Muhammad Idrees Ahmad
Muhammad Idrees Ahmad is Associate Editor at New Lines magazine. He is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Journalism at the University of Essex. He has a doctorate in sociology and has previously taught at the University of Stirling, University for the Creative Arts, University of Strathclyde, De Montfort University and the Vietnam National University (Saigon and Hanoi). He is currently writing a book on the war of narratives over Syria.
Latest from Muhammad Idrees Ahmad
She could be the kind of Muslim she became only because she lived in a place with religious tolerance. It is doubtful that she would have liked the social conservatism of many Muslim societies. Had she grown up in one, she would have rebelled against it. In Iran, she would have burned the hijab.
The lesson of Iraq is not to retreat into fatalism and make a virtue of apathy. It is to start from a place of empathy and weigh the human cost of both action and inaction. It is to never initiate a war where there is none, but, should someone else start a war, to ensure that it ends in the aggressor’s defeat.
Aid to northwestern Syria has been impeded neither by sanctions, which include a humanitarian exemption, nor by the absence of a Security Council mandate, which was unnecessary. It was a failure of will —by the U.N. leadership, primarily, but also by the U.S. and EU.
Monday’s catastrophe has put Syria back in the headlines. But this disaster is exceptional and has revealed the mundane horrors Syrians have been enduring since 2011 have not yet abated. In a place forsaken by the world, rescue workers’ resilience has become a symbol of hope.
Far from charting a new course in the Middle East, Biden’s fumbling strategy has taken America back to the Obama playbook — but in a world that is very different from 2008. A simple thing Biden can do to restore American prestige is not to replace handshakes with fist bumps but to erase the space between words and deeds.
As I grew up in Pakistan in the 1980s, gun culture was a big deal, as large a presence in society as it is in America. Guns were to men what jewelry was to women. It took the emergence of a real threat to change Pakistan. Can America similarly adapt?
On August 21, 2013 the Syrian regime launched the biggest chemical attack of the 21st century. It was a seismic event whose repercussions are still being felt. This is an account of what happened that day and how the decisions made in its aftermath sealed Syria’s fate.