In a royal snub, the Queen of England did not show her desire to meet parents of the future queen, Kate Middleton, till the day of royal wedding on April 29, 2011. In yet another snub, she invited all and sundry to the wedding but did not send any invitation to her ex-daughter-in-law, Sarah Ferguson, who will be watching England’s biggest event of the decade like the rest of the general public — on the small screen. The 51-year-old Duchess of York — who was caught on film trying to sell access to her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, brother of Prince Charles, last year – has been left off the guest list for the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. She will be overseas during the April 29 ceremony.
“She never expected to be invited,” her spokesman told the gossip website, though her daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, are set to attend. The royal family sent out the invites — emblazoned with Queen Elizabeth’s insignia — last week to 1,900 people.
According to CNN, there are five reasons that Fergie has not been invited; she is an embarrassment to the Royal Family, Prince William bears a grudge against her like his mother, Diana, there is simply no room for more guests, her ex-husband’s girlfriend will already be there and that she herself is not interested to attend the wedding.
Two other notable non-invitees: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle. According to The Daily Mail, the Queen invited 40 heads of state via gold-embossed invitations for the April 29 wedding at Westminster Abbey. Leaders from countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand were invited, along with Kings and Queens across Europe such as Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Greece. Despite the royal snub, the Obamas will be guests of their own state visit to the UK in May. There’s been buzz that a state visit for President Obama was set up because there would have been expensive costs associated with added security to protect him at the wedding.
Denver Post: Sarah Ferguson snubbed for royal wedding
The Passive Voices: Queen of England will not meet the parents of Kate Middleton….
“How many rain showers will wash away the bloodstains in Bangladesh” (khoon ke dhabbey dhulein ge kitni barsaaton ke baad) is a touching line of a famous poem of Faiz Ahmed Faiz? The romanticism of India’s friendship as a liberator was soon over for Bengalis after creation of Bangladesh but it seems it will take ages to heal the wounds of a bitter war between two wings of the same country. This bitterness is so strong that it is still considered blasphemous in Bangladesh to merely mention Pakistan Army in a soft note even in fictions and movies. A Bangladeshi film about a love affair set in the country’s bloody 1971 struggle has stirred up heated debate, prompting the distributor to pull it from cinemas.
Meherjaan: A Story of War and Love, which features some of south Asia’s biggest stars including Victor Banerjee and Jaya Bachchan, wife of Indian movie legend Amitabh Bachchan, was released last month to critical acclaim. But the plot, charting a romance between a local girl and a Pakistani soldier, has hit a raw nerve in Bangladesh, where a new tribunal has just begun prosecuting suspected collaborators.
“I fought in the war but after we released this film, my fellows called me a collaborator,” the owner of the film’s distribution company, Habibur Rahman Khan, told AFP.
“We’ve stopped distributing the film because critics said it degraded Bangladeshis,” he said.
In the film, Meherjaan, a Bangladeshi girl, falls in love with a Pakistani soldier. A barrage of criticism in the Bangladeshi press and on the Internet said the film’s romantic storyline undermined the suffering during the war.
“Meherjaan has insulted the spirit of the country’s liberation war and our history,” said four writers, in a joint article in the Prothom Alo newspaper.
“Under the guise of a story about love and war, it’s a film about insult and deception,” they wrote.
The film, because of its positive depiction of a Pakistani soldier, has been “unofficially banned”, Farzana Boby, an assistant director on the film, told AFP.
“It is unfortunate. All we have tried to do is to make a good film. It has been pulled even though it was drawing bigger crowds than any other major hit film in Bangladesh,” she said.
The crew and directors have also become targets of hate-campaigns by people who cannot tolerate a “different narrative of our liberation war,” she said.
“They are angry because our story does not follow the dominant theme of the struggle. There cannot be a good-natured Pakistani soldier who rebels against the army,” she said.
Some industry professionals have lamented the angry reception the film has been given.
“It’s unfortunate there is such a huge controversy over such a good film. We live in a democratic country and everyone has the right to tell their own story,” film director Chasi Nazrul Islam told AFP.
“We get stronger if we listen to all voices.”
It will be futile to tell Bengalis that their own countrymen who had interacted with India during their freedom struggle had noted the facts and myths of the history books written during the time of Bangla Bundhoo. It is time that history books are rewritten to lessen the bitterness.
It is often said that a true Muslim society has supremacy of law where everyone is treated equally. In a true Muslim society, the law takes its own course and the verdict of the court is respected. No one is allowed to take the law in his own hands and the worst crime is disobedience which creates anarchy and disorder in the society. However, there is a society where the criminals are garlanded, not only by their own tribe but also the so-called custodians of faith and custodians of rule of law. Yet these people scream at the top of their voice to justify their support for the criminal in the name of faith. This is what is exactly happening in this country since January 4, 2011 when a state functionary was killed by none else but his own bodyguard who used his official position and officially issued weapon during the time of official duty for which he was being paid out of taxpayers’ money.
The assassin of the governor is in jail awaiting court verdict but a mob of self-appointed protectors of the honor of Holy Prophet (pbuh) has pronounced its verdict and warned the courts of stiff reprimand if any order was passed against the murderer of Governor Taseer. It means that if a judge dares to order that the murderer was indeed a murderer, he too will be convicted for blasphemy the way Taseer was convicted. Express Tribune has reported that TNRM, a coalition of eight Sunni parties, organized the rally to pay tributes to the police guard who shot Taseer dead on January 4. Speakers on this occasion said there could be no punishment for Qadri and demanded his early release. They also threatened that if Qadri was punished they would hold a long march to Islamabad and snatch all those responsible for it out of their offices. They issued a warning to the media not to extend invitations to those who criticized Qadri or spoke in favor of amending the blasphemy laws. “Mumtaz Hussain Qadri is a hero of the Muslim ummah. Whoever criticizes him or Section 295-C will have their tongues pulled out.”
According to the report, some lawyers were also spotted in the rally and one of them ‘congratulated’ the participants on Taseer’s death and said if Section 295-C was removed they would obey no laws. But, he also said no law was actually needed to deal with blasphemers as a few “true Muslims” were all it required to deal with them. He said no lawyer would appear before the court to prosecute Taseer’s murder.
Is it a Muslim country? This is not even a civilized country where clergy incite murder just in order to grab a cause to enter back into politics. Will the apex court take suo motto notice of the naked threats of death and violence?
Please also read: Defiance of law: Tahaffuz rally speakers threaten courts
The paradise-seekers have a booming business these days due to an alarming rise in the reported incidents of blasphemy. Thanks to inherent flaws in this man-made law, they will have a free hand to either get someone executed on the “solid evidence” i.e. public pressure or do the holy deed themselves. There was an incident of a doctor who threw away the visiting card of a medical rep and another incident of a prayer leader who had removed the poster of a religious event from his private property. These are otherwise common incidents which go unnoticed but in these two cases, someone had a personal agenda. Both accused were charged for blasphemy and one of them is convicted, along with his son, for 40 years imprisonment. Lo and behold, there is yet another incident. Two Christian women were beaten and publically humiliated by an angry mob over apparently frivolous blasphemy allegations and they and their family are now in hiding for fear of being killed, Express Tribune has reported. None of their relatives is ready to let them stay at their places. They fear the wrath of the extremists, particularly after the assassination of Salmaan Taseer.
The family and a non-governmental organization that is helping them asked that their identities not be revealed, lest it put them in further danger. The names mentioned here are fictitious. According to the family, the allegations stem from a dispute between Amina, a Muslim, and her sister-in-law Zahira, a Christian, in an East Lahore locality. The two got into an argument on Tuesday night and though it appeared to have been settled, on Wednesday morning, after her husband Zahid had gone to work, Amina walked out onto the street and started shouting that Zahira had abused the Holy Prophet (pbuh).
A short while later, a group of men led by Muhammad Sameer, a member of a religious organization keen on raising its sectarian profile, forced their way into the house and started slapping Zahira, said another of her brothers, Sohail. “Other men and women from the neighborhood started gathering at the house too and they beat up my sister and mother. They were the only people in the house,” he said.
“We tried our best to get her to confess her crime,” Sameer told the media. As a member of the religious organization, he said he could not tolerate any derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet (pbuh).
Sameer added that he was very proud of his wife’s performance during the mob beating. “She beat Zahira more than anyone else. Her hand is so swollen that she hasn’t been able to make rotis since the day of the incident. I’ve been getting my meals from a restaurant,” he said.
Malik Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed assassin of Salmaan Taseer, is a member of the same group as Sameer. The group also runs a twenty-four hour cable TV channel. Khadim Hazoor, Sameer’s son-in-law and another participant in the beating, said that the women’s faces were blackened and they were made to wear necklaces of shoes and paraded around the locality on donkeys to humiliate them. He said the women denied blaspheming and repeatedly touched their feet seeking mercy. He said the people of the locality would not allow Zahid or his family to return to their house, which he lives next door to. He claimed that the fight between Zahira and Amina the night before the incident revolved around the upbringing of Zahid and Amina’s 18-month-old daughter. Amina had wanted to raise her daughter as a Muslim, but Zahira wanted her niece to be raised as a Christian, he said.
Hazoor accused Zahid of “cheating Islam” by pretending to convert from Christianity to Islam so he could marry the Muslim girl. “We will not let them live in this house. He has not only cheated Amina but also Islam,” he said.
Zameer Khan, an NGO worker, helped the family flee the locality after they were attacked. “Apparently there was no blasphemy, just an argument between two women,” he said.
He said after hearing of the incident, he had reached the scene to find the women being attacked. He said he had asked the mob if anyone had heard Zahira utter any blasphemous remarks, to which they all replied in the negative. He said he persuaded them to let the women go while he investigated the matter. He then helped relocate the family temporarily. He said he had also convinced the mob not to involve the police.
These self-appointed guardians of faith did not realize that by torturing a hapless women in the name of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), they have in fact insulted the Prophet themselves. If anyone has to be charged under the blasphemy law it is the people like these religious zealots.
The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.
In 2010, there were 142 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 79 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.
The busiest day of the year was December 12th with 141 views. The most popular post that day was Did Iran backstab Pakistan to save India?.
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were pkpolitics.com, mail.yahoo.com, mail.live.com, facebook.com, and tribune.com.pk.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for pia, queen of england, hakeem n salik, hakeem salik, and elizabeth ii.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
Did Iran backstab Pakistan to save India? December 2010
Floods are not the only manifestation of His wrath…. August 2010
9 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,
Queen of England joins Commoners’ Club…. November 2010
Finance majors! Keep the hope alive……. September 2010