Stories about racism

Stop deifying or demonising PTM, just lend them a listening ear

The military’s media wing stated in a recent statement that soldiers manning a North Waziristan checkpoint attacked by Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) workers led by MNA Mohsin Dawar “exercised maximum restraint”. Despite being attacked, the soldiers didn’t harm the PTM workers.  This is a good sign and reflects the maturity of the armed forces, but they should always exercise restraint like this. There are many conspiracy theories out there about how and why members of the PTM allegedly attacked the Kharqamar check post, or whether they attacked it at all. In addition, there are voices in the Pakistani media questioning where the PTM ...

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Game of Thrones has not only failed the Night King, but also its badass women

If there is one thing I’ve grown to expect every Monday as I wake up at six in the morning to watch Game of Thrones, it is the feeling of disappointment that inevitably follows the end of every episode. This isn’t even limited to this season; many would agree that the show has been struggling for a while, now that it no longer has George RR Martin’s brilliant source material to fall back on. **Spoilers alert** Fans watched in disappointment as all the Martells and Tyrells were killed off, Jon was made Aegon Targaryen despite already having a half-brother with the ...

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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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“Abey kaale”: It’s not only Sarfraz Ahmed

I grew up in a neighbourhood near Civil Hospital. Being a government hospital, it was always thronged with people – most of them belonging to the poorest segment of the society – who come in bereft of hope to get their loved ones treated for free. Civil Hospital was more frequently visited by residents of Lyari, a squalid area that is home mostly to the middle, lower-middle and poor segments of our society. Now, if anyone has seen the denizens of Lyari, they know that most of them differ from others in their looks in certain ways. Their complexion ...

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Brexit is a shambolic mess: Will its movie adaptation be the same?

Ever since the referendum took place in 2016, the shambolic aftermath of Brexit has been laid bare for the whole world to see. Following an agreed deal with European Union (EU) negotiators, Theresa May has faced a perilous journey trying to persuade her fellow party members that the deal, as it currently stands, is the best one for the UK. May has faced criticism from the opposition, a vote of no-confidence from her party members (which she survived), and countless to-ing and fro-ing from EU negotiators who are remiss about changing their stance on the Northern Ireland border or on ...

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“They hired a Pathan?! I thought it was for smart people”: Pakhtun stereotyping is not ‘just jokes’

I recently moved to the United States for my graduate studies. At the Denver International Airport, a large poster of Malala Yousafzai welcomed me. I wished this would not be the only time I felt at home, but I remained sceptical. Only recently had I read a news article about the increase in race and religion-based violence in America. I decided to reserve my judgement for later. Inadvertently though, this brought back memories of another relocation I experienced three years ago. On June 10, 2015, a week before I graduated from the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute (GIK), I received a ...

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A blue House and a red Senate with an orange President – where does America go from here?

The November 6th midterm elections was perhaps the most contentious and bitterly contested event in modern US history. As BBC aptly put it: “Though his name is not on the ballot anywhere across the US, make no mistake – these elections are ALL about Donald Trump.” The outrageous and mind-boggling campaign run by the Republicans essentially put everything at stake including America’s pride, status as a global power, and standing as the beacon of hope for millions of people around the globe. Trump’s one-man show tried its best to poison his mostly ‘white’ base against people of colour. His unhinged messaging ...

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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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Is Pakistan ready to grant citizenship to its Afghan and Bengali refugees?

Policy and governance are most effective when idealism morphs into realism to tackle challenges and go after opportunities in the real world, while also aspiring for utopia. It is in the middle ground between these poles where effective governance happens. Thus, Imran Khan’s announcement that Pakistan would grant citizenship to refugees of Afghan and Bangladeshi origin should be seen in the same vein as his other policy decisions since his victory, many of which he has backtracked on. Atif Mian’s resignation from the Economic Advisory Committee is a case in point. The decision to oust him was a solid ...

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Serena Williams will always be an icon and a champion, but her outburst had nothing to do with sexism

Will you forget it? I think not. After all, the US Open 2018 is not one to forget anytime soon. The tournament was thrilling from the start, with remarkable displays of tennis, alongside upsets and firsts. However, what will remain etched in our collective memories is the women’s singles final; a certain Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, and the chair umpire. The 20-year-old Osaka – who had never won a grand slam before – was playing with her idol. Williams, on the other hand, is no ordinary idol. The 23-time grand slam champion is an enigma. Not only is she a ...

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