Ethnic and religious minorities have faced appalling violence from ISIL forces in Iraq and Syria. But another community has suffered at the hands of very similar ideologues for far too long. Decisions at this weekend's NATO conference may help determine their future too...
A month ago, on June 15th, a bus carrying students home from the Sardar Bahadur Khan Women's University in Quetta, Pakistan, was hit by a female suicide bomber.
In Quetta, western Pakistan, it matters a great deal what your beliefs are. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say it is a matter of life and death. For to be a Shia Muslim in this arid region, you are living in a perpetual state of peril.
A meeting in the House of Lords today will consider the latest in a series of massacres of the Hazara people in the Pakistan province of Balochistan, and its connection with the wider sectarian attacks on Shi'as throughout Pakistan.
My book was about the Buddhas of Bamiyan, two gigantic statues carved from a cliff face in central Afghanistan, demolished by the Taliban in 2001. I was reading Breivik, among other reasons, because he's very interested in the Hindu Kush, the band of mountains that sweeps across Afghanistan from the North-East to the West: Bamiyan sits in a valley in the heart of those mountains.
In reality, what is happening in Timbuktu is one group within the broad spectrum of Islam violently imposing its blinkered ideology on another tradition in Islam with which it disagrees.