Stories about westernisation

Is uncovered hair a more deadly sin than murder itself, Saudi Arabia?

A woman named Malak Al Shehri posted a picture of herself on Twitter in Riyadh recently. The issue was that she wore no hijab or abaya in it – a punishable crime in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The backlash on social media was immediate with some asking her to be executed while others demanded she be imprisoned and lashed. “Kill her and throw her corpse to the dogs” was one of the suggestions. Another demand was, “We want blood!” Translation of those tweets:"We want blood"."Kill her and throw her body to the dogs"."The least punishment for her is beheading her". — Anon ...

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Pakistan: Where Dr Aafia Siddiqui is a hero and Malala, a villain

He bravely stood up against a confusing blasphemy law that was often misused to target minorities, yet after his assassination, we indulged in the irrelevant details of Salmaan Taseer’s private life, while showering his killer, Mumtaz Qadri, with rose petals. Perhaps learning of Salmaan Taseer’s ‘westernised’ lifestyle helped us vilify him as a puppet of the west, and relieved us of any guilt. Yes, we are Pakistan – a nation with confused priorities. We are a nation where Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan is hailed as a hero who singlehandedly brought nuclear capability to the country, yet we barely acknowledge the murky details of ...

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Shafilea’s honour killing: Will we ever learn?

Like so many second or third generation British Pakistani girls, Shafilea Ahmed wanted to socialise with her ‘gora’ (white) friends, wear western clothes and have a boyfriend. The reality was very different and sour; daily beatings, turning up to school with cuts and bruises, a life of violence subjected by her parents Iftikhar and Farzana, which eventually led to her death in 2003. The police shied away from the word ‘honour’ this time and instead insisted that Shafilea was just murdered, simply murdered. Despite the cultural sensitivity from the Cheshire police, it is clear that an honour killing ...

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