Asrar e Khudi which according to Zaid Hamid, in last 64 yr.s this book has never been discussed.
The primary reason for Asrar e Khudi not being popular enough is its langauge. Its written in Persian which is not understood by majority of people in Pakistan. The assertion that it has never been “discussed” is also controversial. The book is easily available in Pakistan, also on the internet. Its english and persian versions can be viewed and bought from Iqbal Academy.  

ZH:-Asrar e Khudi was Iqbal’s first book.
Comment:- Wrong. Asrar e Khudi was the first poetry collection written by Iqbal. His first book(as ZH himself acknowledged) was Ilm-ul-Iqtisad.   

ZH:-It has been doctrine of muslim mystics that they should move to far flung places and become hermits.
Comment:- Mysticism across religions has has the same tradition i.e. Moving away from the populated areas and immersing in religion. This concept was shunned by Islam and Prophet P.B.U.H prohibited muslims from becoming hermits. In history of Subcontinent, we can see that Ali Hajveri, Nizam-ud-din Aulia etc took to cities and preached. Thus, this claim by ZH is absurd and he should read some history. 

ZH:-These days it is believd that power corupts and absolute power is kind of cool.
Comment:- This kind of sweeping statement reflects on the ideology of Zaid Hamid. The original quote as written by Lord Acton i.e. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is as true for today as it was in 1887 when it was written.  

ZH:-Pakistan ban'ne k baad iqbal ko,khasusan Asrar e khudi ko gum kar dia gya(Translation:- After creation of Pakistan, Asrar e Kudi was forgotten). And he lays the blame on freemasons.
Comment:- I have explained at the start of this piece the reasons for relative obscurity of Asrar-e-Khudi. The belief that it was a delibrate attempt and that too by FREEMASONS is not documented in any historical or contemporary text. If any such thing happened, where is the proof.? According to law,the burden of providing proof  lies with the accuser.

ZH:-Har chez k pechay aik poshida hath hota hai.(There is a hidden hand behind everything).
Including Rothschilds, Rockerfellers and Bildrberg group.
Comment:- If there was a gospel for conspiracy-mongers, this line would have been its first verse.Taking the cue from Zaid Hamid, who is behind this Program.? Regarding the Bilderberg group, In a 1994 report Right Woos Left, published by the Political Research Associates, investigative journalist Chip Berlet argued that right-wing populist conspiracy theories about the Bilderberg group date back as early as 1964 and can be found in Schlafly's self-published book A Choice, Not an Echo.Regarding the Rothschilds’ I have explained in part 1 of this series. 

ZH:-Allama Iqbal ne 1930 main Pakistan ko daikha tha
Comment:- I have explained this earlier in my article, 10 historical facts our textbooks forgot to mention. Allama Iqbal didn't present the concept of of Pakistan in his Allah-Abad Address (Reference:-Muslim league papers) rather he strongly dissociated himself from the idea in his letter to The Times.
His exact words were 'I do not put forward a "demand" for a moslem state outside the British empire' and that 'No Indian Moslem with any pretence to sanity contemplates a Moslem state or series of states in North-Western India outside the British Commonwealth of nation as a plan of practical politics' 

ZH:-It was decided that “aik mulk bana lo, phir develop kar len gay, expand kar len gay” (Translation:- Lets establish a country and later we will develop and expand it)
Comment:- Nobody said any such thing during the Pakistan Movement. The odds were heavily stacked against formation of a separate country and Mr Zaid Hamid thinks everything was under our control at that time. The part which irked me the most was the “expansion” part. It is the height of spreading a specific propoganda. Again, no proof or reference was presented by erstwhile Zaid Hamid. 

ZH:-Because Mussolinni had consulted with Iqbal once, “Maghrib ne Iqbal ko samaj lia tha”.
Comment:- The term “west” has been used as a demon by fear-mongerers and peddlers of conspiracy theories for quite some time. A detailed discussion can be read here. On top of that, Mussolini was a fascist dictator, citing his example repeatedly can imply that Zaid Hamid also shares some of his ideals. Another thing that Zaid Hamid probably doesn’t know is that Iqbal washimself influenced by “Wetsern” Philosophers and that is why his message was well-received by the “West”. 

ZH:-Iqbal says that get your swords out and capture the world.
Comment:- This is a clear message of jingoism and cultural narcissim. Iqbal wrote his poetry at a time when muslims were in a desparate position. To inspire and instill hope in his fellow believers, Iqbal often used exaggerations and many of his ideas can bedeciphered as being jingoistic. To highlight such ideas selectively is a sign of  moral bankruptcy on Zaid Hamid’s part.  

ZH:-Subah Uthnay wale log, yani Muslaman.(Implying that all early risers are muslims)
Comment:- Stereotyping is a much derided sociological phenomenon. Statements such as “XYZ people are misers/stupid/ignorants etc” are commonplace. There is rarely a convincing proof presented while giving such statements.Some famous contemporary stereotypes include “All Muslims are terrorists” “All Jews are conspiring against others”. Rising early in the morning is a cultural thing mostly, not a religious one per se. More people in the US wake up early to go to work than in Pakistan. One should be careful when saying such things on national media.  

ZH: Dunya se separation k baad insaan main spiritual purity paida hoti hai. (Translation:- Separation from the world creats spirtual purity in humans. )
Comment:- This is a classical example of a thought-somersault. Hardly 30 minutes ago, in the same program he claimed that Iqbal didn’t advocate hermitism and here he is saying just that.!!! This is not coherent thinking, its like a complete U-turn on his previous musings. Pathetic.

ZH: Iqbal was on a prophetic mission.
Comment:- IF this statement had been given on national media by a secular-liberal person, there would’ve been a huge outcry, calls for his/her head, charges of blasphemy, hate-mail and so on. But the fact that this was claimed by a person who wears his religion on his sleeve, who claims to be a descendent of Prophet(PBUH), no one dare speak a word.  

Episode 8

Zaid Hamid started the program by criticizing politicians and accuses them of being “Ghatya log”(Morally Inferior People) and that such “ghatya” people can never bring a revolution. That’s a bit mean and indirectly means that these “civvies” are no good at it. I wonder which particular institution is fond of thinking like this.?

ZH: You should jump into a conflict, not shy away from it.

Comment:- This idea has been used by oppressed people througout history. It is often said that there is a fine line between being brave and being foolhardy. Someone should tell Zaid Hamid about it. Risking your life, being foolhardy, looking forward to conflict are all symptoms of mental instability. Becoming Don Quixote is what Zaid Hamid is preaching and doing himself.
ZH: Insani zindagi ki har cheez kufr k nizam k control main hain(Translation:- All aspects of human life are under control of Capitalist system) e.g. your location can be tracked anywhere in the world courtesy credit cards etc.
Comment:- I mentioned symptoms of mental instability in the last comment. This gem by Zaid Hamid suggests that he is suffering from paranoia. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory beliefs, or beliefs of conspiracy concerning a perceived threat towards oneself. Historically, this characterization was used to describe any delusional state.
The rest of time in this episode was taken up by calls and simple reading of Asrar by Zaid Hamid, so there were no more blunders.

Corrigendum:- I stated in part 2 of this series that Jamal-ud-Din Afghani was not a proponent of Pan-Islamism. I was fortunate enough to discuss this issue with some historians and I learnt that there were 3 distinct phases in Afghani’s life.
  1. When he was in India, his tone was clearly anti-british and Anti-Sir Syed and he hated both of them.
  2. When he was in Egypt, his stance was that of Nationalism.
  3. When he went to Tukey, under the influence and instruction of the Caliph, he started propogating the message of Pan-Islamism.
    For Further Reference, a book based on life and works of Jamal-ud-Din Afghani has been written by Mr Zahid Chohdary which will be available in the market soon.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Deconstructing Zaid Hamid part 3

(An Abridged version was published here)

Deconstructing Zaid hamid

The past has to be bared to settle all accounts, so that one could proceed further.
Barthold Brecht.

Before the start of 3rd part, I want to share some words of Dr. Eqbal Ahmad, regarding the concept of separation of Church and State. Writing in his essay “Islam and Politics”, he wrote, “It is commonly asserted that in Islam, unlike in Christianity and other religions, there is no separation of religion and politics. In strict textual and formal legal terms, this may be true. But this standard generalization is not helpful in comprehending Muslim political praxis either historically or contemporaneously. In its most fundamental sense, politics involves a set of active links, both positive and negative, between civil society and institutions of power. In this sense, there has been little separation, certainly none in our time, between religion and politics anywhere” and  “ In this sense, separation between state and religion has existed in the Muslim world for at least eleven of Islam's fourteen centuries. The organic links between religion and state power ended in A.D. 945 when a Buwayhid Prince, Muiz al-Dawla Ahmad, marched into the capita[ city of Baghdad and terminated the Abbasid Caliph's dual role as the temporal and spiritual leader of the Islamic nation. For a time, the Caliph served in various parts of the Muslim world as a legitimizing symbol through the investiture of temporal rulers-Sultans, Amirs, and Khans-among them, successful rebels and usurpers. The Buwayhids, who ruled over Iraq and Fars as Amirs, kept the Caliphate in subjection for 110 years until they were displaced in A.D. 1055 by Tughril, the SeIjuk Warrior. In 1258, the Mongols sacked Baghdad, killed the Caliph and his kin, and terminated the Abbasid Caliphate, which had been for two centuries a Merovingian cipher. Although the Caliphate was revived and claimed-at different times in various places, by a variety of rulers-it never quite mustered the allegiance of a majority of Muslims. Power, in effect, remained secularized in Muslim practice.'”.

Episode 5
Ali Azmat kick-started the show by telling us that Iqbal studied at Oxford, when in fact, Iqbal was a student at Cambridge University, located 84 miles away from Oxford.
ZH: Un main Indian nationalism k germs thay, and he ‘radicalized’ into a pan Islamist. (Translation:-He had germs of Nationalism)

Comment: Yeah, Indian nationalism is a disease in your twisted logical framework. The use of the phrase radicalized (and those were his exact words) is a window to the mind-set of Mr Zaid Hamid.

ZH: Sicily kai so sal tak musalmano ka garh raha hai.(Sicily was a Muslim stronghold for centuries.)
Comment: - Muslim rule in Sicily was from 965 A.D till 1072 A.D. That makes a total of 100 and 2 years. Like I said before, you do the math.

ZH: Topkapi museum main 1400 sal ki khlafat k nawadir pare huay hain.
Comment: - There was no “centralized” Khilafat for 14 long centuries. After the first 4 Khulafa-e-Rashideen and initial period of Umayyad Rule, there were splits and factions and so on. (Reference:- Hamari tarikh fehmi, paper by Hasan Jaafar Zaidi)

ZH: Allama lqbal was 'elected' as one of the founding members of London Muslim league.
Comment: - Iqbal was a member of the London Muslim League which was founded by Syed Amir Ali (a Bengali philosopher and writer who was a contemporary of Sir Syed and who very few students of Pakistan history know because his efforts have been criminally neglected by our textbook writers.) How can a person be ELECTED as a founding member is beyond logic.

ZH:-Federal Reserve was created in 1913 and it financed the global turmoil.
Comment: - Federal Reserve was in fact created in 1913 A.D but US didn't take part in the world war until 1917 A.D.
Also, there wasn’t any wire transfer or PayPal through which an America-based bank could finance events unfolding across the Atlantic.

ZH:-Iqbal had predicted that after a world war, ideologies like democracy, liberalism, feminism, modern education will be implemented.
Comment:-This is another demonstration of the lack of knowledge by Zaid Hamid. Democracy was working in US, France and UK even before Iqbal was born.
Similarly, the first wave of Feminist movement started in late 19th century.
Regarding Iqbal’s views on Democracy, lets see for ourselves what he said on record. In his letter to the Civil and Military Gazette published on May 28, 1937 he says: “For Islam the acceptance of social democracy in some suitable form and consistent with the legal principles of Islam, is not a revolution but a return to the original purity of Islam.”
In another letter in the Civil and Military Gazette published on July 30, 1930, he said: “If anybody thinks that approach to democracy means sailing into a kind of lotus-land, he cannot have read a word of history. The truth is exactly the opposite. Democracy lets loose all hues of aspirations and grievances which are suppressed or unrealized under autocracy. It arouses hopes and ambitions, often quite unpractical, and it relies not on authority but on argument, on controversy from the platform, in the press, in the parliament, gradually to educate people to the acceptance of a solution which may not be ideal but which is the only practical one under the circumstances of the time. Democratic governments have attendant difficulties but these are difficulties which human experience elsewhere shows to be surmountable.
Reference: Iqbal, the Destruction of False gods and Islamic Revolution by Prof. Khawaja Masud, from his soon-to-be-published book Lessons of My Life.

Episode 6

ZH:-Un ko talash kia, build kia aur ultimately tayar kar k deliver karwya dia,qaum bhe un ko bna k di.(Translation:- He(Iqbal) found him(Quaid-i-Azam), built him and later delivered, manufactured a nation for him as well).
Comment:-  This is absurd. Allama Iqbal did have an influence on Quaid-i-Azam but it didn’t happen the way Zaid hamid thinks it did. They met in London in 1931-2 when Allama Iqbal was there for one of the Roundtable Conferences. Later, there was correspondence between the two via letters which can be read here. It can be seen from these letters that Zaid Hamid is concocting stories just for the sake of his convenience. Plus, no-one can singlehandedly MANUFACTURE a nation.!!! Another important point to note is that Quaid-i-Azam himself was a famous politician and barrister. He didn’t need to be “found”. 

ZH:-Un k munh se jo baten niklin,unko itefaq se kahi jane wali baten nhe kaha ja skta.(Translation: Whatever he(Iqbal) said could not have been a co-incident)
Comment:- Giving divine notions to otherwise not-divine matters is a specialty of Conspiracy merchants like Mister Zaid Zaman Hamid. He is trying to elevate Iqbal to the level of at least a Prophet. Iqbal never made such grandiose claims as he was a much wiser person than ZH.

ZH:-Our youth can’t speak Urdu.
Comment: - This is an exact quote from Mr. Zaid Hamid. At the very least, he should have used the medium of Urdu to say this, which he didn’t. Most of the conversation that took place during the course of the programs was a mixture of English and Urdu. As Nadeem Farooq Paracha wrote in his article for Dawn, “The GMG (Groovy Media Guys) has a lighter and a tad more liberal side to it as well. It has a cultural wing consisting of sirens in the shape of trendy looking androids that are fed burgers and French fries to further fatten their complete ignorance of reality. They talk in strange tongues also called “Minglish” and “Hinglish”.
One of the biggest successes in this respect has been conversion of Zion Hamid who was once an uncaring, burger-hopping DJ at a Tora Bora Disco. Today he is the hero of GMG”.

ZH:-He explains(ilm,tadabbur,hakumat) as democracy, equality, liberty, women's rights and that Iqbal warned against them.
Comment: - Literally, it should be translated as knowledge, equanimity and government. Zaid Hamid gave his own description and a different twist to what Iqbal was saying. This is not only unethical, it is also deplorable. Iqbal was a wise man and he would not have warned people against enlightenment.

ZH:-The root cause of all injustices in this world is Riba, Usury, and Sood.
Comment:- FYI, Usury is simply a translation of the urdu word “Sood”. Another grand claim made by Zaid Hamid here. The issue of Riba and its role in the modern economy is discussed in detail by Bilal Ahmad, an Economics Professor in his book “Pakistan main Iqtisadi Pasmandagi”. His complete essay can be read here. There are many deficiencies and pitfalls in the current economic systems and criticizing them is not a new phenomen. What Zaid Hamid and people who blame ALL ills on Usury and Riba don’t actually know how the system works. Also, the system that they propose is not viable. Details can be found in Bilal Ahmad’s essay.

ZH:-They started the 1st world war so that they can destroy the world and then give Marshal Plan to get them on their roll.
Comment: - This is another juxtaposition of historical facts. Marshall Plan or European Recovery Program started in 1948.!!! First World War ended in 1918. Second World War ended in 1945. According to Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, volume 2; page 95; published in 2002, Marshall Plan was the large-scale American program to aid Europe where the United States gave monetary support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II in order to combat the spread of Soviet Communism. It was actually named after US Secretary of State, George Marshall.

ZH:-Muslims were spreading in Eastern Europe with the Ottoman Empire and were already present in the east, courtesy Spain.
Comment: - Zaid Hamid got his history wrong again. The Turkey-based Ottoman Empire expanded in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries (After conquest of Constantinople in 1453, there was no further expansion of the Empire for many years). Meanwhile in Spain, the last Muslim ruler left for Morocco in 1492 and thereafter the infamous Spanish inquisition happened which eradicated all traces of Islam from Spain. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Excerpt from Mr Bilal Ahmad's book

Mr Bilal Ahmad taught economy for many years at Government College University, Lahore. An excerpt from his book, "Pakistan main Iqtisadi Pasmandagi" is being shared here. It deals with the issue of Riba and Usury.  

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Deconstructing Zaid Hamid Part II

Deconstructing Zaid hamid

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
George Orwell
English essayist, novelist, & satirist (1903 - 1950)

Before the start of the 2nd part of this series, I want to share an extremely hilarious article by Mohammad Haneef. I also want to share how I am getting tired listening to Ali Azmat’s incessant babbling. Also he gets SO many facts wrong, for instance while Zaid hamid mentioned the Spanish Inquisition and how Muslims and Jews were persecuted, Ali says spontaneously, and Christians too.!!! Thankfully, ZH corrected him. At another instance, he stated that Sir Syed probably was a Freemason. At another program, he wore a shirt which proclaimed, “Music is my business”.!! And he always complains before taking a call, the twat.
I also want to confess that Zaid Hamid got many facts right which I didn’t have knowledge of and researching about them opened my mind to new things, for which I am thankful to him. :P 
(originally published here)
Episode III

The Documentary “The revolution will not be televised” was mentioned at the start of the program.
Here is what NFP has to say about that “In a terrific set of documentaries called “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” and “South of the Border,” directors Kim Bartley and Oliver Stone convincingly push forward the idea that the right-wing coup that toppled Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez in 2002, was engineered and propagated by a string of private television channels that are owned by the country’s industrial and business elite.”. I don’t understand the significance of mentioning that documentary in this program. Granted, this program is meant to spearhead a revival of some sorts and Bolivarian Revolution was also about revival but the message is very different.

ZH:-Iqbal jitna great philosopher beeswin sadi ne nai paida hua.(A philosopher of the caliber of Iqbal was not born in the 20th Century).
Comment:- This is an example of hyperbole, I am sorry to say. Zaid Hamid probably should Google  “Vladimir Lenin”, “Edward Said”(fun fact:- 31,100,000 results show up for Lenin,  102,000,000 results for Said as compared to 3,130,000 results for Allama Iqbal. You do the math.),  or  maybe Antonio Gramsci(about whom Eric Hobsbawn said “Gramsci was an extra-ordinary philosopher, perhaps a genius, probably the most original revolutionary thinker of the 20th century in Western Europe), Francis Fukuyama, Samuel P Huntington etc. Interestingly, Iqbal even wrote about Lenin.
He said in Payam e Mashriq,
For a long time, man in this old cavern
Like the grain was crushed in the quern.

Victim of the Czar’s wiles and Caesar’s charms.
Entangled by the snares of the church.
Haven’t you seen how the starving slave has torn
The master’s shirt, red in his blood?
The proletarian fire has burnt all that is rotten –
The garb of the priest and the robe of the king.”

ZH:- Pichle daidh do sau sal main jo industrial age ai ha.(The Industrial Age that is going on for the last 200 years.)
Comment:- It is universally agreed by historians that Industrial age was from the 18th century to the 19th century. It gave way to the Atomic Age, the Jet Age, Space Age and the Information age(Presently going on).

ZH:-Siyasat aik immoral science ha.(Politics is an immoral science).
Comment:- That is quite debatable, innit.? Is Zaid Hamid trying to imply here that politicians are immoral people so they should not be given any chance of governing people.? Maybe. If Politics is an immoral science, why did the person on whom you are basing your program take active part in Politics.?(Allama Iqbal was a prominent member of the London Muslim League and later the Indian version of Muslim League).

ZH:-If India changes its name to Pakistan, we can join them.
Comment:- Who is asking you by the way.? Is India willing to take in another 170 Million useless people to feed.? Really.? And should I quote Shakespeare now, “What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." (Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

ZH:-Jamal ud din afghani was born in badakhshan, Afghanistan.
Comment:- Jalaluddin Afghani was born in Asadabad,Iran. Reference:- Iraj afshar and asghar madhavi, Documents inedit concernant Sayyed jamal-al-din Afghani, Tehran, 1963.

ZH:-Jamaluddin Afghani was the pioneer of pan-Islamic movement.
Comment:- KK Aziz in his book 'The murder of History' chapter 2, page 192, writes ' He(Jamaluddin Afghani) was in India between 1854 and 1857, again in 1869, and once again in 1880-81. During these visits he delivered several speeches and wrote some articles; some of these were collected and published as Maqalat-i-Jamaliyyeh from Calcutta in 1884. This is the only original and definite record of his views on India. In it there is no mention of Pan-Islamism or of any scheme to unite the Muslims behind one leader, or in one state or grouping or commonwealth or what you will. In his Paris journal, al-Urwa-al-wuthqa, he wrote, “A religious bond doesn’t not exclude national links with people of various faiths. In countries like Egypt and India Muslims should co-operate with the Non-Muslims and there ought to be good relations and harmony in affairs of national interest between the Muslims and their co-patriots  and neighbors of different religions”.

ZH:-Iqbal wrote commentary on Al-jeeli's book.He wrote his first 4 books while in his 20s.
Comment:- Iqbal’s first published work 'Ilmul Iqtisad'(Science of Economics) was published in 1904 when he was 27 years old. By the time Iqbal finished his second published work(1908), which in fact was his doctoral thesis, he was 31 years old.  Also, he didn’t write a BOOK about Al-Jeeli’s work, he just wrote an article.

ZH:-His father was a saint of the highest order.
Comment:- Another clear example of Hyperbole. Who bestowed this honor on Iqbal’s father.? What even is the HIGHEST order in sainthood.?

ZH:-Iqbal had an independent thought process.
Comment:-: Yeah. According to historians and researchers of Iqbal, he was heavily influenced by his teachers at Cambridge, namely John McTaggart, William Ritchie Sorley, James Ward and William James who were all influenced by the German philosopher Hegel. Here is a research paper on one such influence. 

ZH:- Iqbal’s work is Immortal.
Comment:- Another example of hyperbole. No such claim was ever made by Allama Iqbal.

Episode IV
Yousaf Salahuddin and Imran Khan were also invited to get their views about the show. On my views about Kaptaan, you can read here. Both of them were class mates in Aitchison College and they enjoyed a lot of coloful life together. I would not use this space to attack the personal matters of these two people, for that matter you should read the court testimonies of Sita White.  
ZH:- Unho ne Cambridge main LL.B main dakhla lia, and simultaneously got admission in Munich.(Translation:-Iqbal took admission in LL.B at Cambridge and simultaneously at Munich University)
Comment : How is this possible.? Where has this been mentioned in history.? On this topic, Prof Dr M.Siddiq Shibli writes “Allama Iqbal got himself registered as an advance student in the Cambridge University. He wrote a dissertation for this degree. He submitted the same dissertation with a few modifications in the Munich University of Germany”
Also, according to the official biography of Iqbal given by Iqbal Academy(the largest source of Iqbal’s work till date and where proper research is given on every single aspect of Iqbal’s life and philosophy),  “In his three years of stay abroad, Iqbal obtained a BA from Cambridge (1906), qualified as a barrister at London’s Middle Temple (1906), and earned a PhD from Munich University (1908).” Regarding the myth about LLB from Cambridge, it says “he had already obtained a degree in law (1898)”.

ZH:-He implies that people are turning to suicide bombing because west is trying to impose their democracy.
Comment:- About Iqbal’s views on Democracy, I have explained in detail in part 3 of this series, as the same discussion has been done repeatedly. Logically, a person gives up his life when
i)                 He has no hope left. He has nothing to lose
ii)             He is promised a greater benefit if he dies than if he lives on.
Where does democracy and imposition of democracy fit in this paradigm.? I admit that according to the teaching of the spiritual fathers of Al Qaeda, Hassan Al Banna and Syed Qutub, democracy is a system of infidels and whoever accepts it willingly is an infidel as well. When Zaid Hamid uses this logic, he gives away his ideological leanings.

ZH:-Islamic ideology was better than Persian or roman ideology and that’s why they were defeated.
Comment:- Another illogical assertation. If it was a matter of Ideology, why did all those wars happen.?

ZH:-The Ratio of Muslims was 1:10 in battles against Rome and Persia.
Comment:- Zaid Hamid, as usual exaggerates the facts. In the famous war of Qadisiya, there were about 1,20,000 Persians and 30,000 Muslims. The ratio is 1:4.

ZH:-Zaid Hamid can't name more than 3 Islamic philosophers. He names Rumi, Hafiz, Saadi and is about to say Nizamudin Aulia.
Comment:-  Just means he probably has not heard of the most famous Islamic philosophers i.e. Al Ghazali, Ibn e Rushd(Averroes), Bu Ali Seena(Avicenna), Al-Razi. Not unpopular names.

ZH:- Iqbal was an absolute expert in Persian.
Comment:-  Says who.? Zaid Hamid, obviously. Persian language has three distinct varieties, Farsi, Darri and Tajik. Iqbal did his poetry mostly in Darri. How can he be the absolute expert.?  He said at one instance
(Gar chi Hindi dar uzubat shakar ast… tarzi guftaar dari shireen tar ast)
Means: even though in sweetness Urdu (Hindi) is sugar, but Dari is sweeter than that.
Iqbal’s poetic works are written mostly in Dari rather than Urdu. Among his 12000 verses of poems, about 7000 verses are written in Dari, and from 15 of his collection 12 of them are in Dari language.

ZH:-Iqbal is one man army, one man trooper, and one man commander in chief. All he is, he is.
Comment:- I seriously don’t think Iqbal was that much pompous about his own abilities. All we know is that he was a very modest man. The concept of superhuman powers that ZH is trying to pin up to Iqbal, the concept of Super-man(not the DC-comics, wearing-his-underwear-over-his-pants version) was actually given by one of Iqbal’s
Inspirations,Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. More on this topic can be read here.(This is an interview of NFP).   

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Deconstructing Zaid Hamid (Part 1)

Deconstructing Zaid Hamid

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, He is not entitled to his own facts” Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York.
Zaid Hamid is a media phenomenon popularized by his programs “Brass Tacks” and later “Iqbal ka Pakistan”. He has been frequently mocked in the mainstream media due to his espousal of conspiracy theories about Global Domination of Jews and Economic matters. These theories are a side effect of the information age. YouTube, a website created to share home videos is filled up with such stuff, so is Wikipedia, the largest encyclopedia in the world today but whose only catch is the lack of authenticity.

In my opinion, probably no one in the mainstream media has taken the threat posed by Zaid Hamid and people of his ilk, seriously (except by Fasi Zaka in 2 of his articles, which can be viewed here and here). The fact that Zaid Hamid filled the ideological chasm in the minds of youth formed due to pathetic textbooks and even pathetic media was not discussed or dissected in detail. Nadeem Farooq Paracha observed how such propaganda gained ground in apolitical Private educational institutions and not in the Public Universities. He was saying all that the youth wanted to hear and thus his fame amongst students sky-rocketed.

He was repulsed initially(in 2009/10) by the dangerous Khatme Nabuwwat people and very few people raised the objection that just by labeling him a heretic would do him no harm in the long run. He came back with a bang riding on shoulders of Ali Azmat and Maria B. A detailed study of the problems posed by Zaid Hamid is required.  

Recently Ayesha Siddiqa commented that “liberals fail to ask themselves is that in the absence of any legwork to eradicate growing radicalism, such as having the will to change the curriculum or creating a social agenda tied with political objectives, how can anyone even begin to change the mindset of Zaid Hamid followers?”

I don’t claim to start a “social agenda” but I am willing to throw the gauntlet as far as the “legwork” is concerned. As a small first step, I am going to highlight the factual errors in History made by the ever-reliable Mr. Hamid during the show “Iqbal ka Pakistan”. I have tried to highlight only those points that are established facts and not the wild theories that he loves. I have used exact quotes from Zaid Hamid and that can be verified by watching his programs as available on YouTube. Please note that I have given as many references as possible and any mistakes in type are entirely mine. Also that I subscribe to the post-modernist view that there is no absolute truth, thus I can be wrong at many places. I have tried my best to use independent sources of history to remain minimally biased. I have undertook this work because as a student of history it pains me to find Mr. Hamid twisting the facts for his own convenience. This is just the first stone and its not the "detailed study" that I mentioned above should be done.

Episode 1

ZH:- Tipu sultan was the greatest visionary of 18th century. He was the pioneer of Rocket Technology and also created a “military industrial complex” in maisore.
Comment: . I have 2 issues with these statements.
i) Based on which criteria is a Military ruler of a small south-indian state a bigger visionary than Voltaire, Rousseau, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin(authors of the Legendary Declaration of Independence which begins as “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation”.),Adam smith, Goethe(who had more influence on Iqbal's philosophy than tipu).?? All these people lived in the 18th century.
2. Tipu sultan didn't 'invent' rockets, the Chinese did. Instead he introduced metal-coated rockets which were improved by a British scientist William Congreve.

ZH: Tipu Ki rocket batteries main pani mila dia gya.(Translation:- Tipu’s Rocket Batteries were rendered ineffective by adding water to them)
Comment:- This is scientifically absurd. John Volta, an Italian physicist invented the commonly used batteries in 1801.!! And which primitive rockets ran on batteries.? Which batteries.? How did water change the chemical composition.?

ZH:-East India Company was financed by Jewish Rothschild’s. Comment:- This is an established fact that Nathan Rothschild invested in East India Company. Problem is that ZH got the time-line wrong. East India Company was formed in 1600 A.D. Rothschild’s started their business in 18th century. Who financed the company before that.? 

ZH:-30 million people(Muslims/Indians)were slaughtered by East India Company and there is no trace in history of that.
Comment:- How awfully convenient in that.!! This pretty much sums up the authenticity of ZH’s own claim. There actually is NO proof of any such genocide in history books.

ZH:-The mutiny of 1857 was a war of Independence and there was a 'massive uprising'.
Comment:- As I have mentioned in my article “10 historical facts our textbooks forgot to mention”  The 1857 mutiny was no more than a localized uprising in some parts of india.Surendra Nath Sen, in his Eighteen Fifty Seven(Calcutta,1958) says “Outside Oudh and Shahbad there are no evidences of that general sympathy which would invest the Mutiny with the dignity of a national war”. R.C Majumdar, in his The Sepoy Mutiny and the Revolt of 1857(Calcutta,1963) declares that “it cannot be regarded as a national rising, far less a war of independence, which it never professed to be”.
Reference:- KK Aziz, Murder of History, Sang-e-meel Publishers, Chapter 2, p149

ZH:- 1857 kay baad Musalmano ki masjidain ghoron ki astabl banay(After war of 1857,Mosques were used as stables)
Comment:- This also is a fact that has been modified for the sake of convenience. This indeed happened after the fall of Baghdad by forces of Halaku Khan and in Punjab during reign of Ranjit Singh(much before 1857).

ZH:- Forces of Napoleon were defeated at Waterloo because the Brits had rocket technology that they stole from Tipu Sultan.
Comment:- Lying about probably one of the most documented war of the modern times is easier said than done.ZH was not deterred by this minor fact though. Tipu Sultan died in 1799, Waterloo happened in 1815, Napoleon was defeating forces left right and centre for more than 12 years before Waterloo happened, why did the rocket technology used against him so late? In fact there was a war between Napoleon and English forces in 1805, Why were the stolen rockets not used then.?  

ZH:-Noam Chomsky is Amriki Taliban.
Comment:- Noam Chomsky is Professor of Linguistics at MIT, one of the top universities in World today.  According to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index in 1992, Chomsky was cited as a source more often than any other living scholar from 1980 to 1992. He is also the eighth most cited source of all time, and is considered the "most cited living author". He is also famous for his critique of US Foreign Policy and hegemonistic attitude of US Government toward the world. Comparing such a figure to Taliban is not only stupid, it also explains how little ZH knows about the Taliban(while ZH also claims to have fought alongside such people).He is confusing John Walker Lindh with Chomsky.

Episode II

ZH:-The whole world became Darul kufr after 1st World War.
Comment:-   This claim is wrong. Afghanistan still had a Muslim ruler, as did Iraq.
A similar “fatwa” was passed by Maulvi Abdul Bari, the secretary of Jamiat Ulema Hind in 1920 stating that India was a “Darul harb” and that they should migrate to “Dar ul Islam” i.e countries with a Muslim ruler. Muslims from all over India sold their lifelong homes and set out for Afghanistan, some went to Turkey. The ruler of Afghanistan denied entry to most of these people. According to official estimates, between 5 to 30 lac people died due to this disastrous proclamation. (Reference: Hasan Jaafer Zaidi,Hamari Taareekh fehmi aur hamara fikri bohran, published in Adab e Latif magazine in 2009)

ZH:-'Larkian parh rahi hain angrezi, Seekh li qaum ne falaah ki raah’  
Comment:-  Allama Iqbal, in this couplet used satire that just because women were getting education didn’t mean every think was hunky dory now. ZH used it in the wrong context.

ZH:-Afghan Taliban are good because they didn’t follow International banking system, not corrupted by western civilization..
Comment:- According to the book “My Life with the Taliban” by Mullah Abdus Salam Zaeef, he has explained how as part of the Taliban govt he used to work at the Central bank of Afghanistan and its setup was very much like traditional banks. Glorifying backwardness and tribalism speaks much about the mindset of Mr. Zaid Hamid.

ZH:-Iqbal was a great visionary as he believed, Afghanistan main aman ho ga to Asia main aman ho ga. (Iqbal believed that If there were peace in Afghanistan, there would be peace in Asia)
Comment:-  Iqbal WAS a great visionary but this is very bad logic. Granted that after 1979, Afghanistan has come to be known as the buffer state but before that, or at least at the time of Iqbal, Afghanistan was not involved in any active war. Also, there was no peace in Asia in the 1940s(2 atom bombs were dropped in Japan for god’s sake, where is the basic geography.!!!), the Long March in China caused a considerable loss of life, Burma and Singapore became theatres of war, while Afghanistan was peaceful. Pakistan and India fought two wars in 1965 and 1971 while Afghanistan was peaceful. There goes the logic. Also, Iqbal was not the only one with this much hindsight, Lord Curzon speaking at the annual dinner of the Royal Asiatic Society, London in 1908 said "If the Central Asian Society exists and is meeting in fifty or a hundred years hence, Afghanistan will be as vital and important a question as it is now". Reference: Ahmed Rashid, Descent into Chaos, Penguin Books, Newyork, 2009.

ZH:-Afghan war is about oil.
Comment:- This is a favorite narrative of conspiracy theorists of this country. Another variation is that US invaded Afghanistan because of the minerals. The point is, WHERE is that oil.? Since 2001, American forces have been present on Afghan soil, WHEN and WHERE did they export oil to.? Is there a secret pipeline between let’s say Kandahar and Washington.? Might be, if you listen to ZH.

ZH:-Mullahs have resisted Imperial forces in last 200 yr.s.
Comment:-  The same Mullahs fought from 1979-1989 FOR an Imperialist force.

ZH:-1860s, 1870s main Congress bani(Translation:-Congress was formed in 1860s,1870s).
Comment:-  ZH can’t even get the date/year/decade of formation of Indian National Congress right. It was formed in 1885.

ZH:-Muhamadan School later became 'Sir Syed University'.
Comment:- While it is a fact that Mohammedan Angelo-Oriental College became a university and its students played a prominent role in the Pakistan Movement. It is the only India-based University that was pivotal in the Pakistan Movement but ZH still can’t name it right. Its name is Aligarh University and even students of 9th class can tell that.

ZH:-Iqbal ne ibtadai talim angrezi main he hasil ki(Translation:- Iqbal acquired his early education in English medium).
Comment:- Allama Iqbal started his formal education at Scotch Mission High School located in Sialkot Cantt. He also learnt Arabic and Persian from Maulvi Mir Hassan, one of his famous teachers.
(Also published here)