Stories about ISIS

Making sense of terror attacks anthropologically

On the evening of November 13, 2015, Paris suffered the worst terrorist attack in modern European history, killing over 120 people. The scale and sheer barbarity of the attacks is unprecedented. The French society is in trauma. The world is in shock. Paris, still reeling from the aftermath of the deadly Charlie Hebdo attack earlier this year, will no longer be the same city. From holding vigils to changing Facebook display pictures in French flag colours, the attacks have prompted an exceptional display of solidarity with the victims by the global community. The western leaders have been quick in showing support for Paris, calling it ...

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Today, we take solace in the hope that #PorteOuverte has offered us

When a calamity strikes, be it an earthquake, a flood, or a terrorist attack, headlines are made all over the world, a certain meta-narrative grips us all. We are told that a certain number of people died, a certain amount of damage was done, a certain type of people was responsible. We become transfixed with questions like ‘what happened?’, ‘why did it happen?’ and ‘who did it?’ We become consumed with the pathology of violence. They answers we seek are what we call ‘primary’ pellets of empirical information that are intertwined to form a story that conforms to the framework of ...

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#ParisAttacks: Blaming the refugees for the attacks on France is like blaming the victim for escaping the abuser

As I write this, there are over 150 dead across Paris in one of the most revolting terrorist attacks in the history of France. Scenes are described as pure carnage. Reportedly, the attackers indiscriminately chopped (gunned) down innocent civilians with gunfire and explosives to horrific effect. One witness inside the Bataclan simply said, “It was a bloodbath.” Another stated, “They were shooting at us like we were birds.” The Telegraph shared some stories of the lucky Parisians who escaped the theatre. “Everyone got onto the ground. From that moment, instinct kicked in. With each volley you try to get as far away as possible from ...

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Does it matter if ISIS really shot down the Russian plane?

The international media spent much of the last couple of days mulling the question of whether Kogalymavia Flight 9268 crashed or was shot down by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) over the skies of Sinai, Egypt. The truth is, in many ways it really does not matter. ISIS did the damage when its Sinai branch Ansar Beit al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for the crash and the deaths of 224 people, even producing a video supposedly of the murderous act of terror. That got the tongues wagging – almost to the extent that the enormous loss of life became a sub-plot. Headlines the world over focused ...

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Hafiz Saeed is not Nawaz Sharif but as a citizen of Pakistan he has the same rights

Punjab Home Department has released a report stating that two Pakistanis are the next target of RAW, India’s intelligence agencies. The first gentleman, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, is known to the world as the elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. The second man, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, is known to the world as head of Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), organisations blacklisted by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267. JUD and FIF are also placed on the watch list of the Government of Pakistan and are affiliated with another banned organisation called Lashkar-e-Taiba. The report suggests that RAW intends to ...

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Does Saudi Arabia support the ISIS?

For almost four years now, Syrians have been perpetually facing their worst nightmare; five million of them have fled the country while another 7.5 million have been displaced, close to 310,000 made up the death toll until April 2015, and only God knows how many more have been killed past that. But none of this was enough to trigger Saudi Arabia (KSA) – the strongest country in the region and a major player for regional cooperation – to intervene in this crisis. What did trigger the country (or certain fractions of it) was the imminent presence of countries like Russia and Iran in the region. For those who ...

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Bombs without borders: American bullets in non-American bodies are always collateral damage

“Russia bombs ISIS/FSA targets” and “USA Bombs an MSF Hospital in Kunduz” read two headlines from the biggest international news stories these days. The contrast between the two stories is chilling. Brace yourself for the discomfiting truth that is about to envelop you. If you thought you understood the complexities of international affairs, prepare to have your world jolted. Russia, which has always taken a backseat in the whole “war on terror” ride, has now wrenched the steering wheel out of America’s slippery hands and has jammed its sturdy foot on the accelerator. The ‘war on terror’ officially has a new driver ...

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Putin’s affair with Obama: Lacklustre and awkwardly painful

Touted as ‘the greatest political show on earth’, one was expecting the 70th UNGA session to achieve some success in terms of reaching an agreement on the on-going Syrian crisis. It was hoped that the integration of ideas would prompt the powers that be to move their butts and take steps to end unnecessary slaughter of human lives, values and everything that matters to our existence. I don’t even know why and for what the UN stands for anymore. I was an avid supporter of the organisation in my younger years but as I have evolved, I feel disenchanted by the impotency of the institution. ...

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Lifting the veil on the TTP in light of Badaber

Where the attack at Badaber Air Force base in Peshawar and the loss of lives is a national tragedy, it is also a forceful message to those out to undermine the strength of Pakistan to back off. Although the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack, it is imperative to analyse the incident in a much wider context. Just as our friends in India promptly hold Pakistan responsible for every little brawl or bang that occurs in their country, our public/media too should move to the forefront in assuming that these same ‘friends’ could very well have been party in some capacity ...

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Why Pakistan should focus on Iran’s CPEC entry rather than fighting India

It doesn’t take a genius to understand that trading blocks and economic alliances rather than geo-political rivalries and deadlocks are the key ingredients of success in the modern-day world. Gone are the days when building military might and muscle would enhance the prestige of nations or make them stand head and shoulders above the rest. The evolution of European Economic Community (EEC) into a prosperous European Union (EU) and the transformation of South East Asian economies into a formidable Asian Tigers unit only go to show that economics trump over politics. Without digressing much, Pakistan’s recent offer to Iran to join the China-Pakistan Economic ...

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