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Raza Habib Raja
Raza Habib Raja is a recent Cornell graduate and currently a PhD student at Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

Entries by Raza Habib Raja

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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Muslim World and Secularism

(46) Comments | Posted August 24, 2015 | 3:13 PM


In Pakistan and, in fact, most of the Islamic world, the very concept of secularism is completely misunderstood. Somehow the concept has been thoroughly confused and amalgamated with Atheism. An overwhelming majority of politicians, and even intellectuals, often try to defend themselves when...

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Why Religion Could Not Unite Pakistan

(71) Comments | Posted August 19, 2015 | 3:23 PM


Pakistan displays strange contrasting patterns with respect to religion's influence. Apparently, Pakistan looks to be a relatively moderate country, particularly when compared to the likes of Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, etc.

Here the hardliners have never been voted in power through the...

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The Other Side of Drone Warfare in Pakistan

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 7:08 AM

2015-07-27-1437991329-545218-download.jpgDuring my stay in USA, several of my American friends brought up the subject of drone attacks. Cornell is a very liberal school and consequently whenever the topic was broached; it was to condemn the drone attacks and equate these to US hegemony as...

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In the Name of Blasphemy

(1) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 7:14 PM

If you have an enemy in Pakistan and you want him to be killed in such a way that no one blames you then the solution is "simple." Just accuse him of blasphemy with respect to either remarks against Holy Prophet (PBUH)...

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Why Moderate Muslims Have Such a Mindset?

(3) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 8:44 PM

In my previous article titled as "What Moderate Muslims Need to Understand," I tried to explore the linkage between mindset of apparently moderate Muslims and extremism. I tried to show that due to their denial expressed in the form of...

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What Moderate Muslims Need to Understand

(66) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 8:20 AM

In the recent years, there have been growing concerns that Islam's, and since Islam is one of the major religions of the world, therefore world's major problem is Islamic radicalization. These concerns are being voiced in various countries and have yielded various reactions ranging from apologetic defense (whereby some of...

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Why India and Pakistan Have Such Different Political Cultures

(6) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 9:12 AM

In political science literature, Pakistan and India's apparently divergent political trajectories are often treated as a puzzle. Despite the fact that both countries were carved out of the British empire, India has ended up as a democracy with civilians firmly in control, whereas Pakistan has witnessed a number of direct...

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Pakistan's Fight With Extremism: Are Things Really Changing?

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 12:13 PM

December 16, 2014 in some ways could be called the darkest day in Pakistan's history. That day the Taliban militants killed countless innocent children in order to "seek" revenge against the ongoing military operation against them.

Before that fateful day, a substantial part of the population had doubts...

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Why Pakistan Needs to Change Its India Focused Security Approach to Counter Extremism

(8) Comments | Posted January 27, 2015 | 3:44 PM

After the recent tragedy in Peshawar, there is a lot of debate going on with respect to future trajectory of Pakistan's security policy. No doubt there is some progression with respect to immediate tactics such as rapid trials of the convicted terrorists, steps towards establishment of military courts...

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