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Raza Habib Raja
Raza Habib Raja is a recent Cornell graduate and currently pursuing a PhD in Political Science from Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

Entries by Raza Habib Raja

Why Moderate Muslims Should Support Secularism

(1) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 5:48 PM

The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Pakistan is a body whose job is to give recommendations to the government of Pakistan for making the legal framework more in line with Islam and for that purpose it actively reviews several existing as well as the proposed laws.

The impetus for...

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Global Opinion About Islam and Muslims Is Shaped by Our Own Actions

(18) Comments | Posted January 19, 2016 | 3:01 PM

Right now the global spotlight is on extremist Muslims due to a string of incidences from Paris to Jakarta. Due to these barbaric acts perpetuated by these extremists, Muslims in general are also facing a lot...

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Mass Sexual Assaults in Germany and the Liberal Dilemma

(4) Comments | Posted January 12, 2016 | 2:50 AM


I lately came across an excellent article by Muslim reformist Maajid Nawaz on the recent mass sexual attacks in Cologne Germany allegedly committed by some Arab immigrants. In the article, Maajid has criticized the liberal quarters which subsequently tried...

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Executive Action on Gun Control: President Obama Had No Choice

(5) Comments | Posted January 6, 2016 | 11:05 AM


In a landmark development, President Obama has used his executive authority to expand gun-related background checks. The executive orders aim at closing the existing loopholes in the federal law which allows even convicted felons to buy dangerous ammunition from sellers who...

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Will Modi's Visit to Pakistan Make a Difference?

(1) Comments | Posted December 31, 2015 | 2:58 PM


India's Prime Minister Nirendra Modi surprised everyone by suddenly landing in Lahore to visit his Pakistani counterpart, Mian Nawaz Sharif. The visit due to its suddenness and departure from the normal diplomatic protocols is definitely in the news and has led...

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Sorry Bangladesh

(31) Comments | Posted December 15, 2015 | 9:01 PM


Exactly 44 years ago, on 16th December 1971, Pakistani army was defeated and Bangladesh officially became an independent country. This day is celebrated in Bangladesh as "Victory Day".

One of my friends at Cornell who is from Bangladesh once told me in...

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Donald Trump is Not the Only Problem

(3) Comments | Posted December 10, 2015 | 10:45 PM


Frankly it is not only Trump but a segment of Republican supporters which is the real problem. What Trump is doing right now is simply saying which this segment wants to hear. Trump himself may not even believe what he is saying. His...

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Why Pakistanis and Muslims Need to Be More Vocal in Condemning San Bernardino Shooting

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2015 | 8:26 PM

A flurry of recent incidents involving Islamic extremists - the latest being the shooting in California involving a couple of Pakistani descent - has put Muslims under the critical spotlight in much of the developed world. Such incidents, due to their visibility and shock value, often end up...

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The Problem of Religious Intolerance in Pakistan

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2015 | 7:45 PM


In a recent incident in Pakistan, an Ahmadi mosque has been burnt and members of their community have been arrested on charges of blasphemy. This by stretch of imagination is not a new incident as Pakistan has witnessed a flurry of...

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Paris Attacks and Problematic Reactions

(0) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Immediately after I heard the news of Paris attack, I tried contacting a French friend of mine who had studied with me at Cornell. I was able to verify that she was safe. However, I could tell she was shaken by the trauma. She told me that her...

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How Reluctance to Debate Religion Is Compounding Problems

(1) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 3:58 PM


I have often been much more amazed not at the religious fanaticism of the few, but at passivity of the moderate majority. And although skeptics will cast their doubt but the fact is that Pakistan on the whole has a moderate population. In...

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How Denial Is Compounding Intolerance in India

(19) Comments | Posted October 23, 2015 | 11:37 AM

2015-10-22-1445556596-2730916-561d82c6d5a86.jpgPerhaps some of the Indian readers won't like what I am going to write. After all, Pakistan by no stretch of imagination is a tolerant country itself. They may simply ask me to shut up and mind my own business or concentrate more on...

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Dangerous Narratives and Murder of the Pakistani Politician Salman Taseer

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 5:46 PM


In a recent and commendable decision, Pakistani Supreme Court has thankfully upheld the death penalty awarded to Mumtaz Qadri, his own police guard, who about four and half years ago had slain Pakistani politician, Salman Taseer.

Salman Taseer, a politician...

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Why States Should Not Be in the Business of Declaring Ahmadis or Anyone as Non-Muslim

(4) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 3:42 PM

First of all, let me make it clear that I am NOT an Ahmadi. This clarification is essential so that my motives are clear to everyone.

A few weeks ago I wrote an article on Huff post in which I criticized the infamous Second Amendment which had...

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Are Pakistani Liberals Sellouts?

(0) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 1:20 PM

Dear Pakistanis,

Consider this a "Jawab-e-Shikwa" (a reply) to the comments I got from my recent article criticizing Pakistan's obsession with the nuclear arsenal.

I think that nuclear arsenal has not been beneficial to Pakistan as it has resulted in a faulty security policy and a false...

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The Oregon Tragedy: Time to Take the Right Steps

(16) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 1:16 PM

USA has bled again in Oregon and if things continue the way they are, it will continue to bleed in the future. But though earth shattering this tragedy is, something is even more horrifying. The real tragedy is the strange...

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Why Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal Has Proven to Be Counterproductive

(184) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 4:37 PM

One of the most drummed up things in the national media about Pakistan is its nuclear arsenal. A state which by all accounts has failed to deliver even the basic necessities is being widely projected as one of the most important states by the right-wing intelligentsia. However it goes beyond...

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Ahmadiyya Muslims in Pakistan: The Legally Declared Non-Muslims

(28) Comments | Posted September 8, 2015 | 2:22 PM

Exactly 41 years ago, on September 7, 1974, Pakistani parliament voted overwhelmingly to declare the Ahmedis (a sect considered as heretic by some mainstream Muslims) as non-Muslim through what is known as the Second Amendment. Before the passing of the aforementioned amendment, there had been some...

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The Problem with Some "Born Again" Muslims

(112) Comments | Posted September 3, 2015 | 2:20 PM

One of my close friends has recently rediscovered Islam. Before his transformation, he used to be fairly secular in his general way of living. Nothing wrong with becoming religious as it is one's connection to God and religion does aid many people in finding peace and inner tranquility. Many people...

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Who is Secular in Pakistan?

(28) Comments | Posted August 28, 2015 | 3:25 PM

2015-08-28-1440785528-158786-Jinnah.jpgIn my article a few days ago, I tried to make a normative case for secularism in Muslim countries. I argued that given the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and growing sectarianism, there is a case of secularism in Muslim countries. A secular...

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