I usually write disclaimers at the end of my post but since this is such a sensitive topic I shall start with saying that this is not a hate post aimed at Pakistanis. I have heaps of Pakistani friends, in fact ever since I came to Australia I have more Pakistani friends than Indian. All lovely and gorgeous. Now that I have buttered you up, leggo.
It all started when Saif Ali Khan released the movie Phantom which is based on the terrorist attacks that occurred in Mumbai on 26 November 2008 by a militant group based in Pakistan.Naturally Pakistan decided to ban the movie to which Saif Ali Khan’s response was “I don’t have faith in Pakistan”. This statement created a Third World War within the Pakistani community as legendary actor Shan Shahid took to social media to encourage Pakistanis to show their patriotism by not watching Phantom and setting the #BanPhantom hashtag trending .Faisal Qureshi, another prominent TV anchor, made a short video blasting and ridiculing Saif Ali Khan. Meanwhile Pakistani actress Mawra Hocane showed her support for Phantom by tweeting that Phantom is against terrorism and that she would watch Phantom and then decide whether it is good or bad.To which Shan tweeted “Should we ban the actress who supports anti-Pakistan movie? #banphantom #banmawra”. Mawra received backlash and heaps of hate comments, people unfollowing and threatening her while questioning her morals and patriotic stance.
Now being an Indian Muslim, I have faced this kind of racism. No, I didn’t have people blasting me on Twitter like poor Mawra but within the circle of friends, I had to endure jokes on Indians. In their defence they claimed that Indians = Hindus. It is 21st century and people still don’t understand that religion has no boundary. The common misconception is that all Muslims fled to Pakistan during the Partition. India has majority of Hindus, yes, but there are also Muslims,Christians and Buddhists. People still wonder how I am an Indian if I have a hijab wrapped around my head and not a sari wrapped around my body. And no matter how many people I meet and get introduced to, they all claim that Indian would be the last nationality they would label me with. I get asked if I am a Pakistani. If a Pakistani got asked whether they were Indian, they would choke and faint, such an offense being Indian is. But being a Muslim, our Prophet has said “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over a white- except by piety and good action.” and alhamdulillah for my upbringing, my parents never instilled hatred against Pakistanis, or Jews, or any race and religion. So I find it childish that my friends have been brainwashed to believe Indians are the enemy (Again by Indians they mean hindus). And I won’t say that its just one-sided. The feeling is mutual. Hindus don’t gel well with Pakistanis as well.But I have Hindu friends and I have never heard any racial outburst or comment towards Pakistanis at any events that we meet up. We, Indians, are too busy gossiping about each other’s kids and politicians to be bothered about our neighbours.
And that’s where it gets confusing to be an Indian Muslim. Being an Indian, living among Pakistanis, you keep hearing people stab India and Indians. Being a Muslim, you hear Indian Hindus not getting well with Muslims.Alhumdulillah, I haven’t experienced any such hatred but there are communal violence that take place in India somewhere or the other.
My message to Pakistani people is : Being a Muslim, you have a huge responsibility to represent Islam. It is not right to bash others.It is not right to vilify others nor is it right to humiliate and ridicule others. Bury the hatchet of hatred and learn to sow the fruits of unity.
My message to Indians is : India is the motherland. India gave birth to Pakistan and Bangladesh. Indians have to act as the bigger person here. After all a mother never competes with her child. Bury the hatchet of hatred and learn to sow the fruits of unity.
I am an Indian. I am a Muslim. And I don’t hate Pakistan/Pakistanis.
***Both images via Google Image