Stories about racism

Our izzat is attached to a cricket bat

“Twenty-eight in two overs.” “What the heck is wrong with the Bangladeshi bowlers?” “Commentators are asking the same thing. Now, should we order pizza or Chairman Mao?” “India will make 300 as usual and Bangladesh will only manage to get to 50, so let’s watch something else…” “You guys, shut up! Yes, hello, one Manchurian, two chowmeins — IT’S AN OUT!” This is how a typical conversation goes around world cup time. Some can be rather interesting though: “Check out the Bangladeshi captain’s shades!” “Poser, scene on.” “I’m sorry, but Bangladeshis can’t pose. They’re just not cool enough. They’re not even ‘kewl’, ok?” “Dude, you know what’s really ...

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Raymond Davis: Who dare point a finger at an American?

Earlier this week a US ‘diplomat’ shot two Pakistani men in broad daylight. Despite the dramatic nature of events there have been rational elements in our society who are still trying very hard to look at the issue objectively. In the interest of presenting a fair picture the media has produced criminal records of the men who were shot, there have been those who have tried to justify Raymond Davis’ actions by saying that Qartaba Chowk, the area of the shooting was unsafe and there are even some who have maintained that a ‘gora’ in Pakistan is always at risk. While many ...

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Lessons from Britain: Where Pakistan’s ‘right’ goes wrong

Over a year ago, I was part of one the most exhilarating experiences ever – one of those transformational experiences that you keep learning from and growing through, well after they are over. If any of you have visited England recently you must be familiar with the rising surge of the anti-Muslim sentiment and the popularity of right wing parties there. Though the swing to the right is a global phenomenon, the resurgence of blatantly racist parties like the British National Party (BNP) in a country like Britain, with a heavy immigrant population, is particularly disturbing. In the current climate of ...

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We are racist, like our parents were

Growing up I was often told by my parents to stay out of the sun. Like most middle class Pakistanis, they were worried that the complexion of my skin will become dark if I spent too much time outside. My aunts flung concerned glances at me and my cousins during summers, especially when we were returning home after playing cricket, and made taunting comments about our tanned skin. Thus, from a very early age I learned that having dark skin was something to be embarrassed of. My classmates were also familiar with this racial demarcation, so making fun of kids ...

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Pakistani ‘sex gangs’ who don’t prey on British girls

Allegations that Pakistani men acquire sexual perversions as a result of their sexually oppressive cultures, by many commentators, including David Aaronovitch, former Labour MP Ann Cryer, and now Jack Straw—and coverage of these views by more-than-delighted right wing publications like the Telegraph, the Daily Mail and The Sun—is fast becoming an accepted universal truth. The increasingly frenzy follows a half-baked investigation by British newspaper The Times, which ostensibly concludes that Asian British men are specifically targeting white girls between the ages of 12 to 16 for “street grooming” and sexual exploitation. Following this, prominent Labour politician Jack Straw warned that British Pakistani men regard white ...

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Talat Hussain’s slap in the face

“My husband is an addict. He doesn’t work to support the family. He does menial work on days of his choosing, the money from which goes to feeding his addiction. I work to feed and support our children. But he has told me that he does not want me to work long hours at somebody’s house. I can only stay out until the afternoon. It is a matter of ‘honour’,” was how a maid described her husband to another. “Thank God, my husband does not do drugs. He doesn’t work, he screams at me and sometimes beats me up ...

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Ethnic divides, an end to the Quaid’s vision

The antagonism which spawns divisions along ethnic, religious and ideological lines is a scourge which has been rampant in the world since time immemorial. It has been a cause of great unrest and a precursor of grave injustices committed.  The prevalence of this phenomenon is no different in our part of the world. I often see myself holding my head in frustration over the incessant bashing of Hindus, Jews and other cultural groupings. The barrage of spitefulness targets innumerable facets ranging from physical appearance to a given belief system. A rationale for this mudslinging appears to connote a pompous ...

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