Stories about UK

My final goodbye to Mirpur, my ancestral home

Today, I will visit the graves of all four of my grandparents. They are buried in Mirpur, Kashmir, where I am able to trace my unbroken lineage for at least 200 years. I have visited my ancestral village a total of 11 times since my birth in the UK, but I feel confident that this visit will be my last. Despite its immense natural beauty, the region of Mirpur suffers from a deep and insufferable moral decay, the likes of which I have never experienced elsewhere in the world. They are buried in Mirpur, Kashmir, where ...

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The Year of the Runaways will be remembered in the years to come

Sunjeev Sahota’s second novel, The Year of the Runaways, is a rare piece of literature that has been lucky enough to receive timely praise. Eliciting a largely positive reception, it has been called one of the best novels of the past year and was also shortlisted for the Booker prize. Photo: AFP At the heart of the book are the claustrophobic and morose lives of three Indian immigrants and a British-Indian girl. The three men, Tochi, Avtar and Randeep share a congested and ramshackle house in Sheffield along with a hoard of other migrant workers. Although Randeep’s wife, Narinder, is the ...

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Mustafa Kamal or MKUltra?

MKUltra was a top-secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) mind control program initiated in the 50s. It involved the use of drugs, chemicals and other sensory stimuli to breakdown an individual’s will. Other implications of the program included brainwashing and indoctrination, which would lead to the creation of sleeper agents to be used for ulterior purposes. Once you gain control of a subject, the possibilities are endless. On a larger scale, gaining control of peoples’ minds or the group mind depends on several factors most important of which is opinion leadership. When several individuals identify with each other in a personal relationship, they form a ...

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Is the fashion industry evolving with the inclusion of its first Hijabi model?

Mariah Idrissi is the first female Muslim model to feature in an H&M advertisement. The advert describes her look as ‘chic’ and Mariah definitely looks chic. Most are applauding this diverse and inclusive step from the world’s second largest retailer for representing Muslim women in the fashion world. The fashion industry is changing…or is it? Muslim women have their own views and as the global Muslim population is the second largest in the world, there will never be a formulaic response to what one Muslim woman wants. Our choices will depend on us individually and include the country we live in, our work ...

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If they thought Ahmed brought a ‘bomb’, why didn’t they evacuate the school?

When they say they thought 14-year-old MacArthur High School student, Ahmed Mohamed, brought a bomb to school, they are lying. They are lying through their teeth. Let’s examine the facts. This young student of Sudanese origin, who loves engineering gadgets in his spare time, brought a home-made clock to school to show to his engineering teacher. His teacher after examining the device, recognised it as a clock, but realised it could be misinterpreted as something dangerous, and warned Ahmed not to show it anyone else. According to Dallas Morning News, Ahmed said, “He was like, ‘That’s really nice. I would advise you not to show ...

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Dear Malala Yousafzai, your Nobel Prize is not your ticket to Stanford

It is time for Malala Yousafzai to start considering colleges for the next phase of her education. However, here the queen of education seems to have run into a little snag. Though she has her eyes set on Stanford University in California among other institutions, Stanford has demanded that she demonstrate herself to be academically adept as per US standards for college admission. Not quite interested in her stature as the youngest Nobel Laureate, the university, which ranks number third in the world, has demanded Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores from Malala. SAT is a specialised test of academic skills in the areas of reading, writing, and math required for applying to admission ...

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Like Waar, Phantom only provides momentary adrenaline to reactionary patriots

Kabir Khan is a well-known and renowned Bollywood director and it’s pretty clear by now that he is not interested in directing and producing ‘masala movies’. Since his directional debut, Kabul Express in 2006, he has made five films and there’s been a geo-political angle in all of them. Phantom is the latest movie directed by Kabir Khan. The film has created way too much controversy due to its subject matter, the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Additionally, the time of release hasn’t aided the movie either, keeping in mind the rising tensions along the Line of Control (Loc). The basic background of the movie revolves around a covert operation ...

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Are we really going to blame India for the heatwave?

The recent heat wave in Karachi that has claimed over a thousand lives is one more nail in our government’s coffin of negligence and its inability to deal with a crisis. It has also become the norm in the subcontinent to give public officials the opportunity to show just how mind-numbingly dumb they really are. In a recent statement, the Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahidullah Khan has said that the actual responsibility for the heat wave lies with the boogie across the border, India. He claims that coal-powered plants in Rajasthan, India could have contributed to the heat wave. The senator does not quote any scientific research to support his claim, ...

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What does a Conservative-led UK mean for British Muslims

Against all expert poll predictions, pre-poll analysis and commentaries from well-meaning pundits, the voters in the United Kingdom stunned one and all by electing the Conservatives (Tories) and rejecting the Labour. The Conservative Party led by charismatic David Cameron won a ‘shocking’ majority (331 out of 650 parliamentary seats) while the Labour Party which was led by Ed Miliband recorded its worst electoral defeat since 1987, forcing their leader to resign on moral grounds. May 7 voting has given a clear mandate to David Cameron, which raises genuine fears and questions about immigration and pro-poor policies. Immigration-friendly Labour Party has ...

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The greater evil, Western hypocrisy or the ISIS?

“Third teenager has been caught trying to flee Australia to join Islamic State” – Daily Mail, UK Are they crazy? Insane? Traumatised? Or hypnotised? Who can think of leaving behind the luxurious life of western countries, including Scandinavia, and end up in a region where even getting a continuous supply of electricity is a rarity, where the western concept of freedom completely seizes to exist, and you simply do not know whether the next bomb hitting the ground will turn your surroundings into a pile of rubble. How on earth can somebody think of leaving Australia for countries such as Syria and Iraq, which are ISIS ...

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