Stories about Islamophobia

I lost my cousin Sabika Sheikh to a mass shooting – gun violence is the new ‘terrorism’ and it’s very real

On March 14, 2019 I gathered with hundreds of students in front of the United States Capitol in Washington DC. These students had walked out of their classes to join the National School Walkout demanding decisive action against the epidemic of gun violence in the US. A few hours later, a gunman entered two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and shot dead at least 50 worshippers and injured 47 more while live-streaming the massacre. Pakistani exchange student and my cousin, Sabika Sheikh, was killed when a gunman entered her classroom and killed her and nine others at the Santa Fe School in ...

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Unregulated social media, slow police response, rising Islamophobia: The faultlines of the #NewZealandShooting

In what can only be termed a barbaric and inhumane act, 49 Muslims were murdered and another 20 seriously injured in two mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand. The unfortunate victims were offering jummah prayers when they were attacked by a terrorist. Introducing himself as Brenton Tarrant on his Facebook livestream, he went on to telecast the entire massacre live as he stormed into the mosque and shot at worshippers of all ages. He was able to do so for 17 minutes. We are once again at a place where Muslims living in the West are paying the price for rising ...

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#NewZealandShooting: I just want to bow my head and pray in my mosque – freely and without fear

Like an ugly game of hide and seek, I’ve been dodging the dingy alleyways of the internet tonight. I am scared of coming face-to-face with the live footage of today’s terrorist attacks at two New Zealand mosques. I don’t want to see the suffering, to hear the screams, or to witness the ensuing, inevitable silence. The Prophet (PBUH) himself once spoke of a strange restlessness, this shared sense of affliction and anguish that accompanies the bonds of brotherhood, which he described as, “If any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with ...

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Anti-condolences for the oppressor: Stop mourning Karl Lagerfeld

Chanel’s creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, died at 85 in Paris. Lagerfeld, known for being “the king of fashion” and a prolific designer who left his mark on the industry, was also an Islamophobic, racist, misogynistic, fatphobic, rape apologist. His beliefs and political stances, however, were ignored by millions for the sake of his wealth accumulation and impact as a designer. It isn’t surprising to witness publications and people wax poetic statements about Lagerfeld’s genius while they ignore his history of oppressive comments towards anyone who did not fit into his narrow aesthetic of human existence. Lagerfeld took pride in being a gatekeeper ...

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With suspenseful politics and powerful acting, Bodyguard is television at its finest

Netflix from time to time cancels its low-rated shows, but the streaming giant is also constantly working to ensure that it provides its subscribers the best content available in the world. Hence, Netflix sometimes imports TV shows from across the borders to make rich content available for its customers. One of their recent imports was Bodyguard, a show produced by BBC and aired on BBC One. Netflix was quick to strike a deal for this offering as it became the most watched show on BBC since 2008. Bodyguard revolves around David Budd, played by Richard Madden (Game of Thrones), a war ...

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McGregor can pass racist and Islamophobic insults, but Nurmagomedov can’t react to it?

“Let’s talk now”, said Khabib Nurmagomedov, as his fists pounded Irish fighter Conor McGregor. In the ring, the Russian fighter humbles his opponent. Ten minutes later, the cocky Irishman taps out. The fight is over. The Russian has won it convincingly; an easy victory after a much hyped fight. But wait, the fight is apparently not over yet for the Dagestani fighter, also known as The Eagle. Despite a dominating victory, he is still angry. That anger needed only a nudge in the right (or wrong) direction, and that push was provided by McGregor’s training partner Dillon Danis, who ...

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Home Fire: A Muslim love story for the modern world

The latest novel by Kamila Shamsie has won numerous accolades, the most recent one being the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction. The novel, based on the Greek tragedy Antigone, delves into the modern-day spasms of jihad and terrorism, and also examines the concept of loyalty, belief and love. Not having read Antigone, Home Fire came across as a juxtaposition of the notions that have been shuffling in religious and political debate of late. The cover of the book – one of the most profound covers out of the books in my possession – is a simple maze of red-orange fire with two ...

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“If I score, I’m French; If I don’t, I’m Arab”: Why France needs to recognise its “others”

As a Muslim French woman, my feelings regarding France’s victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup are quite divided. They are not divided about the game per se – the players undoubtedly demonstrated their brilliance on the field, and I do not see how I could be unhappy about winning the title again after 20 long years. Rather, I am sceptical about what changes this win will bring to individuals belonging to certain ethnic groups in this country, and to the Muslim faith in particular. Nothing major, I fear. Dear France, Congratulations on winning the #WorldCup. 80% of your team ...

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With Donald Trump’s travel ban 3.0, is America any safer?

Today, the Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban to be fully enforced. This ban restricts visas from eight countries, including six Muslim-majority nations. The premise: ‘national security’. But does such a ban really make Americans safer? Here are five points all Americans need to understand. 1. Religious extremism, not Islam, is the real threat There is no denying the fact that religious extremists, and terrorist groups like the Islamic State (IS), pose a grave threat to the United States. These groups pervert religion for ulterior geo-political agendas. Their violent rhetoric – advocating for the killing of homosexuals, ‘blasphemers’, apostates and anyone who disagrees with ...

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Quantico’s apology is a slap in the face of every Muslim misrepresented by Hollywood

The past week has caused uproar in the international media, after a Hollywood show had the misfortune of treading conflicting political grounds. ABC, an American television studio, later issued an apology to Indian fans after its crime drama Quantico portrayed Hindu nationalists in a negative light, as they planned a terrorist plot and tried to frame Pakistan for it. The scene from Quantico’s most recent episode, The Blood of Romeo, received prompt backlash from Indians after Priyanka Chopra, who plays the lead character of an FBI agent, holds up sacred Hindu prayer beads as evidence that the plotter, who planned to detonate ...

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