Our Mothers

when I turn on the tv, I want to see muslims who look like:

our mothers
draped in saris / shalwar kameez
speaking in punjabi / urdu / bengali / pashto / gujrati / hindi
with a briskness that is sweet and firm all at once.

our mothers
wearing the latest bold&bright fabric wrapped around their hips
speaking in hausa / swahili / arabic
blending melodies of cultures and heritages
that were supposed to be wiped away.

 

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No, Not Quite

Dialogue with a friend:

…they want to obsessively talk about Islam or Muslims.

Let them.

What I don’t understand is why you are not talking about their illegal wars, war crimes and criminality?

All this hot air, these bullshit ‘Islam is good’ or ‘Muslims loves peace’ statements to curry favour from power only reduce you further in their eyes. Who gives a damn if Islam is good or bad, wrong or right? How have you so easily allowed them to own the entire discourse?

Do you not realise that mendicants are only spit on.

Speak back. Speak loud. These are criminal wars, imperial wrongs, colonial brutalities and racist murders. From Israel to Syria, From Iraq to Yemen, we are witnessing mass brutality, suffering, destruction and madness.

Drones. Torture. Renditions. Bombings. Militia. Invasions. Occupations. Colonial crimes.

Men and women are dying. Others have fled their homes and are dying on borders. But these bastards drop more bombs, murder more people, and you are talking about whether Islam is good?

Get a grip. Details »

On Marginalisation

During a discussion with a friend and a colleague who has repeated expressed concern about my refusal to exhibit, or promote, or otherwise perform critical acts necessary for a ‘successful’ career as a documentary photographer. I did not have good answers for him, but later that night I happened to pick up a copy of Edward Said’s Representations of the Intellectual – a book I have read and re-read dozens of times, and came across notes I had scribbled on the back pages back in 2003 when I carried that book into South Waziristan while working on a story there. These notes helped clarify things, and in a later discussion, I was able to offer something like this:  Details »

Selling False Pearls

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People buy into this false correlation. its the same people who actually make the politics that creates the terrorist, who are most determined to believe this. Pakistan was still the same largely uneducated nation on September 10, 2001. Yet, no meaningful terrorism acts can be traced prior to that date. even despite the Afghan war that raged from 1979, Pakistan’s frontiers were regions of easy travel and ordinariness. the eleven men who carried out the 9/11 attacks were still college educated engineers and such. Robert McNamara, Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney, Tony Blair are all pretty educated people, though many millions would call them terrorists too. Israelis are a highly literate society, but this hasn’t curtailed their violence or terrorism. I could go on.

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