On the margins: a look at race, culture, and world affairs


The Kafkaesque reality of Pakistan's blasphemy laws
By Samira Shackle - 28 February 13:23

Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, is under police investigation for alleged blasphemy after making the case on television for the law to be re-examined and for the death penalty to be removed.

Boys ride on a motorbike as people gather at Seaview waterfront to celebrate Pak
The story of a kidnapping
By Samira Shackle - 18 February 16:46

"I gave up hope that I would ever see my wife and children again."

A girl holds a placard during protests following the bombing in Quetta
The secret war in Balochistan
By Samira Shackle - 29 January 12:02

The Pakistani province is beset with violence.

Mohammed Tahir ul Qadri's supporters hold placards during the march
This election would be a milestone for Pakistan's democracy. But will it go ahead?
By Samira Shackle - 15 January 10:49

As protesters demanding delayed elections gather in Islamabad, a warrant for the PM's arrest is issued and sceptics call foul play.

Will the Delhi gang-rape case actually change women's lives in India?
By Samira Shackle - 11 January 12:17

Translating "watershed" moments into action is almost impossible in a misogynist society with an under-equipped police force.

Pakistani students protest in Lahore earlier this month
The mob mentality that prevents things improving for Pakistan's minorities
By Samira Shackle - 04 December 9:21

While politicians shy away from watering down official discrimination, the situation isn't going to improve.

Sea View Beach in Karachi
Armed guards, metal detectors and no phone signal: The realities of living under a high terror alert
By Samira Shackle - 19 November 15:25

The threat of terror attacks in Pakistan make things difficult sometimes, but life goes on with good humour and pragmatism.

Mohammad Zafar (R) and wife Zaheen Akhtar
Acid attacks in Pakistan: A sorry litany of male egotism
By Samira Shackle - 09 November 9:15

Samira Shackle interviews Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, one of the directors of the Oscar-winning documentary "Saving Face".

Students in Lahore
A bad few weeks for girls' schools in Pakistan
By Samira Shackle - 04 November 18:09

Blasphemy and mob rule in Lahore.

Mukhtar Mai - the gang rape victim who defied her attackers
By Samira Shackle - 19 October 15:30

An interview with the Pakistani rape victim who became an iconic advocate of women's rights.

Activists carry photographs of Malala Yousafzai
The shooting of Malala Yousafzai has shocked an unshockable Pakistan
By Samira Shackle - 10 October 15:36

The 14 year old was shot at close range because "she was speaking against the Taliban".

Pakistan cricketer turned politician Imran Khan waves to supporters.
Imran Khan's peace march: the main issues
By Samira Shackle - 07 October 8:49

The Taliban, drones, tribal areas and the destination.

Rallies have been held against the anti-Islam film in Pakistan
Could this be the beginning of the end for Pakistan's blasphemy laws?
By Samira Shackle - 02 October 10:38

A positive move by local police after a Hindu temple was attacked.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn speaks to reporters
The very existence of "Dominique Strauss-Kahn: The Movie" reveals a darker side to Hollywood
By Samira Shackle - 31 August 16:51

Will his alleged victim, Nafissatou Diallo, get to tell her side of the story?

A protestor holds a picture of Nabeel Rajab
The imprisonment of Nabeel Rajab is a sobering reminder of the struggle in Bahrain
By Samira Shackle - 17 August 14:26

The Bahraini human rights activist has been jailed for three years for taking part in "illegal gatherings".

A typical Bollywood sex scene. Photograph, Getty Images.
The rise of porn in India
By Samira Shackle - 08 August 9:18

Beginning to hit the mainstream.

"Honour killings" are just murder - it's as simple as that
By Samira Shackle - 07 August 9:52

The tragic murder of Shafilea Ahmed reminds us how limiting the term "honour" is when it comes to crime.

People pose for a photographs by the Olympic Stadium.
Young people and ethnic minorities will be most affected by Olympic dispersal zones
By Samira Shackle - 27 July 13:51

The “out of sight, out of mind” attitude to policing.

A baby looks up at its mother on a street in Beijing
China's one-child policy puts a price on human life
By Samira Shackle - 12 July 8:29

A woman forced to undergo a late-term abortion receives 70,600 yuan in compensation.

Competitors in the Miss Holocaust Survivor pageant
"Miss Holocaust Survivor" - a bizarre celebration of beauty
By Samira Shackle - 29 June 15:33

By all means celebrate survival, but why must it be through the prism of women's looks?

Does bisexuality exist? 400 women called Sarah say yes
By Samira Shackle - 15 June 10:43

Julie Bindel questioned the existence of bisexuality. But 400 women called Sarah disagree.

Forced abortion, China.
China: "forced abortion" photograph highlights brutality of one child policy
By Samira Shackle - 14 June 17:33

Photo of woman forced to abort seven month old foetus causes outrage.

The 2011 census.
Is there any such thing as British ethnicity?
By Samira Shackle - 13 June 10:31

Ethncity is officially "self-defined". Whether Cornish, Welsh, or Arab, you make a statement when you tick a box.

New Statesman
How Newsnight humiliated single mother Shanene Thorpe
By Samira Shackle - 29 May 17:47

Young mother asks for an apology after being misrepresented as "benefit scrounger".