Stories about Islamophobia

Who exactly will the Islam-centred TV channel be for?

Prime Minister Imran Khan recently announced that the governments of Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia will collaborate to launch a “BBC type” English television (TV) channel to challenge Islamophobic views in the West. The channel is expected to highlight various issues specific to Muslims in the West and “contextualise” cases of blasphemy. So why aren’t we feeling as hopeful as we should? Our meeting in which we decided to set up a BBC type English language TV Channel that, apart from highlighting Muslim issues, will also fight Islamophobia. pic.twitter.com/GA6o15oJFH — Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 30, 2019 Misperceptions which bring people together against Muslims would ...

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New York 2019: A watershed in Pakistan’s diplomatic history

On January 14, 1977, the Pakistan team entered the Sydney cricket ground as underdogs. Before the start of the series’ most pundits had expected Australia to steamroll the Pakistanis. After a face-saving draw in the first test and a shattering defeat in the second, Pakistan hoped to draw the series level in Sydney. Before that fateful game Imran Khan had toiled for years, even remodeled his bowling action, but that moment of glory had evaded him. At Sydney however, as the entire nation sat glued to their TV and radio sets, Khan bowled marathon spells of scintillating fast bowling. Spells ...

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Because extremists don’t criticise extremists

Human emotions are really weird sometimes; well most of the time, to be honest. We hate everything we don’t like, fear everything we don’t understand, and blindly love everything we identify with. We let our feelings cloud our understanding of the world, and we unfortunately could not continue thinking rationally even if we wanted to. Before anyone decides to deride my tongue-in-cheek critique of human emotions, I do wish to categorically state that our emotions are a part of us and are essential to our existence. They are what make us human after all. However, our use of our emotional ...

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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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