Arshia Malik

  • In the Islamic Republic of Kashmir, freethinkers like me will be the first targets. Yet it is people like me who say that the first step to solving the issue of Kashmir is that both sides recognise the brutalities committed in which common people lost the most. The first thing in any process of ...

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  • Being an Indian, lynch mobs are fast becoming a reality for us here, with every single passing day some gruesome incident being shared on mainstream media. A group of people going totally crazy over an alleged "beef in the fridge" and bricking/stoning a 65-year-old man to death; teenage cow ...

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  • I recall when we were living in the Diplomatic Enclave at Chanakyapuri in the 80s in New Delhi. It was a cosmopolitan mix, as much of a melting pot as the 80s decade would allow - consulates from countries all over, including State Commissions from all states of India formed a backdrop to my ...

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  • Fear is a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of organisms, which causes a change in metabolic and organ functions and ultimately a change in behavior, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing from perceived traumatic events. Fear in human beings may occur in ...

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  • What is it about criticism of religion that garners complete shutdown of civil discourse, or a grudging admission of the flaws and fallibilities of holy texts with the ever present "But"? As a human being existing in this world and gradually comprehending one's place in the tribal hierarchy, the ...

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  • As the news about the missing activists and bloggers from Pakistan started to spread, I was reminded of the sustained covert and open war against bloggers, activists, dissenters, heretics, and civil society in general, across India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran and the Maldives. Since ...

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  • Pan-Islamism is a political movement advocating the unity of Muslims under one Islamic state – often a Caliphate - or an international organization with Islamic principles. As a form of religious nationalism, Pan-Islamism differentiates itself from other pan-nationalistic ideologies, for ...

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  • I am reminded of this story of  Cecil Earle Tyndale-Biscoe, a 19th-century, British missionary and educationist working in Kashmir. His Wikipedia entry writes: 'In the late 19th century, Kashmir was a princely state made up of a Muslim majority ruled by ...

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  • ‘Islam’ literally means submission to the will of God and on earth, it is mostly imams and Muslim scholars who have taken it upon themselves to interpret the will of God to us commoners. I remember reading Tehmina Durrani's My Feudal Lord and quickly ordering her other ...

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  • After World War II when nation states started emerging and many colonies threw the yoke of colonialism off, it wasn't entirely because of the ''indigenous'' struggles or people's movements on the ground but the fact that colonial powers had realised a people cannot be ruled or governed without ...

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  • As I see the increasingly sane and rational voices of Pakistan protest the murder of Qandeel Baloch in such a dishonourable way for not conforming to the patriarchal values and attitudes of the country, I am thrilled that Pakistan has become a reality and not just a state of mind that we across the ...

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  • Ramzan 2016 from June 6 to July 6 has been the bloodiest in modern history? This is disturbing for someone who grew up in 90s Kashmir when the Islamist factions would cease the shoot and scoot attack tactics against the Indian Army to uphold the holiness of the month in the freezing winters. That ...

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  • The recent controversy of a private school asking a female teacher to choose between her job and the attire of abhaya (long cloak-like robe covering the body with sleeves and a zipper or knotted over the casual clothes) with a hijab has brought up the debate on the  dress codes of educational ...

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  • Having been a teacher since 1994 I can sufficiently speak about the transformation that has occurred in the teacher-student dynamic from authoritarian and the coercion of corporate punishment to one of rapport and bonding with the students. These days we do not call ourselves as teachers but ...

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  • The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has proposed its own women protection bill, recommending ‘a light beating’ for the wife if she defies the husband.The 20-member CII is a constitutional body which gives recommendations to parliament regarding Islamic laws. However, the Pakistan ...

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  • When a handful of scholars since the Crusades and throughout Europe's medieval period began translating, interpreting, editing, publishing and commenting upon the immense corpus of primary texts regarding the rise and expansion of Islamic Civilization, they more or less consciously endeavoured to ...

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  • Whenever we talk about the medieval period, immediately our mind associates itself with brutality, ignorance, backwardness, superstition, illiteracy and plagues like 'Black Death' – the scourge of the medieval period in the West. At the same time, a Muslim fanatic, moderate and ever apologist ...

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  • I see a lot of Pakistanis fighting the good fight. Against misogyny, bigotry, discriminatory laws, for a change of the theocratic constitution to a democratic one, against poverty, against ignorance and illiteracy, against the plague of radicalism that Zia's war room plans enabled the country to ...

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  • On 24 April, Omar Bataweel, a Yemeni teenager was abducted and shot in the head because of his open secularism and free-thinking posts on his Facebook page. Yemen, an Arab country in Western Asia currently in conflict is undergoing peace talks. Talks aimed at resolving the conflict in Yemen are ...

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  • It is always the mothers who lose out in the end. In the conflicts raged by men the world over, it is always the mothers who pay a heavy price, losing their children either physically or in their minds due to trauma. Whether they have given birth to sons, daughters, transgenders, disabled, ...

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  • Islam pervades all spheres of life for a Muslim. From bathing rituals to thought policing to how one should treat or tolerate a non-Muslim often called an infidel or kafir in the holy text. There are reformers trying to sift between the peaceful Quranic verses and the violent ones, the authentic ...

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  • It's time the reformers declare jihad on the extremists hijacking their religion. It would be an act purely in self defense because the actions of a few are harming the majority who just want to live peacefully, according to the tenets of their faith. The concept of a higher jihad and a lower jihad ...

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  • Azar Nafisi, prominent author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and The Republic of Imagination was targeted by a professor in Columbia University Hamid Dabashi, for what he called 'self-sexualising'  her memoir of the study group in Tehran (the theme of the book). In what is fast becoming a genre ...

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  • I don't think people understand the tragedy of an ethnic cleansing, or the pain of having to leave their homes with just the basic essentials and the clothes on the backs. I see a lot of empathy, sympathy, charity, help, and outrage pouring in at the pictures emerging from the Middle-East about the ...

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  • I saw a video of Nelson Mandela in a 2013 interview with Ted Koppel answering Kenneth Aldman on the question of the ANC's and Madiba's meetings with Gaddafi, Fidel Castro and Yasser Arafat whom he had praised. He was asked rather pointedly if he would want any one of them to be a future ...

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  • The madrassas of yesteryear are gone. Gone are the makhtabs - the learning centres which used to be hubs of knowledge, research, scientific discoveries, and inventions. If you see the documentaries and movies on the lives of medieval geniuses like Ibn Sina, Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Rushd, and others, you ...

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  • Kathleen E.Taylor is a research scientist in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics at the University of Oxford. In 2005, she presented her research on brainwashing at the Edinburgh International Science Festival. In response to a question about the future of neuroscience, Taylor said ...

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  • What do you do when you have a troublesome neighbour, or an irritating colleague at your workplace? You either try your best to hold a decent conversation, or maintain a decorum of a relationship and be cordial or you try to ignore him/her, if they still do not get the hint and wisen up their act. ...

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  • "Orwellian" is an adjective describing a situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free and open society. It denotes an attitude and a brutal policy of draconian control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, ...

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  • What do you do when you find yourself the custodian of a series of errors, ancient prejudice, ossified bigotry and ingrained misogyny? Chances are that 90% of the time your mind, your being, your essence will want to side with the tribe. It takes courage to call out your own parents/elders for ...

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