Category Archives: Uncategorized

Blasphemy – Pakistan’s insurmountable problem: stories from its perilous slopes

  Shumaila Jaffery’s poignant piece on Aasia Bibi and Pakistan’s blasphemy laws for the BBC last week stirred within me an unexpected nostalgia. Its thoughtful narrative served as a reminder of many personal experiences living and growing up in Pakistan … Continue reading

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Pakistan: blaspheming the divine

For religious minorities living in Pakistan, life remains increasingly precarious. In the case of Ahmadi Muslims, a minority sect in Islam deemed heretical by mainstream Muslims, this means that the mere proclamation of their identity as such is not only … Continue reading

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The burka debacle has missed the vital point – the woman

Boris Johnson’s article in the Telegraph last week referring to burka-wearing women as “letterboxes” and “bank robbers” has sparked a fierce debate over the burka. Much has been said, again, about its symbolism and why women wear it and whether … Continue reading

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In Memoriam: Mirza Qadir Ahmad

It was a summer afternoon in school on 14 April 1999 in Pakistan’s capital. I was a 16-year old GCE student, preparing to sit my exams that May. The school I attended was a small one, founded two years earlier … Continue reading

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Hijacking the Hijab – the Religious and Liberal Paradigms

  When Raphael Lemkin went in search of a word that would provide the archetype to define the most heinous of crimes against humanity, skeptics of language trivialised his efforts arguing that, “a word is a word is a word.” … Continue reading

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Je Suis Humanity: Beyond Scriptural Heresy

As the gruesome scenes from Brussels emerged on Tuesday, they bore an uncanny resonance to feelings I brought home from my recent trip to Pakistan. Visiting the country I grew up in for the first time following the dreadful Peshawar … Continue reading

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Is Britain Dangerously Diverse?

Can Britain be said to have become dangerously diverse since it opened its shores to migrants, particularly from Commonwealth countries, following the end of the Second World War? That appears to be the message implicit in the former racial equality … Continue reading

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The uncanny chillness of the Charsadda attack

I remember singing along to an oft-recited Hindi poem as part of a 13-member peace delegation to India in the summer of 2001. One couplet always resonated with me deeply, reminiscing the loss of humanity, its words ran something like … Continue reading

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Mr. Cameron: Democratic or Dogmatic?

    These have been troubling times for adherents of the Islamic faith with the rising tide of extremism along with an increasing number of Muslim scholars and clerics attempting to monopolise a singular path to salvation. Most Muslim-majority countries … Continue reading

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Of Serendipity and Starry Nights

Decembers are a poignant time of year, as we reflect on the receding shores of time, it is as if with each year one wave of our life disappears into the distant horizon. This December, my reflection took me down … Continue reading

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