Cow, Crescent and Star in Postcolonial States

by Mustafa Malik

Middle East Policy2015 In November 2014, President Obama accepted India’s invitation to be the chief guest at its Republic Day celebrations. He will be the first American president to do so. I was in Kolkata (Calcutta), India’s “cultural capital” when this was announced. Most of my interlocutors there were euphoric about the news, especially the...

Bangladesh’s quest for identity

by Mustafa Malik

Providence JournalMarch 17, 2013 I’m saddened by the bloody mayhem rocking Bangladesh, where I lived and worked through two turbulent decades. Street fights between the country’s secularist government forces and Islamist activists have claimed dozens of lives. The clashes were triggered by a death sentence handed down by a Bangladeshi court to a leader of...

Benghazi murders: Revisit free speech

by Mustafa Malik

SF Gate – Muslim WorldSeptember 14, 2012 It was a reprehensible crime. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. diplomatic staff members were nurturing excellent U.S.-Libyan relations until they were murdered by a Muslim mob in Benghazi. Many Libyans will fondly remember Stevens’ hard work to implement the U.S. policy to facilitate their liberation...

Pakistan: A Hard Country

by Mustafa Malik

Middle East Policy2011 The question once again: Is Pakistan a “failed state?” Anatol Lieven, a professor at King’s College in London, is among the latest authors to try an answer. His book Pakistan: A Hard Country is a broad and detailed survey of the security, economic, social, political and ecological challenges facing Pakistan. But he argues that...

U.S. should nurture Arab democracy

by Mustafa Malik

The Columbus DispatchApril 30, 2011 Democratization of Arab societies “would be a disaster” for the West, warns Princeton University scholar Bernard Lewis. Yet he predicts that Islamic political parties are “very likely to win … genuinely fair and free elections” in the Arab world. Democratization of Arab societies “would be a disaster” for the West,...

Pakistan: Can U.S. Policy Save the Day?

by Mustafa Malik

Middle East PolicySummer 2009 Ever since 9/11, America’s preoccupation in Pakistan has been with “terrorism.” Anti-American Pakistani militants call it part of their jihad against the U.S.-NATO “occupation” of Afghanistan. Today political stability has become the overriding U.S. concern in Pakistan. President Obama says his administration is “working to secure stability in Pakistan” because he is “gravely...

News of Pakistan’s demise is premature

by Mustafa Malik

The Daily Star Beirut, LebanonMay 22, 2009 A friend called from Lahore, Pakistan, and asked if I could put up his family in my home in the Washington suburbs. “Most welcome!” I said. “When are you all coming?” “As soon as Pakistan begins to collapse!” replied Abdul Wahid Qureshi, a retired college professor. Qureshi was...

Defeating the Taliban is a pipe dream

by Mustafa Malik

SF GateMay 17, 2009 A friend called from Lahore, Pakistan, and asked if I could put up his family in my home in the Washington suburbs. “Most welcome!” I said. “When are you all coming?” “As soon as Pakistan begins to collapse!” replied Abdul Wahid Qureshi, a retired college professor. Qureshi was responding, facetiously, to David Kilcullen‘s forecast that...