‘Strong parallels exist between eastern Sufi and western Enlightenment thought’ – Jawaid BhuttoSanjay Mathrani April 15, 2018 (The Daily Times)


Hyderabad: Sufism transcends differences based on caste, colour, creed, ethnicity, language, culture and political affiliations. It is an amalgamation of love, sacrifice, tolerance and peaceful coexistence. Sufism also possesses the enormous potential to serve as a powerful antidote against all forms extremism and terrorism. These views were expressed by Sindh University vice chancellor Dr. Fateh Muhammad Burfat, while making his …

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A Princess Vanishes. A Video Offers Alarming CluesBy Vivian Yee The New Times (Feb. 10, 2019)


BEIRUT — The princess known as Sheikha Latifa had not left Dubai, the glittering emirate ruled by her father, in 18 years. Her requests to travel and study elsewhere had been denied. Her passport had been taken away. Her friends’ apartments were forbidden to her, her palace off-limits to them. At 32, Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum went nowhere without …

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Pakistan works to stop Asia Bibi leaving after blasphemy protests Administration accused of signing Bibi’s ‘death warrant’ in deal with hardliners Memphis Barker in Islamabad (Sat 3 Nov 2018) The Guardian UK


Pakistan’s government has been accused of signing the “death warrant” of Asia Bibi after it said it would begin the process of preventing her leaving the country. Bibi, a Christian farm labourer, was acquitted of blasphemy on Wednesday. She had spent eight years on death row after she drank from the same cup as a Muslim, prompting false allegations that …

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Pakistan unveils 1,700-year-old sleeping Buddha, evoking diverse heritageReuters


A reflection of the diverse history and culture of the South Asian country, the ancient Buddhist site in Bhamala province was first discovered in 1929. Eighty-eight years on, excavations resumed and the 14-metre-(48-foot)-high Kanjur stone Buddha image was unearthed, and opposition leader Imran Kahn presided over Wednesday’s presentation. “This is from the 3rd century AD, making it the world’s oldest …

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A disaster in the making’: Pakistan’s population surges to 207.7 millionBy Pamela Constable The Washington Post


RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — For years, Pakistan’s soaring population growth has been evident in increasingly crowded schools, clinics and poor communities across this vast, Muslim-majority nation. But until two weeks ago, no one knew just how serious the problem was. Now they do. Preliminary results from a new national census — the first conducted since 1998 — show that the population …

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My Son, the JihadistBy NICOLA BENYAHIA JULY 8, 2017 (The New York TImes)


Birmingham — Britain’s most multicultural city, with a mix of white, Asian, Somali and Arab communities — seemed a good place for our children to feel integrated. Despite the typical challenges of growing up in an inner-city area, Rasheed was a straight-A student. He went to college for a while but then signed up for an apprenticeship in electrical engineering. …

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Eight-day sit-in: Army chief helps end Parachinar protestBy Mehdi Hussain Express Tribune June 30, 2017

PARACHINAR, June 30: Hundreds of protesters in Parachinar on Friday ended their eight-day long sit-in after Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa assured them of better security, according to protest leaders and the military. The protesters had been staging a peaceful sit-in following twin blasts at a market last Friday that left over 70 dead, the latest in a series …

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Trump accuses Iran of fuelling ‘fires of sectarian conflict and terror’AFP May 21, 2017


US President Donald Trump on Sunday urged Islamic leaders to take a stand against violence done in the name of religion, describing the struggle against extremism as a “battle between good and evil”. In a highly anticipated speech in Saudi Arabia, Trump lashed out at Iran, accusing Tehran of fuelling “the fires of sectarian conflict and terror” and calling for …

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Nawaz Sharif set to attend ‘Arab Nato’ summit in RiyadhAnwar Iqbal | Baqir Sajjad Syed (Dawn Newspaper)

ISLAMABAD/WASH¬INGTON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will travel to Riyadh on Sunday to attend the first-ever Arab-Islamic-American Summit being held to develop a security partnership against a growing threat of violent extremism. Mr Sharif is among the 54 leaders who would join US President Donald Trump for the summit being held on Sunday. On Friday, President Trump left Washington for Riyadh …

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Mardan lynching: Judicial inquiry ordered, police find no evidence of blasphemyThe Express Tribune (April 15, 2017)


PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak has ordered judicial inquiry into the Mardan lynching incident and a summary has been signed in this regard, KP government spokesperson Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani said. The spokesperson said the summary has been forwarded to the Peshawar High Court. Meanwhile, the postmortem report of Mashal Khan has confirmed that he died of bullet injury …

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ISIS Hates Our Saint Because He Belongs to EveryoneBy FATIMA BHUTTO FEB. 23, 2017 The New York Times

shahbaz qalander

LONDON — Last Thursday a suicide bomber affiliated with the so-called Islamic State attacked Sehwan Sharif, one of the most revered Sufi shrines, in the southern Sindh Province of Pakistan, killing more than 80 people, including 24 children, and wounding more than 250. Why the terrorists hate Sehwan is why we love it. The saint and his shrine at Sehwan …

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Seattle judge blocks Trump immigration order(Reuters) Scott Malone and Dan Levine

SEATTLE/BOSTON – A federal judge in Seattle on Friday granted a nationwide temporary restraining order blocking U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent action barring nationals from seven countries from entering the United States. The judge’s order represents a major challenge to the Trump administration, which is expected to immediately appeal. The judge declined to stay the order, suggesting that travel restrictions …

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Barack Obama ‘heartened’ by scale of protests against Donald Trump’s Muslim travel banAndrew Buncombe (Jan 30, 2017) Independent

In a blasting criticism of Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban, former president Barack Obama has said he “fundamentally disagrees” with discrimination that targets people based on their religion and was “heartened” by the protests that have been sparked across the country. “President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country,” said a statement …

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Trump’s Order Blocks Immigrants at Airports, Stoking Fear Around GlobeBy MICHAEL D. SHEAR and NICHOLAS KULISH The New York Times

WASHINGTON, Jan 28 — President Trump’s executive order on immigration quickly reverberated through the United States and across the globe on Saturday, slamming the border shut for an Iranian scientist headed to a lab in Boston, an Iraqi who had worked for a decade as an interpreter for the United States Army, and a Syrian refugee family headed to a …

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Donald Trump refugee ban: ‘arrivals from targeted countries stopped at US airports’Guardian UK Jan 28, 2017

The International Refugee Assistance Project, one of the organisations involved in a legal challenge against Trump’s executive order banning refugees from certain countries, has said the policy is “irresponsible and dangerous”. The organisation said in a statement: “Denying thousands of the most persecuted refugees the chance to reach safety is an irresponsible and dangerous move that undermines American values and …

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Pakistan bans religious TV host Aamir Liaquat Hussain over blasphemy allegationsReuters Jan 26, 2017

Pakistan’s television regulator has banned a well-known talkshow host for hate speech, after he hosted shows accusing liberal activists and others of blasphemy, an inflammatory allegation that could put their lives at risk. Blasphemy is a criminal offence in Muslim-majority Pakistan that can result in the death penalty. Even being accused of blasphemy can provoke targeted acts of violence by …

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TTP claims responsibility for Parachinar attackThe Nation


PARACHINAR, Jan 21: Around 21 people have been killed and over 50 are injured in a powerful explosion that ripped through a crowded marketplace in Parachinar Kurram tribal agency, according to officials. Kurram Agency’s political administration has confirmed the death toll and said the injured were shifted to the agency headquarters hospital. There is shortage of doctors and medical facilities …

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Pakistani right cries ‘blasphemy’ to muzzle progressivesBy AFP

A virulent social media campaign to paint five disappeared Pakistani activists as blasphemers deserving execution has spotlighted how right-wing efforts to muzzle liberal voices using the country’s draconian laws have found a powerful new platform online. The five men had stood against religious intolerance and at times criticised Pakistan’s military, with several of them running progressive Facebook pages. They vanished …

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Death threat, warning to media spray-painted on Karachi Jan 5, 2017

The walls of Karachi Press Club — which had recently been painted with colourful murals of several progressive civil society activists and journalists — were vandalised last night allegedly by members of politico-religious parties. The messages left by the vandals were spray-painted over the portraits of nearly all women activists featured on the wall. Though the vandals remain individually unidentified, …

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Pakistan PM celebrates scientist from minority sect, risking hardliners’ furyJon Boone Guardian UK (5 December 2016)

Prof Abdus Salam

Pakistan’s prime minister has risked enraging religious hardliners by ordering one of the country’s top universities to honour a Nobel prize-winning physicist from a minority sect whose members are banned from describing themselves as Muslims. In an announcement that surprised many, Nawaz Sharif said he had given approval to rename the National Centre for Physics at the capital’s Quaid-e-Azam University …

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