Stories about hate speech

The cost of silence

The nation is in shock after the events of the Peshawar school attack. Even for a country that has seen its fair share of violence, the tragedy that occurred was unbelievable. After becoming aware of what had happened, I sat in silence, overcome with grief, contemplating questions such as ‘Why had this happened?’ and ‘Who would do such a thing?’ But it became clear to me that perhaps I was going about it all wrong. I was trying to make sense of a situation that could never make sense. What reason could ever justify the killing of over a hundred innocent school children? ...

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Witnessing the rise of Modi’s Hindu state

You cannot live in an illusion forever. Reality does strike, sooner or later. And that is what is happening with Narendra Modi’s government in Delhi. The illusion that Modi would usher in a new era of modern and progressive governance is fast disappearing and giving way to a new realism. He led the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a historic win this year with the promise of bringing a new era of economic and political reforms. Six months into power, India is still waiting to see the promised economic reforms. It is, however, witnessing an unravelling of regressive politics which the country has ...

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I left the US because of their hatred towards Muslims… this is my story

I was born in 1982, in the beautiful American city of San Jose, California. A proud patriotic Muslim American, my dad would decorate our house with lights every Fourth of July. Fast forward to the year 2001, when I got admitted to one of America’s top medical schools – the Harvard Medical School in Boston. Moving from San Jose was hard. I stayed in the dorm. Every morning, when I went to take a shower, I saw a sticker on one of the bathroom mirrors on my floor that said, ‘Whoever is a friend of the Muslims is a traitor of Christianity and ...

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The positivism of Taher Shah

A few weeks ago, one of my colleagues introduced me to a song that was soon to become the new sensation over social media. The way-too-classy video and bizarre lyrics made the song an immediate hit — but not in a good way. By now, most of you must have guessed it right; but for those who haven’t, it was none other than the new blockbuster, Taher Shah’s Eye To Eye. With each click the song received, a new meme appeared on the social media websites. This increased popularity (mind you, a notorious one) made me wonder, how the singer ...

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Why the anti-Muslim ads in New York City were not hate speech

Offensive ads have been showing on New York City buses and in subway station.  One reads, “In any war between the civilised man and the savage, support the civilized man.” Beneath that, in blue, were two Stars of David, and the words, “Support Israel.” Below that, in red text, it read, “Defeat Jihad.“ Surely, this is politically incorrect in a world where human rights discourse has more or less permeated consciousness.  If teachers in colleges made such statements, many would boycott their classes – if employees at the office water cooler called Muslims savages, it’d be the subject of a workplace controversy. Why was the ad ...

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Innocence of Muslims: No, I will not ‘get over it’

So, this morning I read this piece on Slate.com which advises Muslims to just ‘get over it’, when we see movies denigrating our religion or our Prophet (pbuh) on the Internet. It’s a sensible piece, urging us Muslims not to resort to violence because of a stupid, amateur movie made by a bunch of charlatans. “God is too great to be troubled by the insults of fools. Follow Him.” Well, thanks very much for that advice. I’ll have to put down my Molotov cocktail now and put my feet up. I’ve been told I can just ignore insults to the thing I hold the ...

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Why do Indian experts attack Pakistani cricketers?

Experts are supposed to be unbiased, and should refrain from making baseless judgments until they have considered all the facts. I am sorry to say that Indian experts seem incapable of doing this when it comes to Pakistan cricket. Cricket analysts like Navjot Siddhu and Harsha Bhogle have seized every opportunity to hurl mud at Pakistani cricketers. And the less said about the Shiv Sena, whose total political agenda seems to be centered on evoking anti-Pakistan sentiment in India, the better. Case in point – Pakistan’s nerve-tingling game against the Canadanian minnows. “Those math-fixing Pakistanis…” After Pakistan turned in a below-par batting performance on ...

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