Public Opinion

The cycle of hate

“I said, I don’t know whether I’m the boxer or the bag” — “Yellow Ledbetter” by Pearl Jam (possibly misheard lyrics). European and American Muslims have lived in the West for decades, for over a century or more. They have never had a problem with, or been the cause of violence over the derision or fun Western media pokes at ...

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Eating grass

In the 1970s, the then prime minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, famously declared that, “We will eat grass, even go hungry, but we will have our own,” while referring to the attainment of nuclear weapons. Forty years after that declaration, we both have the bomb and — with electricity, gas, petrol and other shortages — are on the verge ...

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Saving the turf: The controversy of the 21st Amendment

In this concluding part of the series of articles that I have written on the 21st Amendment, I would like to discuss the two specific objections to the amendment that religious parties like the JUI-F and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) have raised. They object to the term ‘religion and sect’ based terrorism, and its further extension in terms of circumscribing those ...

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Sand in the supply chain of oil

Let me at the very outset dismiss the theory that the current petrol crisis is a conspiracy against the government. All the actors here are from the inner circle of the government — kitchen cabinet members, trusted bureaucrats, lame-duck regulators and a public-sector entity on the privatisation list. It was all in the family and, therefore, a case of collective ...

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Pakistan’s mediocre classrooms

When one contrasts the potential of Pakistan’s youth with those of other developing countries, one finds them extraordinarily hard working, far more willing to learn and interested in attaining a thriving career. However, the nation’s youth cannot rely solely on potential, interest and eagerness as virtues. Rather, they are subject to and depend upon an education, a social system and ...

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Exacerbation of Islamophobia

While the deadly attack on the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, was widely condemned, the magazine’s subsequent decision to carry yet another illustration of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) on its front cover has sparked controversy within the Western world, alongside triggering indignation across much of the Muslim world. Charlie Hebdo’s decision to bring out a ‘survivor issue’ which ...

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Break PSO up

If Pakistan State Oil (PSO) were a privately-owned firm, the populist commentators who pass for journalists in Pakistan would be foaming at the mouth calling for its break-up by now. The state-owned company controls close to 65 per cent of the Pakistani oil market, making it close to a monopoly. True, it is a heavily regulated monopoly, but if the ...

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An open letter to the West from a Muslim

This week, the British Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government wrote a letter to Muslim leaders in Britain urging them to do more to combat radicalisation. This article is a response to the letter.  Dear Rt Hon Pickles and Lord Ahmad, Peace be upon you too, or, Waalaykum Asalam. Thank you for your letter to Muslims living in ...

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Trauma victims in K-P

As Peshawar’s young students return to school after last month’s brutal massacre on December 16, there has been talk in the media of much-needed psychological care, which the students and teachers at the Army Public School (APS) require. Along these lines, reports state that Western specialists are visiting APS to give the students treatment for several days. Indeed, it will ...

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Paying for freedom

The freedoms enjoyed by the French — though not all of them and certainly not those out of the French population who are Muslim — come at a price, and not only for the French. It cost Nigerian Christians several of their churches and it cost a veteran anchor at CNN his job. After 34 years Jim Clancy resigned in ...

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