Stories about ethnic cleansing

(Not) ‘All Pakistanis suffer equally’

In the wake of the recent heart-rending tragedy that befell the Hazaras of Hazarganji, a number of prominent media personalities such as Asad Rahim Khan, Pervez Hoodbhoy, and the relentless political activist Jibran Nasir, came out in vocal support of the highly persecuted minority ethnic group. They openly spoke about the real motivation behind why the community continues to be preferentially targeted by a now annual onslaught of militant attacks, and why its predicament is still met with a rabid form of popular indifference that is nauseating to even consider, let alone make sense of. Tomorrow morning a few friends and I will be ...

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When he questioned them about the genocide, they gave him The Look of Silence

The Look of Silence is a documentary which depicts the remains of the Indonesian genocide that took place in 1965, brutally murdering thousands of communists or anyone who opposed the army regime. Adi Rukun, who plays the brother of a man who was murdered during the genocide, has the unique privilege to confront the masterminds behind the massacre and put his nightmares to rest once and for all. The Look of Silence is a spiritual sequel to Joshua Oppenheimer’s previous masterwork The Act of Killing (2013), which portrayed the massacre through the perpetrator’s perspective. Honestly, this film is clearly not ...

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Where does anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic hate speech overlap?

The first session of the sixth annual Muslim-Jewish Conference (MJC) began with the following announcement: “Everyone separate into two categories of groups. Muslims sit with Muslims and Jews sit with Jews. Let’s write down stereotypes that you think people hold about your religious identity.” It didn’t take long for the stereotypes to roll in. The Muslims jotted them down rather quickly. We’ve all heard them countless times and they’ve been stitched into our consciousness. Words such as terrorist, judgmental, and oppressed were penned down. The Jews were quick to word out the stereotypes as well – wealthy, conniving, and greedy. A Jewish New Yorker ...

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Muslim denominations: Are you Shia or Sunni?

It started quite early. I was seven-years-old. That’s when I first realised that there was something called a “Shia”, and people thought I was one; because in Pakistan, certain surnames are associated with being a Shia. ‘Zaidi’, one of them, sounds similar to the surname ‘Zahidi’, so I was and am often asked this question – “are you a Shia?”. So I came home and asked my father, to which Abba replied in a very matter-of-factly that by faith, Shias and Sunnis are both Muslims. He explained to me that it’s like two brothers from the same family, we all love Prophet ...

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Balochistan: Self-inflicted misery?

My fondest childhood memories are of rolling down the landscaped gardens of the rest-house located beside the Quaid-e-Azam’s residency in Ziarat. The undulating open space spotted with the frosted looking juniper trees provided an ideal environment for the equally inviting wooden dens; and the fresh dew on the grass under the clear blue sky was then so tempting for us to feel. Visiting these dream homes used to be the highlight of our summer vacations. The short picnics to Hanna Lake, Ziarat and Wali Tangi were enriching and peaceful to say the least. Quetta, I should say, was one of the most ...

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Palestine cannot agree to a Jewish state

For months, US Secretary of State John Kerry had been involved in the strenuous task of achieving the famous ‘Two State Solution’. This meant the co-existence of a Jewish democratic state alongside a Palestinian state, with Jerusalem being the shared capital between the two. Unfortunately, and quite predictably, this project exceeded its announced deadline, and we were left with another stalemate of a situation with no end to the hostilities and a severe political deadlock. One of the fundamental demands by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) outright rejected ...

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If Burma won’t take them why won’t you, Bangladesh?

The calamitous ordeal of the Rohingya community of Myanmar has received woefully inadequate media coverage over the years despite having been declared one of the most hectored, tyrannized and aggrieved tribal minorities in the world by the United Nations. This observable fact can be unswervingly attributed to the thought-out recalcitrance of the media oligopolists to underlining the copious atrocities being committed against Muslims in different parts of the world in general as part of a ploy to legitimize the ongoing war on terrorism. For decades these ill-fated people have been shunned, browbeaten and subjected to ghastly physical and emotional abuse ...

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