Stories about western media

Trevor Noah’s comparison of Imran Khan and Donald Trump was mind-blowingly shallow

Trevor Noah is a funny man. In 2015, he replaced Jon Stewart as the host of The Daily Show – a highly reputable satirical show on politics. Previously, Noah had been very successful as a stand-up comedian, and had reportedly been Stewart’s first choice as the leading host of the show. But when it comes to Pakistan, the two men could not be further apart. Stewart’s Daily Show was known for its wide array of well-researched pieces, and even his comedic bits gave the impression that he knew what he was talking about. He was never all jokes and no ...

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From Borat to Morad: Who is America? takes a jab at the American divide, but is it funny?

Sacha Baron Cohen is back with a new show. It is intriguingly titled Who is America?, and has Mr Cohen going back to his roots as a faux current affairs journalist engaging with politicians, liberal and conservative alike. Unfortunately, for all his comic brilliance, the show leaves the question of Who is America? unanswered. Cohen broke into the scene with characters such as the gay Austrian fashion critic Bruno, and the obnoxious Kazakh journalist Borat. No one was safe from Cohen’s biting social commentary through his satirical news pieces, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or sex. With Who is America?, Cohen capitalises ...

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Hina Rabbani Khar on Al Jazeera and the battle of media ethics

It would be a rather unfair statement if I assumed that virtually all Pakistani politicians lack the charisma to wholeheartedly defend their nation but without question, Hina Rabbani Khar’s recent interview in Aljazeera’s ‘Head to Head’ with Mehdi Hasan was one such exception. The former foreign minister of Pakistan, Khar, passionately defended Pakistan’s People’s Party (PPP) and Asif Ali Zardari’s controversial regime that recently took the social media by storm. Hasan, the host of ‘Head to Head’ posed some controversial yet intriguing questions at Khar, however, in the end, it all boiled down to a good, hot-headed debate. The former ...

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We know more about Tashfeen Malik today than we’ve ever known about any of the other 354 shooters

Have you heard of a guy named Kenneth Morgan Stancil III? The man who confessed to the mass shooting that took place in April 2015, at the Wayne Learning Centre in Goldsboro, North Carolina, USA? Do you know which school he went to or where he developed such a ‘lone-wolf attitude’? ‘Lone-wolf and not extremist, obviously; he was white. Do we know who radicalised him or why he became so intolerant towards his very own society? Do we know why he deemed killing people the only way to prove his point? No, we don’t. Because back in April, when this incident took place, none of these ...

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Bombs without borders: American bullets in non-American bodies are always collateral damage

“Russia bombs ISIS/FSA targets” and “USA Bombs an MSF Hospital in Kunduz” read two headlines from the biggest international news stories these days. The contrast between the two stories is chilling. Brace yourself for the discomfiting truth that is about to envelop you. If you thought you understood the complexities of international affairs, prepare to have your world jolted. Russia, which has always taken a backseat in the whole “war on terror” ride, has now wrenched the steering wheel out of America’s slippery hands and has jammed its sturdy foot on the accelerator. The ‘war on terror’ officially has a new driver ...

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Why did we have to rely on Brandon Stanton or Kim Driver to portray us positively?

Brandon Stanton has done a great service to Pakistan, but what have you done for your country? Of late, my Facebook newsfeed projected a new Pakistani face every morning, credit Humans of New York (HONY), and a wonderfully fascinating story to go with it. There were moments I sat crying, moments of awe, moments of elation, moments of gratitude to Stanton for projecting to the world an image of Pakistan that is so awesome in its depth, humility, reality, humanity and simplicity. His wrap-up titled ‘A final word on Pakistan’, and the parting shot of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ (seven beautiful little boys) inspired a comment on ...

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Thank you, Peter Oborne, for standing up for Muslims worldwide

I first spoke to renowned author and journalist Peter Oborne when I was working on a documentary about the misconceptions of Islam in the West during the summer of 2008. I had researched his profile and felt that he was the perfect candidate to speak to about the dehumanisation of Muslims in western media. It was a privilege speaking to him – he was very thorough and well versed in the subject. After the completion of my work, we stayed in touch and soon after he decided to visit Lahore. I never thought that our interview would result in such a ...

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Preserving immigrant Islam

As a first-generation Muslim immigrant, I struggle to understand my faith. What must my vision be when imparting true Islamic values to second-generation American Muslim children? What are my values of Islam; peace-loving, tolerant, secular, truthful and community based, yes those are my values. To seek an understanding of second-generation Muslims and their immigrant parents, both struggling to draw a balance between faith and society, I sat down with Muslim American children, scholars and parents, and tried to get a sense of what Islam means to them. Here is what I understood. A professor of Comparative Religions at an East Coast University, Farahnaz ...

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The greater evil, Western hypocrisy or the ISIS?

“Third teenager has been caught trying to flee Australia to join Islamic State” – Daily Mail, UK Are they crazy? Insane? Traumatised? Or hypnotised? Who can think of leaving behind the luxurious life of western countries, including Scandinavia, and end up in a region where even getting a continuous supply of electricity is a rarity, where the western concept of freedom completely seizes to exist, and you simply do not know whether the next bomb hitting the ground will turn your surroundings into a pile of rubble. How on earth can somebody think of leaving Australia for countries such as Syria and Iraq, which are ISIS ...

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Osama bin Laden for the West: From ‘warrior’ to ‘militant’

Have you ever wondered if the international media works for an agenda? I’m sure you have. We all do. We have come across many instances where biases in western media houses have been pronounced loud and clear, so such inferences are only natural. Media’s shifting portrayal of Osama bin Laden over the years is just one testimony of that. Being a media studies major, I have studied about the agenda-setting theory, which discusses how the media sets up particular agendas and then feeds news pertaining to that angle to its viewers. It’s all about understanding the underlying story behind a ...

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