Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pakistan now likes Uncle Sam better?

According to a report carried in The Daily Times today, the popularity ratings of the US in Pakistan have increased:
“Pakistanis with a favourable opinion of the United States has doubled from 23 percent in May 2005 to more than 46 percent today. Support for Bin Laden over the same period dropped from 51 percent to just 33 percent now. The reason: 78 percent of those surveyed said that American assistance had made them feel more favourable to the United States - even an astonishing 79 percent of those with confidence in Bin Laden now have a more favourable view of the US because of American earthquake aid.”
I was really surprised by the findings. Anti-Americanism and mistrust of the Americans has grown into our national psyche - yet it seems that opinions have reversed for the first time in years. The reason being the direct role of the US and its forces in relief work after the Oct 8th earthquake:
Eighty-one percent said that earthquake relief was important for them in forming their overall opinion of the United States.
If this report indeed reflects the popular opinion here, then it should act as glaring eye-opener to the US. It shows them that the way to win hearts is not through the "war on terror" but by other more peaceful (and well also more meaningful) ways.

Follow the report here.

Six Degrees of Separation

Did you know that everyone in this world is separated by a chain of just six acquaintances. True enough. I stumbled upon this link today via Gmail Clip bar:
In 1967, psychologist Stanley Milgram tried to test the theory by sending several letters to random people in the Midwest. The letter featured the name, address, and occupation of a single person on the East Coast; participants were asked to forward the letters to the people who they thought were most likely to know the person. It took an average of five intermediaries to reach the target.
The last time I had heard the term was for an advanced programming assignment (my first truly torturous CS course) - where we were required to efficiently figure out the six degrees between two actors (we were working in the movie domain) and well I had hated it back then. I never thought of it beyond that assignment. But now I am intrigued. Why does it hold true? Apparently there is still no mathematical proof - only the one carried out by Stanely Milgram. So why does it hold? I suck with Math - can any Math cheetah hazard a guess?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

October 8: follow up and the media

Now its almost been three months since the deadly Oct 8th earthquake. Aid effort has been continuing but the media attention has receded- both by the national and international media. Some of that is indeed natural - but we do need continued media attention if we are to make sure that the needs of the survivors are catered to.

BBC ran a story on the earthquake after quite a long time and it recounts the problems that relief workers and the survivors are facing in the harsh winter.

We forget sometimes just how much the people here are affected by the tremors and how much of a preoccupation they still remain.We are hearing a lot of coughing at night, particularly among the children. And it is not a nice cough. Night temperatures are now below -10C and more and more people are coming to us with health problems....

The helicopters are vital. We haven't managed to get the Chinook helicopters that can carry much more than the Mi8s. But we have to count ourselves lucky. Two days ago, we were told we had lost the military helicopters that had been bringing us the relief assistance. And that it would probably be another three or four days before other helicopters would be found to do the job. But yesterday, a UN Mi8 allocated to an NGO that no longer wanted it managed to do a few sorties to Kot. In the last week, they have been bringing blankets and metal sheets. We need another 12,000 metal sheets to fully meet the needs of the people in the 13 villages my husband Daniel and I are working in.

This couple has been doing good work guiding and motivating the people to continue building. I really applaud their spirit.

The point to note here is that a large number of people have been planning to stay put. Recently, volunteers from my university surveyed some of the affected areas and their findings confirmed this : people would rather remain put and receive aid there. So then that brings me to the role that media can play in this whole effort. The media has to keep the limelight on the relief and reconstruction operations for two very obvious reasons:
  • The general public, government and relief agencies should not forget about them. The media has to keep reminding them time and again. They need to remind people time and again that there are still human beings up in those areas who need assitance - that our collective responsibility is not yet over. A lot has to be done yet.
  • The accountability factor: the government will take some concrete measures if some camera hawks keep snooping in. It will have to make sure that the ones in need are actually provided for. This is the duty of the media and it must be discharged with utmost responsibility.
The problem being - that there is already a media fatigue. I have read fewer and fewer stories and analysis articles in the papers. I have noticed reduced electronic coverage too. This wont do. This lack of interest can be a deadly blow to the survivors. The need is to keep the interest alive and I feel everyone of us can contribute to that in our own little way. But contribute, we must.

BBC story here.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A Muslim Renaissance

A couple of days ago, I watched a talk show. The topic of discussion was "Is a Muslim Renaissance possible?" The speaker, Javed Ahmed, looked at the reasons due to which the Muslim world has slipped into despondency. Some very interesting points were raised.

He began by saying that the Muslim world slipped into such abysmal conditions only because they stopped heeding to the real principles of religion. Javed Ahmed pointed out that soon after the Spanish period of Muslim glory, the Quran became a mere book for talaawat or recitation. This basically meant that the Quran was not a book to learn from anymore- but just a book to learn by heart. This implied that people started laying more emphasis on the practice instead of the reason behind it all. The Muslims had lost the source of inspiration and thus it remains.

Further Javed Ahmed elaborated that the Muslim world paid little attention to the development of intellectual faculties. He questioned what the acheivemets of the Muslims Tatars, the Turkish Sultnate and the Mulsim dynasties of the subcontinent? Did tib and falsafa flourish as they had done before? Did the Muslim societies really progress? Were any strong reforms implemented, did the emperors leave behind a mark that others would truly marvel at? No, the Taj Mahal wasn't good enough.

He laid great emphasis on the development of Metaphysics in the glory days of the Muslim world- which is very true. In those days, metaphysis took on two forms: falsafa and tasawuf. Falsafa means philosophy - and we had the likes of Ibn-e-Khaldun and Ghazali. These people looked at religion in different ways - but always struggling to find the fine balance between faith and reason. Importantly though, they thought and attempted to understand whatever was going on around them. The ones who indulged in tasawuf mixed philosophy with spirituality and they became the mystics. They included big names like Rumi and Hajveri. Their aim again was to understand religion and reconcile it with their beings. They made religion approachable for the common man.

But this was then. Only a notable modern Muslim philosophers and thinkers have emerged in the modern times- Afgahni, Iqbal, Abduh and Qutb.? The first three again laid a lot of emphasis on role of reason in understanding religion and its workings. Qutb endorsed a different, a rather violent version for Muslim Renaissance. But here is the catch. More people today know of Qutb and his disciple than they do of Afghani, Iqbal and Abduh. Why is that? The moderate and the rational face of Islam is suppressed, while the violent and exculsivist face is seen everywhere. Why have we not bothered to provide a fertile intellectual ground to the moderate voices? Do we have centres of learning where these views are taught and allowed to flourish? And not only this. The Muslim world has a strong history for research in medicine, math and geometry. Where has all of that disappeared? As Javed Ahmed pointed out- it's not that there is a dreath of resources to fund these institutes - but the will lacks. There will be no Muslim Renaissance, until and unless these faculties are developed and harnessed.

Towards the end he was asked by a panelist: "Is it the religious duty of a Muslim to preach Islam and work towards the Renaissance of the religion?"

His answer was amazing.

He said that it is not the religious duty of a Muslim to preach Islam. But it is a the duty of a Muslim to be a good Muslim. And what does that mean? It doesn't just mean that you say prayers 5 times a day, fast for a month and pay zakat. It's about living a life by morals and principles. Your religion does not ask anything more of you. If a member of a society abides by the basic moral principles - its directly reflects on the society too. And a such a society acts a magnet itself - it shows people the way to lead a good life. It is not about being religious at all - but just being moral.

He essentially reduced theology to moral philosophy. There is no religious zeal attached - only a wish to be a useful member of society. If you are able to bring about a Renaissance in your private sphere, then a Renaissance will automatically follow in the public sphere. That's it. No big deal.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

An encouraging ruling

A SC bench ruled yesterday that a man is not allowed a second marriage without the permission of the first wife. Failure to do so, would imply legal action. This is very encouraging. And if the concerned authorities do help uphold the law - then this would help assuage miseries of many a women in our patriarchal society.

Though Islam allows a man to marry up to four wives- but its lays down strict conditions that must be fulfilled. The two main ones being: the permission of all the previous wives must be obtained before marrying another woman and the man has to ensure that he will treat all his wives with equal measure - both financially and emotionally. Since it is not humanly possible to treat all the wives on the same emotional wavelength - so this condition is meant to act as deterrent to the practice.

Yet, most conveniently forget these conditions. To them Islam allows them to marry four times and no further questions should be asked. In the light of such selective application of Islamic principles- this ruling should really be welcomed. But still it will only be effective, if it is enforced properly. And that is a big precondition!

Supreme Court ruling here.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


TOI unveils Musharraf!
DB (interviewer): He calls you ammi, which means ‘mum’, but what do you call him?

ZM (Mushy's mum): I call him Pervez.

DB: Do you not have a nickname for him?

ZM: I used to call him ‘Palloo’, but then I stopped, because it spoils the name. Now I call him Pervez.
How is Palloo going to sound tough to the world now?! Poor him. :P

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Spamming on Gmail

Over the last few days, I have started to receive alot of weird spam on Gmail. Below are snippets from two similar emails in as many days.
I received encouraging information about you and how trust worthy you are. I am delighted with such a useful information. I am interested in the partnership investment program with your corporation...the above situation prompted my decision to solicit your co-operation to take delivery of this funds into your custody for my proposed investment as you will be adequately conpensated with $2 000,000.00. I will arrage all necessary procedures in ensuring a smooth process for the funds to get to you. I will appreciate you contact me once you receive this mail via e-mail account indication your capability and willingness to enable me to give you more details of my modus operandi of getting this money to you hitchfree.
I am married to Late Mohammed Hasan of blessed memory who is an oil explorer in KUWAIT and Angola for twelve years before he died in the year 2002. We were married for twenty years without a child, he died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Recently, my doctor told me that I have only three months to live due to cancer problem. Having known my condition I decided to donate the fund to either a charity/orphanage home or devoted Allah (God) fearing individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct thereafter. I want this organization or individual to use this money in all sincerity to fund charity homes (motherless homes), orphanages, widows. As soon as I receive your reply on Email: I shall give you further directives on what to do and how to go about actualising this project. I will also issue a letter of authorization to the said bank through my family lawyer authorizing them that the said fund have being willed to you and a copy of such authorization letter will be forwarded to you.
The orginating addresses in both cases are hotmail ones. I quit hotmail because i grew sick of the spamming at that account and now its following me here. :( :(

Throw Rocks At...


Came across a pesky little game today. And buoyed by my feminine ego, decided to grace my blog with it. No offense to anyone. Really! :D :P

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Diplomatic Acknowledgement

The Musharraf regime seems pretty intent on furthering relations with Israel. The latest venture has seen the Israeli diplomats been received at Pakistani embassies:
According to the BBC Radio, the newspaper has reported that for the first time, Pakistani embassies are dispatching official notes sent to all diplomatic missions to Israeli embassies as well. The newspaper reported that Pakistani embassies had earlier deleted Israel from their mailing list but had recently started inviting Israeli diplomats to its programmes.
This is a big thing. It is an official acknowledgment of Israel - the diplomats have been allowed to interact. Israel is looking to "end its diplomatic isolation in Muslim countries" and Pakistan is there to welcome it with open arms. It would be interesting to see how the actual relationship develops. Just last week - an article appeared in the World Policy Journal that pointed to possible Israeli involvement in Zia's deadly plane crash. Israeli involvement is probable, especially since the US has been so keen to hush it all up. So if Israel's involvement is indeed proven - then what would that imply for the budding strategic relationship between the two? Will it survive the subsequent Mullah outcry? I am hopeful that it will. I say this because Musharraf is very keen on "improving" Pakistan's image abroad and of course Israel is a potential supplier of both military and non-military technology. The Mullahs can be tamed over time but the relationships need to be build now.

Story here.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A fridge/freezer?

I was reading through this - tour diary for the visiting English Women's Cricket team to India and them stumbled across a little gem:
It was turning out to be a close game after 30 overs, but some good bowling from Rosalie (Birch) and Laura (Harper) saw us win the game by 20 runs. The highlight of the day was was receiving a fridge-freezer for winning the Player-of-the-Match award after scoring 68 and taking a wicket.
Errr? Why did she get a fridge? Just because she is a woman? What is this - a reminder that she is better suited at home? What happened tot he standard $500 man of the match check? It would be nice if Inzi too got a fridge next he hits a ton! :|

Monday, December 05, 2005

Are we ready for reconciliation?

The regular Dateline New Dehli in Dawn this week commented on the myopic cultural exchanges that have taken place between India and Pakistan. The author cites two incidents - one the poetess Fahmida Riaz who had attempted to read a peace poem after the Kargil episode in New Dehli. The reception she received has been described as such by the author:
To be fair to Indian audiences, even in those troubled times Ms. Riaz was able to successfully recite the same poem earlier in the week in Delhi that year, and to a wider group of more discerning listeners; but she was unlucky the second time.

“Tum bilkul hum jaise nikle abtak kahaan chhupe thay bhai? (You Indians have turned out to be as bigoted as us in Pakistan. Where have you been hiding all this while brother?) went the opening lines of her poem that mocked religious narrow-mindedness in both countries.

Almost on cue, a certain Major Sharma had whipped out his pistol. As he threatened to stall the Mushaira, the army man and two of his equally viciously hostile aides were overpowered by the largely secular audience. They were packed off to a hospital in a hapless state.

The entire Vajpayee government and the ever so fickle media came down like a ton of bricks on Ms. Riaz and JNU’s leftist students’ union, her hosts.
And then he narrates the recent incident of WIPSA play being stopped from being staged in certain Indian cities:
However, when Sheema Kirmani and her troupe of young and talented actors were stopped by their hosts in Lucknow last week from going ahead with an anti-war play they were invited to stage, some of her Indian friends were shocked.

Ms Kirmani and her Tehreek-i-Niswan group have been actively involved since 1980s in the promotion of liberal ideals to receptive Pakistani audiences who have ranged from rural schoolchildren in Sindh to urban women’s groups across the country. The play — Zikr-i-Nashunida — that was to be staged in Lucknow, Varanasi and Bhubaneshwar presents women’s perspective against war in which American misadventures in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan are effectively highlighted as examples of contemporary violence that dog the world.

Ms. Kirmani’s hosts in India were a group called Women’s Initiative for Peace in South Asia (WIPSA). The group boasts of a formidable patronage that includes India’s ace peace activists such as Nirmala Deshpande. How could such a group take a narrow-minded stand so as to block a play simply because it was critical of American militarism?

Although the first incident took place in the background of the Kargil War, so that particular response can be excused to a particular extent. But the second incident just baffles all senses. Somehow it seems that public is not ready for peace with Pakistan. Or was it a mere political issue? If it was - what were the motivations? A power display by the Hindutva lobby? Another thing that struck me early this year was crowd response to the visiting Pakistani cricket team. I wouldn't want to attribute too much to it - but still at times it does come back to haunt you. You do get wondering about the fragility of the peace process- about the will of the masses to bury the demons? I guess we would need sometime to overcome the hard feelings of the past 60 years - but are we taking two steps backward for every forward step?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Test of Fire

The Magazine today carried this this horrific story:
Certain inhuman things practised in Balochistan need to be discussed here. There was a time when the issues of karo-kari, theft, land and monetary disputes were settled through traditional laws implemented by the jirgas formed by the Nawabs and the Sardars. In order to prove himself innocent, the accused used to walk on red and hot embers (called char beli in the local language). If his feet appeared to be swollen or burnt, he would be considered guilty.

Sad as it may sound, some young people of this region have re-started to hold char beli jirgas after a lapse of many years. They have revived the dreaded custom. As per tradition, about 10ft-long, 3ft-deep, and 3ft-wide pit is dug in which about 20 clumps of wood are burnt. When the wood is burnt and turns red, the accused is asked to walk on embers. A person belonging to the Bugti tribe is called from Balochistan who is thought to be an expert in such a jirga sitting. He recites Quranic verses and the accused puts his hands over the Holy Quran. Then a goat is slaughtered, and blood is poured into a pot. While the accused walks on embers, two persons stand beside the pit. They lift the accused with their arms when he reaches the end of the pit and immediately his feet are put in the pot containing blood.
The sad part is that these practices will not die out unless the people there are educated. They need to be informed that there are more humane ways to judge the innocence/guilt of an accused. Even sadder is the fact that these practices only strengthen the tribe leaders. Of course the feet will burn either way, but the whole ritual will sanctify the verdict of the "impartial" judge. And since they end up wielding so much authority through this barbaric ritual, they will definitely not want education and awareness to come to the people. And the vicious cycle would just continue on and on.

What is more interesting is that these are areas for which are generally considered to be neglected by the government. To some extent that charge is justified- but also consider this. If the people at the helm- the ones with the political power - don't want such change to come in, there isn't much that the government can do. After all, these very people constitute the government of those areas.

The only way to break out of this cycle is for the federal government to adopt a very firm stance on it and make sure that change occurs. It needs to make sure that the funds that are allocated to the MPAs and MNAs of these areas are actually spent on establishing schools and courts of law. It would also help if some NGO's were to get involve in this. But at the end of it is still hostage to the local tribal chiefs. Change is indeed difficult to bring about in such areas.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Remember that?

Close your eyes, and go back in time.... Before the Internet, VCD and DVD. Before semi-automatics machine guns, joyriders and crack .... Before X-Box, PS-2, SEGA or Super Nintendo or Video Games... Way back....

I'm talking about Hide and seek (Chhupan Chhupaee) in the park or on streets of Lahore. The corner shop, Butter Scotch Candy, Mitchells Milk Toffee, Jubilee, football with an old can, jumping in enormous puddles, Building dams. The smell of the sun and fresh cut grass. Mayfair bubble gum. A POLKA ice cream pop cone on a warm summer night,

Wait......Watching Weekday 5pm evening or Saturday Morning cartoons... short commercials, The Tom and Jerry, He-Man, Captain Caveman, Waltron, Walligator, Danger Mouse and Pink Panther. Or watching 7pm NTM transmission blasting off with Thunder Cats. Staying up late for Night Rider, Air Wolf or Power of Methew Star. Watching nice Urdu Plays like Un Kahi, Tanhaiyaan, Sunehray Din, Aangan Tera.

Remember that?

When around the corner seemed far away, and going into down town or Liberty Market seemed like going somewhere. A million mosquito bites, wasp and bee stings. Sticky fingers. Walking to school, no matter what the weather. Running till you were out of breath. Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt.

Jumping on the bed. Pillow fights. Climbing trees, building igloos Ice Lolies out of tiny amounts of ice from fridge/freezer walls and corners. Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for the giggles. Being tired from playing... The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team. Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.

I'm not finished just yet...

Eating raw jelly, orange squash, ice pops, chocochums, top pops!

Remember when...

You knew everyone in your street - and so did your parents! It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends. You didn't sleep a wink on EiD Chaand Raat. Afraid of Neighbor’s dog-bite. When 100 Rs. was decent pocket money. When you'd get a coke for 4 Rs. When nearly everyone's mum was at home when the kids got there from School. It was magic when dad would "remove" his thumb. When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at real restaurant with your parents. When being sent to the head's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home.

Basically, we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! And some of us are still afraid of them!!! Didn't that feel good? Just to go back and say, Yeah, I remember that!

Remember when....

Decisions were made by going "eeny- meeny-miney-mo"... "Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest. Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly". The worst thing you could catch from other person was germs, and the worst thing in your day was having to sit next to opposite sex. Having a weapon in school, meant being caught with a catapult.

Nobody was prettier than your Mum. Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better. Taking drugs meant orange-flavoured chewable aspirin. Ice cream was considered a basic food group. Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dare". Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.

If you can remember most or of these, then you have LIVED!


Came across this little piece again after a long long time and relived every single bit of it!



Don't Squint!

Research says...
People who squint while staring at computer screens also blink less than normal, which dries and irritates their eyes, researchers said this week.

“Blinking rewets the eyes. So if your job requires a lot of reading or other visually intense work, you may be blinking far less than normal, which may cause eye strain and dry eye.”

People squint for good reasons — it can make objects appear more clearly defined and it can cut glare. But blinking less dries the eyes and can irritate them, although the effects are temporary.
Do I squint? No idea. :P

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The two Punjabs

While the governments of India and Pakistan seem to be moving down the path of peace and friendship very cautiously - the Punjabis of the region have thrown all caution to wind. The Cheif Ministers of the two Punjabs have met regualrly over the last year. We have conferences on Punjabi lok versa, on the language and general meetups between the two groups. We have have numerous Indian theatre groups performing at Lahore and across Punjab. Same for theatrical groups going across. And then of course we have the Sikh yaatris who come in every year. The Punjabis are surely bonding! This image of the two CM's and their ranks at Nankana Sahib is very illustrative of the distance covered between the two Punjabs.

Story here.

Six Day Tests?

The ICC is considering 6 day Tests in Pakistan. The reason being too few light hours during the winter. This does make sense given that the light worsens very quickly after 3:00 p.m. We learnt that the hard way at Faisalabad and of course the famous Karachi win for England. But then 6 days of Test cricket? And this doesn't necessarily mean that we will start getting result-oriented games. So much for luring the crowds back to Test cricket. :P

Religion and Us?

We, Pakistanis are a religious nation. Religion does matter a great deal to the common man but at times it borders at fanaticism. Sangla Hill, the early morning firing at the Ahmedi Mosque, the blasphemy laws and things of this sort make me wonder where religion really stands for us.

It's okay to be religious. But somehow through these incidents it seems that religion is all that we care about. And we care about it like fanatics. Why?

It is true that religion has been played as a pawn by the political actors since independence - but the increase in such events makes me wonder if thats what it is all about. Let me elaborate.

The state can adopt religious overtones to win votes, the state can go the Zia way too -just to stabilise his regime and the state can also attempt to introduce the Shariah Bill at the National Assembly like Nawaz Sharif once did. But can the state inculcate this fanaticism about religion? The Church burnings and firings at Ahmedi Mosques are not acts that have been perpetrated at the behest of the state. These are acts of men who believe that they are upholding the divine word - they are just acting in 'defense' of their religion. The state has nothing much to do with it. These cannot be categorised as political acts. But then, how should they be dealt with? And what makes these men behave as such? I think there are four main ways people look at religion in our society:
  1. Religion is something that the is a duty. From the moment a child begins his schooling he is bombarded with religious symbolism. He is informed of the importance of being a good Muslim. Religion is around him- everywhere- and he told that it is his duty to maintain its integrity and glory. And so it becomes. Religion is something very very important to him. And he can not just cheat on this duty.
  2. Religion is a spiritual thing. The person discovers religion as a refuge and it is not a compulsion for him but a very private and personal matter.
  3. Religion is a personal thing and you don't just bother beyond that.
  4. Religion is sought as a refuge from social and economic problems. For most people belonging to this category religion is the saviour- it guides them when they see no purpose in their lives. Religion comes to their rescue and they are indebted.
I think that people who belong to the first and the fourth categories are the ones who indulge in the aforementioned acts. Our educational system is littered with references to religion and sermons on being good Muslims. So once that sense of duty to your religion has been ingrained then you will end up answering to it's 'call'- you always will. Just as young men do when they hear that the Quran has been desecrated. They have to do their duty to catch and punish the culprit.

Now the ones that belong to the fourth category. I happened to watch this short film at the Kara Film Festival last year. It detailed the journey of a young graduate who hunts for jobs by the days and the spends his nights in cinema houses. Everyday he is accosted by some members of a religious group - they tell him about how fulfilling religion is and how satisfied he would be if he joins them. He pushes them away every time - he is not for it - he wants this big job and want to live his life. But he doesn't find the big job and as his disillusionment grows he is more and more responsive to the religious guys. The final frame captured him fighting at the Afghan border - he was fighting a war for his religion.

All cases will not be this extreme- but I think that little film captured the whole dynamic perfectly. In our society when nothing else answers your call, religion turns up in a unrecognizable form to rescue you from your misery. It is such delusioned young men who take on the roles of the guardians of Islam. Their enemy is anyone who does not believe in what they believe to be Islam. And so they burn, they destroy, they kill.

To me this brainwashing and this disillusionment seems to be the only answer to the growing wave of religious fanatics- but still its not the whole story. Moreover, the factors that lead to this mess are not going anywhere, so then where are we headed?