A minute for peace with Pope Francis, June 8, 2017, 1:00 pm

Cross-posted from Aman ki Asha

A minute for peace, June 8, 2017, 1:00 pm

Pope Francis arrives in Assisi, Italy for the World Day of Prayer for Peace at the Sacred Convent, Sept. 20, 2016. Credit: L’Osservatore Romano

India Pakistan peace supporters have participated in several global prayer vigils in past years. What have these actions accomplished? We don’t know for sure but we believe that there is power in prayer, individual and collective, by persons of any faith or secular vision. Perhaps things would be even worse if we didn’t. We share here an appeal from a humanist of the highest order. Continue reading

A year after Peshawar APS massacre; Islamophobia and yes, Humanity Trumps All

Rev Joe Robinson-Boston-APS-Islamophobia

Rev. Joe Robinson of the Christ Church of Cambridge addressing the gathering in solidarity with Peshawar APS victims, and Muslims. Photo: Beena Sarwar

Last Sunday as we geared up to commemorate the Peshawar APS massacre of Dec 16, 2014, when Taliban killed 144 schoolchildren, a bomb blast in Shia-majority Parachinar at the lunda bazar (second-hand market) killed over 22 people, most of them poor. We talked about that at our gathering that afternoon at Harvard Square where Reverend Joe Robinson and members of the Christ Church in Cambridge joined us in solidarity, as did many others from the local Pakistani and Indian communities. Rabbi Neal Gold of Temple Shir Tikvah couldn’t join us but we read out his letter of support and solidarity to the Islamic Center of Boston.

Many friends joined us from another rally in Providence, R.I., an hour away, attended by some 3-400 people of all faiths, including Muslim, Jewish, Christian and agnostics.

Here’s a link to a piece I wrote for Scroll.in on the issue: #NeverForget: A year after Peshawar school attack, voices rise in solidarity around the world

For Insha Afsar… Ski is the limit

Ski is the limit

Insha Afsar: A champion skier from Muzaffarabad.

Thanks to the Association of Pakistani Physicians of New England (APPNE) for the opportunity to meet an inspiring young lady, 14-year old Insha Afsar of Muzaffarabad who lost a leg in the earthquake of 2005 but has risen to become a champion one-legged skier, enabled by her supportive host parents in the USA. My piece in The News on Sunday

Some weeks ago, I happened to sit at the same table as a bright-eyed, long-haired young girl with a wide smile. The only non-desis in the room were the white couple with her. I assumed they were doctors or medical representatives in that hall full of physicians and their families.

But a pair of crutches resting on the table indicated that the girl was Insha Afsar, the 14-year old from Muzaffarabad who lost a leg in the 2005 Kashmir earthquake but has become a skiing sensation as she dominates the slopes — on one leg. Continue reading

‘In the political tug of war it’s the poor and helpless that hurt the most’

Medical camp in a village near Dadu, Sindh

“I, an American, a New Yorker used to the harsh winter and snowy weather yet, I am freezing in Pakistan. My heart goes out to those suffering the cold winter without shelter, blankets, clothing. May God provide you with his soldiers to keep fighting for the injustices meted out to you. May we all be able to look beyond the differences and reach out a helping hand.” – Geet Chainani, Dec 15, 2010

My article on an Indian-American doctor who comes to Pakistan in search of her Sindhi roots… and finds a sense of peace working for flood-affected women and children, published in Aman ki Asha, March 2, 2011 (as another Indian put it – “not Akhand Bharat, but Akhand Insaniyat”) Continue reading

Times Square Rally for Interfaith Solidarity, Mar 6, 2011

From Salman Ahmad

PRESS RELEASE:  For immediate release

Times Square Rally Demonstrating Interfaith Solidarity

Community Leaders, Local Officials, and Religious Leaders Protest the Targeting of American Muslims and Arabs in Upcoming Congressional Hearings

New York – On Sunday March 6, 2011, at 2.00 pm a broad coalition of over 75 interfaith, nonprofit, governmental, and civil liberties groups will rally in support of equitable civil rights for all Americans.

This coalition has been formed in response to upcoming Congressional hearings led by Peter King (R-LI) which slight the civil rights of Muslim and Arab Americans. Continue reading

Gainesville Muslims show how to react intelligently and peacefully

Abdullah Shah, 5, visiting the United States from Pakistan with his parents, at an Ecumenical Prayer Vigil July 8 in Gainesville, Fla. — Photo by Scott Camil

Wrote this on Sept 9, before the pastor called off his silly, but potentially dangrous plan. beena

Muslims of Gainesville appeal for calm

Muslims of Gainesville, Florida, have appealed to fellow Muslims to remain calm in response to the ‘Quran burning day’ announced by a pastor in that city.

“Remember that this does not represent America, this does not represent Florida and this does not represent Gainesville,” wrote Mohsen Ali, a Gainsville resident of Pakistani origin in an email sent to friends on September 6, 2010, subsequently posted at various places including this blog.

Ali pointed out that Terry Jones, the pastor who announced this sacrilege heads a ‘fringe group’ — the little known Dove Church initiating the sacrilege reportedly has less than a hundred members. “This is not a global conspiracy against Islam, these are just few hate mongers trying to get attention.” Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: