Masood Raja

Masood Raja

Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Masood Ashraf Raja is an Associate Professor of Postcolonial Literature and Theory at the University of North Texas and the author of "The Religious Right and the Talibanization of America" (Palgrave, 2016). Raja tweets @masoodraja

Pokémon Go: My Journey to Level 30 in Pilot Point, Texas

It might seem odd for a professor of literature, who usually writes about deeply political issues, to opine not only about an augmented reality game, but to also admit to having played it extensively over the last six weeks. To be honest, I find the game valuable and revolutionary in so many way, not the least…

The Incredible Pettiness of Mr. Trump

America has had its fair share of not too intelligent presidents, but in most of the cases when such people got elected they made up for their intellectual shortcomings by either being compassionate and kind, or by simply projecting a popular I-am-just-like-you-all persona. That Mr. Trump does not have the required experience and intelligence to run…

We Need to Re-Read Iqbal More Critically 

A few years ago I presented a paper on Allama Muhammad Iqbal at a conference in Islamabad. It goes without saying that in Pakistan, Iqbal holds a larger-than-life status and is often remembered as the Poet of the East, the Poet Philosopher, and as Musawwar-e-Pakistan. Thus, my paper, encouraging a different and more nuanced mode…

Lahore Massacre: Mourn and Then Stand Up for Our Children!

Another day, another massacre: target, our children. This is the sad reality of Pakistan, a country gone so wrong that to put it on the right course of history (if we can collectively figure out the right course) seems to be a task beyond human capabilities. This time the same perpetrators–those who claim to know…

Mumtaz Qadri: A Case of False Hero Worship

That we Pakistanis are always seeking larger-than-life figures to, somehow, lead us out of our mediocrity is almost a cultural truism. We have Maulvis, cricketers, businessmen, ex-generals, and now–thanks to our inner micro fascist tendencies–a murderer to give us hope of a better future. As you might be aware, Mumtaz Qadri, who murdered Governor Salman…

Humanities make humans

We often hear, in public and private conversations, that Pakistani culture and politics will become better with the increase in access to education. This is nothing new: almost all nations offer “education” as a panacea: as something that can solve most of their socio-economic problems. In the last decade or so, huge investments have been…

Akbar Jehan: An Intimate History of Kashmir

Khan, Nyla Ali. The Life of a Kashmiri Woman: Dialectic of Resistance and Accommodation. New York: Palgrave Pivot. Hardcover: $70.00. Ebook: S49.99 Many of us in the Sub-continent who grew up with an awareness of the history of Kashmir do not usually realize that the histories we receive are highly motivated and are presented to…

Axact, Bol and Pakistani Journalism: What is at Stake!

  A lot has happened since the New York Times published their deeply troubling investigative story about the shenanigans of Axact. The Pakistani authorities have now launched an investigation into the dealings of the company, the leading journalists recruited by Bol, an affiliate of Axact, have now left the new network, some for the reasons…

Karachi Bus Massacre: An Elegy for our Souls

That four Pakistanis boarded a bus and methodically executed 45 of their fellow citizens is a fact. That it is an atrocity against humans and humanity in general and the Ismailia community in particular is also a fact. Facts are always easier to grasp, as they leave gruesome clues to their own existence. It is when…