Stories about europe

The past, present and future of European Muslims – Part II

This article is the second in a two part series which explores the history, current status and future of Muslims in Europe. Read Part I here. ~ Beginnings of a European Islam It will be safe to assume that a European form of Islam is emerging now, and has its roots in European history. The idea is to develop new interpretations of Islamic theology which will be in line with the European intellectual tradition and culture. According to some European Muslim scholars this branch of Islam will be a new religio-cultural off shoot, and will help to thwart extremist ideologies from the Middle East. ...

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The past, present and future of European Muslims – Part I

This article is the first in a two part series which explores the history, current status and future of Muslims in Europe. Read Part II here. ~ Is Muslim integration in secular European societies possible? This question is of importance as Islam is growing and thriving in European cities and towns, mainly through migration but also through higher birth rates among European Muslims. However, Islamist terror attacks in recent years have increased concerns about Islam and the future of European Muslims among the European populace. Growing frictions between the already present European Muslim minority and the host community is evident from the rise ...

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Should Pakistan instate a travel ban against coronavirus emergent regions?

In its final year in office, the current Trump administration has instated a 30-day travel ban extending to Europe and to its ally the United Kingdom (UK), supplementing the already existing bans on China and South Korea. Blaming the large number of new clusters in the United States (US) as a result of travel from Europe, President Donald Trump moved to present a resolute US front against the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared to be a global pandemic. On the other side of the Atlantic, here in the UK, Prime Minister ...

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In conversation with Noam Chomsky – Part 1: American culture and politics

This conversation with Professor Noam Chomsky is presented as a three part series. Part 1 covers American culture and politics. Part 2 covers media, intellectuals and imperialism, along with science, language and human nature. Part 3 includes a conversation regarding religion and spirituality, alongside a discussion about the Indian subcontinent, climate change and the migration crisis. ~ My email exchange with Professor Noam Chomsky began in 2017. I had read many of his writings and was curious about his views on a variety of topics. I sent him an email out of curiosity and what had started as an occasional email exchange at first soon ...

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Remembering Pakistan’s sacrifices for securing Europe’s freedom

In the November of 1989, ordinary Germans began physically tearing down the Berlin Wall whilst the soldiers of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) stood by doing nothing. Throughout Europe, communist regimes that had been imposed on largely non-consenting populations were falling. The global media remarked that all of this happened without a shot being fired, the exception being Romania where two shots were fired — one into the head of the dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu, and one into that of his wife. However, this seemingly neat and tidy story of how communism fell in Europe is rather illusory, because throughout the 1980s, there was ...

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Lessons PTI can learn from BJP and its landslide victory

For many, the two-nation theory (TNT) is a matter of history rather than a contemporary and ongoing political phenomenon. If the plebiscite demanded by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 47 was implemented, if Pakistan was not facing hostile provocations from India and its allies in Kabul, if India was at peace with itself in terms of ending communal violence, if India was not pitting Iran against Pakistan, and if Bangladesh and Pakistan had healthy relations, then perhaps the TNT could be viewed as an historical accomplishment. Because the aforementioned issues are far from being solved, and moreover, due ...

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Why working with the Austrian Mission in Pakistan was more than just another job

A few years ago, I was distractedly skimming through a pile of newspapers when suddenly my cup of tea fell over the classifieds section. It was there that I saw a job vacancy at the Austrian Embassy in Islamabad, and my life changed for the better. Seeing the ad took me back to my childhood, when my father was transferred to Frankfurt during the 90s. At the time, I was enrolled in a German school. Surviving on the streets of Germany without knowing the German language was a difficult task, especially during the early years of German reunification. But I ...

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Sky is the limit: My journey from Sargodha to the University of Oxford

When I was 12-years-old, I remember hearing about an institution known as the University of Oxford, but it felt too far away to ever become a reality. While I knew that if I worked hard I could probably get in someday, I never imagined the path life would take me through to finally get here. A path filled with adventures around the globe, and a chase towards learning from some of the world’s brightest minds. I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford, and received my Master’s through a program that allowed me to live in ...

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Stepping into the void: A magical journey to the picturesque Swiss and French Alps

The mountains are calling and I must go – this is what I told myself while planning my summer vacation. Selecting Switzerland was a no-brainer, as it remains one of the most sought after and popular destinations for tourists around the world, thanks to its alpine peaks, mountain vistas and magical landscape. I started my European journey from Chur, reportedly the oldest town in Switzerland, and made my way to the Glacier Express, dubbed the world’s fastest slow train. This is a panoramic train which reaches Zermatt, a Swiss mountain resort, passing through spectacular lakes, enormous mountains and breath-taking landscapes. [caption ...

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A day trip to the micronation of Andorra, a jewel hidden between European giants

Sandwiched between Spain and France in the Pyrenees mountains, very few have heard of the micronation that is Andorra. I too only came across this tiny European country on Google Maps while I was planning my Euro tour. With a total area of only 468 kilometre square and a population of almost 77,000 people, it attracts over 10 million tourists annually, which is where 80% of its gross domestic product (GDP) comes from. Seeing its beauty and its unusual size, it didn’t take long for me to include it in my itinerary as I planned to visit every single state in ...

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