Stories about religious

Veena Malik and her never-ending ‘dramas’

Veena Malik has found a new claim to fame. And this time it is at the opposite end of the pendulum. Suddenly modelling, acting, dancing and all showbiz-related content has been deemed un-Islamic. By Veena Malik. Yes, Veena Malik. Don’t believe me? Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against practicing one’s faith but no one can publicly criticise another’s profession in the name of religion. No one can have the audacity to turn on someone or something that made you who you are. Not even Veena Malik. Who is she to decide about the sanctity of the showbiz industry? Yes, people can change; they can become ...

Read Full Post

Mufti Usman Yar Khan’s funeral, broke my heart but changed my life

I have never supported any political or religious party in my life. In fact, I am one of those people who tend to make a complete fool out of themselves when trying to indulge in a heated political or religious debate. But what I have known all my life is that anyone dying a death that was planned by another human being is simply wrong. Unfortunately, being a citizen of Karachi I see it happening daily. As the death toll continues to increase every day, our collective indifference also seems to grow. Every time we see the news, we quietly thank God that ...

Read Full Post

Why should we remember Salmaan Taseer?

January 4 and 5 are two days that every PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party) supporter will remember, but for two very different reasons. January 5 is the birthday of their enigmatic party founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. January 4, on the other hand, remains one of the darkest days in our history of political murders – a day that is, surprisingly, not spoken of enough. January 4, 2011, was the day when the serving Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, was shot dead by his guard, because the guard was in disagreement with Taseer’s opposition to the blasphemy law. Salmaan Taseer’s assassin was a man ...

Read Full Post

Pir Sahab’s orders: Don’t breast-feed your child or eat meat

Recently, a two-month old boy, Faizan, was brought to the hospital where I work, by his grandmother. She complained that he suffered from severe diarrhoea. I immediately asked her to bring Faizan’s mother so that we could establish breast-feed for the baby. We are currently in the process of educating mothers about the importance of breast-feeding at our malnutrition stabilization centre, and are trying to help them establish or re-establish breast feeding. In reply to my request, she answered, “Who tou nahi ayegi kyunke uska perhaiz hai.” (She won’t come because she is on abstinence.) Seeing my perplexed expression, she told me ...

Read Full Post

Calling Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy ‘jahil’ can only happen in Pakistan

A few days ago, a fierce verbal battle took place between the guests on a talk show called “On The Front” hosted by Kamran Shahid. The bone of contention was the book called ‘I am Malala’ authored by the 16-year-old herself. The guest speakers included, Orya Maqbool, Ansar Abbasi, Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy and Zafar Hilaly. With regards to the topic at hand, the conversation began with Orya Maqbool and Ansar Abbasi giving their view on the book. Highly sensationalised words were used by the two, and common ground was reached with Malala being framed as offensive towards Islam. Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy interjected stating that he had ...

Read Full Post

Attacked for wearing a Hijab: What is religious freedom to the West?

On August 16, 2013, a pregnant Swedish Muslim woman was attacked, because she donned the hijab. It was near midnight when this young woman approached her car. She was not only harassed with racial slurs and taunts, but was assaulted in multiple forms including her scarf being ripped off from her head. This violence left her suffering from a concussion. The attack took place in suburban Farsta, which is in the south of Stockholm. Swedish police are treating the incident as a hate crime, though no arrests have been made yet. The attacker, a male, made what the Swedish media ...

Read Full Post

The mosque where ALL Muslims are welcome

The opening of Pakistan’s first sect-free mosque is such a refreshing change from the religious violence that has been plaguing the country for years now. On the foot of Margalla hills in Islamabad, a businessman by the name of Zahid Iqbal has constructed a mosque. This mosque – called the Darul Iman Jamia Masjid Qurtuba – is Spartan in its appearance, but the message it sends is even morepowerful. In a time when inter-faith conflict is constantly escalating and Shia Hazaras in particular are subject to ethnic cleansing, this mosque welcomes visitors with a sign that reads, “This mosque does not discriminate ...

Read Full Post

Deported from Israel for being a Muslim who visited Pakistan

Destination: Israel Purpose: To visit Jerusalem and everything within it which ‘drives men mad.’ I had spent months preparing for my trip to the country with the primary aim of visiting Jerusalem and seeing the great historical landmarks such as the Al Aqsa mosque and Wailing Wall. I had purchased clothes appropriate for the sweltering heat of the Middle East, booked my flight well in advance and converted almost all of my remaining savings to Israeli Shekels in an almost hyperactive state of eagerness. It was in this mood that I reached Ben Gurion airport on the morning of the 24th of ...

Read Full Post

Another polio worker killed: Will we ever kick the disease?

Despite some gains, the fight against polio is facing mammoth challenges in the form of refusals by parents to vaccinate their children and the ban imposed by militant groups on polio vaccination campaigns. Sharafata, a female polio worker was killed in Peshawar yesterday, after she and her team were shot at by two gunmen on a motorcycle. Her team member Sumbal is in a critical condition. The Afghan Taliban recently announced that they would support polio vaccinations, but warned foreigners not to participate in the campaigns. The insurgents said they supported all programmes “which work for the healthcare of the helpless people ...

Read Full Post

Dear Jinnah, I am sorry to disappoint …

Honourable Mr Mohammad Ali Jinnah, I’m convinced you’re well and in a much better place. I’m a citizen of Pakistan and after having enough, I thought I should speak to you – inform you about the Pakistan you fought for on our behalf. Sir, we have your picture on Pakistani currency which we use for bribing. We also have your picture in our government offices, under which our managers (I’m sorry Sir, but I don’t find any leader in this country as of now) sit and rape (literally) the constitution and tell lies. Sir, the Pakistan you thought of, we are nowhere ...

Read Full Post