Terrorism / 04.08.2014

By Anjum Altaf Here are two disappointing questions with which Amos Oz, the grandfather of Israeli peaceniks, began a recent interview: QUESTION 1: What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap, and starts shooting machine-gun fire into your nursery? QUESTION 2: What would you do if your neighbor across the street digs a tunnel from his nursery to your nursery in order to blow up your home or in order to kidnap your family? The way this comes across is as if everything was going along swimmingly, we were the greatest of friends, and suddenly I discover you are sitting in your balcony pointing a machine-gun or digging a tunnel into my nursery. Clearly that’s not the way it is. Leave aside the contentious history stretching back decades about who's sitting in whose balcony at the end...

Religion / 05.06.2009

I did not watch President Obama’s address in Cairo because I did not wish to be influenced by his obvious oratorical skills. But I have the speech in cold print and would like to highlight ten weak points from the perspective of a non-Western audience in order to start a discussion on its wider implications. The reason for this approach is that every audience brings with it a different baggage of history, a different template for interpretation, a different metric of credibility, and a different set of expectations. Thus the reaction of an American audience is likely to be quite different from that of a non-Western audience especially one that has been at the receiving end of America’s pursuits of its national interests.