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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Jihad Pigs, Part IV

Jihad Pigs, Part IV

S.K. Malik’s Quranic Concept of War illustrates that during the late 1970s, the Pakistani military began adopting hardline conceptions of jihad in order to resolve a major crisis in national morale. This allowed the military to rehabilitate itself following a series of major defeats, and move against leftist and secessionist factions in the country. More»

Jihad Pigs, Part III

Jihad Pigs, Part III

Brigadier General S.K. Malik expounds on the purpose of warfare in Qu’ranic Concept of War by inverting the arguments of Carl von Clausewitz. Clausewitz famously argued that war is a “continuation of policy by other means,” while Malik believed that the ethical bases of war forces policy to define and determine its specific parameters. More»

Jihad Pigs, Part II

Jihad Pigs, Part II

A major criticism of Islamic militants is the fact that they fight during Ramadan. S. K. Malik’s Qu’ranic Concept of War complicates this argument by highlighting a strong Qu’ranic justification for jihad during the “prohibited month.”  More»

Jihad Pigs, Part I

Jihad Pigs, Part I

Brigadier General S. K. Malik’s book Quranic Concept of War was published in Lahore in 1979. Malik articulates a uniquely Islamic contribution to ‘just war’ theory, using the Qu’ran to discuss wartime ethics and the nature of modern jihad. More»

Why I Am An Atheist

Why I Am An Atheist

Indian anarchist and revolutionary socialist Bhagat Singh was hanged in Lahore on 23 March 1931. He was twenty-four years old, and convicted of killing police deputy John Saunders out of revenge for his own killing of the influential nationalist Lala Lajpat Rai during a protest. More»

Islamic State in Yemen

Islamic State in Yemen

Since March, Islamic State has been implementing a string of attacks in Northwestern Yemen, most recently with a car bomb attack on June 29 that killed dozens of people. Its gradual rise in the country, and competition with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), is best understood through a discussion of failed counterinsurgency policies by Saudi Arabia and the United States. More»

Payback For Empire

Payback For Empire

Congress Party lawmaker Shashi Tharoor has gone viral with an Oxford Union speech in which he outlines a case for British reparations to India (and, implicitly, other South Asian countries.) Commentators have gleefully reproduced the Tharoor’s finest moments, including flamboyant insults against his opposition. More»

Watching Z in Pakistan

Watching Z in Pakistan

Z is “no more about Greece than The Battle of Algiers was about Algeria,” said Roger Ebert, in 1969.  Ebert spotted parallels with the United States and South Vietnam, and last night, in the industrial city of Faisalabad, I spotted more than a few with Pakistan.  Indeed, the legendary drama feels timeless in its portrayal of political crises, and elites willing to undermine democracy. More»

Red Nostalgia in South Yemen

Red Nostalgia in South Yemen

From the conclusion of the Aden Emergency in 1967, to the end of the Cold War, southern Yemen was known as the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, and ruled by a Stalinist Politburo in Aden. Its ambitious domestic experiments, and Trotskyist foreign policies, were a constant headache for both its monarchical neighbours, and the nascent dictatorship of Ali Abdullah Saleh. More»

Pakistani Communist Teenager

Pakistani Communist Teenager

Malala Yousafzai is making news again, after urging world leaders to cut “eight days of military spending” in order to fund education. On Tuesday, the Malala Fund announced an estimate that $39 billion would be needed yearly to fund primary and secondary education for children worldwide. More»

Greece for Pakis

Greece for Pakis

“Let me tell you this,” former Greek Minister of Public Order and Citizen protection Nikos Dendias told Skai Radio in January 2014. “There’s a difference between Sweden facing immigration from the countries of the former Soviet Union, who have a certain level of education, who are Europeans in the broad sense of the word, and Greece, which is facing immigration from Bangladesh and Pakistan.” More»

Maududi's Germany

Maududi’s Germany

The Pakistani Islamist Abul Ala’a Maududi had polemical and highly complex views on the spiritual acceptability of democracy. Maududi’s criticisms were unmistakably protofascist, and framed the political outlook of Jamaat-e Islami, formed in British India, in 1941. More»

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