Stories about muslim

I had to take off my Hijab because society refused to accept me

Out of the 50 Muslim majority states in the world, Pakistan ranks second in the list with a Muslim majority population of 97 per cent. And it was among these Muslims that I felt discriminated for donning a hijab. I began the practice of hijab during my second year in art school. Initially, most of my friends did not pay attention to my additional piece of clothing and encouraged the practice. Eventually, however, I realised that while all my relatives, friends and acquaintances professed to be Muslims, very few supported my choice to wear a hijab. During the first few weeks of donning a ...

Read Full Post

Reza Aslan versus Bill Maher: Learning the crucial difference between culture and religion

Responsible schooling, governance, international diplomacy, accountability and conscientious citizens are the demands of modern society. However, popular media despite its presence in every home, remains the most ignorant, irresponsible and manipulative aspect of modern life. With its capacity to communicate instantly, the world with its current atmosphere of extremism, global stress and social and political upheavals is more open to suggestions in a way it was never before. Therefore, manipulation by entities with access to an audience has wider influence than before. Labels are among the pithiest vehicles of language. They appeal most strongly to unthinking individuals, starting with those of all faiths in the pulpit ...

Read Full Post

Mangalore, where a Muslim cannot interact with a Hindu

The torturing, beating, and stripping of a young Muslim man by a mob of vandals connected to the Bajrang Dal faction in the heart of the city, and that even in broad daylight amidst impotent onlookers gathered to witness a gruesome act of violence, has once again put Mangalore in the national headlines for all the wrong reasons. The man was tied to an electrical pole, stripped naked, abused, and thrashed in public for the alleged ‘crime’ of interacting with his female friend, who happened to belong to the Hindu community. This happened at a time when India is demanding liberty ...

Read Full Post

End of silence: A woman’s narrative of the 1947 Partition

Many of us born to families who migrated across borders during partition grew up hearing whispers of events from that time. The end of the British Raj in India saw the subcontinent dissected into two – Pakistan and India. This led to the largest migration in history and caused widespread communal violence. My nani (maternal grandmother) narrated tragedies of madness raging the land without adequate police or troops to maintain law and order. One of my nani’s friends narrated how her father had told all the women in their family that should the train they were on be stopped and boarded by rioting mobs, they should commit ...

Read Full Post

After five years, will justice finally prevail for Aasia Bibi?

Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman, was sentenced to death approximately five years ago, an incident that added to the miseries of the already-marginalised Christian minority within Pakistan. At the time, very few had the mental capacity to question the Lahore High Court’s verdict to sentence an innocent woman to death, and for those who did, the chickens came home to roost. Salman Taseer paid his price for speaking against the heinous blasphemy law with 27 bullets in his body and blood splattered all across Kohsar Market, with his words drenched in blood, “My resolve is so strong that I do not fear the flames from without, I fear ...

Read Full Post

Breaking bread together: An American convert’s take on Eidul Fitr

When I was younger, family gatherings were the highlight of our year. My siblings and I would don our finest clothes, heading out to these events with so much joy and anticipation, you’d think we were meeting the president. Our family get-togethers celebrated an array of life events both planned and impromptu. My parents, my siblings and I would climb into our beat-up car and drive to our destination, gushing about all the ways we were going to have fun. Celebrations like these are a means for humans to get together, and communal gatherings are essential to our survival and wellbeing. ...

Read Full Post

Some of us cannot afford the hijab of today

There is a school named The Clifton High School which is not in Karachi but in New Jersey, USA, and Abrar Shahin is a Muslim student of Palestinian descent who recently graduated from this school. Sincere congratulations and best wishes in her subsequent career to the young lady who appears to possess a strong sense of identity since her photograph shows her wearing a hijab, and who is about to present us with what I hope, a healthy debate. In the hormone-charged atmosphere of high schools, where girls dress quite revealingly, it takes conviction to cover your head with a scarf at ...

Read Full Post

Why we need to read ‘After the Prophet’ amidst today’s Shia-Sunni divide

Born in a world where the Muslim community has been divided into two indefinite sects makes for a reality that we have come to accept and also overlook. The conflict between Sunnis and Shias is the news of everyday, but there has never been a proper, unbiased understanding of the real issue. Where did all of this animosity really stem from? The Sunnis have their version and the Shias have theirs. Lesley Hazleton is a British-American author whose work focuses on the intersection of politics, religion, and history, especially in the Middle East. She answers the question in an unbiased account of history, taking a neutral approach to ...

Read Full Post

Was what happened in Charleston terrorism?

In wake of the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, terrorism expert Brian Phillips asks and answers five questions based on initial reports of the shooter and the massacre. 1) Is this terrorism? Yes. There are many definitions of terrorism, but most definitions have four elements in common: Violence; Perpetrated by an individual or non-governmental group Political, social, or religious motivations; Intimidating a wider audience than the immediate victims. By this definition, the massacre in Charleston, SC, on Wednesday, was clearly a terrorist act. The violence is evident in the death toll of nine people. The perpetrator apparently was not a soldier or official acting on behalf of a ...

Read Full Post

When you’re at the salon and you hear “Aap ki larkiyan Christian hain?”

I was expecting that being a “foil” lioness for a full-hour at a top-notch salon in Karachi and not being able to move around, read a magazine and put on headphones, was going to be painfully long and boring. But as I sat, heard and watched all the action from the mirror for an hour, I not only lost all my faith in Karachi, Pakistan and humanity but somehow gained it back again within the same span of time.  On an ordinary day, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed her come in! Beige duppata perched on her head with a Louis Vuitton bag loosely hanging from ...

Read Full Post