The case of Syrian refugee Jamal and bullying in British schools

The case of Syrian refugee Jamal and bullying in British schools

By Khadija Khan A bitter reality: British children feel unsafe in their schools. They become targets of bullying in one way or another. The education system lacks the teeth to rescue these children from the suffering they face, despite knowing the negative and, often, lifelong impact on them. A recent incident that has caught everyone’s attention is one that took place in Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, where a teenage boy’s despicable demonstration of power over a vulnerable, Syrian boy soon drew media attention and caused uproar amongst…

Asia Bibi is trying to escape the bloodlust of the same blasphemy law that European courts are endorsing

Asia Bibi is trying to escape the bloodlust of the same blasphemy law that European courts are endorsing

By Kunwar Khuldune Shahid   On October 31, Asia Bibi, a Christian woman falsely accused of blasphemy, was acquitted by Pakistan’s Supreme Court. The nine-year horrific jail sentence that she undeservedly served was rooted in a glass of water that she was deemed ‘impure’ to touch, while the death row she escaped was founded on Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which deem that insults to Islam and Islam alone are a crime worthy of Constitutionally sanctioned death. While Pakistan’s apex court has established that Bibi did not utter any insulting remarks for…

Female Muslim politicians need to be champions for Muslim women not patriarchal organisations

Female Muslim politicians need to be champions for Muslim women not patriarchal organisations

By Khadija Khan   The victory of the first two American-Muslim women in the US midterm elections — Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota — is unprecedented. Many people are celebrating their success as a victory against President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim policies and the empowerment of hijab-wearing Muslim women in Western societies. Only a few seem concerned with the status of ordinary Muslim women, who are often still treated as second-class citizens int heir own communities. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal in the United States but many…

In the Name of Religion

In the Name of Religion

By Ammara Mustafa Allahu Akbar they chant in a frenzy, In vain our men are slain in the name of religion Take off your rose tinted spectacles Dare to ponder and look around yourself. You – my dear, average Pakistani are not free,   Chaos is the disruptive violin playing in the air, Scare tactics are on the rise once again, Men in disguised robes have hijacked our country, Will the military intervene, will this noise end? Will the foundations of Islam be shaken so easily, Will humanity and justice…

A new day for Pakistan? The Asia Bibi Verdict

A new day for Pakistan? The Asia Bibi Verdict

By Saima Baig   A strange thing has happened in the land of the pure, the bastion of Islam that is Pakistan. A woman imprisoned for almost nine years and who was on death row for blasphemy has been acquitted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The reason I call this strange is that in Pakistan — it is. The country’s infamous blasphemy laws are used willy-nilly to settle personal scores and it is very difficult to be absolved of this ridiculous crime. Plenty of people are languishing in jail…

The case of Jamal Khashoggi

The case of Jamal Khashoggi

By Saima Baig   Saudi Arabia has been a repressive country with a regime that has oppressed almost everyone living there — other than rich men. The ruling monarchy has had to do this to ensure its survival. The country has been responsible for spreading its own brand of militant Islam all over the world. It has been able to do so because of the petrodollars it has distributed in the countries where it sends its religion and funds terrorists. It also buys weapons from the west and is an…

Sisterhood: Women in the East and West must both work together for equality

Sisterhood: Women in the East and West must both work together for equality

By Yasmine Mohammed   This is a cross-post Like many of you, I grew up reading about historical heroines of the suffragette movement. Women who faced imprisonment, risked their lives, or even willingly gave their lives to bring attention to their plight. These were women who were on the outskirts of society. They were disrupting the status quo. They were a threat to order. Not only did men find them threatening, as their cause was in direct resistance to the male dominated society, but women were threatened by them as…

Blasphemy: Pakistan’s curse

Blasphemy: Pakistan’s curse

By Saima Baig   India’s British rulers first codified offences against religion in 1860, which were then expanded in 1927. When Pakistan become a separate country, it inherited these laws; and decided to keep them. In the 1980s, Zia ul Haq added more clauses to this ridiculous and frankly unnecessary law. Over the years, this law been used to put people in jail (Aasia Bibi has now been acquitted by a Pakistani court after being in jail for over seven years, with a death sentence hanging over her head). The…

The burqa represents an ideology that looks down on women

The burqa represents an ideology that looks down on women

By Khadija Khan   The ban on full face coverings came into effect in Denmark on August 1. Hardly anyone is focusing on the significance of this decision in the age of terrorist attacks. Instead, a large chunk of people seem to have bought into the fundamentalists’ claims that this move was aimed solely to bar Muslim women from veiling their faces. Non-Muslim protesters even wore burqas in ‘solidarity’ with Muslim women, standing on the wrong side of history by indirectly opposing the Muslim women who are defying the idea…

Is Imran Khan Pakistan’s Donald Trump?

Is Imran Khan Pakistan’s Donald Trump?

By Yasmin Rehman Millions of Pakistanis voted in elections on July 25, resulting in victory for the leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan. Polling day, in line with so many days in Pakistan, was marred by Islamist violence.  In the murky world of Pakistani politics, the run up to the elections was eventful, with allegations of pre-poll rigging, media censorship and the imprisonment of the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges. As I watched all this from the safe distance of the UK, I could not help but wonder…