Why attempts to change Afghanistan keep failing

NATO largely ignored the ethnic, cultural, religious and other aspects of how Afghans live

Why attempts to change Afghanistan keep failingThe hasty, defeatist and craven withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan in August has compelled the “civilized” Western nations and their leaders to confront the failures and errors of the past 20 years, which resemble those of earlier conflicts. The initial supposed conquest of Afghanistan relegated the remnants of the Taliban zealots to…

Time for Canada to help the victims of the PS752 shootdown

The victims’ families deserve justice, and the people of both Canada and Iran deserve the truth

Time for Canada to help the victims of the PS752 shootdownOn January 8, 2020, the Islamic Republic of Iran shot down Ukrainian flight PS752, causing the death of 176 people, including 138 Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and others with close ties to Canada. While Tehran called the downing a mistake, a recent report from the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims identifies several key…

We must ensure Muslims and all believers are made welcome

But to claim Islamaphobia is endemic in Canada is wrong

We must ensure Muslims and all believers are made welcomeOctober was Islamic History Month in Canada. In a letter introducing the month, former Diversity Minister Bardish Chagger wrote, “Today and everyday, I stand with Muslim communities, and indeed all Canadians, to denounce the hatred that fuels Islamophobia.” Muslim leaders also wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister in June asking for a National…

Muslim Seniors Research works to improve health, fight Islamophobia

Unique research links academic findings with concrete change for Muslim communities

Muslim Seniors Research works to improve health, fight IslamophobiaFor Jordana Salma, academic research should be a two-way street: an ongoing cycle of asking questions, identifying concerns and then working with communities to address them. The assistant professor in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Nursing relies on Alberta’s Muslim community to guide her studies of aging and health for seniors. In return, she promises to…

The bloody end of Anwar Sadat

Sadat had committed the cardinal sin of making peace with Israel

The bloody end of Anwar SadatOn Oct. 6, 1981, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was gunned down while presiding over a ceremony celebrating the eighth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. It was a brutal reminder of how passionate political differences can claim the lives of even the most prominent. Political assassinations weren’t exactly unheard of in the second half of…

Canada must help ease the chaos in Afghanistan

Joe Biden rivals his predecessor, Donald Trump, in the peddling of lies and false promises

Canada must help ease the chaos in AfghanistanDuring the final week of Canada’s modest evacuation flight effort, Canadian visa holders outside Kabul International Airport took their chances to fight through the crowds and make it to one of the ever-changing gates that occasionally would open and admit tiny fractions of the throngs of people desperately trying to get on an evacuation flight.…

Canada is failing religious minorities in Afghanistan

Will Canada’s leaders put election campaigning on hold just long enough to deal with this humanitarian crisis?

Canada is failing religious minorities in AfghanistanAfghanistan’s religious minorities are facing nothing less than a genocide but the Canadian government has yet to make a firm commitment to protect some of the most vulnerable among them, say Canadian human rights activists. Hazaras and Christians – two of these minorities – have been cornered into a desperate situation ever since the fall…

Afghanistan has fallen to the Taliban. Do you care?

Biden’s claim that the invasion’s original “objective” was achieved is ignorant at best, misleading at worst

Afghanistan has fallen to the Taliban. Do you care?Very few people have given a damn about Afghanistan for the last several years. It doesn’t impact their lives. It’s “over there.” The troop count has been low, Western casualties have been effectively nil, and the country’s situation has rarely punctuated the mainstream headlines. I’ve been guilty of the same apathy, especially during COVID. Yet,…

What we get wrong about the Islamic empire and crusader armies

Author Steve Tibble’s message is that much of the crusader narrative is simplistic caricature. But it can’t erase facts

What we get wrong about the Islamic empire and crusader armiesAs imperial enterprises went, it was a stunning performance. Coming from apparently nowhere, an extensive Islamic empire was born in the century following the Prophet Muhammad’s 632 death. Arab armies swept out of the remote Arabian peninsula to conquer the Middle East and North Africa, subsequently crossing the straits of Gibraltar to Spain and establishing…

London murders wound us all

The killings demand empathy for the victims, but also renewed commitment to freedom of faith

London murders wound us allThe news from London, Ont. regarding a murdered Muslim family is horrifying. It is chilling even to write about a driver deliberately ramming his pick-up truck into a father, mother, grandmother, daughter, and son – leaving only the young boy alive but bereft of his family. The police-reported motivation behind the crime should make it…

Quebec, France poised to reject diversity, pluralism

Freedom of religious expression is a human right

Quebec, France poised to reject diversity, pluralismAccording to the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practise, worship…

Poverty often at the root of racism, hate

Teaching critical thinking skills is vital in promoting honest and respectful dialogue. Yet schools are underfunded

Poverty often at the root of racism, hateEarly-20th-century electrical engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz said, “There are no foolish questions and no man becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.” Steinmetz is right. Asking questions is vital in seeking truth and finding wisdom. Many things are happening in the world where the narrative perpetrated simply doesn’t make sense. We’re told, for example,…

Why some women fought back against Boko Haram atrocities

The Islamist group has killed tens of thousands and displaced more than 2.3 million people since 2009

Why some women fought back against Boko Haram atrocitiesThe world reacted with shock and horror when 276 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014. Some of the girls managed to escape, others were rescued by military forces, but many were coerced into serving the group’s terrorist agenda, some acting as suicide bombers. While the mass abduction in the small Nigerian town…

Religious ignorance is on the rise but we can combat it in our schools

Ignorance is the surest path to misunderstanding. And if it’s not addressed, misunderstanding quickly descends into intolerance

Religious ignorance is on the rise but we can combat it in our schools“Amen and awoman.” This was how a U.S. congressman concluded a prayer recently in the House of Representatives. No doubt he meant to be inclusive of both men and women. However, he sounded ridiculous. That’s because the word “amen” comes from Hebrew and means “so be it.” Amen has nothing to do with gender. This…

Remembering the lives lost on Flight PS752

On the anniversary of the tragedy, the University of Alberta remembers the colleagues and friends who were lost

Remembering the lives lost on Flight PS752Russ Greiner’s artificial intelligence lab is made up of 15 or so grad students, post-docs and others who hold cheerful, heartfelt meetings, and why wouldn’t they? It’s a cohesive group made up of more friends than colleagues. And the one person most responsible for that cohesion during the 2019 iteration of the team was master’s…
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