Author: Haig Ter-Ghevondian

PAKISTAN: Is Defense the Best Offence?

HAIG TER-GHEVONDIAN WRITES – Here in the United States, someone can say or write a controversial opinion and be protected from government intervention or the public. Some abuse it and some take it for granted, but having a right like freedom of speech implemented and enforced in Pakistan would be a life-saver…literally. In Pakistan, journalists walk on eggshells for fear of arrest or even murder by a member of one of many terrorist groups. With fourteen journalists killed between May 2014 and April 2015, Pakistan maintains its reputation for being the most dangerous country for journalists. Waqas A. Khan, a Pakistani journalist,...

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PAKISTAN: Big Brother Strikes Again?

HAIG TER-GHEVONDIAN WRITES – Since the controversial imam Abdul Aziz’s refusal to openly denounce the murder of 134 children in the Peshawar Army School in Pakistan by the Taliban, the Pakistani Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has begun cracking down on terrorist propaganda on social media. A new cyber-crime bill introduced to the Pakistani Parliament has stirred debate among social activists in Pakistan. The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act was drafted in response to the Peshawar Massacre and the open support of the killers on social media. In order to stop the message of fanatic groups from spreading, the government created a...

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PAKISTAN: Facebook vs. Fanaticism

HAIG TER-GHEVONDIAN WRITES – The death of a single child is a tragedy; the death of over 100 can hardly be put into words. Last December, Taliban suicide bombers attacked the Peshawar Army School of Pakistan slaughtering students, faculty and staff. As most of the nation wept for the those who lost their lives, controversial cleric Abdul Aziz of the Red Mosque declined to condemn the attack. And while Pakistan is relatively tolerant toward extremist opinions, people like Mohammad Jibran Nasir won’t let support of child killers go unchallenged. Wisely, rather than raise a gun, bomb or fist, Jibran Nasir borrowed a viral media tactic from the global fight against the disease ALS. Jibran Nasir is a young activist in Pakistan who started the Abdul Aziz Challenge.  Similar to the popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in America, people state their names and openly denounce Abdul Aziz as well as the Taliban and other terrorist groups. The participants then nominate three other people they know to do the same. The movement quickly gained popularity with their iconic hashtag #ReclaimYourMosques. In an interview between Nasir and Sonya Rehman of The Diplomat, Nasir stated that at first, “Only three women volunteered to come along with me in addition to a friend of mine, so the five of us went and held a small vigil there [Peshawar]. I then posted a picture on Facebook and made a Facebook event...

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PAKISTAN: Not Just a Pretty Face – Speaking Out Against the Media Image of Pakistani Women

HAIG TER-GHEVONDIAN WRITES – According to an interview between Pakistani teacher Rubia Akram and Feminist: Stories from Women’s Liberation director Jennifer Lee, in 1947, during the war of independence in Pakistan, a woman named Dr. Fatima Jinnah fought alongside male soldiers. After the war ended, she became a national legend. Today she represents everything honored on International Women’s Day: the bravery, courage, and brilliance of women everywhere. Women in Pakistani media today, however, are only considered empowered when they are seen as sex symbols.  When they are not, they are portrayed as weak and oppressed. Rafia Zakaria of The Dawn News...

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PAKISTAN: Sentenced to Death for Sharing

HAIG TER-GHEVONDIAN WRITES – Pakistan’s flag is comprised of the colors green and white. The green represents the Muslim majority, while the white represents non-Muslim minorities. Together, they represent religious tolerance and unity – concepts on which the nation was founded. Such values are called into question, however, when cases like Asia Bibi’s continue to surface throughout the country. Asia Bibi, a Christian Pakistani, was accused of the crime of blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed in June 2009. In the fields where she worked, Asia offered water to her coworkers. They refused to drink from the bucket since it...

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Asia Media International Staff

ASIA MEDIA INTERNATIONAL is a student-driven publication of Loyola Marymount University’s Asia Media Center – a vital part of LMU’s Department of Asian and Asian American Studies (AAAS), in an alliance with the university's award-winning Dept.of Political Science, and with the influential Pacific Century Institute.

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Emily Carman, Katrina Crosby, Aashna Malpani

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