Stories about jihad

Muslim is the new black

This past Monday I watched CNN’s Don Lemon question Sam Harris sympathetically, almost apologetically, about Ben Affleck’s defence of the Muslims of the world. Lemon asked Harris loaded questions, encouraging him to spew his ignorant half-true rhetoric about Islam. And this claim I do not make condescendingly, rather Harris’ knowledge appeared lacking because of its biased subjectivity rather than studied objectivity on the subject of Islam, his simplistic rambling sounded amateurish and very myopic. A discussion on religion within the same religion is fundamentally complicated, let alone in comparison to other religions, hence to make the dialogue intellectual and fair, the media must play a responsible role and have ...

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Subjugation and Kashmir during the 100 days of the Modi Sarkaar

More than a hundred days of Modi Sarkar’s achey din are over and since then the Indian premier has visited the occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir twice. Lately, the disputed region, for a constellation of reasons, has also taken up quite a bit of space in the news. Starting from a debate over the abrogation of Article 370, which gives Kashmir special status, on paper at least, from the Constitution of India to the recent cancellation of foreign secretary level talks between India and Pakistan, Kashmir has dominated headlines and been the subject of prime time discussions on TV in India. An in-depth analysis of these ...

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Brother, you are from Pakistan and you don’t speak Arabic?

One of the biggest advantages of living abroad is the chance to hear what people think about your country. I have been living in Germany for the last three months and during this short stay, I have made friends from different regions of the world. At first, it appeared mystifying, the fact that everyone that I had met, knew something about Pakistan. It is no surprise that with the ongoing situation in Pakistan, where every day there is horrifying news that in the imagination of people I have come across, Pakistan comes closer to being an aberration. Wishfully, I often think ...

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Stop blaming FATA and take responsibility for the IDPs, Pakistan

After months of dithering, the Pakistani government finally approved the long-awaited offensive against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) last week. The decision came in the wake of the audacious terrorist attack on the country’s largest airport that reportedly killed at least 29 people. While the decision is a welcome move, the way it was arrived at revealed the ‘reactive’ nature of and the laxity and arbitrariness associated with the country’s policy-making process. Given the existential threat it poses, terrorism should have been the foremost priority of the new government and therefore must have been dealt with in a more pro-active and robust way. Unfortunately, ...

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Understanding the ‘good Taliban’ and ‘bad Taliban’

Just as social media flooded with a surprisingly positive wave of military operation support, there were a few who did not quite seem happy. One of them, ironically, happens to be my friend. “Don’t be so happy, Sultana. Our government has failed to conduct fair negotiations with them, and with this operation, there will be far worse consequences. You will regret attacking them.” The remark came as a surprise. It made me pause. I stood frozen with a smile from the last moment of unity left hanging in the air. Suddenly, I felt uncomfortable. I felt I was standing face to face with ...

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An intolerant educational system made me indifferent to the death of non-Muslims

As the Twin Towers came crashing down in New York City on September 11, 2001 an eight-year-old boy remained unmoved some 7,000 miles away in Lahore as the horrifying images unfolded before him. The boy then, descended into a mode of celebration upon discovering that the towers were in ‘non-Pakistani’ territory and that a significant majority of the dead were non-Muslims.  This boy was no suicide bomber in the making. He was not the product of an extremist madrassa nor was he the son of a jihad veteran. In fact, this was a boy who was being educated at one of the finest institutions this ...

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Nothing better to do? Wage war over Ayesha Omar’s T-shirt!

Recently there has been hot debate going on over a T-shirt Ayesha Omar wore in one of the scenes of the ongoing drama on Hum TV, called Zindagi Gulzar Hai. There has been outrage on social networking websites (especially Facebook) and many people have been blogging about the huge offence to Islam that the T-shirt apparently caused. The reason behind all the fury is not because she wore a T-shirt but because the shirt says ‘Little Miss Jihad’. It also sports a cartoon of a veiled woman with a bomb tied to the back of her head. The screen time of the ...

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Longing for an Arab-Israeli spring

Plato may have inadvertently summed up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict 2,500 years ago when he is thought to have declared: “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” The cyclical bloodshed in the Arab-Israeli conflict is a direct consequence of the rigid postures of the jaded and faded leaders on both sides. On one end, we have the Palestinian codgers – with thick accents and thin visions – vowing for the annihilation of the Zionists. They know it’s impossible. And on the other are the ...

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How many Ajmal Kasabs are we raising?

The memory of the fidgety and mentally distracted Indian classmate, biting his nails furiously, who could not sleep for the whole night after watching the live coverage of the attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 flashes back to my mind whenever anybody mentions attacks. Indeed, it was a tragic as well as ghoulish event; the sights of the killings, the shootings, the hostage-taking and the lamentations of victims’ relatives were seen and heard for three days on satellite TV, which aired grisly images all over the world. (Photo: AFP) On that fateful day, Mumbai was attacked by ten men; nine ...

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The PTI’s disappointing antics

On Thursday, many of us questioned the desirability of ‘democratic rights’ for certain supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). This happened after the editorial staff at The Express Tribune experienced the most abominable episode of cyber harassment at the hands of frenzied PTI supporters. Email after email clogged up staff inboxes, bearing messages which said that the party will “use its immense popularity to boycott the Tribune website”. The object of wrath was the story published on October 11, regarding the PTI chief’s sensational statement, in which he claimed that the war in Afghanistan was tantamount to jihad by Islamic militants. Messages ...

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