Stories about non-muslim

Today is Eid, and I want to be home, not abroad

For every other day of the year, deciding what to wear early morning would be a task in itself, but not today. A kurta is hanging in the corner of my wardrobe. The entire year, I pretended it wasn’t there, but not today. Today is Eid in New York. It begins by embracing a traditional outfit to feel somewhat closer to home. A shower early morning and as usual a rush to the mosque is the norm. While trying to beat traffic to catch Eid prayer, a call back home to my parents is my favourite part. Each year, my mom asks my ...

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He punched a Bangladeshi man and got arrested – would Pakistan have done the same for its minorties?

Whether you are a football fan particularly following West Ham United or prefer Asian shopping or dining at Green Street, then you are expected to have travelled to and from Upton Park Underground Station. Upton Park being, a district in the London borough of Newham, is an area that you would normally attribute to a large non-White population with welcoming environs for its migrant population. The borough, amongst other ethnic inhabitants, hosts a vast number of Muslim diaspora; in fact making it the second largest for the population of Muslims in the United Kingdom. Last week, in the heart ...

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Of course she is oppressed, she wears a hijab!

The hijab has always seemed to invoke extensive debate in Muslim and non-Muslim societies. There have been numerous cases of harassment of hijab-clad women in the western societies, with the French going to the extreme of banning it. The west believes that hijab is a symbol of oppression towards women. When you see a woman wearing a hijab walk into the coffee shop, and order a mocha latte, do you wonder if she’s oppressed? Do you wonder if her male relatives watch her every step? Do you wonder if hijab limits her in any way? Do you feel sympathy for her? How many of the above-mentioned ...

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Why should non-Muslims bear the brunt of your compulsion to fast in Ramazan?

How many times have you gone for a dinner to a restaurant and then told the management to get rid of the beggars outside looking in through the window? If not that, then how many times have you gone to buy a kebab roll with a hungry child staring at you? How many times did you react in an irritating manner saying, “It’s hard to even buy a roll now without them bothering me!” Let’s dial it down even more, how many times have you eaten something knowing very well that there are people right outside the restaurant who can’t even ...

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How deep-rooted is religious intolerance in Pakistan?

Statistics have labelled Pakistan one of the world’s premier terrorism affected nations. However the one silver lining in the cloud of an extremist attack is a unified chant of ‘yeh hum naheen’ (this is not who we are). But when a beloved young athlete displays religious bias, can we really comfort ourselves with the same philosophy? Footage showing Pakistani opener, Ahmed Shehzad, making religious comments to Sri Lanka’s player, Tillakaratne Dilshan, has caused a media frenzy and propelled an official Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) probe into the matter. In the video Shehzad is heard saying, “If you are a non-Muslim and you turn Muslim, no ...

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Can Pakistan ban alcohol for non-Muslims? Not ethically!

As the nation slides down the slippery slope of prohibition, progressives entrench their nails into its icy surface, resisting the imposition of Islamic dicta on the state’s non-Muslim subjects. The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights stated its opposition to the proposal to impose a complete nationwide ban on alcoholic beverages, revoking the exemption provided to non-Muslims in Pakistan. It is a restriction Pakistan’s ultra-right political parties have long pushed for. JUI-F MNA, Maulana Shirani, has been particularly vocal in this regard. The proposition implies a constitutional amendment, which has faced a welcome amount of resistance from the ...

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In Malaysia, I visited a mosque – In Pakistan, I can’t

I am a Pakistani, but the first time I visited a mosque comfortably was in Malaysia. I was able to appreciate the house of worship without once feeling like an outsider, something I have never been able to do while living in Pakistan. As a non-Muslim tourist in an Islamic country I felt liberated to reveal my identity to everyone, and I consciously did so just to relive that feeling again and again before I returned home. In Malaysia, however, it is not until one utters ‘Assalamu alaikum’ can you gauge if they are Muslim. Although over 61.3% of the population ...

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Kill them, kill them!

This piece is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Sinister, sinister, He exclaims, You are forever, Held in remains. You shall kill for you need to live, Earn for yourself but to me you give, Deny the contrary, expand the illusive, For we are the ones, we are exclusive. Sinner, sinner, He explains, Blessings for those, Who do not complain. You see my friend, you cannot speak. When elders troll, the minions scroll, To pacify you is our ultimate goal. Kill them, kill them! He will shout. The mind that opposes, Should bleed, no doubt. The end is nigh, we need to act. Those that answer, we will subtract. We are the holy, we are ...

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Can a non-Muslim hero be honoured in Pakistan?

That Pakistan is afflicted with the evils of bigotry and prejudice is no secret. But however much one gets accustomed — sadly, even immune — to this state of affairs, one is still left aghast at the extremely narrow worldview held by certain quarters. The recent backlash that was witnessed against the Dilkash Lahore Committee’s proposal — later thankfully approved by the city’s district coordination officer — to rename Fawara Chowk in Shadman after Bhagat Singh, the pre-Independence Indian freedom fighter, is a case in point. Now, one could have disagreed with this proposal on various grounds. One may argue that however ...

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‘My kidneys are not for kafirs’

A Pakistani runs our local mini-cab service in north London. This means we get fantastic rates when a cab is needed to get around. It also means I get an odd assortment of Muslim drivers from different parts of the Muslim world. Sometimes, conversations with cabbies reveal a lot about their community politics and general worldviews. It was one such conversation with an Algerian cabbie that got me thinking about the uniformity of hate and anti-western sentiment across the Muslim world. It also made me realise that I have justified reason to feel angry with the many Muslims settled in the United Kingdom ...

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