‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’…just doesn’t exist. No matter how loud you say it.

Sami Hamdi Western Europe

On 14th August a French court ruled that the banning of the ‘burkini’ was ‘necessary, appropriate and proportionate’ in the fight against terrorism. To any layman with the most basic understanding of human rights, the decision is nothing short of outrageous. But, surprisingly, the decision is perfectly in line with the French principles of ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’.

Christian and Muslim Values: Just how far apart are they?

Sami Hamdi Culture and Arts

A lot can be said about ‘values’; ‘British’ values, ‘Christian’ values, ‘their’ values. The context in which the whole term has been thrown about has nearly always been ‘us’ versus ‘them’. So how different are Syrian refugees, who are predominantly Muslim, from Christians? Let’s make it simpler. How different are the values of Islam from Christianity? One event in history …

In-Depth: how the response to the Paris attacks made ISIS stronger

Ismail Qaiyim Opinion, Western Europe

Painting a picture with a bloodstained brush intended to cloud and distort all inkling of mutual understanding is the business of information manipulation. The self-described Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are not only masters of disseminating distorted messages through turning vulnerable participants into electronic proxies, but also by using human suffering to paint a particular narrative. The …

I am unable to congratulate Aung Suu Kyi on her victory

Sami Hamdi Asia

I was once a fan of Aung Suu Kyi. She was a human rights hero under house arrest by a dictatorial regime. She was released and the world celebrated. She needs no introduction. An inspiration to men and women alike and a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Aung Suu Kyi was a model for all aspiring human rights activists. She demonstrated …

Ramadan is not a freedom shared by all… By Noura Abughris

IICulture Asia, Culture and Arts

In a move by the Chinese government to crack down on ‘religious extremism’ and maintain ‘social stability’, China has officially banned Ramadan in the Muslim majority district of Xinjiang. Civil servants, teachers and students are being banned from fasting, entering mosques or attending any form of religious activity during the Islamic holy month. The education bureau of Tarbaghatay city in the Xinjiang district has ordered schools to communicate to students that ‘during Ramadan students (should) not fast, enter mosques or attend religious activities’. Meanwhile, local restaurants are being encouraged to stay open while state run media outlets are running editorials on the health dangers of fasting.

Egypt bombs militants loyal to ISIL in Libya following beheadings video

Sami Hamdi Egypt, Middle East/North Africa, World Politics

Egypt has announced that it has bombed militants who have pledged loyalty to ISIL following a video that was posted on the twitter feed of a website that supports ISIL purporting to show the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi addressed the nation on state television hours after the release of the video condemning the killings and …

Three Muslim students killed in extremist attack – where is the media uproar?

Soumaya Hamdi Discussion, US, World Politics

Three young Muslim students have been shot dead in their home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by self-proclaimed ‘anti-theist’ Craig Hicks, 46. The victims are recently wedded Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and his sister-in-law Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. As more information emerges about this horrific attack in a quiet neighbourhood, a deafening silence can …