Co-authored by Jennah Adam. Jennah is an artist, editor, and writer whose work has been published on websites like The Muslim Vibe and Coming of Faith. A cardiologist by profession, Kashif Chaudhry is currently training in the field of Cardiac Electrophysiology in the Greater Boston area. Aside from blogging regularly on The Huffington Post, his articles have been published on CNN, NYT, NJ Record, Daily Caller, and Pakistani papers including DAWN, Daily Times, The Nation, and Express Tribune. He moved… Read more

  Last month the Pakistani government announced a new “national narrative” with the pro-patriotic moniker “Paigham-i-Pakistan” (Message of Pakistan). The document was prepared after consultation among religious scholars and parliamentarians. It includes a “Fatwa” (religious ruling) against terrorism endorsed by 1,800 clerics.  Among the speakers were the President, Foreign Minister and Interior Minister-indicating that the government wanted this to be as high profile an occasion as possible. A new national narrative is badly needed at a time when the forces… Read more

  December 1999: A man sent a letter to the Lahore Police confessing to the murder of a hundred children. Following an unsuccessful manhunt (the largest  in Pakistan’s history) the man surrendered himself at the offices of Pakistan’s best known newspaper. Between 1985 and 1999, Javed Iqbal Mughal had abducted, sodomized and murdered at least a hundred boys ranging in age from six to sixteen years.  His trial, controversial sentence, and death in his jail cell prior to execution were widely publicized…. Read more

The “hot take” is probably as old as journalism itself. Early English language newspapers like “Tatler” and “Spectator” included gossip columns on the aristocracy and on current political events. While op-ed’s in reputable journals are not viewed as such, they too are often examples of “hot takes.” I’ll go one step further and say that even editorials following momentous world events are often “hot takes” competing with those from other news outlets. Let me muddy journalistic waters even more. In… Read more

As Neil Postman so brilliantly observed in his 1985 classic “Amusing Ourselves to Death”, two great dystopian visions have defined contemporary anxieties about the future of society. The first is George Orwell’s “1984” and the second Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”. For a long time it was Orwell’s vision that received the most attention due to the extraordinary insight it offered into the role of war in economics and the language of propaganda (”newspeak”). Since the dawn of cable television… Read more

  May 12,2014: In the half rural-half industrial town of Sheikhupura four men were arrested by Punjab police . Their crime was tearing down posters filled with hate speech directed at their community plastered outside a shop in their village. The shopkeeper immediately filed a complaint with local police claiming that the posters contained Quranic verses. The men were charged with blasphemy. May 16, 2014: A 16 year old boy walked into the police station and shot one of the men, 65 year old Khalil Ahmad,… Read more

    This is the third part of a three-part manuscript tracing the origins of extremist movements within Muslims. The first part dealt with the rivalry between the Ahl-e-Sunnah and the Mutazila and its implications on Islamic jurisprudence. The second part focused on Ibn Taymiyya and the repercussions of his theology and fatwas on the treatment of minorities and sectarian relations. This concluding part examines the circumstances and sociopolitical as well as psychological factors that have contributed to the current… Read more

This is the second installment of a three part article tracing the evolution of extremist strains in Islamic history and analyzing their etiology and perpetuating factors. The first part described the impact of the Mutazila-Ahl Sunnah rivalry on the Islamic religiopolitical paradigm. In this article the utility of Hanbali scholar Ibn Taymiyya’s teachings and religious rulings to latter day exponents of sedition and persecution is studied. Taqi al Din Ahmed Ibn Taymiyya was born on January 22, 1263 in the ancient Mesopotamian… Read more

  Since the so-called “War on Terror” began after 9-11 the number of terrorist groups has increased and the territory under their control has exponentially grown across countries like Iraq, Syria, Libya and Somalia. Neither full scale invasions such as those of Afghanistan and Iraq nor targeted drone operations have succeeded in militarily defeating terrorist groups. The strategy of “deradicalization” such as that pursued through the “Prevent” initiative by the British Government, the Saudi authorities in Saudi prisons and by… Read more

According to National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, President Trump will be giving an “inspiring yet direct” talk about Islam and the need to confront extremism during his trip to Saudi Arabia. McMaster said that more than fifty leaders of Muslim majority nations will be in attendance. He further stated that:  “The speech is intended to unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilization and to demonstrate America’s commitment to our Muslim partners.” The following is the hypothetical speech that the author believes Donald Trump… Read more

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