Beirut after the 2020 explosion

India’s lesson for Lebanon

by Mustafa Malik

India and Pakistan could have been spared catastrophes by power-sharing systems they rejected. The Lebanese should hold on to the one they have. I NORMALLY CAN’T stand Boris Johnson because of his demagoguery and conservative political creed. But last week Emmanuel Macron made me appreciate the British prime minister, for the first time. The French...

Mahmud Ali (right), then minister of social work in Pakistan, is greeted by then Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai in Beijing in 1972

Mahmud Ali: Generals wrecked Pakistan

by Mustafa Malik

MAHMUD ALI’S BIRTH centenary on September 1 reminded me of a comment Jawaharlal Nehru made during his meeting with George Bernard Shaw in London. Independent India’s first prime minister, a driven Fabian socialist, had been invited to attend the June 2, 1953, coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey. That was “a formal occasion,”...

Is Democratic Party festering in a rut?

by Mustafa Malik

AS I WAITED yesterday for the second Democratic presidential debate, I tossed out a question to Facebook. Could Joe Biden “get up before the referee counts to 10”? Some friends liked it, but none offered a response. I had thought that the former vice president, so far the clear front-runner in the polls, would get...

Turks, EU: Never the twain meet?

by Mustafa Malik

IS TURKEY FINALLY waking up from its dream of joining the European Union? During the past six weeks EU politicians excoriated President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his victory in a Turkish constitutional referendum, which transforms the country’s parliamentary system into a presidential one, concentrating wide powers in the presidency. The constitutional changes go into effect after the...

Erdogan’s hello to Egyptians

by Mustafa Malik

THAT WAS A second in Turkish history. Democratic forces, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, overwhelmed Turkish military units that had attempted to overthrow the country’s democratically elected government. It was a spectacular triumph for Erdogan, and more to the point, the democratic fervor and aspirations of the Turkish masses. The first time Erdogan and...

Terror bred by grievances, not Islam

by Mustafa Malik

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

by Mustafa Malik

 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

by Mustafa Malik

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...

Gaza, Pakistan and ignoble US legacy

by Mustafa Malik

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...