Taliban takeover reconfirms Muslim world is no longer bipolar, nor the focus of West’s attention

Taliban takeover reconfirms Muslim world is no longer bipolar, nor the focus of West’s attention

By Kunwar Khuldune Shahid At least eight people were injured when Houthi rebels launched a drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport on August 31. The strike came two days after one of the most lethal Houthi attacks in recent times, as 30 soldiers of the Saudi-led coalition were killed and over 60 injured in drone and missile attacks in Yemen’s southern al-Anad military base. The Houthi attacks were a message to the Arab, Iranian and other leaders that had come together for the Baghdad summit last week. For, among…

We must confront the Taliban apologists in the west

We must confront the Taliban apologists in the west

By Khadija Khan On the 102nd anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence from the British Empire, the Taliban swept into the capital city of Kabul and declared the formation of an “Islamic emirate”. Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, said the group would form an “open” and “inclusive” government under Sharia law – an oxymoron if ever there was one. The collapse of the government, the withdrawal of western forces and attacks on Kabul airport – claimed by the terrorist group ISIS-K – have made Afghanistan a hellhole for the citizens of the…

The Farce of Afghanistan

The Farce of Afghanistan

By Amjad Khan In the immediate aftermath of the 911 attacks in 2001, the rationale for going into a Taliban governed Afghanistan, in order to dismantle and eliminate al-Qaeda infrastructure, had merit. The US had just experienced the worst terrorist attack in its history, the Taliban was a widely despised organisation and the international community had every reason to believe al-Qaeda was planning further attacks.   The Taliban also had an appalling human rights record and their treatment of women was enough to make the totalitarian, theocratic Republic of Gilead…

Why are we still not taking anti-Semitism seriously?

Why are we still not taking anti-Semitism seriously?

By Khadija Khan   On a Sunday morning in May, a group of men travelled 200 miles from Bradford to London. When the convoy of cars, draped in Palestinian flags, arrived in a predominantly Jewish area of Hampstead, a man emerged from a vehicle and started shouting through a loudspeaker: ‘F*** the Jews… F*** all of them. F*** their mothers, f*** their daughters and show your support for Palestine. Rape their daughters and we have to send a message like that. Please do it for the poor children in Gaza.’…

Israel-Palestine: A ‘Promised Land’ beset by conflict

Israel-Palestine: A ‘Promised Land’ beset by conflict

By Saima Baig What to say about a conflict going on for over seven decades that hasn’t been said already? One that is rife with religious rivalries, manifesting in extremely strong political positions. These past few weeks, violence once again escalated between Israel and Palestine. There had already been tensions for weeks, with the attempted eviction of several Arab families in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood on the one hand, and Israeli security forces raiding the Al-Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary), the complex in Jerusalem’s Old…

What went wrong with the Labour Party?

What went wrong with the Labour Party?

By Khadija Khan Where did it go wrong for Labour? The party’s strong ties with the towns and cities that were once their heartlands have been slowly weakening over time. Once, it could count on winning big majorities in dozens of seats in the north and the Midlands. But in the 2019 UK General Election, the “Red Wall” collapsed when Labour suffered its worst electoral result since 1935. It culminated just this month in the crushing defeat of its sitting MP Paul Williams, with the overwhelming victory of the Conservative…

The religious misogyny behind Imran Khan’s remarks on rape

The religious misogyny behind Imran Khan’s remarks on rape

By Khadija Khan   Imran Khan is no stranger to controversy. Over the years, the Pakistani prime minister has come under fire for making a number of ill-judged comments that have sparked a backlash. During a recent question-and-answer interview with the public on live television, the former cricket captain was asked what steps his government had taken to prevent sexual abuse. After denouncing crimes against women and children, he claimed sexual violence was a result of “increasing obscenity”, and a product of India, the west and Hollywood movies. The prime…

The Muslim Council of Britain finally has a female leader – but there’s a long way to go towards equality

The Muslim Council of Britain finally has a female leader – but there’s a long way to go towards equality

 By Khadija Khan   A historic occasion has been marked in the British Muslim community. Zara Mohammed, a 29-year-old Glaswegian, became the first woman to be elected as secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). The news was met with a lot of approval, particularly by women, and seen as a step in the right direction towards inspiring other Muslim women to take leadership roles. It was all going well for Ms Mohammed, with all the complimentary articles about her in the papers. That is until she was asked…

Will my daughter still love me tomorrow? A reflection on leaving Salafism

Will my daughter still love me tomorrow? A reflection on leaving Salafism

By Thomas Maldonado Last weekend, I celebrated my youngest daughter’s birthday for the first time since I left Salafism (a branch of Islam that believes in a literal approach to the faith). Now that I am no longer bound by ridiculous religious rules, I am free to explore and celebrate the world around me, without giving two fucks about what anyone thinks or is brave enough to say to me. To see my daughter’s beautiful little face light up as she jumped in delight at my horrible happy birthday canticle made me…