Stories about Wahhabism

It’s not you, it’s me: Why did India refuse Pakistan and UAE’s aid?

The Indian state of Kerala, known as God’s own country, has become the victim of nature’s wrath and is experiencing the worst floods of the century. Thus far, the floods have left 445 people dead and dozens missing. In the hilly regions, floods have caused landslides which have exacerbated the destruction of homes, bridges and road networks. Around 1/6th of the population of the state has been directly affected, and the central government has declared it a level-3 calamity, which clearly indicates the severity of the catastrophe.  First of all, it is worth exploring why God’s own country has come under God’s ...

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The scapegoat and $33 billion – The hidden truth behind Saudi Arabia’s royal crisis

According to the Washington Post’s Fareed Zakaria, in order to understand how traditionally secular Muslim countries became hubs of radicalisation in recent years, you need just one example – Saudi Arabia. Zakaria explains: “In Southeast Asia, almost all observers whom I have spoken with believe that there is another crucial cause (behind the ‘cancer’ of extremism) – exported money and ideology from the Middle East, chiefly Saudi Arabia. A Singaporean official told me, ‘Travel around Asia and you will see so many new mosques and madrassas built in the last 30 years that have had funding from the Gulf. They are modern, clean, air-conditioned, well-equipped, and Wahhabi (Saudi Arabia’s ...

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A ‘progressive’ Saudi Arabia that practises moderate Islam – possibility or a sham?

Is Saudi Arabia turning over a new leaf, or are these new policies just an anomaly; perhaps a misdirected confidence of an individual who is trying to change the society in his own image? Only time will tell. The recently appointed crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Prince Muhammad Bin Salman (MBS), has embarked on an impressive but debatable development plan for the oil-rich country. This plan will see Saudi radically transform from its archaic system of governance and develop an over-the-top modern, high tech city which, according to MBS, is “The first capitalist city in the world… this is the unique thing that will be revolutionary.” This effort, ...

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In Pakistan, tolerant Islamic voices are being silenced

Last week, only three days after a suicide bomb went off in Lahore, an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) supporter struck a crowd of Sufi dancers celebrating in the great Pakistani shrine of Sehwan Sharif. The attack, which killed almost 90, showed the ability of radical Islamists to silence moderate and tolerant voices in the Islamic world. The attack also alarmingly demonstrated the ever-wider reach of the ISIS and the ease with which it can now strike within Pakistan. ISIS now appears to equal the Taliban as a serious threat to this nuclear-armed country. The suicide bombing of the ...

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Changing the perception of Islam in the world is a Muslim’s responsibility

Ever since the Paris attack on November  13, 2015, and mass shooting in San Bernardino, California on December 2, 2015, that left 14 people dead, there is growing antagonism against the Muslim community in the United Sates leading to increase in hate crimes like arson and vandalism at mosques, targeting hijab wearing women causing insecurity among the Muslim communities. Sadly, even the Sikhs have not been spared for they have often been mistaken to be representing radical Islamic elements. Many of the gurdwaras have been desecrated and many Sikhs had to bear the brunt of racist attacks. The politicians, especially ...

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6 things Saudi Arabia and Iran have in common

Saudi Arabia’s long and bitter history with Iran came to a boiling point recently when the Kingdom murdered Shi’ite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr on charges of treason after a farcical trial. For some time, the Saudis had indirectly indicated that Nimr al-Nimr was on Iran’s payroll. The late preacher, a fierce critic of the monarchy, ridiculed these claims. Although Nimr al-Nimr was a Saudi national, Iran strongly condemned the execution. Later, a Saudi embassy in Tehran was vandalised by Persians angrier than the ones defied by 300 Spartans. That Iran reacted so strongly did nothing to disprove any Nimr al-Nimr ...

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Stories from 2015 that could only have made headlines in Pakistan

It is the first day of January of 2016. Yes, the New Year has begun. We are all a bit older, wiser, and sadly, a little closer to death. Naturally, this is the perfect time to look back at some of the news stories that made headlines in Pakistan and across the world. Girls at Dhabas: For Pakistanis worn down by the taxing life of the big city, nothing quite reignites the brain cells like a good cup of doodh pati (tea). Sold at dhabas (roadside restaurants), these delicious cups of hot tea brewed in milk are consumed by the ...

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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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“Terror groups only kill non-Muslims”: 5 misconceptions about terror groups

Knowing your enemy is the very first step in fighting and defeating the threat it poses to your existence. Your enemy will always try to fool you with misinformation, so you never find out his actual motives and tactics. The world, both in the West and the East, has been fighting terrorism for decades, even before America saw the brutality of 9/11. The 9/11 terror attacks shifted all the efforts toward growing terrorism in the name of Islam and it was named as the ‘war on terror’. This war has been going on for 14 years now – with attacks around the world only increasing in ...

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Why Pakistan should focus on Iran’s CPEC entry rather than fighting India

It doesn’t take a genius to understand that trading blocks and economic alliances rather than geo-political rivalries and deadlocks are the key ingredients of success in the modern-day world. Gone are the days when building military might and muscle would enhance the prestige of nations or make them stand head and shoulders above the rest. The evolution of European Economic Community (EEC) into a prosperous European Union (EU) and the transformation of South East Asian economies into a formidable Asian Tigers unit only go to show that economics trump over politics. Without digressing much, Pakistan’s recent offer to Iran to join the China-Pakistan Economic ...

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