Friday, October 05, 2007

In Pakistan, a smart voice in a bewildered country

Say Pakistan and many will reply: A hiding Osama bin Laden, a besieged Pervez Musharraf or a Benazir Bhutto on her way home.

Great names of great - uuuh, lets call them interesting - characters.

But a name many times overlooked in and outside Pakistan is that of Pervez Hoodbhoy. Pervez who? Well, you might have never heard of him. But this truly remarkable Pakistani professor is, by far, one of the smartest people around in the muslim world. Try to get a copy of his book Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality. Although written some years ago, a true eye opener.

I had the honor of interviewing him twice during my stay in Pakistan. And I'm telling you: If you (like me) are getting bored (and annoyed) hearing the Chomsky's and the Fisk's "informing" the world about the problems between Islam and the West, try Pervez Hoodbhoy's articles. Progressive, realistic, non-dogmatic and unapologetic.

Start here.

Continue here.

Harald Doornbos


Ingmar said...

Is it not funny? When you write something about iran there are many comments, but when you start writing about a person that is well educatend and so on.. And also is muslim, nobody had a thing to say...

Harald Doornbos said...

couldn't agree more with you...thanks for your observation!

Riemer Brouwer said...

Thanks for the link, it was well worth reading. One thing, though: he mentioned 10 things that the West should do. First item: America should stop meddling in the rest of the world. Then he continues with the next 9 items...all about things America should do in the rest of the world. Ah well...:-)

ella said...

It's not that nobody wants to say anything. It is also not true that the reason for silence is because the author is a muslim. It is just difficult to address all, or even few of the points he touched in the article without writing a very long post.

An observation:
His view of the America and the West is very Pakistani - mentioning Salman Rushdi, Qu'ran flushing down the toilet (untrue, as was later found out), discrimination against muslims in the West, divine mission of US and so on. Some of it seems to be taken straight out from muslim "street."

Anyway, it was an interesting read and will try to get his book. Thanks for mentioning it, Harald.