by Imran H. Khan

Salman Ahmed is a well known musician out of Pakistan and South Asia. He is the founder of one of the most famous rock bands out of that region by the name of Junoon. He has recently written a book by the name of “Rock and Roll Jihad“. When I first heard about the book and the title it struck me as something odd. Rock and Roll and Jihad had until now not been said in the same sentence. Jihad in Arabic language means to strive. In the Islamic religious sense it means  “striving in the cause of God”. Jihad has been classified either as al-jihād al-akbar (the greater jihad), the struggle against one’s soul (nafs), or al-jihād al-asghar (the lesser jihad), the external, physical effort, often implying fighting.  Having had seen Salman grow from a cute little child to what he is now, it does not take much to understand how he has used his musical skills to achieve social activism in fighting injustices, bigotry, national animosities, disease, religious misunderstandings, religious radicalism and the list goes on.

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by Imran H. Khan

Rob Franco is known as a great golfer and golf teacher within the Pakistani American community of Greater Boston. What is now becoming known is that he is an equally accomplished painter.  His recent works of arts are boats found in the many New England harbors and coast line.  He has evolved from being an illustrator to an artist with a distinct style. His choice of painting boats resonates well with people living close to the coast.

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by Sardar Mohammad Fazley Haque Khan

My family came to India with Malik Hayder Ghazi, who laid the foundation of Bassi, on the outskirts of Sirhind City during the reign of Sher Shah Suri. 12 Tumans (Zais) came here, but many have become extinct and a few are left now. Their chief source was and is either agriculture or service. Some of them used to serve in Hyderabad Deccan even in pre mutiny days.The Afghans used to enjoy semi-independence till the cessation of Bassi to Patiala State and chose their own rulers. When the Moghul rule was nearing its end, the Afghans of Bassi were unable to defend themselves and they began to search for a Ruler who could defend them from the Sikh Invasion. Nawab Shamshair Khan Killewalla (Bassi), backed with the majority of Bassi Afghans, brought  an Ahluwalia Family related to the Maharaja of Kapurthala, to rule in Bassi,  while two families of Omarzai Afghans sided with Patiala. They on their own accord brought a Patiala Tahsildar to Bassi, against the wishes of the rest of Afghan community. The result was that the then reigning power began to torture them, their houses were looted and burnt, and men imprisoned (our Omar Zai ancestors). More than once Patiala Forces were sent to help against Kapurthala Forces. These two families were of Nijabat Khan (Muqueem Bhai’s ancestors in Katehra Mohalla across town from ours in Mohalla Nai Sarai and Ghous Khan (our ancestors)of Nai Sarai. Read more

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by M. Salahuddin Khan

Debates about mosques in different parts of the country are growing in number and intensity. As they do, fueled by conflating terrorist ambitions with the vast generality of Islam that is 20% of the world’s population, some fundamental questions arise about the moral and constitutional aspects of such debates and the forces that energize them.

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by Shehryar Ahmad

In 2004, my brother Salman and I visited the birthplace of my mother Shahine Habibullah Khan Ahmad in Bassi-Pathanan, near Sirhind in the erstwhile state of Patiala, now Punjab, India. The decrepit ruins of Ashraf Manzil, named after my great-great-grandfather (“per-nana”) Ashraf Khan, had such a powerful effect on me that I will never forget the moment of coming across this place.
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