Stories about terrorism

Salman Haider cares more about Pakistan than any of his critics do!

Pakistan is in the international spotlight and once again for all the wrong reasons. Three weeks have passed and yet there has been no news of the whereabouts of the abducted liberal bloggers. What’s been making the news instead, is the vicious campaign against those bloggers and those supporting it. The main weapon is the allegation of ‘blasphemy’ which is now hurled at activists like Jibran Nasir as well. Charges of blasphemy are supplemented with accusations of treason against the state. These bloggers have so far not been brought to court despite the fact that there are laws governing the ‘crimes’ ...

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What is so similar about Pakistan and Turkey?

You have a neighbouring Islamic country whose government you don’t seem to like much. You would appreciate if its rulers changed. The United States of America shares the same opinion as you. They want you to help settle a few scores of their own. You collect motivated youth from around the world, all aligned in a certain sectarian direction. You provide them with military know how, modern weapons and defence strategies, in your own backyard. You send them charging to your neighbour, hoping that these motivated proxies will overthrow their government for you. While doing all this, you never calculate the ...

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An open letter of gratitude to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Dear most reverend archbishop, Justin Welby, I am not sure how I am supposed to address you; may I call you the reverend father? This seems more appropriate considering the impression you’ve left behind after your visit to Pakistan. Reverend father, you are the head of a worldwide Anglican community which includes Pakistan. You landed in our country last Friday night and, despite the protocol, you did not attend many meetings with the high and the mighty. One official courtesy call to the Foreign Office Minister, Mr Sartaj Aziz was necessary. The purpose behind your visit to Pakistan becomes evident when ...

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As a Muslim American, I will abstain from voting this November

I am an American Muslim with one vote, and no person for whom to cast it. I became a citizen less than a year ago. This is my first election and yet, I won’t be joining the millions of other Americans going to the polls. How could I squander such privilege, particularly when so many Muslim women in the world never get to vote? Voting my conscience – by abstaining – is a painful decision. Friends are astonished by my dilemma. Yet Clinton, for some Muslims, remains a problematic choice, and one I am not able to embrace. Clinton’s complicity in entrenching and ...

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Can we blame the West for thinking of Muslims as they do?

In recent times, religiously motivated terrorism incidents have taken place in the West, from Brussels to New York. Due to these barbaric acts perpetuated by extremists, ordinary Muslims are also facing excessive backlash in Europe as well as in the United States. We, as Muslims, are correct to complain that it is unfair to bracket ordinary Muslims with the extremists, but at the same time we need to understand that our negative reputation is not merely due to organisations like ISIS but also because of our behaviour in general. I am not trying to equate extremist organisations like ISIS with normal and moderate Muslims here, ...

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On Twitter, Nazis have a follower count greater than ISIS

Regardless of how much the Muslim community screams blue murder that Islam is not the sole proprietor of religious extremism and terrorism, it takes the research of a non-Muslim terrorism analyst to convince the world. The latest study by J M Berger of George Washington University reveals that the singularly focused spotlight of social media sites upon Islamic extremist groups has only allowed thousands of white nationalist and pro-Nazi groups to mushroom unchecked right beneath their noses. Where sites like Twitter and Facebook continue to act with supreme diligence in sweeping their platforms clean of Islamic extremist elements, they remain dreadfully perfunctory ...

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Are American airports justified in their paranoia?

I keep wondering, scratching my head in awe. Is it paranoia? Is it a schizophrenic existence that we have come to accept as a way of life? Or, is this edginess just something that has incrementally increased over a period of time and has now become a part of our national DNA? Yes, I’m talking about life in the US of America where, of late, it literally needs a mere drop of a hat to trigger local, regional and, at times, national panic attacks followed by unstoppable seizures that scare the hell out of people. Beyond the September 11th attacks, America has been at ...

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Who should be blamed for Punjab police’s inefficiency?

The big story in the news recently has been the kidnapping of children in Punjab. This year, as many as 767 children have been abducted from various cities of Punjab, including the provincial capital of Lahore. This means that 767 families have gone through hell this year.  Last year, the number stood at 1200 kidnappings. Bear in mind these are just the reported numbers. All this points to organised crime rampant in Pakistan’s largest and supposedly most secure province. What, one must wonder, is the Punjab government doing and where are its law enforcement agencies, especially the police? A word about ...

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Is IG Sindh trying to promote gun culture by rewarding a man for killing a criminal?

Some days ago, Sindh Inspector General (IG) AD Khawaja lauded and rewarded a Karachi resident for killing a robber. This seemed like an old West Hollywood movie where bounty hunters get rewarded for killing criminals. He further stated that citizens should possess weapons to defend themselves. I wonder if this statement depicts how weak our judiciary is or how helpless those whose job is to defend us are. Moreover, this statement comes at a time following a recent incident that shook people with horror – Karachi residents beat a street robber until he was unconscious and then dumped him in a sewerage hole to ...

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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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