Stories about muslim

The infamous ‘Muslim Room’ and other travel horrors

Recently, I boarded an Etihad Airways flight from Islamabad to Chicago. On a stopover at Abu Dhabi, the plane filled up with a lot of South Asian people; approximately 95% of my fellow passengers were brown. Not being a frequent flyer to the US, I was unaware of the desi population that infests Chicago. 14 hours later… We finally landed at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. I was tired, worn out and my body ached – as did everyone else’s, I’m sure. After a long wait, I finally made it to the immigration officer. He asked me a few general questions: “How long will you ...

Read Full Post

Boston Blasts: What happens when the news and social media get it wrong

In today’s highly competitive climate, it seems that the race to reach the finish line first for journalists is more important than how they get there, or if they are even running in the right direction. In Pakistan, as Zarrar Khuhro explains so eloquently in his column, watching news break on local TV channels is only a little less painful than stabbing yourself in the ears with a screwdriver. Here, media outlets that win the breaking news race, finish like sore winners, beating their chests bloody till their sternums are cracked open.  “YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST! DID YOU HEAR THAT? ...

Read Full Post

Boston Marathon blasts: Is terrorism Muslim?

Last time I checked, terrorism had no nationality or religion. It was defined as the senseless slaughter of innocents by perpetrators of violence. No matter what causes these terrorists claim to endorse, the damage they inflicted was not supposed to represent the teachings of the religion they identified with or the country they hailed from. All that tolerance is only in theory though. When we hear of attacks and blasts by violent groups, we tend to assume everyone who is associated with the belief system which these extremists recognise is tainted by their malicious intents. With the Boston Marathon blasts only ...

Read Full Post

The suicide bomber

Butterflies. I like butterflies. What attracts me about butterflies is the vibrancy in which they express themselves, being the centre of attention, as they make their way through the fields. I doubt that there has ever lived a person who has despised butterflies. So harmlessly, they decorate our world; like the stars in the night sky, butterflies lighten up the air we breathe in. It’s sad that I have not seen a real butterfly yet. But I’m sure that one day I will. For the time being, I am happy looking at pictures of them in a book that my ...

Read Full Post

I’ll remember, insha’Allah

The other day I scheduled a long-overdue appointment for a dental cleaning. I had called a few days in advance and arranged for an early-morning slot so that I could arrive in the office before the workload got too heavy. Leaving my apartment about 35 minutes before the appointment, I imagined I left enough time to arrive on schedule. That is, until I got into a small car accident less than ten minutes later. As I waited to turn right at an intersection not far from my apartment, the car behind me abruptly drove into the rear of my small hatchback, suddenly ...

Read Full Post

In the land of the pure

As we see the colour red infest the country, we all know that February 14 is a date which has gained massive popularity amongst the masses of Pakistan. But the question remains how and why has Valentine’s Day become so important for our awaam? While some define it as a ‘day for lovers’, others say ‘it’s a day to ‘hate’ those celebrating it’. The trend of girls and guys throwing leaflets in colleges and in car parking against valentines with messages such as ‘this day is for non-Muslims, you will commit a sin if you celebrate this day, if you believe in ...

Read Full Post

A Pakistani in India

History, unfortunately, has given Indian and Pakistan varying reasons for hostility. It is sad to see two nations with so much in common distrust and, in general, hate each other. The media rampant with messages of anger against the ‘other’ and thus, choosing the path of friendship or normalisation is a mission of passion. Travelling from Islamabad to New Delhi, however, has changed my perspective to a great extent. During a recent month-long stay in India’s capital, I found myself feeling as if I were a local, thanks to the similarities in language, culture and ethnicity. I fit in like a hand in ...

Read Full Post

Shahrukh Khan’s fear is our fear

In the ‘90s when Yusuf Khan received the Nishan-e-Imtiaz— the highest civilian award of Pakistan— right wing Hindu groups led by Shiv Sena and covertly supported by its ideological brothers, protested and vehemently questioned Khan’s loyalty to India. He was declared a Pakistani agent not a pride of the nation who has won laurels for his works all over the world. There were many in India at that time who did not know that Yusuf Khan is actually Dilip Kumar, the popular superstar of the Bombay film industry. India and the world accepted him and lauded him for his acting ...

Read Full Post

Apparently ‘Pakistani’ in French means ‘terrorist’

I experienced it again yesterday; I re-lived what it feels like to be accused – accused when you don’t even know why you are being charged. Again, I lived through the humiliation of someone pointing his finger at me and saying,  “Hey you… You look like a terrorist.” The temperature in Lille was cold; six degrees below the freezing point, to be exact. The behaviour of the four men around me was colder. I had noticed them the moment I had gotten off the train that had brought me back to Lille from Paris. I thought that I was being over imaginative ...

Read Full Post

Shahrukh Khan controversy: Hype and hypocrisy

As anything Shahrukh Khan would, the Bollywood megastar’s recent article in an Indian magazine, where he admits to having felt discriminated against in constitutionally-secular India for his Muslim identity, has gone viral. Everyone and their khala has read the interview, sympathising and basing their entire critique of India’s treatment of ‘minorities’ on this one man’s one statement that’s hardly any different from his previous statements on the matter. Enter our very own Hafiz Saeed, the noble chief of UN-blacklisted charity organisation Jamaatud Dawa. Unable to bear the injustice being meted out to a Muslim brother in (horror of horrors) India, he jumped in ...

Read Full Post