Abuzar Wp

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Separating state and Islam

28 years after the Constitution was Islamised by military dictator Hussain Muhammad Irshad, Bangladesh is mulling a verdict over unadulterated …

Religion

Is Pakistan self correcting?

Perhaps this is getting a little ahead of the game, but it’s worth saying nonetheless. There is a good chance that we are witnessing a turning point …

Pakistan

The tightening noose

A FLAME flickered briefly this week, the savages violently snuffed it out and folk wondered — a step forward, two steps back, going round in circles, …

The roots that clutch

“I DON’T regret [the] murder, because you can’t regret a religious obligation.” You may think this was said by Mumtaz Qadri or one of his supporters, …

Israel

Owning Qadri, disowning Sharmeen

We’re quick to disown people. Especially anyone outside the ‘Sunni Muslim straight man’ demographic that dominates most affairs in Pakistan. We’ve …

Pakistan

Significant developments ‹ The Friday Times

Certain interesting developments cry out for comment. The Punjab Assembly has unanimously passed the Punjab Protection of Women against Violence …

Above the law

MAULANA Abdul Aziz of the Lal Masjid is seldom away from controversy. In a video message posted on social media last month, the cleric accused a …

Pakistan

Shame indeed

THE demolition of the Babri Masjid was “an act of absolute perfidy, which should make all Indians hang their heads in shame,” writes Indian President …

Do your genes make you a criminal?

STEPHEN "Tony" Mobley has all the attributes of a natural born killer. Nobody could blame his upbringing - he came from an affluent, white, …

Pakistan’s Hand in the Rise of International Jihad

TUNIS — PRESIDENT ASHRAF GHANI of Afghanistan has warned in several recent interviews that unless peace talks with Pakistan and the Taliban produce results in the next few months, his country may not survive 2016. Afghanistan is barely standing<b>,</b> he says, after the Taliban onslaught last year, which …

General in his labyrinth ‹ The Friday Times

COAS General Raheel Sharif is making headlines again. He says he is neither seeking nor will accept any extension in service beyond retirement in …

Pakistan

Sin, crime, and porn

<b>The right to make personal decisions</b><p>No one wants to advocate pornography or internet sites peddling it, and that includes me, for so many reasons. …

Domestic Violence

Wholesaling martyrdom

DG ISPR Lt Gen Asim Bajwa using the B-word (b**tards) in Saturday’s press conference to describe the perpetrators of the Bacha Khan University attack …

Pakistan Army

Public misogyny: Chronicles of a boy on Karachi's streets

<i>This article was originally published on January 22, 2016.</i><p>This piece consists of snippets chronicling gender roles on the streets of Karachi through …

Skinny Jeans

Pakistan’s Monster

In Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” the eponymous scientist, saddened by the death of his mother, sets out to create a human replicant in his laboratory. But instead of a human, a giant grotesque emerges, with yellow eyes, over-stretched skin, and a volatile disposition. Victor Frankenstein refers to …

The Man on Horseback ‹ The Friday Times

Chief Of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif continues to hog the headlines. He is the point man in all the significant policy decisions taken by the …

Pakistan

Dear Pakistani child bride, we have failed you

<b>And so, another day dawns with the crow of the rooster and the sigh of the moderate Muslim. Get up, and turn on your computer. You know the drill:</b><p>We …

Religion

Iran moves from pariah state to regional power | Reuters

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran’s release from sanctions testifies to its new relationship with the United States as it moves from pariah state to regional power, a status that could come at the cost of Saudi Arabia, Washington’s chief Arab ally.<p>Enemies and allies alike must adjust to Iran becoming an …

Our hero of the day: A boy presenting his chopped hand on a plate

<b>Here's a hypothetical situation: You have a 15-year-old son, and he hacks off his own hand after believing he has committed blasphemy. How would you</b> …

Hacking

Sophie Kasiki is one of the few women to escape from Raqqa, the stronghold of Islamic State<p>Sophie Kasiki stared at the photograph of a young English-speaking boy in a camouflage uniform and black bandana covered in Arabic calling for unbelievers to be killed in the latest Islamic State …

Islam

Stereotyping rape

IN a complex and diverse world, recourse to stereotypes and generalisations is perhaps an inevitable facet of human behaviour. Stereotypes and …

“Baaji, you never wear a dupatta. Does that mean you are also asking for it?”

<b>It was a despairing day for humanity on Sunday when yet another report of a horrendous rape broke out of South Asia. A</b><b></b> <b>14-year-old Indian girl</b><b></b> <b>bravely</b> …

Why don't more moderate Muslims denounce extremism?

Why don’t Muslim leaders speak out?<p>That question comes up every time terrorists purporting to be deeply religious Muslims carry out armed attacks that kill innocent people. Where, commentators ask, are the moderate Muslim leaders and why aren’t they decrying the horrors perpetuated by fellow …

The most dangerous man in the world?

When Mohammed bin Salman was just 12 he began sitting in on meetings led by his father Salman, the then governor of Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Province. …

Middle East

Prince Mohammed bin Salman: Naive, arrogant Saudi prince is playing with fire

At the end of last year the BND, the German intelligence agency, published a remarkable one-and-a-half-page memo saying that Saudi Arabia had adopted …

Middle East

On fat-shaming

I was recently fat-shamed, which was strangely horrible. I’ve never been fat-shamed before, and I was taken aback by how hurtful a passing quasi-jest …

Fitness

The Saudi Conundrum ‹ The Friday Times

The House of Saud is flexing its muscle in the Middle East and beyond. After the installation of a pro-US Shi’ite regime in Iraq in 2003, it extended …

The Imperiled Bloggers of Bangladesh

Until he was stabbed multiple times with a kitchen knife and forced to flee to Europe two years ago, Asif Mohiuddin was a leading member of Bangladesh’s ‘‘freethinker’’ movement and the country’s best-known secular provocateur. We met last June at a cafe on a pedestrian promenade around the corner …