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Ali Khan Mahmudabad

Assistant Professor of Political Science and History at Ashoka University

Ali is currently an Assistant Professor at Ashoka University (India). He obtained His PhD from the University of Cambridge and previously studied in Syria and America.  He writes a column in Urdu for the national daily Inqilab in India and has been writing columns and editorials for various English newspapers and magazines for a number of years. He also spends time lecturing in schools, colleges and universities as well as advising policy think-tanks on a wide-range of subjects including political, religious and security related issues in South Asia as well as greater West Asia (the Middle East). Ali speaks and conducts research in a number of languages and has appeared on English, Hindi and Urdu television programs and radio shows.
Brexit And The Global Distrust Of Bloomberg via Getty Images

Brexit And The Global Distrust Of Difference

Great civilizations arise from the confluence of different cultures. Sadly, recent trends suggest that there is an inward turn amongst people of various countries and indeed religions right across the world. Increasing financial insecurity, political short-sightedness and social instability inevitably create an atmosphere in which scapegoats are sought and pegs desperately searched for in order to find someone to blame. The most recent example of this was the Brexit vote in the UK, but by no means is this something that is anomalous.
30/06/2016 8:28 AM IST
Civil Rights, Nationalism And The Power Of Students' DIBYANGSHU SARKAR via Getty Images

Civil Rights, Nationalism And The Power Of Students' Movements

As important elections loom in America and India, people in both countries have been worried about the rise of an increasingly divisive and antagonistic kind of politics. The existence of such voices in a democracy is not as troubling as the fact that these views are clearly resonating with parts of the population. However, while the politics of the two countries share many aspects, there are also similarities in the movements that have sprung up to oppose these divisive tendencies.
11/03/2016 8:07 AM IST
Paris, Beirut, Baghdad: For Whom The Bell JOSEPH EID via Getty Images

Paris, Beirut, Baghdad: For Whom The Bell Tolls?

If Messrs. Obama, Hollande and Cameron are sincerely concerned with stemming the tide of the poison that Daesh represents then they surely must express solidarity with all those Iraqis, Afghans and Lebanese who were killed in the last few days. It is precisely this kind of asymmetric coverage, not only by the media, but through statements made by 'world leaders' that make ordinary people wonder whether a life in Paris is worth more than a life in Beirut.
17/11/2015 8:36 AM IST
Ahmed's Alarm Clock And Trauma With No Time Ben Torres via Getty Images

Ahmed's Alarm Clock And Trauma With No Time Limit

As people around the world 'like', 'share' or 'hashtag' #IstandwithAhmed in solidarity, there are important questions that need to be asked by both governments and citizens. Beyond condemning the reprehensible treatment of a child and the joining the wave of support that Ahmed has found, his experience can be used to try and understand how people, especially young people, who are subjected to some form of institutional discrimination cope with the experience.
22/09/2015 8:20 AM IST
Grey Wolves, Victoria's Secret And The Bangkok ASSOCIATED PRESS

Grey Wolves, Victoria's Secret And The Bangkok Bombing

As theories abound about the perpetrators of the attack at a Hindu temple (which actually welcomes mostly Chinese pilgrims) in Bangkok, the name of one ultranationalist group has not received as much coverage as it should have. In fact, just recently Turkey's Bozkurtlar or The Grey Wolves have been in the news not because of terrorism but because of a Victoria's Secret lingerie model.
28/08/2015 11:44 PM IST
Saudi-Israeli Secret Talks And Joint BEHROUZ MEHRI via Getty Images

Saudi-Israeli Secret Talks And Joint Diplomacy

Ostensibly, both Saudi Arabia and Israel are worried about a nuclear Iran because they see the latter has having expansionist imperial ambitions. Of course, like everybody else in the neighbourhood Iran has proxy groups but perhaps it is not the existential threat posed by a nuclear Iran that worries the Saudis and Israelis as much as the fact that a sanction-free Iran would perhaps be Asia's fastest growing economy with its natural gas, oil and mineral deposits coupled with a highly educated young population.
27/06/2015 8:31 AM IST
The Shifting Sands Of The Middle HAIDAR HAMDANI via Getty Images

The Shifting Sands Of The Middle East

There are currently four all-out wars in the Middle East in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen with blowback of this in Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Sudan amongst other places. The contexts of each of these situations is different and perhaps the one and only feature that states across the region share is that for various reasons most countries have denied their citizens the opportunity to form democratic civil society movements that participate in government and governance.
31/03/2015 8:02 AM IST
In Wars, We Treat Heroes As Mascots And Suffering As ABD DOUMANY via Getty Images

In Wars, We Treat Heroes As Mascots And Suffering As Statistics

In wars the suffering of individuals is often forgotten. If not forgotten then it is subsumed into broader and more general narratives that use individuals merely as examples to illustrate particular points of view. The atrocities, the grief, the destruction, the turmoil, the instability, the shock, the blood and the unpredictability all become distant statistics, comments in newspapers, parts of TV discussions or points in arguments to make a case against war or for that matter for war.
18/02/2015 8:34 AM IST
Are We All Blindly Saying Je Suis ASSOCIATED PRESS

Are We All Blindly Saying Je Suis Charlie

The second context is for the benefit of those people who think that Muslim societies spontaneously give birth to death-loving and world-hating sociopaths who are bred to kill innocent people. As much as certain sections of the Muslim world are to blame for the proliferation of misguided militants, certain European countries and indeed America are as accountable.
13/01/2015 8:20 AM IST

Now Is The Winter Of Our Discontent

Today, we are all responsible for a world in which children become victims of what we have created. We live in an economic system that thrives on conflict. We have built a world in which we vote for governments that invest more in war than in education.
21/12/2014 9:02 AM IST