Stories about discrimination

My journey as a Pakistani-Hindu

When I went to the United States for a semester abroad, I was frequently asked a rather bothersome question, “How are you treated, being a minority in your country?” My answer has always been very simply, I am treated just like anyone else; one of their own. But if one were to believe the media, then we are victims of discrimination, brutal killings and part of the largest migration in human history. For the last four years, I have been living with a Muslim family as a paying guest and I have never felt discriminated on the basis of my religion, or any other basis for that matter, ...

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Living with postpartum depression in Pakistan because a woman’s honour depends on it

Earlier this month, we learnt that famous Hollywood actresses Hayden Panettiere and Drew Barrymore are suffering from postpartum depression and it is due to their courage of opening up about their experiences with this acute illness, why the world should start talking about this issue further. And I couldn’t agree more. I agree that the world should not only start, but should have been talking about postpartum depression and the severity of this illness for a long time coming. The illness, depending on its severity, is experienced by women all over the world. Some are fortunate enough to live in places where this illness is ...

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Why should Indian Muslims and Christians be barred from taking part in the Garba?

I vividly remember the time I spent during my school and college days with Ghulam Farid, one of my best friends. He was like family to me. We have, however, not been able to catch up ever since I moved to Delhi and he remained in Rajasthan taking care of his family business. We would celebrate our respective festivals together every year. On Eidul Azha he would always invite me to his place, and I would relish the scrumptious biryani and mutton curry cooked by his gracious mother. On Diwali, I used to go to his shop and offer him sweets. And on Holi, ...

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Fathers will continue to murder their 12-year-old daughters

The statistics available on domestic violence and other forms of violence against women are startling. According to a NIPS survey, 37 per cent of those surveyed experienced violence – 57 per cent in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). More than half of the women who have ever experienced physical violence have never sought help or told anyone about the violence. Forty three per cent of women stated that a husband is justified in beating his wife if she argues with him, neglects the children, refuses to have sex with him, goes out without telling him, neglects the in-laws, or burns the food. The stories highlighted by the media ...

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Why do Muslims play victims of free-speech but make excuses for apostasy and blasphemy?

The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), as reported by The Express Tribune on September 1, 2015, initiated a nationwide campaign to ‘create awareness about the religion (Islam)’ by displaying billboards that, as ICNA spokesman Nadeem Baig stated, hopes to,“raise awareness about the faith and to dispel myths about the Muslim Americans”. The billboards contain messages such as how Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) supports ‘peace, social justice and women’s rights’. Photo: Islamic Circle of North America Facebook page Yahoo News also covered ICNA’s crusade and the comments section got flooded by anti-Muslim vitriol. Such comments demonstrate that Islam has a poor image in ...

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Why Christine Craig should not face disciplinary action for her anti-Muslim cartoon

Uncertainty breeds insular thinking and bigotry, a theme as old as time, and as true. Therefore, it is of no surprise to find, in this brave new world of globalisation, economic changes and environmental threats, a surge in discriminatory behaviour and values. This surge is not limited to the US, but it is seen as being more prominent, mainly because of America’s stance as a moral watchdog of the world. The land of the free, the land of opportunity, comes into the limelight every time Donald Trump opens his mouth, or a member of a public school board shares a ...

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Maryam knew she was born poor and meant to be treated harshly

Three months ago, an 11-year-old Maryam sat in my friend’s drawing room, weeping incessantly. My friend and I asked her if there was anything we could do for her, we inquired if she wanted to talk to her mother. All we got in return were confused, big black eyes staring right back at us. Maryam curled herself into a tiny ball and continued sobbing. I felt immensely grieved because the little girl had made a long arduous journey from her village to this new house alone. My friend’s mother had asked a former driver to look for a female domestic helper; one ...

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When Indians are denied entry into a nightclub for being ‘Indians’ in India

The first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, wrote in his book ‘The Discovery of India’ in 1946: “In India, every European, be he German, or Pole or Rumanian, is automatically a member of the ruling race. Railway carriages, station retiring rooms, benches in parks, etc. are marked ‘For Europeans Only’. This is bad enough in South Africa or elsewhere, but to have to put up with it in one’s own country is a humiliating and exasperating reminder of one’s enslaved condition.” Indians deserve to be treated with respect in their own country and one would think that things would change after we ...

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Don’t ask for a soda can on United Airlines if you are a Muslim

A few days ago, I came across a post on Facebook by Tahera Ahmad. I was left dumbfounded. Tahera Ahmad was an ordinary Muslim passenger on board a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Washington DC. Ahmad, a well-educated Muslim woman from North-western University, was travelling for a conference, aimed at promoting awareness between Israeli and Palestinian youth, when a rather disturbing incident of racial profiling took place against her during the flight. Her crime? She asked for an unopened can of diet soda. Photo: Screenshot Like any other passenger, Ahmad, for hygienic purposes, asked the flight attendant for an unopened can of diet soda. ...

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‘No groom for you’ – The dilemma of an Indian gay man

Most concerned Indian parents worry about their child’s happiness and would like to see her/him live a happy and fulfilled life, and being married is traditionally considered part of that equation of fulfilment. The search begins to find the correct partner, by word of mouth and other avenues. One method includes placing a newspaper matrimonial advertisement in a local or national newspaper to draw upon the eyes of many potential suitors and their families for marriage. Once the ad is placed, the phones begin to ring and emails are exchanged, all leading to a potential match. Everybody is happy! Yay! However, for one such ...

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