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Bangladeshi Extremists Attack Free Speech Again: Speaking the Truth Gets More Difficult Each Time a Freethinker Is Murdered By Islamists
Niloy Neel

Muslims were never as enraged at the hanging of a convicted terrorist as in the recent case of Yaqub Memon. Not because he was a Muslim, but because two Sikhs, convicted for terrorism, haven’t been hanged because the top religious body of Sikhs has already warned of consequences. That is how religion has vitiated the discourse. But there is a silver lining to this darkness. The anger over Yakub’s death did not flare up as feared. The anger over Yaqub Memon's hanging did not flare up as feared. It instead found an outlet in speech and reasoned debate. It instead found an outlet in speech and reasoned debate. ...

 

Blogger NILOY NEEL Murdered: Bangladeshi Extremists Attack Free Speech Again
Niloy Chakrabarty Neel

Neel was an activist of a platform — the Ganajagaran Mancha which waged a massive campaign for the capital punishment for war criminals who carried out atrocities siding with the Pakistani troops in 1971.  “Niloy was also a regular blogger...he was a target of the Islamists....

The Killings – And the Impunity with Which Bangla Bloggers Have Been Killed — Are Significant
Shuma Raha

The serial killing of Bangladeshi bloggers stems from the same vicious Manichaean logic that saw the murder of the journalists at Charlie Hebdo in Paris earlier this year, and indeed, the slaughter of thousands of innocents in terror attacks the world over. If you are not ‘us’, you’re ‘them’. And that makes you evil. If you criticise radical Islam, that makes you evil. And you need to be annihilated.....

 

A Thank You Note to India from a Father In Pakistan: New Age Islam’s Selection from Pakistan Press, 10 August 2015

A Thank You Note to India from a Father In Pakistan

Manabi Katoch

Rise of Zealots

Zarrar Khuhro

Iran Nuclear Deal Is A Battle Between The US Right-Wing And President Obama

By Ahson Saeed Hasan

Why Gilgit-Baltistan Is Not Given the Appreciation It Deserves

By Sana Sabir

Dear Karachiites, Before You Plant Trees, Think

By Farahnaz Zahidi

Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau

 

Can India Counter Pakistan’s Proxy War?
Zorawar Daulet Singh

India will, declared the Home Minister, provide a “befitting reply” to Pakistan for its terror attacks. Usually, such statements are taken seriously. But in this case, we can expect Pakistan to brush aside such exhortations as empty talk. Neither will Washington or Beijing take Indian opprobrium seriously.  And they are not wrong in their assessment. India’s political elite and security community has failed spectacularly in formulating a viable response to Pakistan’s cross-border proxy war. ...

 
The Flowers of Papa Francesco
Sudheendra Kulkarni

The Flowers of Papa Francesco
Sudheendra Kulkarni

Even though poor Hindus constitute the majority among the Indian poor, Hindu religious leaders are not very vocal about poverty in India, much less about global poverty. Have we ever heard the Ashok Singhals and Praveen Togadias of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) speak about poverty and the egregious wealth divide as evidence of unacceptable economic injustice that is against the basic teachings of Hinduism? No. Their priority, it seems, is to make India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’, pursuing a divisive agenda that actually seeks to de-emphasise any anti-poverty agenda.....

Lightening the Gloom of the Pakistani Soul
Ayaz Amir

The gloom over the rest of Pakistan was caused by extremist Islam as represented by the Pakistani Taliban and their various offshoots or franchises: Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jaish-e-Muhammad, the Punjabi Taliban et al. Headquartered in the Waziristans – North and South – these forces had become powerful, challenging the Pakistani state, spreading terror far and wide, striking at will where they wanted. And the Pakistani state – with its guns and missiles and nuclear power – had taken stout refuge behind a policy of discretion....

 

Mullah Omar Obituary
Mullah Mohammed Omar

Mullah Mohammed Omar’s rise from obscurity as a minor Mujahideen commander to leadership of the extremist Taliban movement was meteoric, even by Afghan standards. From 1994, when he emerged as a Robin Hood figure in the post-civil war chaos of Kandahar, until his death in 2013 aged about 53, he was the Taliban’s undisputed head. Its largely unrecognised Islamic emirate ruled most of Afghanistan from 1996 until late 2001, after which Omar was not seen in public. Despite his symbolic importance to his followers, little was known of him in recent years, and his death has been announced only now.....

 

Do they think that, when it comes to Palestinians and the L.G.B.T. community, the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” has been erased from their set of stone tablets? That we have some sort of division of labour here: The right demonstrates for the sanctity of the land, and anything related to murder of innocents who are not Jewish or straight falls completely outside their jurisdiction?....

 
Pakistan: Frenetic Hangings
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Pakistan: Frenetic Hangings
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

The problem is compounded further by the fact that several terrorist organizations in Pakistan continue to enjoy state support, creating systemic biases against a non-discriminatory policy of executing terrorists on death row. In a recent assertion, the Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan defended the terrorist Jamaat-ud-Da'wah (JuD) on the floor of the Senate (Upper House of Parliament), arguing that it was involved in 'charitable works'.....

 

APJ Abdul Kalam: Philosopher-Scientist and a Great Inspiration
APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India

Once, Kalam said, ‘India has a message for the world that religion could be transformed into a mighty spiritual force.’ This is without doubt a realistic statement, because India has traditionally been a country of high spiritual values. If India develops in spirituality, it will certainly become a lighthouse of spirituality for the world......

Remembering Fearless Salmaan Taseer
Pervez Hoodbhoy

Political assassinations occur everywhere. But the Pakistani public reaction to Taseer’s assassination horrified the world. As the news hit the national media, spontaneous celebrations erupted in places; a murderous unrepentant mutineer had been instantly transformed into a national hero. .....

Leaving Climate Change to Allah’s Mercy
Hafsa Khawaja

The belief that all lies in the hands and power of Allah is not alien to Islam. However, neither is the norm of the use, abuse and exploitation of religion by the Pakistani state uncommon. Such an argument, as articulated by the distinguished judge, deprives those in power of any agency, which they are otherwise rather quick to exercise....

Dying For Christianity: Millions at Risk amid Rise in Persecution across the Globe
Harriet Sherwood

“Christians are being persecuted throughout the Middle East and elsewhere. Jews are facing a new and resurgent anti-Semitism. Muslims who stand on the wrong side of the Sunni-Shia divide are being killed in great numbers. Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Bahá’í and others face persecution in some parts of the world. Religious freedom is about our common humanity, and we must fight for it if we are not to lose it. This, I believe, is the issue of our time.”....

Pakistan: Compounding Folly
Sanchita Bhattacharya

Pakistan: Compounding Folly
Sanchita Bhattacharya

Indeed, as recently as on July 7, 2015, Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan gave a clear indication to the Upper House (Senate) of Pakistan's Parliament that JuD, the "public face" of LeT, was unlikely to be banned and that, "JuD has been on observation under Section 11 D of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 since 15 November, 2003. The activities of JuD are monitored by law enforcement agencies and if report of any of such activity.....

 

Iran at Crossroad: Past Dreams or Future Building?
Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi

Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen stand witnesses to these acts. Iranians have managed to do so under strict international embargo and sanctions, so imagine what they could do after the release of frozen funds, estimated at $100 to $150 billion in America alone.  We are dealing here with a rogue state that has, for three decades, disregarded international law, fostered terrorism, and insisted on expansion and intervention in the affairs of its neighbors. ....

 

“We’ve always permitted religious freedom to our students, but we just tweaked the existing policy to further develop what was a very general statement,” Womack said. “It isn’t much of a change for us because we already value and respect diversity in our student body, and we operate as such.”....

 

In fact, religion, so potentially dangerous that the Founding Fathers established a “wall of separation” to keep it clear of our affairs of state, continues to enjoy an entirely unmerited imprimatur of respectability.  Yet the satire in the News Nerd’s piece derives its efficacy from an obvious truth: belief in a deity motivates people to behave in all sorts of ways....

 

In moments of anger nations do irrational things and Pakistan has a history of this; never viewing the larger picture, the end result and the final pay off. The terror strike in Gurdaspur appears to smack once again of a futile attempt by Pakistan’s nexus of agencies and organisations to remind India of the ‘war by a thousand cuts’....

 

Pakistan: The Promise of Politics
Mehr Tarar

Everyone knows what goes on here, but people with power tend to get away with everything, and that, my dear compatriots, is something that is gnawing at Pakistan’s facade of being a nation that promises to march forward and make a clean name for itself in the next 150 years or so, give or take a few thousand dead militants in Waziristan, 12-hour power outages, and chaos at the Line of Control.....

‘Britain Owes India an Apology’
Shashi Tharoor

British imperialism had long justified itself with the pretence that it was enlightened despotism, conducted for the benefit of the governed. Churchill’s inhumane conduct in 1943 gave the lie to this myth. But it had been battered for two centuries already: British imperialism had triumphed not just by conquest and deception on a grand scale, but by blowing rebels to bits from the mouths of cannons, massacring unarmed protesters at Jallianwala Bagh and upholding iniquity through institutionalised racism.....

 

Tennessee Attack: It's a War, Stupid
Raheel Raza

What I did not hear anyone say in the aftermath of the shooting is that on 9/11 radical Islamists declared war on the West and our values of liberty, equality and freedom. What we have seen since 9/11 are subsequent chapters of the same drama being played out all over the West. The players change, but their intent is the same: We are at war...

 

Iran is far more than a Shia state. It has larger aims for which it has harnessed Sunni allies such as Hamas in Gaza and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It aims for regional power, not just Shia solidarity. It is a quasi-democracy, which is more than can be said of most countries in the region. For all its flaws, it represents the best hope for advancing civilisational values and checking barbarism in the region.....

 

Israel, too, should ask the hard questions rather than dismiss a deal that puts Iran much further from a bomb, empowers Iranian reformists, locks in American-Iranian dialogue and will be leveraged by Netanyahu to secure more advanced American weapons systems. The darkest days in history for the Jewish people were of an altogether different order. They should never be trivialized....

The Real Iran Deal
Adam Garfinkle

In my view, deal or no deal, it’s too late now to stop the mousetraps from springing in a slow-motion arc over the next decade and a half. Iran is a nuclear threshold state come what may, and the U.S. unwillingness to roll that reality back, and even now to bless it, means that, certainly in 15 years if not before, several other states in the region will want to protect themselves against the consequences. That likely includes Turkey by and by as well as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and possibly others......



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