kashif.chaudhry

Kashif Chaudhry

A graduate of King Edward Medical University, Lahore and Mt Sinai University Hospital in New York, Kashif is currently completing his Cardiology fellowship in Boston, USA. He writes for various American newspapers and Pakistani publications and blogs at the Huffington Post. His interests include medicine, human rights and interfaith dialogue. He tweets @KashifMD (twitter.com/KashifMD)

Happy Birthday, Mother – When will you accept me as your own?

It was August 14, 1984. I was only two-years-old. My father decorated the veranda of our small house with lights and green buntings. My parents were excited, as were my elder brother and I. Though I was too young to remember, pictures of that day bring on a strong sensation of déjà vu. Yet, and sadly, before the following Independence Day, we had to leave Pakistan. Persecution, which gained momentum under President Ziaul Haq, forced many Ahmadis to leave for safer lands. Many Ahmadis were killed and their businesses looted.  The state, unfortunately, abetted the religious extremists by promulgating the notorious ...

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The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) warned us of the ISIS

In separate attacks last week, ISIS terrorists killed 39 tourists at a beach resort in Tunisia, and close to 30 worshipers at a Shia Mosque in Kuwait. The onslaught came shortly after the group called on its militant jihadi sympathisers to expand operations in the month of Ramazan. ISIS has demonstrated an unflinching determination to take out anyone who dares to disagree with it. Its members have slaughtered Yazidis and Christians, but the vast majority of its victims have been Muslims who resist it and refuse to acknowledge its authority. ISIS has even executed Sunni clerics who refused to swear ...

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When fasting becomes a sin

It was the October of 2005, during the month of Ramazan, when a devastating earthquake claimed close to a hundred thousand lives in the north of Pakistan, and injured just as many. I had the opportunity to serve the victims of this tragedy in the Kashmiri city of Bagh. Of the many things I vividly remember is caring for some men and women with life-threatening injuries who refused treatment because they were fasting. They considered it a grave sin to break the fast. As a medical professional, this was especially frustrating for me. Similarly, we have all come across pregnant women who suffered ...

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No, Hamza Ali Abbasi, you cannot shame us for talking about Pakistan’s minorities too!

They say charity begins at home. But for many right-wing Pakistanis, it seems as if home is not Pakistan; it is the Muslim Ummah – just the Sunni-identifying part to be precise. Like the rest of us, these fellow Pakistanis seem to be rightly concerned about the current plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma. However, they don’t seem to bat an eye on the treatment meted out to our own minorities on home soil. Tell them the Rohingya Muslims identify as Shia Muslims or Ahmadi Muslims, and the fury and passion will magically dissipate in an instant. Some might even ...

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Has the Islamophobia network in America taken a new turn?

Since the tragedy of 9/11, Islamophobia has been persistently on the rise in America. The anti-Muslim rhetoric from the far right and the new atheist community continues to serve as fuel for the growing climate of fear, hate and suspicion of Muslims in America. Just this past Friday, a significant anti-Muslim rally was held outside a mosque in Phoenix, Arizona. It was significant, not in terms of numbers, but for the fact that the anti-Muslim protestors came fully armed, some with weapons of military calibre. As they displayed their arms and chanted profanity against the Islamic faith, innocent men, women and children prayed peacefully inside. Here are the ...

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As a constitutional kafir I ask, does my religious freedom hurt you this much?

Yesterday, a very close family friend – someone I have always considered an uncle – was arrested in Pakistan. His crime: he had printed verses from the Holy Quran in an Urdu publication. My uncle is an Ahmadi, and under Pakistan’s notorious anti-Ahmadi laws, he committed a ‘crime’ punishable by at least three years imprisonment and a fine. The law states that an Ahmadi who “poses as a Muslim hurts the religious feelings of Muslims”. In the late 80s, three of my maternal uncles spent time behind bars under these same anti-Ahmadi laws for the crime of saying the Kalimah. Thousands of Ahmadis – and ...

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Christening our Muslim land with blood

Five years ago, I lost close friends in one of the most gruesome terrorist attacks on Pakistani soil. In twin attacks on two major Ahmadi places of worship in Lahore, 88 worshippers were martyred by the Taliban. It was a painfully bloody day. This weekend, I woke up to sad news from Pakistan that made me relive some of that pain. Fourteen worshipers were martyred and more than 70 were injured when two Taliban suicide bombers blew themselves up outside churches in Youhanabad, Lahore. These attacks on Pakistan’s Christian community are not a sporadic event. They are a part of a very tragic trend. Just over a year ago, another ...

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Mr Prime Minister, do you support religious bigotry?

Dear Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, I hope this letter finds you well. I am sure you are busy; so let me cut to the chase. You know well that Pakistan’s Ahmadi community has long faced the wrath of extremist religious clerics. Despite succeeding in hijacking Jinnah’s vision, and pressurising the state into incorporating anti-Ahmadi bigotry into the Constitution and law, these clerics have continued to demonise, spread hate and incite violence against the Ahmadis. The group currently at the forefront of this witch-hunt is Pakistan’s Khatam-e-Nabuwat organisation. Whereas this organisation claims to uphold the honour of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), it does everything under the sky against his ...

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Why is ‘Islamophobia’ on the rise in America?

This weekend, fliers threatening Muslims with mass murder were left at a bus station minutes from my home near Boston. The warning on the fliers: Muslims in America be ready to face death if ISIS did not surrender within the following three days, as if Muslim Americans command and control the actions of the terrorist group. This unfortunate incident follows a series of anti-Muslim hate crimes in America in the last few days. Following the brutal Chapel Hill shootings in which three young Muslims were killed execution-style, an Islamic community centre in Houston, Texas, was burned down. A fireman posted on social media, asking his fellow firemen not to put out the ...

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What separates Charlie Hebdo from The New York Times?

Let’s say you had a new neighbour. You knock on their door and say, “Hey there, welcome to the neighbourhood. I live next door. Oh, and by the way, you look like a pig. And is that your mother behind you? She looks like a fat old donkey. Dinner at my place tonight?” You certainly have the right to say all that. But should you? And what purpose will it serve? And though I would not punch you if you ever said those things to me, I would do one thing other than simply closing the door behind me – I would use ...

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