Page 4 - Pakistan Link - January 26, 2018
P. 4

P4  –  PAKISTAN LINK  –  JANUARY  26,  2018                                                                                           OPINION
         Pakistan Link                    n By Dr Akbar Ahmed                                 Mr Anthropology
                                            American University
                                             Washington, DC
                  Advisory Board          or far too long, Western an-
               Dr Sohail Masood           thropology has been seen by
                   President          Fits critics as a tool of Western
               Arif Zaff ar Mansuri    imperialists, a means of under-
         standing  how  to
                                                 best exploit “under-
                    Editor                       developed” societ-
            Akhtar Mahmud Faruqui                ies. On the other
              hand   there  are
                                                 those anthropolo-
          Editor Urdu Link & Bureau Chief (Pakistan)  gists who use their
                Shabbir Ghori                    knowledge to cre-
          ate bridges between cultures and
               Resident Editor Urdu Link   peoples. Jonathan Benthall is one
              & Director Video Operations  of them.
                Anwar Khawaja            I  fi rst got  to know Jonathan,
      the  former  director  of  the  Royal
                                      Anthropological Institute of Great
             Manager  Sales  &  Advertising    Britain and Ireland (RAI) and
                 Sana Shaikh          now an honorary researcher in the
       Department of Anthropology at
                                      University  College  London,  sev-
                  Regional Offi  ces  eral decades ago. Since then I have
                                      been impressed by how he has ex-
                    YKKB              tended the boundaries of anthro-
            pology. He has consistently cham-
                                      pioned the under-dog and spent
                  Sacramento, CA      the last decades building bridges
                                      between Islam and the West.
              San Fransisco/Bay Area, CA  Jonathan has taken a particu-
    lar interest in Islamic charity orga-
                                      nizations. His most recent book is
                  New York, NY        Islamic Charities and Islamic Hu-  Ambassador Akbar Ahmed lectures Princess Diana on Islam in September 1990 at the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI).
                                Jonathan Benthall as director of the RAI is seated to the far right in the photo. Photo Credit: Fritz Curzon
                                      manism in Troubled Times (2016).
                   Houston, TX        He considers his research in this   invited me to come and serve as an   World War II, and grew up at a hill   American University in Washing-
      fi eld to be his most signifi cant   expert on Islam for Diana along-  station in Darjeeling as a young   ton, DC. He formerly served as the
                                      legacy. He recounts that thanks to   side my distinguished friend Pro-  child before moving to England to   Pakistani High Commissioner to
                   Phoenix, AZ        his work with international NGOs,   fessor Hastings Donnan. As I write   attend boarding school. His father   the UK and Ireland. He tweets @
                                      his role on a number of Save the   about in  my forthcoming book,   was an amateur botanist and ran a   AskAkbar)
                  Ontario, Canada     Children committees, and what   Journey into Europe: Islam, Immi-  jute mill, and his parents strove to
      he learned about the importance   gration, and Identity, Diana deeply   promote Christianity as opposed
                                      of  understanding  relations  be-  impressed me during this session.   to Hinduism and Islam as the best   TV Anchors
             Letters to the Editor    tween the West and the World of   She asked sharp, intelligent ques-  faith traditions for South Asia.
                                      Islam, he became “one of the fi rst   tions,  demonstrated  great  curios-  Being born “to a family that was   n By Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
          Readers are welcome to express their opinion   non-Muslim researchers to take   ity, and expressed a true desire to   loving, but deeply imbued with
          in these columns. Please keep your letters                                                                                 Westridge, Rawalpindi
          brief and to the point.  Letters without full   a rounded scholarly look at the   help bridge the gap between Is-  colonial and racialist values” has
          name, complete address, and a daytime   world of Islamic charities.” He says   lam and the West. Th  e next day, I   always disturbed him. “Anthropol-  here are scores  of female
          phone  number  will  not  be  published.
          Also, copies of letters sent to other news-  he “really got interested in Islam,   saw pictures of Diana holding my   ogy,” he believes, “was a good cor-  anchor persons in the elec-
          papers are not encouraged. Letters can be   really by Ernest Gellner and Akbar          rective to this background.”  Ttronic  media  industry  –
          mailed, faxed or e-mailed to the Editor at
          the Pakistan Link Headquarters address   Ahmed.” One of his goals when he   In refl ecting on his   Jonathan studied  at King’s   each one prettier than the other
                   listed below.
          Pakistan  Link  (ISSN  1074-0406)  is  pub-  began this work in the 1990s was   research on Islamic charity   College, Cambridge, and in 1974   and always attired in the design-
          lished weekly for $85 a year by JAZ LLC,   to challenge the assumption that             applied for a director role at the   ers’ latest, most stylish and expen-
               DBA PL Publications, LLC.   philanthropy was a “Judeo-Chris-  organizations, Jonathan   RAI with virtually no anthro-  sive  costumes  that  are  ironically
          Periodical postage paid at Anaheim, CA   tian monopoly.”     states, “Th  ese charities   pological experience during “a   donned only once  and never re-
             and additional mailing offi  ces.
           POST MASTER: Send address changes to   In refl ecting on his research                  low point” for the organization   peated! One wonders who pays for
          Pakistan Link, P O Box 1238,  Anaheim, CA   on Islamic charity organizations,   can bring out one of the   and was hired aft er the fi rst ap-  such modish and trendy dresses,
          The management has the right to refuse   Jonathan states, “Th  ese charities   most impressive and   pointment left  aft er a mere three   that are changed on daily basis?
          to print any advertisement, news, article,   can bring out one of the most im-          months.                       Certainly not the TV celebrity
          letter  or  any  other  material.  In  case  of              permanent features of
          any errors in advertisement the manage-  pressive and permanent features of                 While he has kept his physi-  herself nor can she have a ward-
          ment will not be liable for more than the   Islam – its encouragement to gen-  Islam – its encouragement   cal distance from South Asia given   robe large enough to hang them
          amount paid for the advertisement to the
                     Link.            erosity. I am committed to the idea                         his painful memories as he put   all in!  Whatever, it is not having
          Advertisements in Pakistan Link are   that if the potential of zakat and   to generosity. I am   it of witnessing the deep racism   a salutary eff ect on the economic
          placed in good faith. The newspaper is not
          responsible nor endorses the contents of   sadaqa as Qur’anic principles were   committed to the idea that   carried out by the British Empire   health of most bread earners of the
          any advertisement. In case of a frivolous
          lawsuit, the plaintiff  will bear the total cost   released from current political   if the potential of zakat   during his childhood, several of   families especially those with hon-
          of the suit, including but not limited to the   obstacles, they could make an im-       South Asia’s eminent fi gures have   est means and no “maal e haram”
            Link’s costs and the attorney’s fees.                     and sadaqa as Qur’anic
                                      mense contribution to humanitar-                            inspired Jonathan. Th  ese fi gures   to aff ord such extravaganza.
                                      ian action and poverty alleviation.”  principles were released   include Abdul Sattar Edhi, M. N.    I think it would make the life
                                         He has always been a support-
               Information for        er of my work over the years. I re-  from current political   Srinivas, Satyajit Ray, and Malala   of all – including that of the an-
                                                                                                                                chors – much more easy and com-
                 Subscribers          call when he published my article   obstacles, they could make   Given this rich, worldly back-  fortable if the TV channels would
           The printing of Pakistan Link is unfail-  on Al-Beruni, the great Muslim               ground, in looking to the current   introduce some simple, attractive
           ingly completed by Wednesday every   anthropologist from Central Asia   an immense contribution   state of global aff airs, Jonathan re-  and distinguishingly looking ex-
           week and its copies are handed over to
           the mailing house for prompt dispatch   who came to India 1,000 years ago   to humanitarian action   marks, “It is deeply disappointing   clusive uniforms for their respec-
           to the subscribers.  The Link should   and who wrote one of the greatest               now to see countries that ought to   tive anchors. It would not only
           reach its destination on time if there is                  and poverty alleviation”
           no delay at the post offi  ce. If a delay is   books on India, called the Kitab        lead the world going apparently   ANCHORS, P28
           occasioned it is in no way attributable   al-Hind, or Book of India, in the            backwards  with  Trump,  Brexit,
           to the performance of Link’s manage-
           ment. In case of delayed receipt of Pak-  Institute’s journal, Anthropology   book, Discovering Islam, which I   the Front National in France, and   Views  and
           istan Link or missing issues, please con-  Today, in 1984. Th  e article sparked   had presented her following the   Alternative for Germany; and with   opinions ex-
           tact your local Post Offi  ce and submit a   a discussion in the academy about   lecture, in several papers.   the risk of perpetual war, as in Or-  pressed  by
               “Publication Watch” form.
                                      how anthropology is not merely a   I also fondly recall the privi-  well’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.”   authors  and
                                                                                                      We remain in touch, and I see
              PAKISTAN LINK           tool of Western imperialism, but   lege  of meeting Jonathan’s es-  that neither age nor retirement   contributors
                                                                    teemed  father-in-law,  the  great
                                      part of the Islamic vision of un-
               Headquarters           derstanding societies and cultures,   violinist Yehudi Menuhin, at a   have slowed him down. True to his   letters, opin-
              P O Box 1238,  Anaheim, CA 92815  challenging long-held assump-  dinner at his family home. Jona-  love of the subject, he is always on   ion pieces, re-
                 Tel: 714-400-3400    tions.                        than later went on to lecture on   hand to cast its light on the search-  ports, advertisements, etc ap-
                 Fax: 714-400-3404       In 1990, Jonathan had invited   his  father-in-law’s  distinct  legacy,   ing  issues  of  the  day.  Few  in  the
             E-Mail:                                                                                    pearing in Pakistan Link and
                                      Princess Diana  to the RAI  for a   particularly  for  young  musicians,   discipline deserve the title of Mr   Urdu Link are their own. Th  e
                                      lecture on Islam. Th  is was during   at such prestigious institutions as   Anthropology as does Jonathan   paper neither shares nor en-
               Pakistan Offi  ce      the time of the First Gulf War and   the University of Texas.   Benthall.                 dorses them and thus should
                 42 Rehman Court      there was an urgent need for West-  Jonathan  was  born  the  son   (Th  e writer is an author, poet,   not be held responsible for the
            Plaza Square,  Off   M. A.  Jinnah Road  ern leaders to better understand   of a successful businessman in   fi lmmaker, playwright, and the Ibn   views/opinions of the writers
               Karachi-74400, Pakistan  the Muslim world. Jonathan had   Calcutta in 1941, in the midst of   Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies,   & advertisers.
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9