Archive for Miscellaneous

Dr Javid Iqbal Passes Away

Dr Javid Iqbal

Photo credit: allamaiqbal.com

With sadness I note the passing away of Dr. Javid Iqbal today in Lahore, at the age of 91. He was a one-time senior justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and, like his legendary father Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, he was also a philosopher. On a personal note he sent me some kind words on SJ2 a few years ago.

My deepest condolences go out to his family.

 

 

Happy Birthday Jinnah

Taken just ten minutes ago for this post. Sleeps like an angel - but only in the day.

Taken just ten minutes ago (3:30 p.m.) for this post. Sleeps like an angel – but only during the day.

 

Today (actually, as of 6 May) my family has welcomed my brother’s first born child into this world. And so now, as well as being a fan of the one and only M.A. Jinnah, I am also the aunt of his namesake: Jinnah Karim. :)

Lights Back On

Having observed a 3 day blackout, this site and the SJ2 site are now back to normal.

As I write this the People’s Climate March is underway in Manhattan, New York, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is apparently among the estimated 100,000 people taking to the streets. London’s march earlier today attracted 40,000 people or more; and it’s one of around 2000 marches taking place around the world in this 24-hour period. Attendees are from every walk of life and represent a wide spectrum of groups including charities, environmental groups, farmers, fishermen, scientists, political leaders, popular celebrities, and faith groups, as well as hundreds of thousands of ordinary members of the public.

News agencies have quoted the organisers of the Manhattan event as having said they wanted to transform the climate question from being just “an environmental concern to an ‘everybody issue'”. From the turnout, I’d say they’ve already come a long way in making it so.

The Blackout Begins

Click the globe.

Click the globe, sign the petition.

Today, as over 4 million people in Scotland cast their votes in a referendum that could drastically change the future shape of the UK, both this site (by which I mean the main Libredux site) and the SJ2 site have begun a “blackout” in support of the upcoming People’s Climate March this Sunday (21 September 2014). If you haven’t done so already, do sign the climate change petition I posted about here recently. Just click on the image.

And if you are reading this, then that means you managed to sneak past this site’s blackout page somehow. Naughty, naughty!

In any case, both sites will be back up again as normal on Sunday evening.

The Most Important Petition You’ll Ever Sign

We are fast reaching a crisis point that affects us all, wherever we are. It’s more important than the economy, local or international; it’s more pressing than any war; a greater threat than any government, religious group or financial giant; it matters more than anything happening in any country. It’s the biggest issue of our time, and it affects not only our generation, but future generations as well. In short, it’s a question of life and death for every single person in every single country, and in fact, for every living thing on this planet.

I’m talking, of course, about climate change.

Global WarmingThe great tuning out

We’ve all been aware of climate change for a few decades. Many of us, myself included, have been hearing about it since childhood, and more and more often as we grew up. Unfortunately, these days we hear about it so much on the news and through other media that we’re tuning it out, treating it like some annoying advert that we don’t need to hear again and again.

But we do need to hear it. More importantly, we need to act. Immediately.

The well-known social activist site Avaaz.org has described it in these sobering words at their site and by email:

Scientist Julienne Stroeve has studied Arctic ice for decades. Every summer she travels to north to measure how much ice has melted. She knows that climate change is melting the ice fast, but a recent trip surprised even her. Vast areas of Arctic ice have disappeared, beyond our worst expectations.

This is what the experts warned us about. As the earth warms, it creates many “tipping points” that accelerate the warming out of control. Warming thaws the Arctic sea ice, destroying the giant white ‘mirror’ that reflects heat back into space, which massively heats up the ocean, and melts more ice, and so on. We spin out of control. In 2013 everything — storms, temperatures — was off the charts.

Scientists are screaming from the rooftops that climate change isn’t just a bit of warming and some more storms. No exaggeration, our actual *survival* is at risk — this is a fight to save the world.

UN Emergency Meeting

The situation is serious enough that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has arranged an emergency Climate Summit at the UN New York headquarters to be held on 23 September 2014. Social activist groups such as 350.org and Avaaz.org are already in the process of rallying ordinary people across the world to collectively call for affirmative action before it’s too late. They will be part of an international People’s Climate March on 21 September.

Add your voice

The ultimate aim of the march is to deliver a petition calling for the international community to make a concerted move away from dirty fuels like oil and coal, to 100% clean energy sources. If you think this sounds unfeasible, consider this: 20% of the world’s electricity is already generated from renewable sources, and solar power is now cheaper than coal in many countries, including the USA and Australia (in the case of the latter, consumer choice in favour of cheaper solar has made coal entirely unprofitable, prompting a British newspaper to declare: “Solar has won“). While this is all good news, we need to push for more.

The petition will be delivered to leaders at the summit, and it needs to have as many signatures as possible to make a positive impact. Avaaz has set up its petition online with a target of getting at least 3 million signatures. To add your voice, sign it here:

Avaaz Climate Petition

To help spread the word, you can share this post through the usual social media channels or email, simply by clicking the big “share” button at the bottom of this post.

This is not a climate change petition. This is the climate change petition. So make the call to save our planet. We have to.

Link to this post:

http://www.libredux.com/blog/2014/09/07/the-most-important-petition-youll-ever-sign

Further reading: 

Noam Chomsky | Owl of Minerva’s View: ISIS and Our Times

Postscript: This site and the Secular Jinnah site will be observing a “blackout” in the days just before the summit. This post will display at both sites’ home pages to help raise awareness.

Iqbal Biography – Last chance for 15% off

Today is your last chance to get 15% off Khurram Ali Shafique’s new book, Iqbal: His Life and Our Times. Order directly from this page (https://www.createspace.com/4780451) and use the code in red at checkout to qualify. Offer ends tonight at 8 p.m. (British time).

Iqbal: His Life and Our Times – Releasing 8 May 2014

(Reproduced with minor edits from my mailing list message dated today, 5 May 2014). Pass it on!

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Iqbal: His Life and His Times

Hello Folks,

As an update to my previous message, the UK/US edition of Iqbal: His Life and Our Times is due for release on Thursday 8 May at 8 p.m. British time. If you purchase a copy directly from CreateSpace in the first 72 hours, you will get a discount of 15% off the price (follow the instructions on that page). This discount applies to the US price but you will save money even if you are purchasing from outside the US (including but not exclusively Canada, Australia, UK and elsewhere in Europe). Don’t miss out!

The general edition will be released in Pakistan soon – date to be confirmed. If you would like updates on the Pakistani release, let me know and I’ll put you on a temporary mailing list for the purpose.

In the meantime, below is the introduction to the book by the directors of the Iqbal Academy and the ECO Cultural Institute, as taken from the author’s (Khurram Ali Shafique) mailing list and blog at the Marghdeen Learning Centre.

All the Best, & Take Care Folks,

Saleena

 ———————-

Introduction
by
Muhammad Suheyl Umar, Director, Iqbal Academy Pakistan;
and Iftikhar Arif, Director, ECO Cultural Institute (ECI)

Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) is the only poet and thinker in the history of world literature who has been credited with the birth of a new nation and a new state. It is therefore very befitting that a handbook about his life and thought should be brought out by an organization comprising of ten member states. The Economic Cooperation Organization’s Cultural Institute (ECI) is pleased to bring out this publication jointly with Iqbal Academy Pakistan.

In addition to his unique status in Pakistan, Iqbal also happens to be either a national poet or a household inspiration in several other countries including Iran, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and India. In Turkey, his symbolic grave stands in the compound of the mausoleum of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi. In the universities of Heidelberg and Cambridge, there are chairs or fellowships in his name. Roads, buildings and monuments have been named after him in other countries too, including Mauritius.

Iqbal: His Life and Our Times fulfils the need for a simple and reliable introduction to the life and work of this unmatched genius, highlighting the practical relevance of his ideas for those who wish to consider them for implementation. The author, Khurram Ali Shafique, is well-known in the field of Iqbal Studies. The awards which he has received for his previous publications include the coveted Presidential Iqbal Award.

The present volume includes many findings that are the outcome of the author’s original research. Of special interest to the general readers as well as the experts would be the evidence, presented here for the first time, which establishes a historical connection between the political ideas of Iqbal, the American thinker Mary Parker Follett and the Bengali visionary C. R. Das.

We are hoping that this volume will offer much by way of looking at the present times from new avenues.

  • It is shown here that the views expressed by Iqbal in his poetry and prose formed a coherent system of thought, and the same was implemented by him through political and social action. This is to dispel the myth which has been preventing a deeper understanding of Iqbal’s thought until now, i.e. the false but widely perpetuated assumption that the ideas presented by Iqbal were either inconsistent with each other or they kept undergoing such perpetual changes throughout his life that they cannot be considered for implementation in any other time.
  • The system of his thought and its underlying principles are being presented here, perhaps for the first time. It is also being shown that in spite of its inner coherence, the system of Iqbal’s thought kept pace with the evolution of the collective life of his community.
  • This evolution can be studied by dividing the intellectual life of the poet-philosopher into three stages: inquiry, discovery and transcendence. The duration of each stage has been established here on the basis of biographical and textual evidence, and the book has been divided into three chapters accordingly.
  • Each of these three stages started in his mental life when his community adopted a new goal collectively. The goals, their relevance to the world and humanity, their implications for Iqbal, and his contribution towards achieving them are issues which are being discussed here in a fresh light. This may turn out be one of the most significant contributions which this book will make to the subject.

If the nations of the world desire to come closer in their hearts and minds, they cannot ignore to learn about the ideas, emotions and visions of each other. The Economic Cooperation Organization’s Cultural Institute (ECI), formed through a charter at the third summit meeting of the countries of ECO held at Islamabad in 1995, aims at fostering understanding and the preservation of the rich cultural heritage of its members through common projects in the fields of media, literature, art, philosophy, sport and education.

The present volume is being offered in line with this vision, and with the conviction that it is important for everybody to be informed about the ideas of Iqbal, since they may be counted among those cultural forces which have gone into shaping a significant part of our world.

This conviction is shared by Iqbal Academy Pakistan, a statutory body of the Government of Pakistan, originally established through an act of parliament in 1951 and reinforced through an ordinance in 1962. The aims and objectives of the Academy are to promote and disseminate the study and understanding of the works and teachings of Iqbal. The Academy has been translating its objectives into action and activity through a number of measures including publication programme, IT projects, outreach activities, Iqbal Award Programme, website, research and compilation, audio-video, multimedia, archive projects as well as exhibitions, conferences, seminars, projection abroad, research guidance, academic assistance, donations and library services.

We hope that the readers will benefit from the book which we are offering here jointly, and this will go a long way in achieving our common objectives.

Posted By Khurram Ali Shafique to Marghdeen at 5/05/2014 04:52:00 AM

Taking some time off

This is just to let you all know that I’m taking some time off from the blog. In fact my online activity is necessarily going to be minimal for a while. Can’t say when I’ll be back, but I will be eventually.

VSLE: An alternative economy model

In 2009, I was the co-writer of a ‘good news’ show called Deliver!, which aired on Venus TV in the UK. In the last show of the season, we covered an ‘alternative’ economy model called LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) that was helping communities across the planet to get through recession. We described it as something that takes money ‘out of the equation and rewrites the rules’. It’s still up at YouTube here:

Fast-forward a couple of years to 2011, when Dr. Imran Chaudhry at Pakistan First Research Institute, the research division of PakistanFirst, asked me to co-author a paper for an alternative economy. (I had worked with PakistanFirst once before in a consultative capacity, on a paper making recommendations for provincial reforms in Pakistan.) He was aware of the alternative economy model covered in our news show, and liked the idea enough that he wanted PakistanFirst to present a model specifically tailored for Pakistani rural communities and villages. The resulting paper offers a system based loosely on LETS. We’ve dubbed it VSLE (Value, Skill and Labour Exchange). Like LETS, it’s interest-free and works on the principle of cooperation (collective interest) instead of profit (self interest), but it also has some distinguishing features of its own.

Emergency Economy

The paper was completed a few weeks ago and it has just been published at Smashwords under the grand title, Emergency Economy (though it’s not necessarily a model just for periods of recession; and its comments apply beyond just microeconomy).

Click here to pick up a PDF copy of this paper for free. You don’t need an account to download it. The provincialism paper I mentioned is available for free as well.

Marghdeen Learning Centre participants: I’d be particularly interested to know your thoughts on this, in light of the fact that the next MLC course promises to contain something ‘practical’. Do you see any similarities – in principle – between this alternative economy model and the ‘Marghdeen’ that Iqbal envisioned? Even if you don’t read the paper, the above video should give you a good idea of what I’m getting at. And this recent post offers a clue as well.

Happy New Year 2013 and roundup of 2012

2012 has been an extremely eventful year for me. At the beginning of the year I published Systems and launched this blog soon afterwards (18 Jan). I thought I’d write the odd post here and there, but so much happened this year that I never got round to sharing some of the news here. So consider this post a roundup of 2012, with the previously untold news thrown in.

The Procrastinator reading Systems

The Procrastinator reading Systems

Systems

On 2 July, Systems (and its trailer) first became a part of a course (rather aptly, The Wisdom of Moses* course) at the Marghdeen Learning Centre, an associative educational body of Iqbal Academy Pakistan. By 11 October, with the commencement of the course on Biological Unity, Systems attained a permanent part of the reading material, alongside Iqbal’s Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam and Khurram Shafique’s 2017: The Battle for Marghdeen (which was published by Libredux Publishing). Anyone who joins these courses gets a free copy of the novel.

And Systems also made a brief appearance on the big screen, with the airing of my brother Shahid Karim’s Terminator spoof titled The Procrastinator at the Bang! Short Film Festival in Nottingham on 24 November.

* In Systems, Prof. Omar is very loosely based on Moses. He is from Egypt, his son is named Aaron, and parts of the Systems story line allude to Moses’ exodus. And of course, E3 is based on the tyrants who were also Moses’ opponents in his time.


Lbredux logo

Libredux Publishing

Systems was published under the imprint name Libredux Publishing. I had no other plans for Libredux, but it also became the publisher of Khurram Shafique’s 2017: The Battle for Marghdeen on 14 August (Pakistan Independence Day) and also the co-publisher of two other titles shortly afterwards (below).

 

The Qur'anic System of Sustenance

Translation work

This year saw the release of two titles edited and translated by myself and my father Fazal Karim: The Qur’anic  System of Sustenance and Did Quaid-e-Azam Want to Make Pakistan a Secular State?, both authored by G.A. Parwez (1906-1985). Both titles were co-published by Tolu-e-Islam Trust and Libredux Publishing.

At present, The Qur’anic System of Sustenance is also being turned into an audio book. My brother Shahid is the narrator.

Other publications

On 23 March this year this article of mine appeared in the Pakistani newspaper’s Dawn Special Report on the Lahore Resolution of 1940.

Deliver! logo

This year I collaborated with the think tank PakistanFirst on a paper for an ‘alternative economy’, inspired by a model that was covered in Shahid’s news show Deliver! in 2009 (aired on Venus TV in the UK. See the clip from that show here). The paper is on the verge of release.

 

Visionary Fiction Alliance logo

Visionary Fiction Alliance

I and eleven other authors founded the Visionary Fiction Alliance (17 August), dedicated to promoting fiction of the kind that explores human potential. I’m now one of its admins. The story of how we came together can be found here.

TV appearance

Most of you won’t know that I have taken part in a documentary on Dr. Iqbal’s philosophy, produced by the Iqbal Academy, Pakistan. Parts of it were shot in Cambridge. The filming of my part took four hours in a very hot room (it was the middle of July) but quite enjoyable considering that I have a total (and I mean, total) fear of public speaking. You probably won’t catch me in front of a camera again. :D The documentary is still in production and it should be televised some time in 2013.

… And that’s just about everything.

Coming up in 2013

1) The re-release of Systems (re-edited, and with extras)

2) Hitoshi’s song My Fate from Systems to be recorded

3) The Cohesive Ethics Theorem should get a formal write-up, but with a twist

4) Re-making of The Way: My brother’s first ever film, which can be described as having a visionary story line, is being re-made this year. I was the composer of its original soundtrack, and I’ll be the composer again for the remake.

5) More to come. Watch this space.

 

Happy New Year 2013.

Subscribers – A test post

To those of you who are subscribed to this blog, do you find that you only receive email updates sporadically? I subscribed to my own blog to check some time ago, and I’m pretty sure that most of the time I don’t get any update messages from here.

Let’s see if the blog notifies subscribers about this post, shall we?

Btw, this is really a test post made to see if it shows up on my Facebook page (owing to some long-term technical difficulties). The subscribers’ question is real enough, but really I just needed an excuse to post!

Systems at a film festival

You might remember a post I wrote back in August in which I mentioned my brother Shahid Karim’s short Terminator spoof film The ProcrastinatorHe had just submitted it to the annual bang! film festival in Nottingham, and today he has been notified that it will be screening there on 24 November, in the Crash bang! Wallop section. Since a copy of Systems happens to make a brief appearance, it’s as good as an advert. :D

If you are anywhere near Broadway Cinema from 3 p.m. onwards that day, maybe we’ll see you there!