Outreach · Politics

Video: Here’s Why #IStandWithAhmadis

Transcript: This world of ours is filled with horrible, horrible things, and sometimes these things manifest themselves through religion. Now, unless you’re hiding in some underground bunker, you’ll know that religious extremism and radicalism – combined with political initiatives – can do some pretty horrible things in this world. Now, there are people in this…… Continue reading Video: Here’s Why #IStandWithAhmadis

Politics

Obama Takes a Commanding Lead Over Bush in Countries Bombed

Sociology

In His New Book, Akbar Ahmed Explains the Current Cycle Roiling Muslim Countries

By Khaled Ahmed Akbar Ahmed has had a good homecoming. His message has been embraced by the Pakistani state: Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif presented him a shield at the National Defense University in December; and the Navy chief was so impressed with Ahmed’s latest book—last year’s The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on…… Continue reading In His New Book, Akbar Ahmed Explains the Current Cycle Roiling Muslim Countries

Religion

Islamic and American Constitutions Give Hope For Religious Freedom

A recent report from the Pew Research Center, a reputable American think tank, revealed some damning findings on the state of religious freedom around the world. According to the report, religious hostilities increased in 2012 in every major region of the world, with Muslims and Christians being oppressed in the largest number of countries. Pakistan,…… Continue reading Islamic and American Constitutions Give Hope For Religious Freedom

Commentary · Interfaith

A Refutation of Robert Spencer’s Post on Professor Akbar Ahmed

Published on Loon Watch Robert Spencer, the administrator of the blog JihadWatch, is known for painting all Muslims as extremists. In a recent post titled “Akbar Ahmed, advocate of ‘dialogue,’ claims ‘Islamophobes’ are ‘linking Islam to violence, terrorism and intolerance,” Spencer argues that Professor Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University…… Continue reading A Refutation of Robert Spencer’s Post on Professor Akbar Ahmed

Religion

A Note to the Muslims Who Attacked Christians in Peshawar, Pakistan

It is with disgust that I am writing this note on the Muslims who recently attacked two churches in Peshawar, where over 70 Christians were murdered. I want to bring to attention several fundamental points in Islam that completely and utterly denounce hatred or acts of violence on Christians. I have written about this very…… Continue reading A Note to the Muslims Who Attacked Christians in Peshawar, Pakistan

Interfaith

Top Catholic American official calls Muslims “people of good-will”

There’s a heart-warming story coming out of Rome about the head of a papal agency that gives help to Christians in the Middle East. According to Monsignor John E. Kozar, president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, “[t]he broad majority of Muslims are people of good-will.” Kozar claims that the…… Continue reading Top Catholic American official calls Muslims “people of good-will”

Religion

A Jihad of the Pen: Review of Qasim Rashid’s “The Wrong Kind of Muslim”

Published on The American Muslim (June 22nd, 2013) Several weeks ago, my friend and kindred spirit Qasim Rashid sent me a digital copy of his highly anticipated book The Wrong Kind of Muslim: An Untold Story of Persecution and Perseverance. I started reading it one early morning in my flat in Dublin, Ireland, thinking I…… Continue reading A Jihad of the Pen: Review of Qasim Rashid’s “The Wrong Kind of Muslim”

Politics

Jinnah’s house: A symbolic hit in Pakistan

News this morning from Balochistan is not so great. The home of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan, has been attacked and pretty much destroyed by extremists. CNN reports: Assailants bombed the home of the Pakistani founding father early Saturday, killing a police officer who fought back and injuring an employee, authorities said.…… Continue reading Jinnah’s house: A symbolic hit in Pakistan

Film-work

“Journey into America”

“Journey into America” is arguably the most comprehensive documentary ever done on Muslims in America.  The film explores the issue of what it means to be American through the lens of Muslims. Ahmed’s documentary has been called “an essential pillar in the effort to build the interfaith bridge of understanding” by Congressman Keith Ellison, America’s…… Continue reading “Journey into America”

Film-work

Wrong War, Wrong Methods, Wrong Enemy

Renowned scholar Akbar Ahmed discusses his new book The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam and elaborates on the devastating consequences of the U.S.’s drone bombing campaign in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Religion

Pope Francis I must address concerns of Catholics in Pakistan

Hundreds of Pakistani Catholics recently lost their homes and livelihood in a widespread arson attack in the predominantly Catholic neighborhood of Joseph Colony, Lahore. In response to the attack, Rohan Emmanuel, a Pakistan writer, wrote in The Express Tribune of the Vatican’s unfortunate silence on the plight of Pakistani Catholics and other Christian communities in…… Continue reading Pope Francis I must address concerns of Catholics in Pakistan

Work

Reaching the “Most Dangerous Place in the World”

I’m very happy to announce that the latest One Film 9/11 article, ‘What would America’s founding fathers say about Islam’, has been published in The Frontier Post in Khyber Pakhtunkwha. Click HERE to access the article. This is an especially important publication because it reaches in area of the world which has been fundamentally impacted…… Continue reading Reaching the “Most Dangerous Place in the World”

Commentary

Commentary: Defending the peacemaker and bridge-builder

I added this comment to the heated debate surrounding Ambassador Akbar Ahmed’s article, 5 Things Americans Need to Know About Pakistan, in The Huffington Post: THE POINT OF THE ARTICLE is to highlight some of the more positive things about Pakistan and Pakistanis which are often neglected in the U.S. and beyond. It appears that…… Continue reading Commentary: Defending the peacemaker and bridge-builder

Music

Music: Coke Studio session with Saieen Zahoor and Noori

I find this song inspiring.  My favourite part comes at 3:10.  

Work

Urdu translation of ‘One Film 9/11’ article in Pakistan Link

Published in the October 19th Urdu version of the Pakistan Link.  The article can be found on page four of the paper.  Click here to view the article.  If that doesn’t work, visit the Pakistan Link homepage and conduct search.

Politics

Commentary: The truth behind U.S. drone campaign coming to light

It was 2009 and I was shocked at what I was reading: Obama was actually increasing strikes in a highly controversial, if not downright illegal drone bombing campaign in Pakistan that began under the Bush administration. When Obama started rocking-and-rolling in his foreign policy adventures, the press gave his global drone bombing campaign hardly any attention,…… Continue reading Commentary: The truth behind U.S. drone campaign coming to light

Music

Music: Aj Latha Naeeo

Politics

Politics: On these issues, there’s little difference between Obama and Bush

Think back to the election of 2008. Do you remember how one candidate had it easy?  He had eight years of abject failure to run against.  Eight years that included the launching of two dismal wars, the creation of a torture gulag with its crown jewel at Guantánamo Bay, the ushering in of a program of robotic assassination missions and secret spying…… Continue reading Politics: On these issues, there’s little difference between Obama and Bush

Fieldwork · Music

Music: Iranian tar player at American Islamic Congress iftar on Newbury St. (Boston)

The other night I had the opportunity to attend my second iftar of 2012 at the American Islamic Congress over on Newbury Street in Boston. This was a community iftar (the previous one I attended had the theme of South Asian) that welcomed a graduate student from Northeastern who demonstrated his fine tar skills.  The tar is an important and popular…… Continue reading Music: Iranian tar player at American Islamic Congress iftar on Newbury St. (Boston)

Politics

Video: ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Place’ (Pakistan) speech by Akbar Ahmed

Professor Akbar Ahmed speaks about the difficult quandary in present day Pakistan, especially in the Tribal Areas.  Be on the lookout for his forthcoming book The Thistle and the Drone (to be published by Brookings Institution Press in the spring of 2013).

Politics

Important quote on the Pashtuns

‘These are the Pashtun Tribes… The Afghans have never been defeated in history — they will destroy themselves. You blow up their villages, destroy their families, but they are very much like the Americans — they believe in independence and freedom… Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, once said, ‘Waziristan is beyond control. What they need…… Continue reading Important quote on the Pashtuns

Journal

Failing democracies and rationality

It is early, not too early, on the morning of the tenth of January.  I have been, unfortunately, neglecting this journal mostly because of time with friends and our extravagant journey’s.  Tomorrow morning, I head to Amsterdam. The purpose of this entry is to recap events of yesterday, for there are surely many.  I am…… Continue reading Failing democracies and rationality

Fieldwork · Religion

Religification of Pakistani-American youth

Note: Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher’s research here is quite similar to my own.  I want to share with you her important findings. One of Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher’s explications examines a cultural production process called religification, in which religious affiliation, rather than race or ethnicity, has become the core category of identity for working class Pakistani-American youth in the United…… Continue reading Religification of Pakistani-American youth

Religion

The Pakistani scientist behind the ‘God particle’

Most of you have probably heard by now of the recent news on the groundbreaking Higgs boson or ‘God particle’.  Most of you, however, probably have no idea that the physicist who helped develop the God particle’s theoretical framework is Adbus Salam.  Salam, who died in 1996, of Pakistani origin and Pakistan’s only Nobel laureate.…… Continue reading The Pakistani scientist behind the ‘God particle’

Sociology

Fascinating and timely forthcoming book: ‘The Thistle and the Drone’ by Akbar Ahmed

My intellectual/spiritual/academic mentor, Professor Akbar Ahmed, has done it again.  And it’s sheer brilliance! Brookings Institution Press has just released an e-mail highlighting their forthcoming Fall publications.  Showcased in this e-mail is Professor Ahmed’s latest book ‘The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam’: The United…… Continue reading Fascinating and timely forthcoming book: ‘The Thistle and the Drone’ by Akbar Ahmed

Politics

It’s dangerous stuff when the US arms Italian drones

Drone warfare, especially the US’s illegal use of it in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has bothered me greatly since I first started writing about it for World Can’t Wait in 2010.  As it is with others, my main concern with the use of drone warfare is that drones more often than not kill civilians and not the…… Continue reading It’s dangerous stuff when the US arms Italian drones

Commentary

Drones over the ‘suspected militants’ in Pakistan

According to the BBC, a US drone strike has killed at least eight people in a volatile tribal area of north-west Pakistan.  This is the second strike in the area in 24 hours. At least four suspected militants were killed on Wednesday. US drone strikes in Pakistan are highly controversial.  Are they legal?  What about the…… Continue reading Drones over the ‘suspected militants’ in Pakistan

Fieldwork

Wondering About Ireland’s Immigration System

I’m heading tomorrow morning to meet with a Pakistani friend who I met back in January.  This young man, whose name I’ll keep anonymous for security purposes, is a native of Islamabad, Pakistan.  He arrived to Dublin via work visa over eight years ago. When his work visa ended he filed the necessary paperwork to live (legally) in Ireland.  His…… Continue reading Wondering About Ireland’s Immigration System

Fieldwork

Fieldwork

I’m now nearly two months into the Dublin stage of my fieldwork.  For purposes of anonymity and confidentiality, I will not give details on the nature of it.  However, I will say that the experiences thus far have been extremely rewarding, both as a researcher and, more importantly, as a human being. The Pakistanis that…… Continue reading Fieldwork