Fear the wrath of God

What do women seeking abortions, homosexuals in the US military, the animistic tribe of the Pakistani Kalash, and Christmas celebrating, non-vegetarians have in common? Apparently, God hates them and so we all have to put up with terrorists, strong winds and the earth splitting wide open. “Look what the Kalash have done now” In the wake of November’s 7.5 magnitude earthquake, a tragedy that left over 390 people dead, Pakistanis have descended into their favourite game; the blame game. It’s a familiar, age-old phenomenon. The wrath of God has been a sound explanation for the cruel, unusual, confusing and tragic since the inception of religion, and, perhaps, humankind. ...

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The Paris attacks are an act of war – against Islam itself

The appalling attacks in Paris were, as Francois Hollande said, an ‘act of war’. They were Islamism’s declaration of war on free society – but, crucially, they represented something else. An act of war, by Islamists, upon Islam itself. As Douglas Murray says, it is lazy and wrong to argue that these attacks had nothing to do with Islam. The repugnant creed of the Islamic State (IS) is certainly related to Islam – but it is also inimical to Islam. The scenes in Paris will shock Muslims world over; indeed, when we Muslims hear of gunmen shouting “Allahu Akbar” before committing the very acts of murder explicitly prohibited by the Quran, ...

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My people’s deaths in Beirut do not matter as much as my other people’s deaths in Paris

I come from a privileged Francophone community in Lebanon. This has meant that I’ve always seen France as my second home. The streets of Paris are as familiar to me as the streets of Beirut. I was just in Paris a few days ago. These have been two horrible nights. The first took the lives of over 40 in Beirut, the second took the lives of over 100 in Paris. It also seems clear to me that to the world, my people’s deaths in Beirut do not matter as much as my other people’s deaths in Paris. ‘We’ don’t get a safe button on Facebook. ‘We’ don’t get late ...

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Is it terrorism itself or the cities where terror strikes that is more appalling?

The country’s capital was rocked by the deadliest terror attack it has seen in over 20 years. Dozens have been reported dead with some calling it a “satanic attack” and the world has not shed a tear. Yes, you have not posted or tweeted about it. You did not come up with any hashtags or express any condemnation. You just, perhaps, accepted it as a harsh reality and moved on because the capital was Beirut not Paris. The night before Paris was attacked, Beirut lost more than 40 lives and you moved on. You are not just the common Twitterati, you are the international ...

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What if Allama Iqbal had remained an Ahmadi?

Sir Chaudhry Muhammad Zafarullah Khan was one of the leading founding fathers of Pakistan. You know, the Pakistan Resolution that our national struggle was based on? He drafted it. He was the first foreign minister of Pakistan. He was known for his eloquent representation of Pakistan at the United Nations and is the only Pakistani to have served as the President of the United Nations General Assembly, and that of the International Court of Justice in Hague. While working in international diplomacy, Sir Zafarullah Khan’s tireless advocacy for the freedom of Arab states and for the resolution of the Kashmir ...

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Remembering Pakistan’s silent killer on World Pneumonia Day

In recent times, Pakistan has, unfortunately, earned a notorious reputation where health care is concerned. Be it polio or hepatitis C, we continue to make headlines for being the country with the highest number of cases, around the world or in the region. It is not surprising then that Pakistan has the third highest death rate for pneumonia in the world, particularly in the paediatric population. Pneumonia is an acute infection that affects the lungs. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria or even fungi. It presents with cough, difficulty in breathing, loss of appetite, and wheezing with or without fever. According to World Health ...

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Amidst such dismal set of facts, how is Pakistan still existing?

A former CIA official, Kevin Hulbert, recently wrote in his blog for The Cipher Brief, that Pakistan is probably the most dangerous country of the world as it is ripe with threats of terrorism, a failing economy and the fastest growing nuclear arsenal. Once again, sadly, this nation has been put on the map for the most ominous things. Hulbert says, quite dramatically: “The spectre of the sixth largest country in the world being a failed state is a hypothetical catastrophe that would unleash a world of unintended consequences.” Country profiles by organisations such as BBC and HRW have named Pakistan as one of the world’s deadliest countries for ...

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From chauffeurs to tea-boys, their ladder of opportunity is your legacy

Crisp white shirts, shiny black trousers, a polished golden eagle on the shoulder – security guards can be seen scattered all across Dubai. Around posh residences, malls, and office buildings, these young South Asian men, in a city as secure as Dubai, are invariably left roaming around at night with little to do. Rubbing my eyes as I reach work on a Sunday morning, I find one such man sitting behind the large reception desk. His head sways in a robotic manner as he stares into his lap, his lips moving soundlessly. In his lap is a creased English newspaper, its stains testament to ...

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Is Justin Trudeau’s cabinet as big a kick to sexism as imagined?

Justin Trudeau’s appointment as Canada’s new prime minister has generated an incredible response from the global community. Whether it’s his photogenic good looks, or his demeanour as the down-to-earth friend of the people, Trudeau has not only given the Canadian society a whiff of optimism, he has made headlines the world over. As someone who apparently can do no wrong at the moment, his decision to appoint a cabinet divided equally between men and women has only added admiration for him. When asked the reason giving half of the spots within his cabinet to women, he remarked, “Because it’s 2015!” The statement has already caught on ...

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YOU are perpetuating rape-culture and don’t even know it yet

For far too long we have subjected women, particularly victims of sexual violence, to our ignorance and insensitivity ingrained in our speech, linguistics, culture and even laws. The sad fact is that even after the promulgation of the Women Protection Act 2006, efforts still need to be made to challenge the horrendous rape culture we are embroiled in. A rape victim is someone who has been subjected to a violent, non-consensual and invasive violation of her body, reducing her to a mere object of satisfaction, lust and vulnerability. The marks of the crime are far more than physical. Many victims consider ending their ...

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