Stories about minority

Why framing Shia genocide as a sectarian conflict only trivialises the problem

One of the most important factors which determine the way an issue is understood, debated and addressed is the way it is framed in the media. Framing becomes extremely important as it affects the discourse, narrative, and ultimately the kind of solutions which are brought to the table. Knowing its importance, supporters and opponents of a contentious issue often try to frame it to their advantage. For example, in the US, the debate around abortion is often framed as pro-life by Conservatives. This is a very powerful and effective construct as it creates the impression that those who choose abortion are anti-life and hence ...

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Why nobody wants to help Myanmar’s unwanted Rohingya

The international community has largely ignored the political situation regarding the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar. The Rohingya have been systematically disenfranchised and persecuted in their home state of Myanmar, having been denied the rights of citizenship, worship, marriage and education. Since 2012, the Rohingya have been subjected to numerous acts of violence by the Buddhist majority leading to hundreds of deaths, destruction of property, and a mass exodus of Rohingya with estimates stating that around 100,000 are living in internment camps and 200,000 more residing in unofficial camps in Bangladesh. In 2013, mosques and Muslim-owned businesses were destroyed by a 300-member mob in central Myanmar in a series of ...

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What do our reactions to a 13-year-old’s false allegations of gang-rape say about us?

The 13-year-old Berlin based German-Russian girl’s allegations of being kidnapped and gang-raped by men of Arabic and African origin quickly snowballed into a storm. Her claim was the men had forced her into their vehicle and attacked her. Reports of the girl’s harrowing tale were shared across Russian social media and even made it to local television. They were met with demonstrations by an anti-migrant national right-wing political party, as well as people from the Russian community in Germany who were backed by the Pegida-related Bärgida movement. The matter soon turned into an international incident. While the German police rightly kept ...

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Should the Gulf states be wary of the revolution tsunami coming their way?

Socio-political change is happening across the globe at a pace not previously experienced in history. This is particularly true within the Gulf States. Each day, growing unrest is visible through dissident activity, protests, strikes, and violence. Frustration and anger once repressed is now acted upon. Unprecedented access to communication technologies and the proliferation of social media tools offer platforms for disadvantaged and repressed people to gather, collaborate and make themselves heard – even if only to others in their situation. Media outlets, YouTube videos, Twitter, and Facebook posts spread messages that embolden marginalised people and activist networks into individual and collective action. Rulers of some Gulf ...

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Will Pakistan ever truly accept its Christian community?

I cringe every time I hear the word “minority.” It is true that religiously we are different from Christians, but must we create a social difference too? Minority stands for ‘few’ and the way the term is implied it says ‘with lesser power’. If you find nothing wrong with calling someone “less than” then go ahead and play your part towards fuelling intolerance. The twin church blast in Lahore caused 14 Christian deaths and around 80 people were injured. An Islamic extremist claimed 14 lives and injured 80 innocent worshippers at a church. Amid the blood, destruction and havoc, the panicky mob lynched two bystanders when ...

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Is Pakistan heading towards anarchy?

On Monday, November 10, the students and professors of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) held a candlelight vigil, organised by the SZABIST Law Society, in memory of Sajid Masih and Shama Bibi, a Christian couple who were accused of blasphemy and their bodies burnt in a brick kiln in the rural area of Punjab. Photo: Fatima Ansari More than a hundred law students gathered in front of their campus holding candles, chanting slogans like “give justice to Sajid and Shama” and “say no to terrorism,” among many others. The crowd swelled, as more students who were unaware ...

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Contradicting the Constitution (il)legally

“Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and practice their religions and develop their cultures… Wherein adequate provision shall be made to safeguard the legitimate interests of minorities and backward and depressed classes… No person shall be deprived of life or liberty save in accordance with law… All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law… There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex… No child below the age of 14 years shall be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment… The State ...

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What makes Pakistan a great country

Flip through our TV channels, skim through our newspapers and scan through a dozen latest international reports on indicators of some sort and they will all give you only a few reasons to be happy about our country. In fact, if you do this long enough, you’ll probably start noticing initial symptoms of prolonged depression. Are there any problems of the world that this nation has been spared off? Floods, drought, earthquakes, terrorism, corruption, infant mortality, diseases, illiteracy, sectarian conflicts, ethnic disputes, border disputes, domestic violence, water scarcity, electricity shortages, gang wars and what not. It’s tragic and scary. But there is a flip ...

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I asked my Imam to condemn the Peshawar Church Blast, will you?

Like most people around me, I was shocked, disgusted and angry at the Peshawar Church Blast incident; a terrorist attack during Sunday Mass. The tragedy came at a time when people were reaching out to God, sharing  fears, worries, emotions and secrets. Just to imagine that one cannot even have this personal time with God Almighty anymore is disturbing.  The first thought that came to my mind was that a vigil should be held to pay respect to the departed. Hence I decided to initiate it. On Tuesday, a mere 40 people joined me outside the press club. We lit candles, ...

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Our Lady of Fatima Parish: A wonderful church hidden in Karachi

Over the years, Karachi has become more of a commercial pothole. Buildings are constructed in the most unexpected yet absurd places, while dhaabas (tea shops) and hotels sprout like shrubs in every nook and corner of the city. It has become congested and overwhelming.   It is due to this hotchpotch that many citizens remain unaware of the great architectural brilliance that lies hidden deep inside the city. One such building that is overlooked is a church called Our Lady of Fatima. This beautiful structure lies sandwiched between Anklesaria Hospital (near the Garden area) and the infamous Gul Plaza shopping mall. The ...

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