Stories about Iran

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 problem with Iran’s statement on Delhi’s anti-Muslim violence

At the expense of sounding morbid, one can say India’s state-abetted anti-Muslim pogrom in New Delhi earlier this month presented an opportunity for Iran. In the context of downward trends in Indo-Iran ties in recent times, the potential for Iran to establish its credentials as a Muslim power in South and West Asia through a strong stance on India’s brazen anti-Muslim policies has risen considerably. However, Ayatollah Khamenei’s recent statement on the Delhi pogroms failed to build upon strong rhetoric from Iranian state clerics last August when India annexed occupied Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). It, in fact, has harmed Iran’s thus-far ...

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The scenario for Afghanistan after the US-Taliban deal

The tentative deal signed on February 29, 2020 between the United States (US) and the Afghan Taliban after almost two decades of war hinges on a successful execution of four main points. Firstly, America has to gradually withdraw its troops from Afghanistan over the next 14 months, with 5,600 troops to leave the country within 135 days. Secondly, the Taliban and the Afghan government (which was not a party to the deal) must open direct talks, which will be preceded by the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners currently held by the Afghan government and the release of 1,000 prisoners in Taliban captivity. Thirdly, the Taliban ...

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What helped me get through a coronavirus quarantine in France

Thousands of people around the world are either going into quarantine or self-isolation to minimise the potential spread of COVID-19. This includes those who have been isolated after testing positive for the infection and those who are suspected of contracting the virus after coming in contact with a carrier. The first group of Pakistanis who experienced quarantine were students caught in the crisis right at the start of its outbreak in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Their desperate calls for help through social media and electronic media provided the first glimpse of how daunting it can be to experience ...

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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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A tale from a state of COVID-19 emergency

It was the day before our departure from Boston, Massachusetts to Islamabad. Local, regional and national concerns about international travel and COVID-19 had been increased for a few weeks but we were doing our due diligence. Our travel group leader had checked with his contact at the Unites States (US) Department of State and we received the go-ahead. Next, he checked with the US Embassy Islamabad and got the “green light” for our arrival. Lastly, all of our travellers’ immediate family members, while having predictable reservations about long distance travel to what they considered an ‘unstable region’, approved of ...

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A spectacle of egos: Dissecting the Trump-Modi modus operandi

While American President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were busy tooting each other’s horns this week, Delhi was burning. The Hindu-Muslim riots were emblematic of the violence and sectarian divide which has gripped India in recent times. Yet, it appears that Trump and Modi are rather unbothered by this escalation. Trump said that the incident was “up to India” to handle and that Modi had worked “really hard” to ensure religious freedom, while Modi simply addressed the matter through one tweet. Although both Trump and Modi claim to be teetotalers, to me at least, they always look drunk ...

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Israel-GCC ties and the bizarre future of Hasbara

Hasbara is the Hebrew word for Israeli state propaganda and it has always been a top-heavy affair, relying less on quality and more on the stifling of opposition via censorship. Also top-heavy are Israel’s newly-formalised Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) partners, from their domestic and foreign policy-making machinery to the distribution of wealth and financial power within their jurisdictions to their media. Zionist organisations and Jewish civil society have already started a socio-religious bonding process of sorts with the GCC. Given the status of the GCC as Arabs, at least from an ethno-linguistic perspective, Hasbara will concurrently need a cosmetic make-over forceful ...

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Trump’s bullying tactics will not work with Iran

Iran, it seems, is undergoing an internal change – one which neither America nor any other nation can alter; as evidenced by the fact that Faezeh Hashemi, political activist and daughter of one of the founders of Islamic Republic of Iran, stated that, “In my opinion, the collapse of legitimacy has already happened, and only a physical collapse has not happened, and chances are high that this will happen.” Her words echo the tumultuous period Iran has had to endure over the past year due to persistent protests which have taken place against the Iranian regime, and the crackdown which has ...

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Why Israel is in no position to forcibly implement the ‘Deal of the Century’

Donald Trump, alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, announced the ‘Deal of the Century’ on January 28th at the White House. Described insincerely as a ‘peace deal’, it is the de-facto legitimisation of illegal Israeli military occupation, territorial expansion and apartheid over Palestine. There is no Palestinian ‘state’ involved, only scattered territories surrounded by Israel – who still, as has historically remained the case, does not adhere to the finalised international borders. Illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank – which are in essence Jewish-only racial colonies and often built after Arab homes are bulldozed and the inhabitants expelled – built ...

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