Terror in Manchester

Terror in Manchester

By Iram Ramzan   A terrorist attack in my own city is the last thing I expected to wake up to on Tuesday morning. There were several messages on my phone from concerned friends and acquaintances urging me to contact them as soon as I could. I wondered what had happened, until I went online to read the news. At least 22 people were killed and 59 injured after a terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena on the evening of Monday, May 22. Thousands of gig-goers were packed into the…

The Prevent Strategy: Fact vs Fiction

The Prevent Strategy: Fact vs Fiction

  Why is the Prevent strategy deemed controversial? Prevent is one of the four Ps that make up the UK government’s post 9/11 counter-terrorism strategy, known as Contest: Prepare for attacks, Protect the public, Pursue the attackers and Prevent their radicalisation in the first place. Much has been said about the strategy and not a week goes by without an article in the news and it is difficult to separate the facts from fiction. Critics claim it stifles free speech or disproportionately targets Muslims, which has led to some calls…

Only secularism can guarantee religious freedom

Only secularism can guarantee religious freedom

By Ammar Anwer   A secular system is one where people occupy more importance than any centuries-old scripture and where their fundamental human rights are guaranteed. In a secular state there is no discrimination amongst citizens on the basis of their faith. All citizens are treated equally in the eyes of law. As much as it may hurt most conservative Muslims I don’t have one iota of doubt that without secular values a state can never progress. Why can’t a nation progress without secularism? Well, it is not quite difficult…

Muslims: reform your religion

Muslims: reform your religion

By Saima Baig Orlando, Istanbul, Bangladesh and now one of the worst attacks in Iraq. The last few days of Ramzan have seen more bloodshed and less peace and love from the caretakers of Islam. Of course, we had widespread global condemnation, followed by the usual blame on western foreign policy by some, certain people fearing that this makes Islam look bad, and the overall placing of blame firmly on all Muslims by others. And most importantly, there was the complaint of why the attacks on Muslim countries did not…

The Orlando tragedy brings out the same old comments

The Orlando tragedy brings out the same old comments

By Tehmina Kazi   In what appears to be the worst mass shooting in US history, 29-year-old Omar Mateen opened fire in a gay Florida nightclub at 2am on Sunday, killing 50 people and injuring up to 53 others. Orlando sheriff Jerry Demings called the shooting a “domestic terror incident” and the FBI — who already had Afghan-American citizen Mateen on their radar — are now investigating his links to terror groups abroad. His father, Mir Seddique, claimed that Mateen’s motives were not religious, and that he had been incensed…

Let’s take Islam back from the extremists and fundamentalists

Let’s take Islam back from the extremists and fundamentalists

By Hassan Radwan   Islam – my religion – is facing the most serious crisis of its 1400 year history. Extremists like ISIS only serve to bring this crisis to a head, but it has been growing over the last 200 years. Yet despite this, we refuse to accept there is need for reform or even to engage in a conversation about it. The past 200 years have seen some of the greatest changes in human history. Changes in relationships, gender roles, law and order, morality and ethics. Changes in the…

Brussels attacks: The responsibility to counter jihadism lies with us Muslims

Brussels attacks: The responsibility to counter jihadism lies with us Muslims

By Shamila Ghyas   This is a cross-post from The Nation   Another day, another blast. More innocent deaths.   At least 34 people were killed after explosions ripped through Brussels airport and metro station. With over a 100 injured, many critically; the toll number is expected to rise. Eyewitnesses say that after hearing the loud boom, they were literally blown back by its force. There was a lot of blood in the elevators as ceilings started to collapse in the affected areas. Just imagine you are at the airport…