Stories about racism

Euro 2012: So Poland and Ukraine can host but not Pakistan?

The UEFA‘s decision to choose Poland and Ukraine as hosts for the Euro 2012 was dealt with criticism and rightfully so: The two countries are known for their hostile attitudes. Poland, where 96.7% of population is pure Polish, is ranked number 14 in the list of the most racist countries in Europe. Ukraine, which has a whopping 78% of pure Ukrainians, has bagged the 23rd position on the list. However, we were not aware of the situation regarding racism in Ukraine and Poland before the release of the famous BBC documentary “Stadiums of Hate”. ...

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Burma killings: Think before you point fingers

I have always thought of Buddhists as being the wisest, most religious and peace loving of all people. Hence, their recent atrocities in Burma were shocking on many levels. Burmese Buddhists are carrying out a ‘cleansing’ and have (reportedly) killed many Muslims over the past two months.  To answer the ‘why’, let’s examine a bit of history first for that is where most of the answers lie. Burma/Myanmar is situated next to Bangladesh and Muslims started arriving there in the early 20th Century. Memons and Shias also migrated in large numbers – that is also the origin of ‘Khao Suey’ we so enjoy today ...

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Let’s not blame Obama

At a friend’s birthday bash recently, I came across Ammar Ali Jan, an activist and history teacher from Beaconhouse University, who had a very thoughtful outlook towards racism in America. “The real problems in America have always had socioeconomic roots. They always have. These debates on race and racial profiling are only attempts to shroud the harsh ground realities. They are only distractions from real problems,” he said. What Jan suggested cannot be ignored. But the fact that racial profiling is at its peak in America cannot be ignored either. Otherwise, who would’ve thought how America is still coming to ...

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Euro 2012: Let the football festivities begin!

The football festival started in Europe this Friday with the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2012. Poland and Ukraine are hosting the event, while the rest of the world belts up to experience an array of great goals and intriguing games in the next three weeks. There are many aspects of Euro 2012 that are being overlooked due to the various off-field scandals that have attached themselves to the sport. The media seems to be inclined towards reporting the gossip rather than following the team and the sport itself. With some unsavoury match-fixing rumours still in ...

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What’s with the South Asian inferiority complex?

As a Pakistani who has lived most of his life in Canada, I have had many experiences in which I have observed the often bizarre and complex ways of the South Asian (Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh) community. One of the most prominent of these is their ability to deny any connection with their background.  Now, keeping in mind that this does not apply to all the people in the group mentioned earlier, it certainly does cover several of them. Once, when I had just entered my teenage years, I had a Pakistani girl tell me that all the people who lived ...

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Racism and football

The 2011-12 English Premier League (EPL) football season will forever be remembered for all the wrong reasons. While the football on display has hardly lit up the televisions this season, other incidents on and off the pitch have revived the long-standing controversy of racism among players and supporters. The embarrassing developments first occurred in a league match in October 2011 between rivals Manchester United and Liverpool, in which the latter’s Luis Suarez allegedly racially abused the former’s Patrice Evra, a coloured player. Suarez later admitted to calling him a “negro”. He was subsequently banned for eight matches by the Football ...

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Obama’s apology and the ashes of the Holy Quran

Last week, as the horrible news spread that US military officials had incinerated copies of the Holy Quran at Bagram airbase, American military and civilian leaders quickly said they were sorry. NATO commander General John Allen and US President Barack Obama both apologized to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. A top US defense official, Peter Lavoy, even appeared at a Washington DC area mosque to offer his apologies to worshippers during Friday prayers. Yet Washington also went beyond apologies. Allen announced an investigation into the affair, and the military pledged new training for its personnel. “These actions do not represent the views of ...

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What is a victim?

All too often we see guilty people play the victim card. Someone made me do it. I couldn’t help it. It was the other guys own fault. And of course, the evergreen, if I didn’t do it someone else would have. Playing the victim is unfortunately an international favourite. From cheating spouses to murderers and rapists, from crooked businessmen and bankers to corrupt bureaucrats and politicians, almost everyone who has ever wronged another is, in their personal interpretations, a guiltless victim. The reality is that there are generally only two kinds of victims – victims of chance and victims of ...

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Fresh Off the Boat: Why shouldn’t I like curry?

Brown:the colour I was assigned once in Canada. Never in a million years had I imagined that I would be considered a colour just like the black, yellow, white, peach and pink people around me. If we get deep down into it though, just to set the facts straight, I am not brown. I am a darker variation of ochre. No, I did not come here on a boat nor do I ride camels as a means of transportation in Pakistan unless it’s a family outing at Sea View beach, where camel rides are forms of entertainment.  Yet, they insist on ...

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So you hate TV? Do something!

The Pakistani Television media has a problem. It is too often racist, sexist and intolerant of religious beliefs of minorities. How do citizens push back against the tide of propaganda being fed on the airwaves? I don’t think anyone should be advocating for the government to regulate channels. When the government is given power to regulate media it is very easy for regulation to become censorship. What should be done? It is simple. Citizens should push for economic boycotts. It is important to understand how media works and how they generate money. Unlike print media which also earns money through the circulation of ...

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