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Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat

Ph.D researcher and independent journalist

Muhammad is an independent researcher and journalist based in the UK, Indonesia, and Qatar. As a researcher, his research interests focus on China-Middle East relations, Indonesia-Middle East relations, critical theories of IR, and Middle East politics. Muhammad previously worked as a research assistant at Qatar University, before taking a position as an analyst at Gulf State Analytics. His academic qualifications include a B.A. in International Affairs from Qatar University and an M.A. in International Politics from the University of Manchester. He is currently working on his Ph.D at Manchester. As a journalist, Muhammad's works focus on Indonesian politics, humanitarian affairs, and disability issues. He has published over 200 articles in a number of well-known papers including the Diplomat Magazine, the Huffington Post, Asia Sentinel, and others. He has experiences in reporting from various countries including Bahrain, Indonesia, Qatar, Norway, Slovakia, Morocco and the UK. As a disabled himself, Muhammad is also a disability advocate. Besides reporting and writing on disability-related topic, he is the CEO and Founder of Sekolabilitas, an Indonesian-based NGO dedicated to assist children with disabilities in accessing proper education.
An Open Letter From The Disabled To Donald

An Open Letter From The Disabled To Donald Trump

Dear Mr. Trump - First, we would like to congratulate you on finally taking the White House throne for the next four years. By defeating the Democrat nominee, Hillary Clinton, many would agree that your success in earning the title Commander in Chief marks as an astonishing event in the history of US presidential elections.
21/11/2016 12:02 GMT
The Hijab: More Than Just a Piece of

The Hijab: More Than Just a Piece of Cloth

The hijab worn by Muslim women is still regarded by many as a problematic ideological symbol; thereby making many women vulnerable to discrimination, harassment, and violence. Islamophobia that is spreading in some parts of the world should be scrapped because, as a religion, Islam is the same as other dominant religions in the world; namely, one that respects differences. Would it not be boring if everyone was uniform in their beliefs?
04/08/2016 09:26 BST
Ramadan in Morocco: An Outsider's

Ramadan in Morocco: An Outsider's Perspective

Our plane was descending slowly. From the window, we could see overlay yellow lights like sparkling stars in the dark night. Meanwhile, the pilot instructed all passengers to fasten their seatbelts and move their seats into an upright position. Our hearts beat faster and faster. We could not wait to begin our short trip to a country to which we had long been looking forward: Morocco.
01/07/2016 10:17 BST
Syrians Are Human Beings, Just Like

Syrians Are Human Beings, Just Like Us

Wailing moans of loss will continue to reverberate in the Syrian air as long as the elephants involved continue to promote their egos. It is unclear how to stop these, but one thing must be made clear; if concrete steps are not taken, eventually we will pay the price. Finally, the time has come to lend whatever assistance we can to alleviate the suffering of Syrians. Remember, they are humans, just like us.
22/06/2016 14:47 BST
The Qur'an: A Handbook for the Disabled

The Qur'an: A Handbook for the Disabled Community

In recent years, Qur'an, the holy book for Muslims, has come under increased scrutiny due to the widespread of Islamophobia and the growing threat of terrorism by certain extremist groups. It is considered by many as a book of hatred, anti-feminism, or even a 'manual' for terrorists. Some even went as far as planning to burn the book that is regarded as containing 'the words of God' by at least one billion people worldwide.
10/06/2016 10:56 BST
Forced Evictions in Jakarta: More Than Losing

Forced Evictions in Jakarta: More Than Losing Homes

As this article is published, Nasiah, along with many others, are still drifting in the boat house. They have no idea for how long they should stay there. What is certain is that they have now lost not only the places they usually call home, but also long-held memories and the future to which they have been looking forward.
25/04/2016 11:19 BST
English Language: A Persistent Issue in

English Language: A Persistent Issue in Indonesia

Whenever she is called, Celina says frequently, 'Pardon', to clarify our utterances. With her authentic smile and shy character, she then said; 'I am sorry, my English is not good'. Celina arrived in Manchester with obsequious English skills and a simple dream; to work as a cleaner in a restaurant.
19/04/2016 10:52 BST
Indonesia and the Panama

Indonesia and the Panama Papers

The recent leak of the Panama Papers, which shook the world, also raises the political temperature in Indonesia. Included on the list are a number of Indonesian business tycoons who have been involved in different legal cases in Indonesia.
12/04/2016 13:45 BST