Don’t blame the men at home, when national leaders put women in boxes

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared that men and women are not equal, because this is against human nature, the two sexes being biologically different. He bashed at feminists who, according to him, do not understand the concept of motherhood and insisted on the primary and sole role of women being the caregivers. He has declared that every woman should have three children and proposed to limit abortions, morning-after pills and caesarean sections. Though it is accepted that a woman’s predominant role in life is that of a mother, she produces and raises a generation, she is the first institution for ...

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‘Mission Kashmir’ and BJP’s election agenda

While riding high on the Modi wave, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the 2014 Indian general elections (parliamentary and Lok Sabha polls) and formed a stable government in New Delhi. But quite amusingly, the saffron brigade has now set its aggressive eyes on ‘Mission Kashmir’. Not only does the party intend to secure victory in improbable 44 assembly segments out of a total of 87, it also has a plan to install a Hindu chief minister in Muslim-dominated Jammu and Kashmir. The five-phased assembly elections in the disputed Himalayan region are scheduled to commence from November 25, 2014. Just weeks after the ...

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Will it even help if I raise my voice for Shama and Shahzad?

The Kot Radha Kishan case of lynching a Christian couple, Shahzad and Shama, is no longer breaking news. In fact, killing minorities has hardly ever been ‘breaking news’ in Pakistan. As minorities are tortured, condemned and brutally killed in broad day light, it comes as no surprise at all to now find out that the family of the slain fear for their lives as they seek justice. Shahzad and Shama were thrown into a brick kiln by an angry mob for having burnt the verses from the Holy Quran. There was no evidence, no investigation, no hearing, just an atrocious execution. Days ...

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Is Sea View a dangerous place?

Relieved to finally be done with our university exams, Asad, my best friend from university, suggested he and I decided visit Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine during our vacations. Since I had plenty of time to spare, I agreed and the two of us decided to go on Saturday early in the morning to avoid any rush. At 8am on Saturday, Asad came over and together we left, on my motorbike, for the shrine. After offering our fateha, we realised thatit was still relatively early and we didn’t have anything is specific planned out. S on our way down the stairs of ...

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Compassion heals, volunteering helps

Meet Amna, a beautiful 13-year-old with hair falling below her waist, bright wide eyes and an angelic smile. When I walk in the room, she has a book in her lap, and her eyes are closed. She quickly rouses and smiles as if she recognises me. I introduce myself with the biggest smile I can muster and enthusiastically chat about topics I hope a teenager would enjoy. She seems fascinated but her fascination has less to do with me and more to do with her chirpy personality. I ask her about her siblings, which excites her and she eagerly asks if I will come again ...

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Talking out loud – Islam needs a reboot

At the very outset, let me clarify that I am neither a religious scholar nor do I have disciplined knowledge about the Muslim faith. The views expressed in this article are purely based on the perspective that one has developed over the course of the past many years. This is by no means a critique of a faith that millions of folks all over the world follow. To begin with, as paradoxical and contradictory it may sound, amidst all this opulent irreverence, the Muslims claim that there is a ‘back-to-religion’ movement the world over, as a reaction to the incessant indulgence ...

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My beautiful boys, my murderers

“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.” – Carl Sagan “We killed our mother because she was supporting them.” Read those words. Read them again. In fact, keep on reading them until you can find even the slightest hint of humanity in them. After all, they are the words from a son about his own mother. I have been doing that, in a desperate attempt to find at least some common ground between myself and these people. This was the line that ...

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Another conspiracy theory, another anti-Malala day

Yesterday, when I was browsing through the internet, two headlines caught my attention. First was that of a terrible suicide blast in Nigeria that killed 47 students and second was of Pakistan Schools’ Federation observing anti-Malala day where they blamed Malala for supporting controversial novelist Salman Rushdie. A similar development took place last year as well when All Pakistan Private Schools Federation banned its members from buying Malala’s memoir claiming that it has anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan content. What is more disappointing than observing such a magnitude of falsehood which is going around in loops since a long time and we find these school federations projecting the same. ...

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Stem cell research and ethical dilemmas: How far have we come?

Stems cells are biological cells that have the potential to differentiate into many types of specialised cells in the developing stages. They are present in multi-cellular organisms. In several tissues, they mimic a type of internal repair system and they keep dividing without any restriction to serve the purpose of replacing other cells to keep the animal or person alive. The division of stem cell through mitosis creates a new cell that has the potential of either remaining a stem cell or becoming another kind of cell possessing a specialised function – like a red blood cell, a muscle cell or even a brain cell. Stem cells ...

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Maligning Islam in the name of blasphemy

Charred remains of two human bodies become a question mark on our humanity. Smoke that rises from their ashes is denser than one that clouds our judgment. It will not vanish into the air; it will instead taunt our silence forever. What burnt was not bodies, but the very fabric of our society. In the presence of the rule of law – as demanded by the Holy Quran and our constitution – blasphemy would be dealt with by the aggrieved party registering a case against the accused under relevant sections of the Pakistan Penal Code. A free and fair trial in a ...

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