Stories about ISIS

Was #MakkahLive a PR stunt to appease Arabs and Muslims?

Social media is powerful. There’s no denying that. Time and time again, social media has proven its efficacy in relaying the truth regarding social narratives when traditional media has failed to do so. Snapchat is one such powerful medium. It allows users to share images in 10-second video clips with each other. Recently, Snapchat introduced a live story option which allows its users to post clips or images from a given location or event. These ‘snaps’ from the same location or event are then collated into a 24-hour live public story available to all users. Here’s the catch – Snapchat decides what ...

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Remembering the legacy of Nelson Mandela on his 98th birthday

As the world burns along the shores of the Mediterranean to the heart of Africa and from the valleys of Tigris and Jordan Rivers to the Dnieper River in Ukraine, one wonders how Nelson Mandela would be celebrated on his birthday on July 18th this year. Madiba (as he was called by the proud South Africans) held his ‘Long walk to Freedom’ covering six decades of struggle to rid the Black Africans of the ruthless Apartheid rule and give them a sense of dignity. The tall Xhosa and his simple soul were too strong for the white apartheid regimes of Southern Africa. His strong resolve ...

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No matter how you slice it, there can be no peace in Afghanistan

In recent years, attempts to launch peace talks with the Afghan Taliban have resulted in little more than false hopes and false starts. The ill-fated opening of a Taliban office in Qatar. A controversial prison exchange involving a US Prisoner of War (PoW) and five Taliban detainees in Guantanamo. Alleged secret talks initiated by then-Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Such efforts, while promising, ultimately all fell flat.   Then, last week, on the heels of a slew of informal meetings in China, Norway, and elsewhere earlier this year, Taliban representatives and Afghan government officials held what were described as their ‘first formal peace talks’ in Islamabad. The plan is to continue this dialogue next ...

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I felt safer in Iraq than I do in Pakistan

When I told my friends and colleagues about my plans to visit Iraq, I received much criticism and concerns. Understanding that Iraq, like Pakistan, is under a constant threat of terrorism, the response was much anticipated. But unlike Pakistan, Iraq has a history of hosting pilgrims and tourists – even in the face of adversity. And that was what made my resolve to visit this historically rich country even stronger. Pilgrims usually visit the shrines of Imam Ali (RA), Imam Hussain (RA), Imam Musa Kazim (RA), Imam Taqi–e–Jawad (RA), Imam Ali Naqi (RA) and the martyrs of Karbala, especially of Hazrat Abbas (RA). ...

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The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) warned us of the ISIS

In separate attacks last week, ISIS terrorists killed 39 tourists at a beach resort in Tunisia, and close to 30 worshipers at a Shia Mosque in Kuwait. The onslaught came shortly after the group called on its militant jihadi sympathisers to expand operations in the month of Ramazan. ISIS has demonstrated an unflinching determination to take out anyone who dares to disagree with it. Its members have slaughtered Yazidis and Christians, but the vast majority of its victims have been Muslims who resist it and refuse to acknowledge its authority. ISIS has even executed Sunni clerics who refused to swear ...

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Does one Iftar at the White House change anything for Muslims in the US?

Ever imagined life in a constant state of perpetual rush, whereby an individual is desperately trying to keep things together in an effort to please everyone, starting off with one thing but unable to ever finish any task before moving on to another, pulled in different directions and not knowing what the end objective is? Sounds like an exhausting and frustrating journey of a good natured guy, right? Indeed! This is how Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House has been – presiding over a fractured Washington and putting out wild fires one after the other, ending up aimlessly drifting without achieving ...

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Does the death of al Qaeda’s Yemeni leader change anything for the better?

Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch, also known as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), released a video statement on Tuesday confirming the death of their leader, Nasser al Wuhayshi. Like every high profile terrorist death, this incident has ignited the age old debate – would this death be “effective” in destroying a particular terrorist organisation? In today’s world of convoluted terrorist groups, the question should not simply be “is a particular targeted killing effective?” but rather from whose perspective is it effective? If we look at Wuhayshi’s death from the US’s perspective, it is a great success and probably the most significant since Osama bin Laden. Wuhayshi ...

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150,000 dead and counting: When will Af-Pak’s killing spree end?

Wars are a nasty killing business, the culmination of a failure of diplomacy or resolution of conflicts in a peaceful manner. Like religious fanaticism, where reason and logic stop and aggression gives way to hostility, mankind and nations often take refuge in manoeuvring and manipulating to go one up and control situations by non-peaceful methods. For the lack of a better expression, wars are the awakening of the animal instinct in human beings. The effects and repercussions that armed confrontations leave behind are far reaching. Scars of sorrowfulness and grief that wars bring to the teeming millions are virtually an irremovable ...

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Pakistan should learn lessons from China and avoid conflict with India

From the very beginning, Pakistan’s foreign policy has been security-centred, but the recent announcement of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) shows that Pakistan has pulled its strings closer in line with the global norms in order to benefit and cooperate with one of the emerging economies of the world. In times of relative stability, public policies, and systems of behaviour, democratic societies tend to flow in accordance with the dominant paradigm. With the evolutionary emergence of the liberal capitalist order, sustainable economic development is considered to be the most dominant paradigm which relates comprehensive national power to economic development since, the national interests of ...

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Why is the shipment of bio-hazardous anthrax being overlooked, United States?

While we were still in the process of recovering from the dumbfounding FIFA fiasco and the horrendous IRS hacking, the odiously toxic news of live samples of anthrax being  shipped ‘mistakenly’ by the Department of Defence (DoD) to different parts of the country and South Korea further contaminated the airwaves. While one cannot stay away from crying bloody murder when such an incident, a rather unforgiving event, occurs, bringing back awful memories of Union Carbide and Chernobyl, Pentagon officials assured people that nothing earth-shaking took place and there were no reports of exposure to the deadly bacteria. “There is no known risk to the general public, and there are no ...

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