Stories about hate crime

Islamophobia is an undeniable fact in the West, but Muslim Americans can’t jump the gun and label every act as hate crime

It is true that Islamophobia is a real phenomenon; Muslims have been and continue to be targeted because of their faith, principles and values. There are segments of societies in the western world that stereotype Muslims as gangsters, thugs and terrorists, want them barred from ever entering their countries, and it is highly unlikely that this hostile attitude towards Muslims will simmer down anytime soon. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, is a racist bigot who hates Muslims (but not his rich Arab friends) and will continue to incite violence against law-abiding Muslims wherever and whenever he can. Having said that, and in the light of recent developments ...

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Why is my brown skin, unapologetically bearded face, and big backpack a threat to you?

Reading about the developments from Finsbury Park, London, where Darren Osborne drove a van onto innocent civilians leaving a Mosque makes me sad, upset, and angry, but it is not shocking. We all know the media has been presenting an “us versus them” narrative when covering Muslims; that we reject western values and our way of life is out of tune with yours. But yours is mine, too. I use the tube to commute every day, like the rest of you. I use it to get to school, exhibitions, friend’s places, parties, just like you. Countless times, I’ve walked to the platform at Holborn ...

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Alisha was treated outside a lavatory – shame on you, Peshawar

Like any other people, all the transgender community wants is to live with dignity. But in Pakistan, dignity for this sexual minority is almost impossible to find. From birth to their death beds, they are ostracised as if they are the bearers of some invisible disease. Forced to live with their own communities, forced to take menial jobs or to beg on the streets, forced to put up with mental and physical abuse, forced to deal with sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and rape, from their fellow citizens or even those tasked with protecting them, the transgender people of Pakistan ...

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We know more about Tashfeen Malik today than we’ve ever known about any of the other 354 shooters

Have you heard of a guy named Kenneth Morgan Stancil III? The man who confessed to the mass shooting that took place in April 2015, at the Wayne Learning Centre in Goldsboro, North Carolina, USA? Do you know which school he went to or where he developed such a ‘lone-wolf attitude’? ‘Lone-wolf and not extremist, obviously; he was white. Do we know who radicalised him or why he became so intolerant towards his very own society? Do we know why he deemed killing people the only way to prove his point? No, we don’t. Because back in April, when this incident took place, none of these ...

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Why recognising the Charleston Church shooting as an act of racially motivated terrorism is only the first step

I took a moment of silence. A long moment… as I struggled to sort through my emotions while I watched the breaking news reports that gunshots had torn through Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, around 9pm Wednesday. Nine people gathered for a prayer meeting were killed. The shots were fired by Dylann Roof, a white man in his early 20s, who entered the church, worshipped with the members and later opened fire. The massacre will be investigated as a hate crime, Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said. However, by definition, it was a domestic act of terrorism and the gunman, a terrorist. As ...

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A new step for American Muslims

New York mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced on March 4 that two Muslim holidays, Eidul Azha, also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice, and Eidul Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramazan, will become a school holiday starting in 2016. It was joyful news and many American Muslims were cheerfully sharing it and trying to find out if they could request the same thing in their state. However, when I checked social news websites, I was very disappointed with the bigotry expressed in the comments sections. Actually, it is everywhere. Nothing felt right after the Paris ...

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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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#ChapelHillShooting: Do #MuslimLivesMatter in Islamophobic US?

The front page of the New York Post on Wednesday morning, February 11, 2015, did not have a single mention of the three Muslim students, belonging to the same family, who were brutally gunned down in North Carolina on Tuesday night. The front page was dominated, among other stories, with Brian Williams’ ‘fall from Grace’ and John Stewart’s decision to quit The Daily Show. The same goes for the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal; all among the top 10 newspapers in the country. For the Muslims in the US, who still like to believe there is no prejudice against them in the West, now ...

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Our little heroine

She stings when she speaks, And she speaks like no other, She has sharp features, And she taunts like my mother.   In a land like Pakistan, She enjoys the Indian summer, She reminds me of that chicken, From the cartoon, Road Runner.   She’s our proverbial grandma, Whom we don’t have to teach, Even though we still judge, How she speaks for her deeds.   She’s the best of the best, At the practice of peace, Known as “little heroine”, Since the good old eighties!   Not in popularity contest, She rose to prominence; She had nerves to fight dictators, Questioning the Hudood Ordinance!   She’s been beaten, tear gassed, And at one time house-arrested, For the rights of our minorities, She has always protested!   She’s been vilified and hated, By the experts ...

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I am an Indian and I strongly condemn the attack on Ali Hassan Raza

There is an ancient Hindu saying, ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam’, which means that the entire world is one family. This saying needs to be revisited, keeping in mind recent events that have taken place in our subcontinent. Sure, there may be antagonism between countries at a political level but that is no justification for attacking innocent civilians on the basis of their nationality, or for that matter, their race, religion or the likes. We, Indians and Pakistanis, undoubtedly have a lot in common with each other. We are ethnically the same, we speak the same languages, have similar attire and cuisine and have a long, ...

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