Stories about hatred

When even videogames target Muslims, you know you live in an age of hate

I love gaming. We gamers don’t just play games for the sake of venting our frustration on remote control buttons and enjoying the graphics of a particular game; we follow the storylines as well and the characters become idols. Don’t believe me? Consider the example of a cousin of mine who came to meet me after many months. The first thing he did – without any greeting whatsoever – was blurt out, “Arey yaar Zain Bhai, apko pata hai Walking Dead mien Lori mar gayi?” (Oh man, Zain Bhai do you that Lori from Walking Dead died?) It is an obsession, yes and our tech ...

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Nothing real can come out of the Indo-Pak visa regime

‘People-to-people contact’ is a buzzword when it comes to improving Pakistan-India relations. Emphasised so much over the years, it has become a cliché. The two countries have recently signed a new visa regime, which was endorsed by the federal cabinet last week. Under the new regime, the two countries have made an effort to ease what most people consider bottlenecks in increasing people-to-people contact such as the strict visa policies pursued by the two South Asian neighbours. It will be premature to comment if the initiative will bring expected results, since we have been seeing ‘exchanges’ at different levels for the ...

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Burma killings: Think before you point fingers

I have always thought of Buddhists as being the wisest, most religious and peace loving of all people. Hence, their recent atrocities in Burma were shocking on many levels. Burmese Buddhists are carrying out a ‘cleansing’ and have (reportedly) killed many Muslims over the past two months.  To answer the ‘why’, let’s examine a bit of history first for that is where most of the answers lie. Burma/Myanmar is situated next to Bangladesh and Muslims started arriving there in the early 20th Century. Memons and Shias also migrated in large numbers – that is also the origin of ‘Khao Suey’ we so enjoy today ...

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Shame on us Muslims

I write this for one reason and one reason only. To say sorry for the shameful statement by Kuwaiti leader Salwa al Mutairi, for her suggestion that the purchase of female prisoners as sex slaves be legalized. “Go and buy those and sell them here in Kuwait. Better than to have our men engage in forbidden sexual relations” Her words have not only put the entire Muslim world to shame and deplorable pits of hatred but has reinforced the wrong perception held by the rest of the world that we, the Muslims are nothing but barbarians. This myopic, narrow minded and shallow ...

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To Pakistani media: Stop spouting homophobic hatred

Right from the outset, I want to state in no uncertain terms that homophobia infuriates me to no end. Whether or not one agrees, it is a natural proclivity and/or a conscious choice, the state has no business regulating sexual expression and practice between consenting adults. There are far more pressing matters for the government to spend its budget on than policing what people do in private. Having said that, I understand that lawmakers in Pakistan will not remedy homophobic laws because the majority of the citizens would oppose such a move. I’m not naïve enough to believe we’ll follow ...

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The racist within us

It’s sad how we don’t want to be called racist and how callously we use the word for others, even though there lies an evident mindset that we as a nation harbour a feeling of division deep in our hearts — not only amongst ourselves on regional lines but even at a global level. It’s obviously offensive for Pakistanis to be called “brown” or to be more precise, “Pakis”. Nothing could be more offensive to us. But I could never measure it, in the true sense of the word, until the time I called an American friend of mine “Gora sahib”. ...

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A reason to remember 9/11

Ever since I saw the movie V For Vendetta, I have a small ritual of sorts. Every year, on September 11, I keep my status for the whole day, “Remember, remember, the 11th of September, for I see no reason why it should be forgot.” It’s my way of paying tribute to the innocent men and women and yes, believe it or not, Muslims that perished no that tragic day. This year, a friend commented asking what it meant, and I gave her the cliff notes version of the original rhyme, explaining it was my way of commemorating the tragic ...

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