Stories about Innocence of Muslims

While Pakistani ad agencies are busy making ‘chai’, I made a World Cup response video for India

Just like my life, this blog might not have a particular sense of direction. There is a lot boiling up in my head and I will try to intersect all my rants. First of all people, calm down. Seriously. Learn to take a joke. If you cannot, shut up and move on. If you think that this world would be nicer to you forever and ever, then you’re living in a delusion. Get out of it. It’s an evil place and internet is the womb of all evils. Whenever there is something out, an article, a video, a cartoon, we all rile ...

Read Full Post

Ghulam Bilour and Mumtaz Qadri, two sides of the same coin

While the country still reels from the attack on the Imambargah in Shikarpur, Ghulam Ahmed Bilour thought it more necessary to talk about an event that happened a month ago, half a world away, and not in conciliatory terms. Bilour offered a reward for whoever kills the owner of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which recently suffered a terrorist attack that killed 10 of its employees, including its editor-in-chief. Given the amount of deaths that the magazine has already experienced, to call for more of it because of the magazine’s allegedly blasphemous cartoons seems excessive at best and an incitement to violence at worst. One ...

Read Full Post

PPP wants Sindhi Hindus to vote for them, but won’t protect them!

On March 16, 2014, while Pakistan’s Hindu community celebrated Holi, the country witnessed an unpleasant incident in Sindh’s Larkana District, where a frenzied mob turned violent following a rumour that a member of the Hindu community, Sangeet Kumar, 35 – reputed to be a drug addict – had desecrated the Holy Quran. In Larkana, after the incident, people wanted to harm the accused man but the police and rangers, somehow, managed to take him away to a safe location. After his safe escape, however, the angry mob attacked and vandalised the Sindhi Hindus’ dharamshala (community centre) and also partially damaged a Hindu temple in the same ...

Read Full Post

Reasoning out September 21, 2012

Two months ago, chaos hit the country after a controversial video was publicised on the Internet and provoked some men to take to the streets, causing destruction to public property and endangering lives. I had the rare opportunity to interview bright, highly-motivated children studying in a school operated by The Citizens Foundation (TCF). The children attend an after-school programme called the Academic Achievement Programme, which provides guidance and helps students reinforce learning in the subjects of math and English. It was engaging and somewhat settling to read their responses to the questions I asked, despite the fact that most of them ...

Read Full Post

Azhar Ahmed: Punished for irresponsible freedom of speech?

His crime was posting comments that were tasteless, rude, offensive, and highly insensitive to those who had lost their loved ones, but were they worthy of a criminal trial? According to various prominent UK news organisations, including The Independent, the following comments posted by a 20-year-old British man, Azhar Ahmed, on the social networking website Facebook, landed him in hot water: “People gassin [venting off] about the deaths of soldiers! What about the innocent familys who have been brutally killed.. The women who have been raped.. The children who have been sliced up..! Your enemy’s were the Taliban not innocent harmless ...

Read Full Post

A protest through the eyes of a journalist

Nothing is more dangerous than a mob that gets carried away by religious fervour and frustration. It can be equally threatening to report about such a mob as a journalist. On September 21, the day the whole country shut down to condemn an anti-Islam video, there were mad men out on the streets bent upon destroying public and private property. They seemed to be having fun — raising slogans and cursing the US. For a reporter, it is easy to be swept away by the sheer energy displayed by boys wielding sticks and bricks. Karachi offers a lot of action in ...

Read Full Post

Taliban antics: Why cant we ever be ready, Pakistan?

As the streets of Pakistan begin to fade their recollection of the wreckage and hostility that came with retaliation against the anti-Islam video “Innocence of Muslims”, another catastrophe has shaken the Pakistani populace to its core. Malala Yousufzai’s attempted assassination has left everyone in the country, and abroad, outraged at the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for its blatant atrocity. Both of these events have shown the power that public outrage can have in making the government take notice of an act. While the anti-Islam video and Malala’s assassination attempt are separate occurrences, one cannot discount the idea that the Taliban’s violent resurgence ...

Read Full Post

A bounty calling for murder is not Islam, Mr Bilour!

Not too long ago, the trailer of a film called Innocence of Muslims was released on the internet that hurt the sentiments of Muslims around the world. The content of the film was vile and offensive, and it was clear that the only purpose it had been made in the first place was to elicit some sort of negative reaction from the Muslim population. Muslims around the world expressed their displeasure through various means. Many took to Facebook and other social media. Some made drastic gains creating misleading photographs such as fallen cinemas that had apparently suffered the wrath of God, ...

Read Full Post

Do you realise how damaging protesting is to the economy?

Another Friday, another protest. This week, much like last, Aabpara remained empty, except for the few adventurous shoppers who were willing to risk the excitement of walking amid religiously-inspired protesters, the same kind of protesters who did so much damage to other Muslims’ lives and property last week. After last week’s disaster, the peaceful lawyers’ march to the embassy to present a resolution of condemnation was a welcome change, although I still think burning flags accomplished nothing. Peaceful or not, protests, or even rumours, have seemingly become enough to instil fear in the hearts of small business owners in areas favoured ...

Read Full Post

I refuse to lose my religion!

What about the rest of us? Meaning the living; those of us who have to make a living, those who have to get to work despite knowing that there is a fair chance we might get shot at for not showing enough solidarity. How do you express solidarity through violence for a system that is about peace in times of chaos, anyway? I was supposed to be angry today. I was, still am. I am fuming, in fact, because I work for a newspaper and part of my job is to be at work come hell or high water. I managed to do ...

Read Full Post