About Zia Haq

Zia Haq, as a five-year-old, refused to take Arabic lessons from a maulvi hired by his mother because the alphabet book wasn’t colourful enough. He revisited the Quran only as an adult, just after 9/11 to be precise, to find out if his faith was inherently violent. The ‘need to know’ soon grew into a ‘need to tell’ — that Islam needs to be understood not feared. Haq, assistant editor with the Hindustan Times, reports on minority affairs but likes to believe he’s destined for bigger things, like taking the phobia out of Islamophobia.

On the wooden deck of Tel Aviv’s revamped seafront, Bayit Banamal, the good times roll. Too much faith has taken too much toll. So Israelis play up their swank, secular side. Beaches are bustling and restaurants never empty. There’s nothing Israelis love doing more than spending long hours in cafés, as if a national pastime; making love, chatting up, having fun, and even working from chairs laid outdoors of lovely, petite eateries. [Read more]

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The next five years could be epochal. Narendra Modi indeed has a chance to alter India’s destiny. And his biggest contribution, according to me, is not expected in the arena of just development, but ‘just development’. [Read more]

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BJP prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi kicked off his election bid from Varanasi, an ancient seat of Hinduism, with a blog beholden to city’s multicultural traditions. [Read more]

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One would have expected journalist Hasan Suroor to de jure write a book on the UK’s largely immigrant Muslim population. The Hindu’s former London correspondent would have had rich pickings to offer readers on the more febrile issues surrounding a vigorous community of which he was a part for “well over a decade”. [Read more]

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The Muzaffarnagar riots present us with another somber opportunity to reflect on the dangers that can easily weaken India’s social fabric. Riots are often triggered by political patronage. They not only drive communities apart, but they also render victims vulnerable to further manipulation by sinister forces. [Read more]

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