FUCK YEAH SOUTH ASIA!

FUCK YEAH SOUTH ASIA is devoted to anything and everything about India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Kashmir and the Maldives. This includes (but is not limited to) natural beauty, music, film, history, literature, news and politics, food, discussion of the diaspora, language lessons and much more. We feel that the view of South Asia that is often presented is very flat and one-dimensional and we hope to do our small bit to change that.

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Posts tagged "Muslim"

Gay  Maldivian refugee wins drag pageant in New Zealand, faces persecution upon return.

Abraham Naim, known on stage as Medulla Oblongata, won the Miss Capital Drag pageant on Sunday.

A refugee crowned Wellington’s top drag queen expects hate mail after wearing a gold burqa as he stripped on stage, discarding a head-to-toe Muslim woman’s robe.

Abraham Naim, who goes by the drag stage name Medulla Oblongata, won the Miss Capital Drag pageant in Wellington on Sunday night.

Last year he was granted asylum in New Zealand because of the persecution he faced being gay in the Maldives where the official religion is Islam.

"I’m definitely in a better place now," he said.

In its decision to grant Naim refugee status last November, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment noted that Naim - who is openly gay and atheist - was “at risk of serious harm from state agents” and there was a “real chance” of persecution if he returned to the Maldives.

Naim said his own father had claimed he would rather have a drug-user son than a gay son. The two no longer speak.

A gay friend in the Maldives - a staunchly Muslim island state southwest of India - had his throat slashed and was almost killed for being gay, Naim said.

He had previously received death threats for being a gay former Muslim and said the abuse took an emotional toll. “Publicly you have to keep a strong face.”

Watch his video interview here

Vigilante mobs abduct young men in push to identify online secular activists

Perceived atheists and Gays targetted as campaign of attacks continues

Maldivian asylum seekers assured of prosecution upon return

 This is his tumblr : fandiyaarukakuni.tumblr.com

Please sign this petition from the Asian Human Rights Commission

I’ve been seeing a little bit here and there on tumblr about the Pakistani-American cardiologist that was murdered earlier this week during a trip to Pakistan to provide free medical services to needy people. I haven’t seen anyone link a petition yet, so I thought I’d help out.

He was killed solely because he was an Ahmadi Muslim, a persecuted religious minority forced to “live under something really resembling an apartheid-like system subject to severe legal restrictions,” according to the chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. If you want to read more about the case, you can do so here: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-079-2014

And please take a moment to sign this petition that will be sent to Pakistani government officials:

http://www.urgentappeals.net/support.php?ua=AHRC-UAC-079-2014

When Pakistan was founded in 1947, its secular founding fathers wanted to create a homeland for South Asia’s Muslims, not an Islamic state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, recognized as Pakistan’s Quaid-e-Azam (Great Leader), clearly declared that non-Muslims would be equal citizens in the new country. But Pakistan’s trajectory after independence has been very different.

At the time of partition in 1947, almost 23 percent of Pakistan’s population was comprised of non-Muslim citizens. Today, the proportion of non-Muslims has declined to approximately 3 percent. The distinctions among Muslim denominations have also become far more accentuated over the years. Muslim groups such as the Shias who account for approximately 20-25 percent of Pakistan’s Muslim population, Ahmadis who have been declared non-Muslim by the writ of the state, and non-Muslim minorities such as Christians, Hindus and Sikhs have been the targets of suicide bomb attacks on their neighborhoods, had community members converted to Islam against their will, and had their houses of worship attacked and bombed even while they were inhabited by worshipers.

Even the graveyards of Christians and Ahmadis have not been spared. Regular reports of graves being excavated and vandalized appear in the press and via community reports. In Sindh and Balochistan provinces, well-to-do Hindus have been the primary targets of the ransom kidnappings. The numbers of minority Muslims and non-Muslims subjected to these purposeful attacks have increased significantly and the crimes committed have become more heinous. Those accused of “blasphemy” have sometimes been burnt alive outside police stations with no culprits identified or punished.

mehreenkasana:


The Middle Man in Chapati Mystery by Manan Ahmed
The construction of nationalist identity in Pakistan, since 1971, has relied exclusively on a communal reading of South Asian histories – positing Hindu and Muslims as inchoate categories. Such reductive narratives may suit the purpose of nationalist discourses but they do not represent history. I have decided to tell the story of Seth Naomul Hotchand as a story of a broker between regimes of power, as a local negotiator of globally written politics. In my telling, Hotchand is a symbol—not of treason or collaboration but—of the fugue state that cripples the modern nation-state, which forgets pasts just as easily as it invents new ones to fill the gaps.
The “Orient” is a fiction, and a romance. The fiction espoused by the British officer in the opening quote frames our colonial and postcolonial stories – a Hindu son’s revenge for a Muslim injustice wrought upon his father. This romantic story swivels on its axis in postcolonial Pakistan – all Hindus are traitors, and can be represented by the money-lending, vengeful Seth Naomal Hotchand, who brought down a princely state. In what follows, I lay out a fuller picture of Hotchand’s life and argue that the real tragedy lies with the collective memory to which his history has been ascribed.
[x]
Painting by Daisy Rockwell.

Wish this was a chapter in our national curriculum on both sides of the border.

mehreenkasana:

The Middle Man in Chapati Mystery by Manan Ahmed

The construction of nationalist identity in Pakistan, since 1971, has relied exclusively on a communal reading of South Asian histories – positing Hindu and Muslims as inchoate categories. Such reductive narratives may suit the purpose of nationalist discourses but they do not represent history. I have decided to tell the story of Seth Naomul Hotchand as a story of a broker between regimes of power, as a local negotiator of globally written politics. In my telling, Hotchand is a symbol—not of treason or collaboration but—of the fugue state that cripples the modern nation-state, which forgets pasts just as easily as it invents new ones to fill the gaps.

The “Orient” is a fiction, and a romance. The fiction espoused by the British officer in the opening quote frames our colonial and postcolonial stories – a Hindu son’s revenge for a Muslim injustice wrought upon his father. This romantic story swivels on its axis in postcolonial Pakistan – all Hindus are traitors, and can be represented by the money-lending, vengeful Seth Naomal Hotchand, who brought down a princely state. In what follows, I lay out a fuller picture of Hotchand’s life and argue that the real tragedy lies with the collective memory to which his history has been ascribed.

[x]

Painting by Daisy Rockwell.

Wish this was a chapter in our national curriculum on both sides of the border.

The Shah Banu Ripple Effect

lonsharim:

I have thought about Shah Banu a number of times over the last 2 decades. She was 62 years old when she got divorced. Her divorce changed the course of Indian politics. To say that she is responsible is stretching it too far but a number of factors starting with her divorce and ending with the Babri Masjid fiasco changed politics in India for ever. It was more like a tiny pebble that snowballed into an avalanche. I will explain this as best as I can.

  1. In India, we don’t have a uniform civil code. Instead the civil code that applies to us is based on what our religion says. Therefore a Hindu falls under the purview of the Hindu Personal Law, the Muslim under the Muslim Personal Law and the Christian under the Christian Personal Law respectively.
  2. In 1978, when Shah Banu got divorced she gained little or nothing financially out of her broken marriage. Why? Under Muslim Personal Law, there is no concept of alimony. I can get into a little detail about meher which was defined 1500 years ago as financial protection for women, and how it was not enough in her context, but that’s too much detail to delve into. Sufficient to say that the lack of alimony meant that late into her life with 5 children she had little or no financial support to meet her monthly expense. As per the law her ex-husband had already provided what was required of him.
  3. So Shah Banu knocked the doors of justice and it took 7 years for the case to heard by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court clearly understood her plight and ruled in her favor in 1985.
  4. Muslim social and political leadership in India created a stink and talked about how their civil code was being compromised.
  5. Bear in mind that in 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had been assassinated and her non political son, the very suave but politically inexperienced Rajiv Gandhi* had inherited the throne, so to speak.
  6. In the general election that followed immediately in 1984**, under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi, the Congress(i) won a 2/3rd majority. Dangerously known also as the constitution amendable majority.
  7. The Muslims particularly the All India Wakf Board went to Rajiv Gandhi with the Supreme Court judgement of Shah Banu. Instead of placating them, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi indulged them and thus was born the The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986. Only a piece of legislation could have nullified the Supreme Court ruling and Rajiv Gandhi did just that. Under this act, a divorced Muslim lady would get maintenance from the relatives entitled to her property failing which her upkeep would be provided for by the Wakg Board. The liability of the husband and thus the sacrosanctness of the Personal Law would remain intact.
  8. This did not go down well with the opposition and the media. The Congress was getting a lot of heat (deservedly) about minority appeasement and suddenly their think tank was forced to deliberate on how to counter balance. That’s when they make their second fatal mistake.
  9. They wanted to show that they were not just partial to the Muslims, so they indulged the Hindus on their demands. They unlocked the gates of Babri Masjid under pressure from the VHP sometime in 1985 months preceding to the enactment of the Bill. This created considerable communal tension among the communities leading up to the 1989 elections. Rajiv Gandhi even started his 1989 election campaign from Ram Janam Bhoomi to show he was one among them. The public was not fooled and VP Singh presided over the first of many unstable coalition governments in India.
  10. This was enough of an opportunity for the unheard of BJP to mastermind the resurgence of Hindu Nationalism. Adavni went on the first of his famous Yatras catapulting BJP from the fringes into the center of Indian Politics. From a 2 MP Party they were now part of the VP Singh government, whom they chose to dump at their most politically opportune moment. 
  11. In 1992, despite all assurances given the Kalyan Singh government, the administration and police looked the other way and did nothing to interfere while religious fanatics egged on by politicians on a dais hammered and broke down a historical monument and place of worship***. This sparked wide spread rioting across the country when over 2000 Muslims and Hindus Indians died. 
  12. Later in a cowardly act described as a revenge, the Dawood gang bombed parts of Mumbai and fled the country.

Ever since, the last 20 years of our life, we have lived in a highly polarized society. Right winged politics was born. The term Hindutva started to mean different things to different people. Hindu Nationalism was revived. Militant nationalism was born. SIMI camoflouged into an extreme organisation. Gujarat 2002 happened. Our lives changed forver. The social impact on our country is incalculable. 

*It’s remarkable that while Rajiv Gandhi was so inexperienced and politically naive, the same cannot be said about his Italian wife, Sonia Gandhi who so amazingly gave up the right to be Prime Minister and turned a controversy into a masterstroke, one that makes her immortal. In India, nothing wins the heart more than sacrifice.

** BJP won 2 seats in this elections. They were an unknown entity.

*** A Lucknow bench of the UP High Court ruled recently that the disputed property should be divided in 3 equal parts and given to all 3 claimants. Neither party was happy about it and the case will now be bumped forward to the next court.

Islamic leaders in Pakistan on Monday came out in support of a Christian girl with learning difficulties who is being held in prison, in an unprecedented public denunciation of the blasphemy law by hard-line mullahs.

The All Pakistan Ulema Council, an umbrella group of Muslim clerics and scholars, which includes representatives from fundamentalist groups, joined hands with the Pakistan Interfaith League, which includes Christians, Sikhs and other religions, to call for justice for the girl, Rimsha, who is accused of blasphemy. They also demanded that those making false allegations be punished. [x]

This is simply excellent. Interfaith solidarity Pakistani style.

(via mehreenkasana)

YES.

(via mehreenkasana)

haleyfood:

An Indian Muslim boy leans to rub noses with a girl as they are both dressed up for Eid al-Fitr (the end of Ramadan) prayers at the Jama Masjid in New Delhi, India, Aug. 20, 2012.
Photography by: Kevin Frayer

haleyfood:

An Indian Muslim boy leans to rub noses with a girl as they are both dressed up for Eid al-Fitr (the end of Ramadan) prayers at the Jama Masjid in New Delhi, India, Aug. 20, 2012.

Photography by: Kevin Frayer

In bad weather, Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus make good friends

NEW DELHI: In a country where religious intolerance and communal hatred dominate the news now-a-days, here is something that goes to show that all is not rotten and ugly.

Muslim residents of Joshimath in Uttarakhand offered Eid namaaz (prayers) on Monday in a gurdwara (Sikh temple), after being invited in by its head priest, according to the local media. There is no mosque or idgah in Joshimath, a town perched above the Alakhnanda deep in the Garhwal Himalayas. Usually its 800-odd Muslim residents offer namaaz at the town’s Gandhi Maidan, a public ground.

On Monday, however, Gandhi maidan had turned into slush. It had been raining heavily for several days and Eid, the festival day too dawned in a downpour. The Muslim community was struggling with the problem when the head of the local gurdwara sent a heart warming message to them- The Muslims could use the main hall of the gurdwara for offering namaaz.

So, at 9:30am, the congregation of Muslims in bright new clothes trooped down to the gurdwara and offered the ritual prayers in the big hall. After the ceremony, they embraced the Sikh community members waiting outside the hall. Some Hindus from the town were present too and offered greetings to the other two communities.

Sardar Buta Singh, Prabandhak of the gurdwara, later told media persons that he had extended the invitation to the Muslims to help them in their crisis.

Maulvi Asif was quoted by media as saying that by solving their problem, the gurdwara committee had presented an example of humanity and respect towards all religions. He said that the Muslim community was thankful to the committee.

Joshimath is located about 250 kilometers from Rishikesh on National Highway 58. It is close to two important pilgrimage centers - Badrinath of the Hindus and Hemkunt Sahib of the Sikhs. [x]
I find the title a little offensive, however, the news is quite pleasant :-)

Sadly, the media has ignored the universal elements of this story, distracted perhaps by the unfamiliar names and thick accents of the victims’ families. They present a narrative more reassuring to their viewers, one which rarely uses the word terrorism and which makes it clear that you have little to worry about if you’re not Sikh or Muslim.

Naunihal Singh argues the media treated the shootings in Oak Creek and Aurora very differently — in The New Yorker (via azmatzahra)

“One which rarely uses the word terrorism and which makes it clear that you have little to worry about if you’re not Sikh or Muslim.”

“One which rarely uses the word terrorism and which makes it clear that you have little to worry about if you’re not Sikh or Muslim.”

“One which rarely uses the word terrorism and which makes it clear that you have little to worry about if you’re not Sikh or Muslim.”

There’s the truth.

(via mehreenkasana)

(via mehreenkasana)

Such declarations by the news media and others has an insidious subtext: that there’s something wrong with being a Muslim in America.

‘Sikhs are not Muslims’ sends a sinister message.

[I]n the post-9/11 context of a deadly act committed by an apparent white supremacist against a congregation that is largely ethnically South Asian — a congregation that includes bearded men in turbans — broadcasting the mantra that “Sikhs are not Muslims” takes on a far more insidious subtext: Don’t blame these people, it implies, for the unspeakable crimes of 9/11. It’s Muslims you want.

This is how language is used as a weapon against communities. Thank you for writing this, Scott C. Alexander.

(via mehreenkasana)

(via mehreenkasana)

‎While some experts and talking heads are quick and careful to point out what separates the traditions of Sikhs, Muslims and whoever else, I would rather remember the lessons of Udham Singh, a Sikh freedom fighter who at the height of the Indian independence struggle with England voluntarily changed his name to Mohammed Ram Singh to reflect a universal fight for justice. I want to remember the lessons of the Stockton Gurdwara in California during the early 1900’s, which opened its doors to Punjabi Americans and Indian Americans of all religions at a time when they couldn’t own land or become citizens.

Our Uncles and Aunties in this Culture of Violence by Subash Kateel.

Did you read that? A Sikh freedom fighter who altered his name because he knew the hate the British colonizers had wasn’t just for him, but for Muslims, for Hindus, for Sikhs. So he called himself Mohammed Ram Singh.

Mohammed. Ram. Singh.

Muslim. Hindu. Sikh.

This is why I’m proud to be Desi. Our culture has heroes transcending borders, faiths and identities for one single purpose: Solidarity in the face of brutality. Don’t let another tragedy become a chance for hasty dialogue. We were known throughout the world for throwing the Empire out of our lands, for fearlessly facing those who tried enslaving us. For standing up for each other.

Let’s do this again, mere desi pyaron.

(via mehreenkasana)