Stories about Christian

Are you a Pakistani extremist?

Hi everyone, it’s been ages! I was recently looking through my old blog posts and reminiscing about all the fun that was had with my quizzes for Pakistanis: What kind of Pakistani life do you lead? And: The desi-elite political identity quiz Given how 2013 has kicked off with more terrorism and extremism-related incidents than any year I can remember in my short lifespan, I think now would be the right time to find out how infected we each are with the ‘extremism’ virus on a personal level. Take the quiz below! Q1: The Christian neighbourhood next to you has been burnt down to the ground ...

Read Full Post

The Christians of Pakistan mean nothing to the pope

The last Pope, Benedict XVI, elected at the age of 78, was the oldest person to have been elected as pope since 1730. In February 2013, he announced his retirement due to old age. The election of the new pope has been the talk of the town and the air is buzzing with excitement everywhere except in Pakistan. Pope Francis, baptised name Jorge Mario Bergoglio, took the position on March 13, 2013, just days before the holy week of Easter began. Amongst other things, Pope Francis is the first pope to have been a Jesuit (head of the Society of ...

Read Full Post

Muslims in America, Christians in Pakistan

I don’t know much of the specific background of the anti-Christian rampage last week in Lahore. But is there anything I don’t know that would mitigate or excuse it? A major theme of my writing and public speaking is an insistence on distinguishing between what I call the Pakistan I know and love – a rich, diverse, fascinating smorgasbord of humanity – and the distorted, two-dimensional Pakistan that most Americans see on TV. But when what they see on TV is Muslim Pakistanis burning crosses in a Christian neighbourhood, it makes it even harder than usual for me and other ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan doesn’t deserve its Christian community

The year 2009 saw a series of attacks on the Christian community in Gojra that left eight dead and many vulnerable and scared for their lives. 40 houses and a church were set ablaze by an angry mob and the police watched despite the residents begging for protection. Again this week, an angry mob around 3,000 strong attacked a Christian community in search of a particular blasphemer, Sawan Manish who, was already captured and in custody since Friday. These young men – again not surprisingly – in front of the police expressed their rage and caused hundreds of Christians pain they never thought they could ...

Read Full Post

Why ban cousin marriages in America?

Cousin marriages – while common in Muslim societies – are a big taboo in the US. In fact, 25 US states actually ban such marriages. And the Muslim youth, inadvertently, is buying into this idea. On the contrary, acceptance for same-sex marriage is gaining such popularity that President Obama invoked gay rights in his inaugural address. My advice; never go to a barber shop in America while you are still mulling over such controversial topics because your mind may sputter a question like, “Why do we smother the discussion on the topic of first cousin marriages?” And you may get a response like, “Well, you don’t have to be an Einstein to know ...

Read Full Post

Christmas and Boxing Day: Celebrations in pictures around the world!

Christmas- a day of celebration for most of the world and Boxing Day – the perfect cherry on top. Besides Eid, Christmas takes priority in my life as well. My grandmother, a Czech national, Christian who converted to Islam long long ago still celebrates Christmas with the same zeal as she does Eid. Secretly, I believe Santa Claus still exists too. Many argue that being a Muslim I should not be celebrating a Christian tradition– however, being brought up in the family that I have, I believe that life is way too short and we need all the occasions we can ...

Read Full Post

A tale of eras: Christmas in Pakistan and Bethlehem

Pakistan, 21st December, 6pm: Rodney and his friends drive into their apartment complex in a truck, in which lay 10 meter long dried bamboo shoots, the kind used to put up wedding tents. Watching from the balcony of an apartment upstairs, Rodney’s cousins run down with machetes and knives to start stripping the bamboo into long yet tough strips. Kids are playing in the compound, cycling on their little 3-wheelers or playing among the cars, innocence abounding from them. 7:30pm: They now have ten strips of bamboo ready to be used. Time to go have some tea and talk about what comes next. As they ...

Read Full Post

Interfaith marriages: Why the taboo?

Ava and Neil made a great pair. It’s rare to come across a couple so compatible and in tune with each other. They complemented each other perfectly. Spending time with them was always a pleasure; there was never a dull moment with them around. Those two were the life of any gathering they attended. We spent many a year painting the town red, indulging in mischief and being what we were – a group of youngsters living it up and doing the things the young the world over do. Their love blossomed as the years wore on. After settling down in ...

Read Full Post

Can a non-Muslim hero be honoured in Pakistan?

That Pakistan is afflicted with the evils of bigotry and prejudice is no secret. But however much one gets accustomed — sadly, even immune — to this state of affairs, one is still left aghast at the extremely narrow worldview held by certain quarters. The recent backlash that was witnessed against the Dilkash Lahore Committee’s proposal — later thankfully approved by the city’s district coordination officer — to rename Fawara Chowk in Shadman after Bhagat Singh, the pre-Independence Indian freedom fighter, is a case in point. Now, one could have disagreed with this proposal on various grounds. One may argue that however ...

Read Full Post

Secularism is not atheism!

It is interesting to note how shifts in the political landscape are a regular source of new vocabulary. A breeze through comments on this newspaper’s website show the frequent usage of the word ‘secularism’ which was never a part of the average news reader’s vocabulary fifteen years ago. The word is now generously splashed around by commentators as they opine over news stories. Quite worryingly, secularism is often referred to as a political system which is both atheistic and un-Islamic – a misjudgement which causes one to choke with laughter and cry in despair at the same time. Painting secularism ...

Read Full Post