Society

Muhammad Ali: An American Muslim

Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer this world has ever known, is no more. The fact that he is gone is difficult to swallow. For years, Ali was renowned as a larger than life figure, “the greatest” as he would call himself, and the demise of a man of such high stature is surely a void that can never be filled.

In the world of sports, Muhammad Ali will forever be known as the boxing legend who won 56 bouts during his 21-year career. In popular culture, he will be remembered as the man who was not afraid when it came to speaking his mind — someone who was not shy of talking about things unrelated to boxing, and would always take the right stand when needed.

But that is not the only reason why this world will miss Muhammad Ali. Continue Reading

Conflicts

Russia’s War Against Crimean Tatars

Last year, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine, and it made international news. Pro-Ukrainian factions considered Russian actions to be unfair regional despotism, whereas pro-Russian groups considered the annexation to be justified.

Amidst all of this, one particular voice remained unheard, and it is unheard even to this day: the Tatars of Crimea are currently being marginalized and persecuted, and their plight is ignored not just by the international media, but even by Muslim states, with the sole exception of Turkey.

Such silence is deafening, especially considering the fact that the Tatars are a known minority in the region, and are even recognized by Russia as one of the key communities to have been persecuted and oppressed during Stalin’s era. Yet, virtually the whole world remains silent on this issue. Continue Reading

Society

Islamophobia, Hatred And The Arabic Language

While both sane and insane voices exist in every society, it is common knowledge by now that Islamophobes are pretty loud in the West, especially in USA. The story of Ahmed, the kid who brought a self-made clock to school, is a case in point. Of course, Islamophobia is not the dominant ideology in USA, as can be seen in the efforts of several good-willed Americans who seek nothing but peace. After all, Ahmed did get support and appreciation from all corners, didn’t he?

However, what happens when such Islamophobic paranoia, even though it might be in the minority, spills out and makes itself visible in stuff that is otherwise not a monopoly of Islam? What happens when one’s bigotry makes him/her feel scared of a language?

Apparently, some Islamophobes in USA seem to have an irrational fear of the Arabic language. Continue Reading

Conflicts

Remembering Dayton Accords, 1995

Back in the early 1990s, a war broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Over 100,000 people lost their lives, and over two million were displaced. Rape, prison camps and genocide of Bosnian Muslims became common during the war, and it would eventually be marked as the worst conflict in Europe ever since the end of the Second World War.

Peace was established on November 21, 1995, as part of the General Framework Agreement For Peace, commonly known as the Dayton Accords. Formally signed on December 14 of 1995, the Dayton Accords are remembered today as an unfair treaty that ended the war but preserved the hostilities. Continue Reading

Conflicts

Middle East: The Way Forward

Ever since World War I, if there is one region of the world that has been in constant turmoil, it is the Middle East (or West Asia, whichever way you like to call it). European imperialism, post-colonial despotism or neo-colonialism — there are a lot many reasons that can be held responsible for the plight of the Middle East. I once discussed the historical factors responsible for the ongoing strife in the Middle East in an earlier article.

A century has passed since the First World War, and while the rest of the world has moved on, Middle East still continues to be in trouble, with a new issue arising every other day. As painful as it might be, the fact remains that the Middle East still has a long way to go, and the region has, so far, not risen from the ashes of the First World War.

What lies ahead for the Middle Eastern people and countries?  Continue Reading

Conflicts

Remembering The Covenant of Umar (RA)

Recently, the news of a Palestinian toddler being burnt alive by Israeli settlers caught my attention. The eighteen-month old Ali Dawabsheh was asleep when Israeli extremists set fire to his house, and the kid was burnt beyond recognition by the time his body was found.

Ali’s parents too were badly injured; his four-year old brother, Ahmad Dawabsheh, is in a critical condition with over 60% of his body burnt.

Sad. Heart-breaking.

The fact that Zionists indulge in cold-blooded murder and bloodshed of innocent Palestinians is not new. Ever since 1948, violence and genocide have been the norm. To make matters worse, Israeli settlers and Zionists tend to justify their actions through varied excuses — Promised Land, Chosen People, whatever suits their intent and purpose!  Continue Reading

Society

The “Earliest” Manuscript of The Quran

At University of Birmingham, scientists recently dated an old Quranic manuscript with the help of radiocarbon analysis. As it turns out, this particular manuscript is one of the oldest ones ever! Written on a parchment, it dates back to sometime between 568 and 645 CE.

Since Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself lived from 570 to 632 CE, it means this Quranic manuscript belongs to the Prophet’s lifetime. It is, as such, quite possible that Quranic verses were written on the parchment by a Companion of the Prophet, or maybe by a student of one such companion. The calligraphy and lettering on the parchment is in excellent condition, thereby proving it to be the work of an experienced hand.

So, what does this “newly discovered” old Quranic manuscript tell us?  Continue Reading

Conflicts

South Sudan: Nothing But Violence

Four years have passed since South Sudan seceded from Sudan, and the only thing it has earned so far is violence and internal crisis that seems to have no end in sight. The international community has stood by South Sudan’s side, but the new country has repeatedly let everyone down.

The ongoing violence and civil war in South Sudan has killed and displaced millions of innocent civilians. This young country, carved forcibly out of Africa’s largest nation (erstwhile undivided Sudan), is a living example of a failed state.

But that is not all: recently, South Sudan decided to expel UN officials from its territory, out of fear that cases of human rights violations might reach the rest of the world. Calls to reconsider the decision went unheard, and the United Nations Security Council was forced to impose travel bans and sanctions in responseContinue Reading