Stories about racism

“It was funny… (he) squealed like a pig”: Germany’s Muslim-intolerant police force

The recent news circulating about a German police officer who shared a gruesome video on Whatsapp that featured him torturing a Moroccan Muslim man has had me in a spin. The video shows how the victim was forced to eat rotten pork off the floor. The same German officer is also being prosecuted and thereby is being investigated for physically abusing (and strangling) an Afghan refugee. Until last week, I, being a college counsellor for one of the top ranking schools in Lahore, was trying to educate my students on the perks of gaining further education from Germany – a country that is offering foundation ...

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Pakistan one of the least racist countries? Tell that to the Pakhtuns

The recent ‘revelation’ by the Washington Post about Pakistan being among the most racially tolerant countries in the world, was met by jubilation by the nationalists. However, much of the Pakhtun community being systematically oppressed, mocked and expelled from the country, was offline and unavailable for comment. As a liberal who has long decried our nation’s exquisitely racist attitude towards Pakhtuns, Hazaras, Jews and any mound of protoplasm not strictly conforming to our expectation of what a ‘real Pakistani’ looks like, the study was, at first, humbling. Though I was certain that I hadn’t imagined all that racism, perhaps we were still ...

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Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?

Surely any person going to work outside their country is an expatriate? But no, the word exclusively applies to white people. In the lexicon of human migration there are still hierarchical words, created with the purpose of putting white people above everyone else. One of those remnants is the word “expat”. What is an expat? And who is an expat? According to Wikipedia, “An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of the person’s upbringing. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (‘out of’) and patria (‘country, fatherland’).” Defined that way, you ...

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Racism is alive in America

Racism is an inherent cultural vice and the University of Oklahoma (UO) is no exception to it. On the night of March 7, 2015, a group of young men belonging to the Sigma, Alpha, Epsilon (SAE) fraternity, a prominent, for lack of better term, ‘social club’, created ripples all over the World Wide Web and electronic media circles when a video captured members of the ‘brotherhood’ chanting an anti-black song. Upsetting as the event was, it prompted the school’s president, David Boren, to not only ban the fraternity but also declare that, ‘Racism is alive in the University of Oklahoma’. I have acted today to expel two students who were leaders in ...

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I stand in solidarity with Patricia Arquette

I am not a huge fan of the Oscars because nothing interesting happens during it. It’s the same old show, but recycled every year. And the only reason I’d ever watch the Oscars is because of the pretty dresses showcased by celebrities on the red carpet. I love pretty dresses.   However, this past Sunday, the Oscars took a different turn; they actually became interesting. More and more celebrities were seen talking about rights; civil rights, women rights, immigrant rights, etcetera. From John Legend’s powerful speech on the fact that there are far more black men under correctional control today than they were under slavery in 1850 to Alejandro Gonzalez’s speech which,  after ...

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In Saudi Arabia, oil will always be thicker than blood

It was the year 2000 and I was a young man studying in Canada. Having spent a majority of my life in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for a change, I was enjoying the atmosphere of a country where people weren’t treated with disdain simply because of their nationality. Alas, even in Canada, it was difficult to escape Saudi mentality. I was socialising with a group of Middle Eastern students at a food court where we were all getting to know each other. When asked, I told them I was a Pakistani who had grown up in Saudi Arabia. While ...

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What separates Charlie Hebdo from The New York Times?

Let’s say you had a new neighbour. You knock on their door and say, “Hey there, welcome to the neighbourhood. I live next door. Oh, and by the way, you look like a pig. And is that your mother behind you? She looks like a fat old donkey. Dinner at my place tonight?” You certainly have the right to say all that. But should you? And what purpose will it serve? And though I would not punch you if you ever said those things to me, I would do one thing other than simply closing the door behind me – I would use ...

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Why #IAmNotCharlie

There is no “but” about what happened at Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015. Some people published some cartoons, and some other people killed them for it. Words and pictures can be beautiful or vile, pleasing or enraging, inspiring or offensive; but they exist on a different plane from physical violence, whether you want to call that plane spirit or imagination or culture, and to meet them with violence is an offence against the spirit and imagination and culture that distinguish humans. Nothing mitigates this monstrosity. There will be time to analyse why the killers did it, time to parse their backgrounds, their ideologies, their beliefs, time for sociologists ...

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#BlackLivesMatter, but not in the US?

It’s been a terrible, stressful and shameful time. We’ve hung our heads in despair, taken to the streets to protest and made our voices heard in the media to bring home the point that the scourge of racism in the US is back with a bang. Having lived here for almost a quarter of a century now, I’ve personally never felt so disappointed and disgusted with the way things have turned out with respect to race relations. The past few years have increased the frequency and intensity of tensions created due to obnoxious handling of incidents that could have been easily avoided had better ...

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Ferguson, a window into our own cases of police brutality

I have been arrested. I have been handcuffed. I have been put in jail. I have had a police officer put a gun against my temple in the middle of the road in Defence. I have had a police officer threaten to indict me with charges of rape and murder if I do not give him money. There is no record of any of this because I never committed any crime. My “crimes” ranged from driving on the road at 2am to being in a car with a girl without possessing a ‘Nikkahnama’. I would not call them bribes, it was extortion. ...

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