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
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.
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
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
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 response. Continue reading
I recently published a post on Muslim Memo showcasing images of Eid al-Fitr celebrations around the globe. For the audience of my own blog, I am sharing the roundup here.
Just in case you are interested, you can check out the previously published roundups of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha.
Every year, Muslims observe fast from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan. I recently published the following photo gallery on Muslim Memo, showcasing Ramadan celebrations around the world. Continue reading
Nowadays, if there is one part of the world that repeatedly finds itself in the midst of some conflict or the other, it has to be Western Asia, which is more commonly known as Middle East.
Looking at the present-day map of Middle East is a confusing and heart-breaking experience. There are random boundaries separating one state from another, and issues such as terrorism, political strife, corruption, etc. are rampant.
However, it was not always this way. Not so long ago, Middle East was the pinnacle of peace and prosperity. So what went wrong? In this rather long essay, I will try to explain the root causes of the ongoing strife in the Middle East. Continue reading
Of late, checking the news has become monotonous. Every other day, in virtually all publications and verticals of repute, there is some “expert” or the other busy discussing ways in which Islam is in conflict with the rest of world, or how Islam is having trouble dealing with itself, etc.
None of these so-called “insights” are original, nor do they add any merit to the news in general. Yet, such opinions continue to remain in vogue, and are preferred by the common populace. You know, when you segregate people and talk about ‘us’ versus ‘them’, people enjoy taking sides.
So, I decided to dig deeper, and reflect on what exactly such viewpoints are trying to convey. Is Islam really at war with everyone? Or is Islam having a crisis within itself? Do Muslims need to react? Continue reading
When it comes to the Middle East, everything happens at a pace that is too fast to comprehend. Proxy wars, manipulations and unjustifiable violence — unfortunately, a region so blessed and so beautiful is nowadays mostly known for all the wrong things.
As of now, Iran-Arab relations are turning from bad to worse with sectarian rhetoric and regional rivalries resulting in a weird form of power struggle that will have many losers, and probably zero winners. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia have entered into a stare-down in Yemen, and with nearly all the major states of the region taking sides, the flames of these tensions are reaching as far as Turkey and Pakistan. Add to it the fact that the recent nuclear deal between P5+1 and Iran can affect regional strife even further, and the chances of a zero sum game look even bleak.
At this point, one needs to wonder: what can be the possible solution for Middle East? Continue reading
On March 18, a student in Pine Bush High School near New York City recited the American Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic. This was done as part of the school’s Foreign Language Week, which was conducted to celebrate the “many races, cultures and religions that make up [the US and the Pine Bush] School District.”
One would expect the multicultural and cosmopolitan American society to appreciate such gestures. However, reactions to the recitation of the Pledge in Arabic spoke otherwise: the language in itself was described to be meant for terrorists! Such bigotry once again highlighted everything that is wrong with USA nowadays: xenophobia, racism, ignorance, violence and above all, Islamophobia. Continue reading