World with Junaid

“On all things that really matter to the human condition, to the human soul and spirit, including the terrain of the moral, ethical, and the political, he got it pretty much as right as is humanly possible.” - about Dr Mumtaz Ahmad

From Junaid's perpetual "Challenger"

“Take examples of your favoured radicals. People like Fisk and Chomsky find themselves on the right sides of Asads and Putins simply bypassing what they did: to his own people incase of Asad and to the Chechens and for the Russian oligarchy by Putin. How convenient it becomes for the radicals to look away only because they ‘stand up’ to the US imperialism.”

“When you have ‘dreamers’ willing to BOTH challenge foolish dogmas AND to have a clear understanding of where the society is, have the necessary awareness-raising energy to engender mass political literacy (the organizing and mobilizing usually done by the conscientious more privileged layers of society who are ashamed of their county’s disparities and disappointments). It’s important to dream. And it’s important to remember that dreams can come through dedicated efforts and sacrifice.”

“I’m really fascinated by how many times we’re reminded of the ‘liberal’ credentials of these economists? Perhaps we should start clarifying and defining these terms before deploying them so casually. For example, how do you distinguish them from classical conservative economists. Second, you do know that the modern origins of liberal economics comes from the post Depression era of the 1930s in which it was recognized by the leading liberal economist that Keynesianism and social spending in your ‘human capital’ is the way forward, and the state has a central role in that. Neoliberalism of course hated that, and so since the 70s and 80s we have had the restoration of class power to once again make sure nothing changes and in fact in many places, things get worse…”

“…What are we FOR, therefore, becomes the more substantive question, and sadly the cruelties of the world system are compelling us to move from merely a rights-based political logic to one that meets two fundamental criterion: social justice and sustainability (in an increasingly unsustainable world).”

Junaid Ahmad

the inspiration behind...

He draws more and also less from his late father. Junaid likes to tell others about his father that he was not only unhinged, but encouraged his own son since he was a child, and in fact relished nothing more than their intense discussions and debates. So, if anyone really thinks what some may have said about the father or the son might bother them, he is wrong.

On one occasion, some folks actually had tried their luck at Dr Mumtaz Ahmad, who served as a professor of political science in the U.S. and Pakistan until 2016. It was inflammatory and dangerous but couldn’t do much to the sublime soul. Neither to the son, who had told his father,”Abu, take it as a compliment”. And both had a good laugh before, during, and after the occasion. 

The icing on the cake was when the offenders were offered some Turkish Baklava he had just brought back from his trip to Turkey, and wished them well in their studies. But it didn’t end there, when Junaid took a few of those to his side in a schemingly, sneaky way, and quietly advised them of how they could do better next time; offered a new idea to have their accusation be semi-believable and semi-intelligent and then gave them some other alternative possible accusations to bring back the next day! They never came back.

That was Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad, Junaid’s mentor and father. Junaid likes to describe him as unhinged for his reaction to anything that is ever said about him.

Of course, only a man of deep integrity, character, and principles can have such confidence to be so unaffected. 

Junaid goes on to tell, “Does that mean he or anyone else is always correct in their political judgement? Not at all. We are all human”.

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