Stories about martyr

Remembering Junaid Jamshed: The life you’d die for and the death you’d live for

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to title this article ‘the life you’d die for’ or ‘the death you’d live for’, as both of these phrases aptly emulate the life and death of Junaid Jamshed. He lived in a way one wishes to live and died the way one yearns to. If you conduct a quick dip-stick test and ask people how they would like to live their lives, they would not hesitate to respond with “happy, famous, rich and reputable”. When asked the question, “How would you like to die?” many would say that they would want to be remembered as ...

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The world will judge Islam by the way Muslims behave in the name of Islam

A year ago, the government took a bold decision by hanging Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of late Salman Taseer. The funeral, despite the media’s lack of coverage, was attended by thousands of people, highlighting the appeal of a man who was nothing but a murderer. One year later, thousands of hardliners defied the rally ban to attend his first death anniversary. The sad reality is that for many, Qadri is a hero, and the significant percentage of those who disagree with his actions have an “empathetic” attitude towards him. I have heard people coming up with all kinds of justifications ...

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The price I pay for respecting Islam

Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think I would become a scholar focusing on Islam and Christian-Muslim relations. Growing up, my passion was playing basketball and following the Boston Celtics. I never had any Muslim friends. In fact, I did not even know a single follower of Islam until my college years. If you had asked me “What is a Muslim?” when I was 16-years-old, I would not be able to answer you. But everything changed when 9/11 happened.  Muslims were seen as “extremists” and Islam was an “evil” force that had to be crushed by “freedom loving people”. When it came time to ...

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Will Pakistan ever truly accept its Christian community?

I cringe every time I hear the word “minority.” It is true that religiously we are different from Christians, but must we create a social difference too? Minority stands for ‘few’ and the way the term is implied it says ‘with lesser power’. If you find nothing wrong with calling someone “less than” then go ahead and play your part towards fuelling intolerance. The twin church blast in Lahore caused 14 Christian deaths and around 80 people were injured. An Islamic extremist claimed 14 lives and injured 80 innocent worshippers at a church. Amid the blood, destruction and havoc, the panicky mob lynched two bystanders when ...

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Kashmir protest: Is India in denial?

The controversial hangings of two Kashmiris inside Delhi’s Tihar Jail, in less than three decades at crucial junctures of Jammu and Kashmir’s political history (1984 and 2013), may have satisfied the collective conscience of the Indian nation but has ended up further distancing and alienating a majority of Kashmiris from the idea of India. Only five years after the hanging of Mohammad Maqbool Butt, founder of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), in Tihar on February 11, 1984, a popular anti-India armed uprising broke out in restive Jammu and Kashmir. The second execution was of Mohammad Afzal Guru, on February 9, 2013. ...

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Dear Arham, I will never forget the last day you went to school…

To my dear brother Arham, My Arham, that day, before you left for school, I remember seeing a vibrant smile on your face. It was as if you were excited for the day to come. I miss that smile now. I think about how energetic and cheerful you were that day. I still remember how, in the car, you kept going on and on about playing video games with Zawar and kept boring me with your chatter. I would give anything to hear you speak now. When Abbu dropped you to school, I remember how you rushed to pick up your bag ...

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Lub pay aati hai dua bann kay tamanna meri

On December 16, 2014 The Express Tribune blogs desk received many submissions from grief stricken people from all over Pakistan. These people wanted to show their solidarity with the families of the victims. They wanted to mourn the deaths of the students and teachers from the Army Public School, who were brutally massacred by the TTP in Peshawar. Due to shortage of space, we were unable to accommodate many, but we understood that this was a traumatic event in which every Pakistani’s protest should be recorded. So, this post was created as a window for people to come together and ...

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Happy 61st Birthday Benazir Bhutto, there is none like you!

June 21st is one of the longest days of the year. But its significance is much more than just that. It is also the day when Pakistan’s great leader was born 61 years ago. Benazir Bhutto was a brave and dauntless leader. With her charisma, intelligence, wisdom, knowledge and compassion she was an ideal woman in many ways. Tested through fire, she never abandoned her ideals and belief in the freedom of humanity from tyranny. In a male-dominated and Islamic society, she became the first woman elected ruler of a Muslim country in modern history. She stood bravely against both the tyranny of ...

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A numbness to murder

The murder on a mundane Monday morning was as meaningless as the murder on a tedious Tuesday morning. The details, however, differ in terms of bullet count. Dr Mehdi Ali Qamar, an Ahmadi cardiologist based in the United States was visiting Pakistan to carry out voluntary work at a local hospital. On Monday morning, May 26, 2014, he was shot 11 times while he was visiting a cemetery in the town of Chenab Nagar. On the other hand, Professor Shabbir Hussain Shah was a student service director at the University of Gujrat and a Shia by sect. On Tuesday morning, November 19, 2013, the bullets ...

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Pakistan’s soldiers: The sons of our soil

Since 1984, the Pakistan Army has been fighting a war on the highest battlefield of the world, the Siachen Glacier. Although there have been periods of temporary ceasefire, they have always been followed by severe aggression from both sides. During one such hostile period in 1987, a high altitude post of the Pakistan Army at the Siachen Glacier was commanded by my uncle who was then a captain. He had been there for five months and had no hope of being relieved in the near future because of the escalated tensions and harsh weather. One day he was sitting with his troops in ...

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