Latest from Tam Hussein
To this small but influential number of Muslims in Europe and the U.S., Afghanistan is not really a country, but a mythical canvas onto which they can paint their own hopes and dreams.
The closest Prince Turki al-Faisal comes to expressing regret is when he writes that he and his American counterparts might have been too focused on the immediate aim of winning the war in Afghanistan, rather than the potential long-term consequences of their actions.
Bangladesh’s independence was, and remains, a taboo topic in Pakistan, and much of it is blamed on the Cold War, Bhutto, and Indian political machinations. I had to reassess that post-independence propaganda I had been fed in later years. And, of course, the biggest shock was my discovery at 11 that Muhammad Ali was not Bengali!
Western prison systems still struggle to incarcerate notorious jihadists or ideologues. One major case was that of Abu Qatada, dubbed “Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man.”
Opportunities to meet a caliph are pretty rare. Yet in London in the 1990s, you could bump into a protector of the entire Muslim world on the Central line. He wore no finery, of course, and his palace was a two-bedroom government apartment in Dagenham.