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Raza Habib Raja
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Raza Habib Raja is a recent Cornell graduate and currently a PhD student at Maxwell School, Syracuse University. He has also worked for a leading development finance institution in Pakistan. He is a freelance journalist whose works have been published at Huffington Post, Dawn (Pakistan), Express Tribune (Pakistan) and Pak Tea House. He is also a Co-editor of Pak Tea House, which is a prominent Pakistani liberal blogzine.

Entries by Raza Habib Raja

The "Born Again" Muslims

(56) Comments | Posted September 3, 2015 | 1:20 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?

(27) Comments | Posted August 28, 2015 | 2:25 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

(45) Comments | Posted August 24, 2015 | 2:13 PM

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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 | 2:23 PM

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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 | 6:08 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 | 6:14 PM

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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 | 7:44 PM

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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 | 7:20 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 | 8:12 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?

(1) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 11:13 AM

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 | 2:44 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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Pakistan Is Its Own Worst Enemy

(23) Comments | Posted December 29, 2014 | 8:42 AM

My country Pakistan is still reeling from the shock and disbelief due to the December 16 tragedy in which more than 130 children died. Over the years, Pakistan has suffered a lot due to terrorism as countless people have lost their lives. But what happened on the December...

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The Need for Collective Apology to Bangladesh

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 11:41 AM

December 16 arouses radically different sentiments in two different and yet related countries of the world. In one, it is cherished and celebrated and in the other it is just and of course deliberately.

But then the significance of this day differs so much for each of the aforementioned countries...

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A Pakistani and an Indian

(34) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 9:00 AM

There is something about India as an idea which transcends the modern day political configurations. It is the idea of India as a huge mass of land which stretches from Balochistan to present day Bangladesh. This idea of India is independent of any political configuration. In fact during the past...

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Burqah Ban, Multiculturalism and Secularism

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 6:51 AM

In a land mark judgment, the European Court of Human Rights has upheld a ban by France on wearing the Muslim full-face veil -- the niqab.

According to the press release of the court judgment:

The European Court of Human Rights held by a majority, that there had...
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The Culture of Rape in South Asia

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 4:02 PM

Misogyny is a universal phenomenon which is prevalent in every society in varying degrees and in different forms. Rape is one of the most perverted expressions of misogyny as it bestows ultimate humiliation on the victim.

Whereas rape is common all across the globe, right now it is the...

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What Are the Cultural Lessons?

(8) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 3:29 AM

About a year and a half back, a very brave little girl of my country was shot in the face by the Taliban. Her name was Malala Yousaf Zai. She paid the penalty for standing up against patriarchy and misogyny prevalent in my society.

Luckily she survived and lived to...

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What I Have Never Understood About US Failure in Gun Control

(622) Comments | Posted June 14, 2014 | 6:48 PM

I am one of those people who have been fortunate to come to the U.S. and study. I came here in 2011 and graduated from Cornell in 2013. And let me admit, when I came here, like many others, I fell in love with this magical place.

It was...

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The Problem With Pakistani Attitude Towards USA

(6) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 10:12 AM

I was in Karachi when 9/11 happened. As I watched TV coverage with my cousin, he was ecstatic and visibly showed his excitement. I objected strongly to his excitement by pointing that targeting civilians like this was not the right approach and reeked of inhumanity and barbarism but was countered...

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Men and Marriage

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 4:47 PM

He comes from the office, and has not brought flowers or any small gift for her. She smiles quite genuinely and gets a half-hearted and fake smile in return. Once he is settled, instead of spending time with his wife, he sits in front of the TV and starts switching...

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