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A coffin, a horse and a flag

Marwa Osman

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Bradford City Centre was the scene of a rather unusual procession this Saturday (June 18th) as members of “The 10th Day” and “I am Hussain” took to the streets to honour one of their most revered religious figures: Imam Hussain ibn Ali (AS), the third Imam of Islam.

As Muslims across the world are marking the fast of Ramadan, both organizations were keen to offer their community an offering of solidarity, cohesion, and togetherness, through the acknowledgement of one of Islam’s greatest martyrs, and leaders: Imam Hussain (AS), the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

A historical figure whose glory, unparalleled courage, and strength in the face of tyranny left an indelible mark on History, Imam Hussain (AS) has remained central to Shia Islam. Still, his life … and his death echo of a Truth which brilliance has transcended time, and touched communities far beyond the Islamic realm.

It is his commitment to truth and justice which “The 10th Day” and “I am Hussain” wanted to highlight, and pay homage to in Bradford this Saturday.

Over a thousand years ago, in the burning desert of Karbala (Iraq), Imam Hussain and his 72 valiant supporters faced the tyranny of Yazid – a tyrant over nations. Cornered by an army several thousand-men strong, Imam Hussain refused to bow.

Where most would have faltered, Imam Hussain stood, unbending, and undefeated in his determination to speak against absolutism and injustice.

It is such a powerful message of resistance and solidarity which “The 10th Day” and “I am Hussain” came to celebrate in Bradford – hoping to inspire a new sense of social cooperation within their community.

To join in their efforts were many well-known local officials, among whom Bradford’s Deputy Lord Mayor Alun Griffiths, and MP Imran Hussain.

While we may all differ in our faiths, lifestyles and political sensitivities, we all share in those values which stand central to our humanity: human rights, and an innate yearning for justice.

Amid the crowd was put on display, a coffin, a horse and the flag of Imam Hussain (AS) – the symbols of a battle fought, reminders of our collective history.

If many passers-by were a bit dubious as to what a coffin, a horse and a flag were doing in their city centre, all were soon keen to join in the symbolic of such a gathering.

As Sister Mehvish noted (a volunteer for both organizations) success will come in our ability to share in the symbolic, and visual relevance of Karbala to better raise awareness to Imam Hussain’s message to humanity.

As MP Imran Hussain noted: “the events of over 1000 years ago should never be forgotten.”

Ms. Marwa Osman. PhD Candidate located in Beirut, Lebanon. University Lecturer and host of the political show “The Middle East Stream” broadcasted on Al-Etejah English Channel. Member of the Blue Peace Media Network and political commentator on issues of the Middle East on several international and regional media outlets.

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New Social Compact

Reasons Behind Women Inequality in Pakistan

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There is much availability of literature that portrays the issues of women inequality along with explaining the suffering of women at the hands of the male partner of society, particularly in Pakistan. Pakistan is a country where women are deprived of their fundamental rights in a male-dominated society which creates a sense of inequality within the country. There is also much reality that male has always remained dominant over female counterpart since the evolution of the world and with the passage of time changes came into the societies but the changes were accepted by some societies and neglected by other ones. The societies which adopted the change and led towards the path of development and progress or modernization are considered the most developed and sophisticated nations of the world which some extent have also given much equality to women as compared to the nations of Asia and the Africa continent.

Multiple feminist moments are working throughout the world for the rights and equality of women. It was 1909 when the first time international women day was observed in America. The basic theme of women’s day always remains the equality of women for a good, healthy, happy, and balanced society. Furthermore, it is insisted that gender equality is the only way to boost economic and social development and better society; therefore it is the responsibility of both males and females to play their part in the role of the progress and development of the society. Thousand years before Aristotle explained that women have an equal right to be happy as men have. According to him, such a society cannot remain happy where women are not happy and independent. If one looks at the employment ratio of males and females in every walk of life within Pakistan, it can be observed that the ratio of males is more than women which shows the gender inequality within the society.

There are multiple stereotypes and old traditions practiced in Pakistani society for a long period because of which women are not considered equal to men. For instance, the first and foremost reason is the physical structure of men, it is considered that men are physically strong than women so being a strong and brave they are superior to women but with the invention of technology, innovation, science, and globalization this idea of superiority and physically strong has become null and void because it has made women do each work which men can do. But this stereotype has been practiced within society since long therefore it has taken roots in the minds of people even such a level that women their selves have accepted this socially constructed idea which has created many difficulties for bringing gender equality. In a present globalized and developed world, women can also contribute to every field in which men can contribute and it is practiced throughout the world particularly in most of the nations of European and American continents.

Second, mostly the source of income has remained in the hands of male counterparts especially in societies like Pakistan it is expected that who has the source income one keeps the dominant position in the family because of economic matters. Today, half of the population of the world consisted of females for that it is very necessary to involve women in every field for the progress and development of society. For running the society smoothly and peacefully, the role and engagement of women in every walk of life are too important because the nations which are considered the most developed, peaceful and sophisticated throughout the world have mostly removed the gender discrimination and inequality along with giving women various rights as men enjoy.

The Thing which is considered most important for gender equality is that women have to work hard for eliminating the stereotypes and old traditions within the society along with changing their mentality and thinking of being weak and less active than men. Moreover, there is the presence of such things which portray women as a weak counterpart of society like the fear of women from small things for instance insects and animals, it looks a trivial thing but hugely effects the minds of people which shows that women need men for their security and safety. Therefore, it is important for women that they should avoid any activity which portrays the weak image of them. It also influences the minds of men, who also mentally accept that women need male protection rather women should do such actions and activities which make their personality more strong and brave. If anyone wants to bring the change that change starts from the minds of people because if people mentally accept the anything, it is considered the first step towards the change. Therefore, it is high time for the suppressed women of Pakistan to contribute to eliminating the stereotypes followed and practiced against them.

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New Social Compact

Covid-19 Might not be the End

Syed Nasir Hassan

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The world seems to be oblivious when it comes to the non-traditional security paradigms hence certain natural cycles repeat overtime. So is the case with pathogens or viruses and epidemics or pandemics. Countermeasures are taken for known threats whereas the unknown threats are studied and then often brought to the global consciousness. Although, viruses are known and being studied but not often brought to global consciousness due to the overshadowing global political and corporate structure. The world is having a Curve of History where an infectious disease will alter the course of future global political dynamics.

As the world is seeking an end to this Covid-19 pandemic, another reality is obscured from us that is that even it ends it might not be. In this interconnected and extra globalized world where human mobility is irrepressible, it gives a very apt environment to any viral infection to transform itself from just a disease to an epidemic and then to a pandemic. In this regard, humans have themselves become a potential weapon and that too in biological in nature. Despite being caused due to human activity, they undergo a hibernation period after some time or mutate into mild form but after causing a catastrophe.

In 1980, the year when WHO celebrated that it has successfully uprooted the world’s biggest killer of human history, i.e., smallpox which devoured over 500million people only in the 20thcentury. It was the only disease the world had overcome. People started to contemplate that science would overcome epidemics and pandemics. But then the situation got worse as SARS, MERS, EBOLA, SWINE, ZIKA were on the waiting list. It might have been a different scenario if rather focusing that science will do all the work there would have been an understanding regarding why and how pandemics resurface time and time again.

Today, as we are stampeding in the 21st century, the world has become more globalized. Due to overpopulation and mobility, human bodies easily became incubators for diseases. Since most of the viruses live in living organisms, it is difficult to overcome these diseases.

With unprecedented growth in population, it became a need to boost up production lines of food to keep the global cogs rolling. Moreover, another factor which added fuel to fire was human crossing the natural limits. In order to accommodate, the encroachment of jungles began disturbing the wildlife cycles. When jungles started getting bulldozed these animals started to invade human territory as we did theirs, bringing in the viruses as well. This urbanization played to be lucrative ground for the spread, from wild to poultry than to humans. One such thing was swine flu in 2009 which was caused by H1-N1, a Sub-type of influenza-A virus. It caused around 575,000 deaths in its first year of circulation.

Another aspect to be mentioned is our insatiable lust for more which has caused a serious threat to us in form of climate change. As the temperature of the Earth is rising constantly due to human activity the ice caps are melting rapidly too. In August of 2016, a boy died in Serbia and the cause was anthrax. The disease which humans have thought to have gone into a hibernation cycle. Not only this more than 2300 reindeer died due to this outbreak. The prime cause of that outbreak was the melting of permafrost and a dead infected carcass got exposed. A noteworthy point is that on poles the dead do not decompose rather preserve under layers of ice.

WHO has estimated that a global temperature increase of 2-3 oC will increase the number of people who are at risk of malaria by around 3-5% or several hundred million. In 2018, malaria alone killed around 405,000 people. Another epidemic that was caused by misquotes was the Zika outbreak in Latin America, primarily Brazil. What did it cost? A generation effected by microcephalia and other disorders.

It has been estimated that in the last three decades, 30 new diseases have emerged which have the potential to become pandemics. Now it the questions isn’t IF a disease shape-shifts into a pandemic? But WHEN a disease would become pandemic? While the globe is in a fray with Covid-19 some diseases have undergone to be endemic like AIDs which has infected around 37 million people over the globe while humans seems to be in despair.

It is high time for us to have a wakeup call. Being at the pinnacle of civilization, it is indeed a rudiment for a glimmering future to work on solutions. The consequence of such outbreaks is not just death but social and global collapse. It is time that the world focus on preparedness rather post-outbreak measure. It is time that we shift our focus from traditional to nontraditional threats, from nukes to biosciences. It is high time to spend much of our defense budget on nontraditional security threats or we would not even survive to see the traditional ones.

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New Social Compact

Coronavirus the Catalyst of Shaping the Global Integrated Space

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When we look at Earth planet, we see many geographical spaces that have been divided into different puzzles in different forms and formats, and boundaries within national boundaries, ethnic boundaries, ideological boundaries, developed and undeveloped boundaries and thousands of other types of boundaries have divided it. In other words, our integrated world has become a fragmented world through numerous natural and synthetic boundaries, and actors in every geographic space have made extensive efforts to prevent competitive strategies and sometimes with preventing collaborative and interactive strategies with other spaces will provide the ground for moving to geographic space. In this range, national spaces are of greater importance and priority. In these spaces, every government is making every effort to regulate the space for its citizens, which is a space-based organization that has the following characteristics: security (at different levels; biological and human sustainability). Over the past centuries, this strategy has been at the core of countries and has been prioritized by organizing their own geographical areas, and each government has made every effort to improve its geographic space and productivity.

After the Second World War, with the formation of the United Nations and with the advent of globalization, the ground for increased intergovernmental cohesion was developed and countries became economically and partially politically interdependent and interconnected. As this connection increased, the scope for increasing the linkage between geographic spaces expanded globally, and in addition to the strategy of organizing the interior, countries also partially developed the strategy of organizing the global space. In addition, human rights, environmental issues, and climate change (global warming) added the linkage between countries and geographical spaces, and strategies for organizing a more prominent global space were followed by actors. Despite the increasing interconnectedness of geographic spaces around the world, governments have sometimes been concerned to some extent with the reduction of their geographic space in favor of the organization of global space, skeptical and shifting priorities, and in some cases, such as the exit of Trump from the Paris treaty we see that national strategies (reorganizing the country space) have again become a top priority for countries and little attention has been paid to global reorganization strategies. Because the actors of national spaces express for themselves the mentality that our geographical spaces with tight boundaries can guide us towards a secure, developed, meaningful space, and the actions and issues of other and global communication spaces, not to us.

In the meantime, the advent of coronavirus has made a difference in the global space, and as a catalyst it has simply re-emphasized global unity in all aspects. Coronavirus, in contrast to previous ones, such as globalization, which was more economic in nature, climate change that was gradual and subtle, and others had prominent features such as security in terms of security of life, economic, social, and so on, has rapid and wide diffusion speed, ability to cross international borders and more. Coronavirus has simply shown that national geographic spaces are interconnected and interact with one another, simply influencing one another. Accordingly, the only strategy in preventing it is no longer responding to the arrangement of national geographic space for governments, and cannot be helpful. In order to regulate the space of their countries, governments must be able to explain national strategies along with strategies to organize the global space.

All in all, the universe has become a cohesive whole, shaking the whole space and shaking it with the slightest impact on a local space. The more these strategies in national spaces can accommodate and maintain in global space as a whole, certainly challenges and issues such as coronavirus can less shake the world. It should be kept in mind, however, that this is not inconsistent with what I have termed Coronavirus and the resurgence of frontiers, since it is a globalization issue.

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