Stories about Paris Attacks 2015

The dread that comes with Rio 2016

Are you worried that the Olympics 2016 is a potential prime target for terrorists? Well, the security authorities of Rio 2016 admit that the fear of terrorism during the event is more serious due to the recent series of attacks around the world. Their apprehensions were further boosted because of a tweet by a French jihadist, Maxime Hauchard, who picked Brazil as the “next target,” after the coordinated terror attacks on Paris last November. Photo: Screenshot Besides, last week, the Brazilian police arrested 10 militants who were attempting to contact a weapons supplier in neighbouring Paraguay to get AK 47 assault rifles. ...

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To defeat the ISIS, America needs to get Saudi Arabia on board

In the aftermath of the Paris tragedy, people are asking whether ISIS’s attempt to strike at public places is part of their deliberate strategy to attack liberal western values. The argument gains credence especially when one finds ISIS chose soft targets like a concert hall, a sports stadium and restaurants in Paris, a city which they described as a “den of prostitution and vice”, to instil fear in the minds of the people. Samuel Huntington, a well-known political scientist, wrote in his insightful and classic book “The Clash of Civilisations and Remaking of the World Order”, “… the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and ...

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I know what Muslims are like

I haven’t written many articles or newsletters this year. Part of the reason is that I’ve been busy on other fronts, in my personal life as well as working on a couple of new book projects, plus launching a modest book-publishing venture (the website is still a work in progress). But I also don’t think the world needs a steady stream of op-eds and tweets, opinions and “quick takes”, from me, any more than it needs them from anybody else. Part of our problem these days is that we all have all too much to say. So I’m writing now to say something I ...

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My life as a Muslim in the West’s ‘Gray Zone’

Some months ago, I gave a reading from my most recent novel in Scottsdale, Ariz. During the discussion that followed, a woman asked me to talk about my upbringing in Morocco. It’s natural for readers to be curious about a writer they’ve come to hear, I told myself. I continued to tell myself this even after the conversation drifted to Islam, and then to ISIS. Eventually, another woman raised her hand and said that the only Muslims she saw when she turned on the television were extremists.  “Why aren’t we hearing more from people like you?” she asked me. “You are,” ...

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I am ashamed by this Ahmadi clause at a university in Lahore

A month ago, I got a very disturbing call at 8pm. One of the best engineering professors at a leading American university told me, in a flabbergasted tone, that something is troubling him and is related to Pakistan. “I have not seen such overt discrimination ever in my life,” he said. A few days before the distressed phone call, he and I had an interesting conversation regarding basic human rights when my column on pluralistic ramifications of Sufism and its association to the land of the subcontinent was published in a local newspaper in the US. He appreciated that I had tried to highlight the mystic culture ...

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Why can’t liberal Muslims get together to discuss issues that plague the Islamic world?

These are trying times we live in, gruesomely exhausting if one thinks deep enough to comprehend that things are changing in a dastardly manner. Humanity is beset with a challenging situation like no other time in modern world history whereby the colossal monster of Islamic extremism is impacting each one of us regardless of our beliefs or otherwise.  Europe, beyond the recent Paris attacks, will never be the same. While the French carried on with their lives after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the most recent carnage, many argue, may turn out to be Europe’s 9/11 type of wakeup call. The repercussions of this episode ...

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I applaud Donald Trump’s suggestion to track American Muslims

As an American Muslim, I’ve always wanted to stand out from the mainstream crowd, to be highlighted for my exotic religious identity, ethnic “brownness” and multi-syllable name that will never appear on a Disneyland key-chain. That’s why I applaud Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent suggestion that Muslims be given a special form of identification and his openness to the possibility of tracking American Muslims in a database. “Some people are going to be upset,” says the GOP front-runner, showing a sensitive spirit and exquisite social media trolling skills. Not I, Señor Trump, not I! Listen, I know you’re swamped right now figuring out how to build a wall ...

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A Muslim man stood blindfolded asking for hugs in Paris and this is what happened

Following the attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead and hundreds more injured, the city’s inhabitants have found myriad ways to stand together and show the world that they won’t be divided by terrorism and fear. The latest heart-warming example is this video courtesy of NBC Nightly News. A Muslim man stands blindfolded with open arms at the Place de la République (an area of Paris that has been used for vigils and memorials since the attack) asking for free hugs. His sign reads: “I’m a Muslim and I’m told I’m a terrorist. I trust you. Do you trust me? If yes, hug me.” And one after another, ...

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Hillary Clinton takes on ISIS

This week we had a chance to watch Hillary Clinton respond in real time to a complex foreign policy challenge. On Thursday, six days after the Paris attacks, she gave a comprehensive antiterrorism speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. The speech was very impressive. While other candidates are content to issue vague calls to get tough on terror, Clinton offered a multi-layered but coherent framework, not only dealing with ISIS but also putting that threat within the crosscutting conflicts that are inflaming the Middle East. For example, instead of just issuing a generic call to get tough on the terrorists, she pointed to the reality ...

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Why Muslims should empathise with Islamophobia

After 9/11, the world was pushed into a forced and impetuous war on terror by the president of the United States in 2001. A war on terror means nothing less than more terror and the aftereffects of the war have shown that the war achieved little more than destruction.  But the infamous George W Bush in his post 9/11 speech said, “I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It’s practiced freely by many millions of Americans, and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit ...

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