Bilal Ahmed

Bilal Ahmed is a writer and activist. He is currently preparing for his dissertation, which will compare tribal structures, and state relations, in Pakistan and Yemen.


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Kurdish Protest Literature

Kurdish Protest Literature

Despite years of criticism, the European Commission is backing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s nascent dictatorship, in order to deal with its self-designated “refugee crisis.” The emerging agreement is that, according to the Turkish proposal, “for every Syrian readmitted by Turkey from the Greek islands, another Syrian will be resettled from Turkey to the EU member states.” More»

The War on Terror is Not Happening

The War on Terror is Not Happening

War has become the absence of politics by other means. As democratic institutions lose their legitimacy, widespread uncertainty is being mirrored by the performance of civilisational showdown. Baudrillard’s arguments in The Gulf War Did Not Take Place have resonance because of how the War on Terror has radically expanded the spectacle of combat.  More»

The Gulf War Did Not Take Place, Revisited

The Gulf War Did Not Take Place, Revisited

Jean Baudillard thought that Operation Desert Storm should not be considered a war. Rather, despite containing the material features of one, it was at once real, and a simulation. Baudillard’s logic is that the term “war” was used to legitimise a performance, and it is critical to apply his logic to the War on Terror.  More»

Shariati's Shoah

Shariati’s Shoah

On Monday January 25, I joined a migrant rights protest outside the UK Home Office as part of the Holocaust memorial collective Never Again Ever! I am often asked why I, as a Sunni Muslim of Pakistani descent, would join a diverse group of activists to push the boundaries on how we remember the Holocaust. I see it as politically consistent with principles outlined by Ali Shariati prior to the Islamic Revolution.  More»

Thatcherite Wahhabism

Thatcherite Wahhabism

Saudi Arabia is facing a systemic overhaul. Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman recently indicated as much during an interview with The Economist, by answering “most certainly” to a question about whether or not Saudi Arabia is facing “a Thatcher revolution.”  More»

Waiting for Nimr to Die

Waiting for Nimr to Die

Saudi Arabia finally executed Shi’ite cleric and political dissident Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr on Saturday. Regional tensions have escalated dramatically after Nimr’s death led to violent protests at the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, causing a diplomatic crisis. The question is why this happened now. More»

Never Again, Full Stop

Never Again, Full Stop

During 2015, I participated in a Holocaust memorial project that plays with the very notion of a memorial. Never Again Ever! is based on the idea that memorialisation without action is part of the problem, and this was reflected in our events over the past year.  More»

Decolonising "Islamofascism"

Decolonising “Islamofascism”

“Islamofascism” is nearly three decades old now. Entering popular usage following the 9/11 attacks, it has most recently been repurposed to fit Islamic State. The term was first coined by Malise Ruthven in a 1990 article in The Independent. Ruthven wrote that “authoritarian government, not to say Islamofascism, is the rule rather than the exception from Morocco to Pakistan.”  More»

Letter to an ISIS Militant, Part II

Letter to an ISIS Militant, Part II

Camus’ writings deal intensely with the problem of death; suicide in Myth of Sisyphus (1943), and the death of others in L’Homme Révolté (1951). For Camus, the issue is that humans have no direct experience of death, but it remains their only certainty, and shapes their existence. More»

Trending Takfir

Trending Takfir

The hashtag #YouAintNoMuslimBruv has been trending since a knife attack that shut down the London Underground last night. It refers to a bystander who yelled the insult at a person who yelled “This is for Syria!” before attacking three passengers with a knife.  More»

Letter to an ISIS Militant, Part I

Letter to an ISIS Militant, Part I

As the US-led coalition (France, United Kingdom, the unofficial assistance of Russia) expands its war against Islamic State, it is worth revisiting the work of Albert Camus. More»

Jihad and Shahadat

Jihad and Shahadat

Iranian revolutionary sociologist Ali Shariati took care to differentiate between martyrs and shaheed. Shariati believed that martyrs “die for the sake of god,” while shaheed are “always alive and present.”  More»

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