Pakistan has a long history of dissidence and struggle for human rights, where leading writers, poets, artists, students, labour leaders, and journalists, including men and women have sacrificed and given their lives. The shooting death of Pakistan's human rights activist, Sabeen Mahmud, is the latest victim.
Slowly, but surely, I see my ancestral city die a slow death at the hands of religious fanatics. From Boko Haram in Nigeria, who kidnapped 276 young girls from a school in April 2014, to the TTP, who has repeatedly attacked schoolchildren in Pakistan, the Islamic fundamentalists are systematically attacking schools and students. Their goal is to deprive the future generation of Muslims of education and return them back to the dark ages. It is time for the West to right the wrongs and help save Peshawar from the apocalyptic mercenaries.
Millions around the world rejoiced when Malala Yousafzai won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Today, Canada will embrace Malala by granting her an honourary citizenship to recognize and celebrate her efforts to educate the girls in Pakistan. Today, we must also expose and confront the distorted narratives of those in Pakistan who systematically misconstrue facts and figures to discredit her.
While the announcement that Malala Yusufzai has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Kailash Satyarthi of India was greeted with jubilation across the world jubilant, many in her native Pakistan have shown open hostility towards her while her admirers fear that she may now never be able to return to her birthplace.
From amidst the carnage, an epidemic of heroism emerged that should be remembered along with those who lost lives and limbs. In stark contrast to the pitiless resolve of the killers who combed the halls of Mumbai's Taj Mahal Hotel and executed its guests, the hotel's employees refused to abandon the iconic edifice.
An unprecedented protest is unfolding in the Balochistan city of Quetta in Pakistan. Thousands of people have staged a sit-in, and are using 93 coffins to block a road to protest the slaughter of Shia Muslims by Sunni Muslim terrorists allied with the Taliban. In their demise is a warning to the rest of us. A nuclear power is about to collapse.
While the world observed Christmas, and Pakistanis were distracted by a cricket match against rival India, Pakistan troops in armoured personal carriers and helicopter gunships circled Mashkay, Balochistan. Baloch politicians claim the army's Chistmas Eve operation there resulted in the death of 32 civilians.
We did it! After tens of thousands of Canadians and even more people from around the world signed my petition on Change.org, we got every single party leader to get behind the campaign to unanimously nominate Malala Yousufzai for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. I had never imagined that not one, but all of our federal parties and leaders would end up supporting the campaign to support a girl halfway around the world.
The shooting of the young Pakistani activist shows one thing: Fanatics are cowards who resort to violence to silence their critics. Malala Yousufzai was shot and seriously wounded on Tuesday as she was leaving her school in her hometown. It is sad and shameful to see these thugs committing horrific crimes against humanity in the name of religion. Doing their dirty work in the name of the faith is a great insult to those who follow the faith and to the faith itself.
Journalist Doug Sanders, whose latest book The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten The West? tackles (and pretty much straightens out) the laundry-list of misconceptions and falsehoods that has made its way from the fringe to the forefront of the public domain about Muslim immigration and the West. In this interview, he goes in-depth on the larger issues.
A faculty member at an elite educational institution in Pakistan mentioned in his recent Express Tribune blog piece that more than 80 per cent of his students replied in the negative on the question of Mother Teresa's entering Heaven. The overwhelming majority of students reasoned that despite saving thousands of lives, she was not a Muslim. The essence of all these discussions was that notwithstanding good deeds, it was the correct belief that decided salvation. I think being a good human being trumps religious beliefs and rituals any day.
An 11-year-old Pakistani girl with Downs Syndrome might be put to death for blasphemy. Killing people for expressing negative and/or dissenting views on religion, for burning Qurans, for writing letters -- is this Islam? No. In Islam, a law that penalizes a person for challenging or disparaging the religion -- is blasphemy itself.
In Sharia-benighted Pakistan, an 11-year-old Christian girl with Down's Syndrome has recently been incarcerated for blasphemy. Rimshah Masih allegedly burned pages of the Quran and other Islamic textbooks, including a Quran primer. The girl was found holding the charred pages. Unfortunately, Rimshah is not the only Pakistani facing such charges. Pakistanis collectively have shown little outrage at these travesties.
If there's one rule every one of the scores of broadcast journalists I've ever coached -- in Canada or overseas -- agrees with (at least in theory) it's this: the best broadcaster talks to one person, and only one person, at a time. And shares information with that person. Here some ideas on anchoring.