What my 20 years in Afghanistan taught me about the Taliban – and how the west consistently underestimates them

Sippi Azarbaijani Moghaddam, University of St Andrews It was April 1995, and I was preparing to travel to Afghanistan for my first volunteer post with a UK charity. I had travelled to London to meet the Afghanistan director for the … Continue reading What my 20 years in Afghanistan taught me about the Taliban – and how the west consistently underestimates them

Taliban bisa belajar dari sistem madrasah di Indonesia untuk memperluas akses sekolah bagi perempuan di Afganistan

M Niaz Asadullah, University of Malaya Sejak Taliban kembali berkuasa, ada kecemasan dari berbagai pihak bahwa masyarakat Afganistan akan mengalami “Islamisasi” – termasuk sektor pendidikan. Banyak orang khawatir bahwa sekolah-sekolah akan ditutup atau perempuan tidak diizinkan bersekolah. Hal ini dapat … Continue reading Taliban bisa belajar dari sistem madrasah di Indonesia untuk memperluas akses sekolah bagi perempuan di Afganistan

How social media amplifies hatred against Muslims

How social media – aided by bots – amplifies Islamophobia online Saif Shahin, American University In August 2021, a Facebook ad campaign criticizing Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the United States’ first Muslim congresswomen, came under intense scrutiny. Critics charged that the ads linked the congresswomen with terrorism, and some faith leaders condemned the campaign as “Islamophobic” – that is, spreading fear of Islam and hatred against Muslims. This was hardly the first time the pair faced Islamophobic or racist abuse, especially on the internet. As a communications professor who studies the politics of race and identity online, I have seen … Continue reading How social media amplifies hatred against Muslims

How the US created, and lost, Afghan war

It was a typical Kabul morning. Malik Ashgar Square was already bumper-to-bumper with Corolla taxis, green police jeeps, honking minivans, and angry motorcyclists. There were boys sellingphone cards and men waving wads of cash for exchange, all weaving their way around the vehicles amid exhaust fumes. At the gate of the Lycee Esteqial, one of the country’s most prestigious schools, students were kicking around a soccer ball. At the Ministry of Education, a weathered old Soviet-style building opposite the school, a line of employees spilled out onto the street. I was crossing the square, heading for the ministry, when I saw the suicide … Continue reading How the US created, and lost, Afghan war

Waiting Game

While government negotiators distance themselves from talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a high-level meeting on Monday morning, chaired by Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif, agreed to formalise an agenda for a final push in talks with the terrorists, even as a series of attacks in Karachi and other parts of the country over the last two days left several people dead. An explosion killed three peace committee members in Landikotal on Sunday, while a small bomb exploded inside a Karachi seminary on Monday, killing three children. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar reportedly told the meeting that either the talks needed … Continue reading Waiting Game

Change in FATA?

    The shockwaves of 9/11 hit deep in the tribal areas. Maliks were killed, drones fired and the long-established political agents lost much of their status and authority. The army campaigns against the Taliban forced hundreds of thousands from their homes. Even now IDPs languish in camps. Some fear the conflict is not yet over. Others can’t afford to rebuild properties destroyed by the army campaign against the Taliban. And a few – maybe quite a few – have decided that the bright lights of the big cities are so enticing they are in no hurry to go back … Continue reading Change in FATA?