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?

Pakistan Army should be part of peace talks with TTP

 Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq suggested on Friday that army officials should be included in the peace process so that talks between the government and Taliban could be fruitful. Haq said that the both negotiating committees have no empowerment and they were working as messengers. The government and the army should give authority to the committees, he said, adding the failure (of the talks) will be a failure for Pakistan. Haq also said that there was no other option except peace talks with Taliban for restoring peace and eliminating terrorism from Pakistan. He said that the national economy has been destroyed and … Continue reading Pakistan Army should be part of peace talks with TTP

Work to Free Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Disorganised!

AP SOURCES By DEB RIECHMANN   This undated image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The nearly five-year effort to free the only American soldier held captive in Afghanistan is scattered among numerous federal agencies with a loosely organized group of people working on it mostly part time, according to two members of Congress and military officials involved in the effort. An ever-shrinking U.S. military presence in Afghanistan has re-focused attention on efforts to bring home Bergdahl, who has been held by the Taliban since June 30, 2009. (AP Photo/U.S. Army)   This image made from video released … Continue reading Work to Free Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Disorganised!

Taliban Ceasefire Over!

  Only three days after Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan informed the nation that the ‘peace talks’ with the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) were about to enter a “comprehensive” phase, the TTP has announced that it will not be extending the ceasefire. Considering how much time and effort the good minister spends defending terrorists before the people they routinely kill, they really ought to be more considerate towards him. He says that Islamabad is a safe city, and they bomb the capital within a week. He claims that the peace talks are about to enter the next level, and they decide against … Continue reading Taliban Ceasefire Over!

Baloch separatists follow Taliban footsteps

Baloch separatists have pierced the relative calm created by the banned Pakistani Taliban’s temporary end to hostilities by slaying innocents. The outlawed United Baloch Army (UBA) claimed responsibility for two terror attacks this month, the April 9 bomb blast in Islamabad’s fruit market, which killed at least 25 workers, and an attack the next day at a railway station in Sibi, in which 15 people lost their lives. The timing of the Sibi and Islamabad attacks is important as they were were carried out just as talks between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government and the Pakistani Taliban appeared to be making progress. … Continue reading Baloch separatists follow Taliban footsteps

Taliban leader goes missing in UAE

  Mutasim confirmed to be missing in the UAE. PHOTO: FILE ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan on Monday officially confirmed that a senior Taliban leader, Mullah Agha Jan Mutasim, who had started dialogue with Kabul-backed negotiators in Dubai, has been missing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). After a mysterious silence for nearly two weeks, the Afghan Foreign Ministry on Monday confirmed that Mutasim is missing. “The Afghan government confirms that Agha Jan Mutasim has disappeared in the UAE and we are talking to UAE senior officials to determine his fate,” the Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Ahmed Shakaib Mustaghni said in Kabul. “The talks, unfortunately, have … Continue reading Taliban leader goes missing in UAE