Stories about discrimination

The problem lies not within the Pepsi advertisement but with us

Maybe Kendell Jenner and the marketing department at Pepsi could have gotten away with their new advertisement if they had decided to air it on April 1st instead of April 4th. The backlash it received was enormous. So what exactly happened there? Well, it was just another company using several attractive people of different cultures and creed to sell their product. Was it something that has never happened before? Of course not! All corporate set-ups, industries and businesses have done this countless times. Then why has it become a matter of offence and a subject of absolute ridicule? The answer is one word ...

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Six Pakistani stereotypes that Udaari has challenged

Udaari grabbed the audiences’ attention from the very first episode. It has managed to highlight aspects which have been ignored for far too long – and it has also challenged various stereotypes which plague our society. The drama relates the story of individuals who have suffered at the hands of society. The awe-inspiring acting, along with the story-line, gave the audience a sneak peek into the struggle of these individuals, whilst breaking all kinds of barriers at the same time. 1. Rape victims should be ashamed of themselves Whether it is sexual assault or harassment on the streets, victims are shushed by their families in order to protect ...

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Would you accept blood from a gay donor?

More than a month has passed since the Orlando shooting revealed an exploitable defect in American gun laws. What it also exposed, was a structural bias against a peaceful community that has existed for a long time. On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen – later identified as a young Muslim who was troubled by his own homosexual orientation – opened fire inside a nightclub, killing 49 innocent people. In the wake of this devastating attack, we’ve heard survivor accounts that challenge what we’ve been indoctrinated to believe regarding the alleged inhumanity of gay individuals. We’ve learned of ‘deviants’ who threw their bodies in ...

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The biggest treasure we can give our kids is to teach them about Edhi

He was not a mystic, an angel or someone from out of this world. He was a common man. He was from amongst us who stayed true to his roots and taught people a better way to live through his actions. What made Edhi stand out from everyone else was not by any sort of divine miracle, but because of the actions he took and decisions he made in his life. He faced poverty, lack of resources and odds (like all of us do) but he did not bow down or shy away from challenges; whenever he was faced with ...

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He told his parents he was gay. They started grieving and looking for a “cure”

“I fell a-weeping, and I cried, ‘Sweet youth, Tell me why, sad and sighing, Thou dost rove These pleasant realms? I pray thee speak me sooth What is thy name?’ He said, ‘My name is Love.’ Then straight the first did turn himself to me And cried, ‘He lieth, for his name is Shame, But I am Love, and I was wont to be Alone in this fair garden, Till he came Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.’ Then sighing, said the other,  ‘Have thy will, I am the love that dare not speak its name.’” From Two Loves By Lord ...

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Allahu Akbar goes viral for all the wrong reasons

It was 8:31 am on Tuesday, I was tuned into BBC Radio 4 and the wet weather had succeeded in dampening my spirits already. When I arrived at my work car-park, however, I was fortunate enough to find my favourite parking slot open! Grinning at my sheer luck, I started parking my car. It is by default that I remain tuned into BBC Radio 4 whilst driving to and from work; perhaps because I subconsciously imply that BBC is comparatively more amenable to common sense and takes a (mostly) balanced approach to otherwise polarised themes. Yesterday, however, after having parked my car, I reached out for my ...

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Stop celebrating Sadiq Khan’s victory, Pakistan, you have no right to celebrate

Sadiq Khan is now the mayor of London. There are countless reasons to celebrate this feat. On a personal level, it is indeed a great achievement for someone who was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father was a Pakistan immigrant and a bus driver who brought up Sadiq and his siblings in a council property. Imagine the son of that particular immigrant getting elected by a record mandate in London; it’s a truly superb moment. Congratulations to him for a truly remarkable victory. But can every Pakistani and every Muslim personally feel proud over the appointment of the new ...

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Altaf Hussain simply explained human biology. What was so vulgar about it?

Once again, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) supporters were quick to criticise Altaf Hussain’s recent speech – mostly on social media. The outburst obviously made me curious about the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) chief’s seemingly offensive words. I managed to find the speech in question from February 16, 2016, which he made to workers and office bearers at his party headquarter, famously known as Nine Zero. At about 9:30 minutes into the video, he began speaking about reproduction by quoting verse 13 of chapter 49, which is ‘Surah Hujurat’, of the Holy Quran. But what could be considered the most important part of his speech was ...

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My argument in favour of a federation and why religion could not unite Pakistan

Pakistan displays strange contrasting patterns with respect to religion’s influence. Apparently, Pakistan looks to be a relatively moderate country, particularly when compared to the likes of Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, etcetera. Here the hardliners have never been voted in power through the ballot box. It has an independent media and relatively loose censorship standards. Radical Islam as a mode of life is still largely absent from the overall lifestyle of the Pakistanis as the country by no stretch of imagination is following the trajectory of Iran. It does not have a charismatic cultish religious leader like Khomeini and the public mood despite being conservative ...

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What do you mean I shouldn’t be allowed back in the US, Mr Trump? It is my home!

Dear Mr Trump, I grew up in one of the best towns in America – Moorestown, New Jersey. Surrounded by a loving, protective family and an amazing community, I attended the best schools, made lifelong friends and married the love of my life. My parents moved to this country carrying what every single American parent carries, the hope for an amazing future for their kids filled with countless, unimaginable opportunities. Thanks to this country and my diligent parents, I always got way more than I ever needed. Thanks to my Christian and Jewish neighbours, I was taught tolerance, aiming high and smiling every day. Thanks to ...

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