Fighting phantom terror

THE ISLAMIC STATE has sent new shock waves through the world by capturing more than 200 Syrian and Egyptian Christians. The terrorist group’s gruesome killing of other hostages has heightened concerns among many about the fate of these hostages. Meanwhile, the Obama administration and the Iraqi government reportedly have shelved their long-publicized plans to try...

Terror bred by grievances, not Islam

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S speech at this week’s terrorism conference in the White House sounded to me like a broken record from the George W. Bush administration. Bush and his advisers attributed Muslim terrorism to Islam. “Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him,” said John Ashcroft, Bush’s...

Cow, crescent and star

 Published in  Middle East Policy, Washington, D.C.; December 5, 2014 Mustafa Malik, an international affairs commentator in Washington, is investigating the impact of Hindu nationalism on liberal values and democratic institutions in his native India. Earlier, he conducted fieldwork on religious movements and nationalist experiments in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent as a...

GOP win to prompt new wake-up call

Tuesday night’s Republican electoral victory poses an insidious threat to freedom and democracy in America. Yet if you believe in the American democratic system, you have to accept the argument that a majority of the American voters wanted to freeze the minimum wage at its starvation level, allow unbridled carbon emissions and deny healthcare to...

ISIS could trigger Arab revolution

On the darker upper strip of my computer screen I saw my eyebrows rising, as I read, for the first time, President Obama’s mission in Iraq and Syria. Now, as his aides and spokespersons drone on and on about that mission, I get ticked off or, alternately, amused. Can the United States and its allies...

Gaza, Pakistan and ignoble US legacy

The anti-government protests now raging in Pakistan and the travails of Hamas in Palestine remind me of Nurul Amin, my mentor. He served, at different times, as prime minister of Pakistan and Bangladesh, which was then East Pakistan. In February 1972, in Rawalpindi, Amin was telling me about the political intrigues that had led to...

The Hindus outrage Hindus

"Enlightenment liberalism, as all other ideologies, has emerged from a particular set of historical circumstances of particular societies.  It came about mainly a reaction to the omnipresent church’s rigorous rules suppressing the desires, expressions and creativity of everyday Christians. It wasn’t much of a surprise, then, that the ideologues and activists of the Enlightenment avenged the harsh religious repression by banishing religion from the public space."

Women in the West’s blind spot

‘Why does the world ignore violence against Arab women?’ PovertyMatters blog, The Guardian, London (link below). I DON’T THINK “the world,” which essentially means America and Europe, is ignoring the travails of Arab or Muslim women per se. After all, when the Taliban attacked the Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yusufzai, the West made her an international celebrity...

Pakistan ties: Old wine in old bottle

SADLY, the Obama administration appears to be trying to revive its failing Cold War policy to refurbish the strained U.S. ties to Pakistan. Ever since its inception, what remains of Pakistan after the secession of Bangladesh has been under the rule of its self-serving feudal-military-bureaucratic class. Today’s Pakistani prime minister and president belong to that...