Bio: Tahir Aslam Gora (b. 1963)
Article > “Islam Needs to Evolve” – by Tahir Aslam Gora
Tahir Aslam Gora is a Pakistani writer, novelist, poet, journalist, editor, translator and publisher with over 25 years of experience in the media industry.
He was a biweekly columnist to The Hamilton Spectator during 2007-9. He also contributes as a freelancer to various European and American media outlets. He is currently at work on two manuscripts; one about Islam, other ‘Understanding Canadian Multiculturalism’.
He did one year full time certificate course, “Canadian Journalism for Internationally trained Writers” from SheridanCollege, OakvilleON in 2007.
He was active in several literary and cultural organizations in Pakistan and was a noted critic of religious intolerance in that country.
He fled to Canada in the spring of 1999 following threats to his life.
He has published three collections of short stories, one novel and two collections of poems. Some of his work has been translated into Russian and Uzbek. His second novel in Urdu is in the process of publishing.
He translated Irshad Manji’s book The Trouble with Islam Today in Urdu in 2005.
He published and edited weekly Urdu language newspaper Watan from Toronto during 2000-2003. He has been a target of death threats by Islamic fundamentalists of Greater Toronto Areas.
He is working on a research project, Islamic Radicalization in Ontario .
Tahir Gora founded Gora Publishers in 1987 in Pakistan , which published more than 200 works of literature and books on the social sciences. He also served as editor-in-chief of the socio-political weekly journal, Hafta, and the literary journal Rujhanaat.
He also happened to work as a journalist and publisher in some of the countries of former Soviet Union between 1989 and 1997.
Currently, he contributes regularly for the Huffington Post and he does a weekly Urdu-Punjabi talk show “Bilatakalluf” on Mississauga based South Asian Rawal TV that could be viewed every Friday night at 9PM.
He is a Secretary General of Muslim Canadian Congress. He lives in Burlington.
Aired on the CBC’s “The National” on March 6 2007
Mr. Tahir Aslam Gora’s interview begins at 8 minutes, 30 seconds.
Tahir Aslam Gora – Wikipedia
Simon Wiesenthal Centre - article by Tahir Gora
Article > “Islam Needs to Evolve” — by Tahir Aslam Gora
The London bombings have shocked the world and once again raised the question ‘Why?’. But people who hurry to blame fundamentalists and poverty are missing the point: Islam itself. A commentary by Tahir Aslam Gora
Tahir Aslam Gora says that US-American/British foreign policy cannot be seen as the primary and legitimate reasons behind Islamic fundamentalism. Today there is a lot of talk about the root causes of Islamic terrorism and how to deal with them.
So what are these root causes then? UK-US foreign policy? The West’s lust for oil? Illiteracy and poverty in the Muslim world? The hijacking of Islam by a few extremists?
These, amongst others, are the reasons most left-wing intellectuals and self-declared liberal Muslim thinkers, from British journalist Robert Fisk to Pakistani author Tariq Ali, are providing for the attacks on London and Islamic terrorism in general.
But let’s be frank. While we can’t deny the double standards of US foreign policy or America ‘s quest for hegemony, when have Muslim states not shown the same double standards regarding international affairs? Haven’t Muslim nations tried to dominate their own neighbours, even when those neighbours are part of their Muslim brotherhood?
Pakistan ‘s quest for hegemony in Afghanistan , Syria ‘s hold on Lebanon , Iraq ‘s attacks on Iran and Kuwait ; these are just a few prominent examples. And our famous progressive Muslim scholars barely mention the cruelty of Muslim Iraq, Iran and Turkey towards Muslim Kurds.
So let’s look at the real root cause of Islamic terrorism: Islam today.
World leaders, in order to maintain religious harmony, claim that Islam is a religion of peace. But in fact there are several fundamental flaws in the teachings of Islam: gender inequality, intolerance of non-Muslims and limited personal freedoms (including freedom of expression and the creative arts).
It is true that Islamic terrorism is staged by only a small percentage of extremist Muslims; however, it is also true that this terrorism is not strongly condemned by the majority of other Muslims.
Progressive Muslim scholars claim that Islam has been ‘hijacked’ and that ordinary Muslims don’t support terrorism. If this statement is true, then why is Osama Bin Laden a hero in most Islamic countries? Walk on the streets of Pakistan , Sudan , Bangladesh , Indonesia , Somalia and many other Muslim countries and you will see the respect and love shown for Bin Laden and other leaders like him.
This respect is not a result of illiteracy and poverty but of the way in which Islam is taught. This is why thousands of Muslim doctors, professors and other highly qualified professionals do not condemn Islamic terrorism.
The world’s media and leaders need to focus on truly liberal Muslims who have the courage to demand real change to remedy the basic flaws of Islam. Those self-declared progressive Muslims who try to justify Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance are just making the situation more confused.
There are many real liberal Muslim scholars who have been proposing changes to Islam for years, but their voices are constantly and deliberately being ignored by the media. If these voices start getting heard, perhaps they will change the traditional Muslim mind for the better.
Tahir Aslam Gora
Tahir Aslam Gorais a Pakistani writer living in exile in Toronto ( Canada ). He is the author of several books including “Why Terrorists Are Muslims?” and the founder of the New Islam movement.
Islam Needs to Evolve
Of Muslim leftists and liberalism
Hijab – compulsion or choice?
Open debate in Muslim communities needed
Majority of Muslims seek balance in viewpoint
Blog Entries by Tahir Gora
Thank you Madonna for beating the drum for Malala Yousafzai. You have delivered a strong message to all celebrities across the world that they have to come out of their cozy lives and needed to be well informed as you are. Thank you Madonna for saying the words, “Support education!…
The whole world is witnessing the clash of civilization riots these days in the wake ofInnocence of Muslims movie trailer. A Muslim has tweeted the situation as “There was no movie about #Muhammad(SAW), it was just a trailer. The protests Muslims are holding are the movie.”
It’s said that a majority of Muslims have been hijacked by a tiny percentage of Islamic extremists. But it’s also true that many Muslims consider the incidents of September 11, 2001, to have been staged by the Bush administration, the CIA, Jews, etc.
The question arises as to why a…
The arrest of 11-year-or-so-old Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, in Pakistan in connection with the blasphemy charges has shocked the world but not Pakistan and majority Pakistanis.
For instance, a Pakistani Canadian from Mississauga, Ontario Canada wrote on the Internetin the wake of this senseless…
I cannot understand why people shy away from saying Merry Christmas to each other these days. It was not like that a couple of years ago. It seems as if people in the malls and public places are avoiding Christmas greetings out of fear that someone may be offended.
Is wearing a burka in Canada a matter of religious obligation, cultural tradition, religious freedom and women rights, or an exhibition of political Islam? This question is afresh again because of the recent announcement by Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenny that veiled woman are required to remove niqabs or burkas…