Overstepping the values of good judgment and turning a deaf ear to public outcry, a Monroe County court in Michigan in December 2012 killed four boxers labeled “vicious” by the local animal control. The dogs were let out by strangers who opened the door to the house while the owner, Tim Iocoangeli, was away. The dogs, defensive over newborn pups in their home, bit a teenage girl who was reportedly trespassing on the property of the owner.… [Read more]
The brutal gang rape of a young woman in India in late December hit humanity like a tsunami in the world of human rights. Media around the world has been following the case and headlines keep coming on a daily basis updating on the status of the accused arrested and charged with rape and murder. One of the many women writers who wrote about the causes underlying such heinous crimes against women in India is Sweta Srivastava Vikram who asked the question Who to Blame in an article published in early January.… [Read more]
For quite some time, Western Union Money Transfer service has worked well for me as a writer and editor based in Peshawar, Pakistan, and working freelance for American publishers. So it was a bit upsetting when I needed some money from home via Western Union and my cousin, who was to send it via my American friend, was told at a Western Union office in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Friday that they wouldn’t send money to a non-Muslim in America.… [Read more]
Flying to the US through a long route was an experience of its own kind. My first-time air travel and I had to change four planes on three international airports. Now that was just a little more than I would accommodate in for a happy travel. Yet, it was exciting – except for Emirates’ Dubai to London (UK) flight as I caught a glimpse of a worker at the Dubai airport – of dark complexion probably like an Arab-African guy – making a gesture of contempt (was it my Pakistani passport?) and pointing to his co-worker.… [Read more]
War – this red sign of human madness – is raging once again in the conflict-laden Gaza area as Israeli military offensive allegedly targets anti-Israel militants hiding there. But reports from international media reveal that innocent blood is being spilled too as collateral damage. No doubt Israel’s offensive is condemnable and the excuse of targeting militants is lame because no innocent lives must be lost – whether they are Israelis, Palestinian, or of any other nationality.… [Read more]
It is hard to look at the picture with this story published yesterday on Al Arabiya News: a five-year-old Saudi Arabian girl struggling to get her last breaths in a hospital in Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh. She was reportedly tortured to the extreme by no one else than her own father. Laama died of the wounds, with broken arms and a fractured skull; her father murdered her.… [Read more]
Nonsensical, draconian laws of Saudi Arabia make news more often than not in world media. But what just occurred seems to be setting new records in ignorance. Each year millions of Muslims from all over the world visit the kingdom to perform pilgrim in Makkah, as part of their faith, for earning spiritual rewards. This time, the Saudi authorities decided to vaccinate pilgrims coming from certain countries where polio is still considered endemic.… [Read more]
Malala Yousafzai – a teenage girl from the militant-infested district of Swat, Khyber Pakhtukhaw, Pakistan – is not just another victim of Taliban aggression; she is an icon, a symbol of courage that has shown the world what true power really means.
Shot at point-blank range by armed gunmen in her native town in Swat while she was returning from school on October 8, 2012, Malala’s survival was no less than a miracle.… [Read more]
Editing the coming issue of my journal Recovering the Self, which is themed “animals and healing”, I read the interesting and thought-provoking article by Bernie Siegel, M.D. In his article, called “Communicating with the Animals”, Bernie Siegel tells about the verbal as well as non-verbal communication between him and his pets and relates it to the process of healing.… [Read more]
Today, for the third day, the teachers at the University of Peshawar continued to protest against the government’s failure to fulfill its
promise of increasing teachers’ pay by 20 percent. There were no classes on campus as teachers boycotted classes and offices at various departments also remained closed. This was not only the case at the University of Peshawar but the universities of the entire province are reportedly observing the same strike.… [Read more]
The past week and weekend in particular have been important in the context of relation between media and politics in the Indo-Pak region as clerics in Bangladesh have all of a sudden jumped on a campaign against two prominent Pakistani political figures.
A week ago, the news of an alleged love affair between Pakistan’s ruling President’s only son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Pakistan’s Hina Rabbani Khar rocked the political grounds as well the general public in the region.… [Read more]
In Pakistani educational institutions, appointments are more often than not the object of suspicious attention; quite often, an
appointment at the higher level implies more at lower level, forming a kind of chain.
While almost every appointment in a government department seems to involve favoritism, some are striking enough to arouse concern, even nasty rumors. One such recent appointment was that of Dr.… [Read more]
The news in Pakistan has brought forth two stories that makes you wonder whether some aspects of Islam place a higher value on saving innocent lives or getting a sinner killed. The first tells of two children starved to death in the Sindh province where torrential rains caused considerable destruction, particularly to the poor part of the population.… [Read more]
The tribal system of justice is a continued agent of injustice and human rights violation in many parts of Pakistan. In some parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there is still this senseless tradition of swara, i.e. settling a dispute by giving a girl or woman from one’s family in marriage to the other party as a form of compensation for some wrong or offense.… [Read more]
The reality of blasphemy cases in Pakistan has once again been exposed by a brilliant reporter who investigated the case of a young Christian girl, said to have a mental illness, accused of blasphemy. The girl, named Rimsha, was arrested by the police in the country’s capital city Islamabad two weeks ago. The girl was accused by a boy, backed by a local cleric, of burning pages carrying Islam’s sacred text from the holy book Koran.… [Read more]
Israel is becoming a kind of land of contradiction with respect to animal rights issues. At a time when the Israeli parliament is discussing a proposed ban on fur, scientists in a prestigious university of the country have developed a new ‘naked’ breed of chicken for slaughter, stepping out of the way of nature and humane consideration.… [Read more]
Bollywood may be a great example of harmony between people of radically different faiths working and living together peacefully, even participating in one another’s religious festivals. But not all is good for Muslim minorities in India. Over the past two decades, Muslims of Bengali origin living in the state of Assam have been targeted every so often by Bodo tribespeople.… [Read more]
The recent on-air conversion of a young Hindu man to Islam on a private TV channel in Pakistan has again stripped the clerical segment of Pakistani society of the hypocrisy it has been blasted for numerous times already. Besides making it an item of public entertainment, the incident defines the level of bigotry a TV channel would indulge in so as to win applause from the fundamentalist mindset.… [Read more]