Archive for the ‘religious prejudice’ Category

My Name is Khan!

Once again, Bollywood film star, Shah Rukh Khan (AKA SRK) has been detained at US immigration on the way to make a speech at Yale University. The first time Khan was detained was in 2009.

Khan alleges that this was due to US prejudice toward muslims, and I couldn’t agree with him more. The US has this strange bent that anyone who is muslim is a terrorist, which was made clear to me when I played with a computer that had the names on the US terrorist watch list: Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, and a few other Irish Republicans didn’t set off the system, but the name Muhammad did.

The US, of course, will deny this sort of thing, but if you watch who watch how the US Homeland Security tends to bead in on Muslims to the detriment of other threats, it becomes pretty obvious.

There have been several incidents in the past of prominent Indian officials being stopped or frisked at US airports.

In December 2010, the US expressed regret after India’s then-ambassador Meera Shankar was pulled out of an airport security line and frisked by a security agent.

Some reports said she was singled out as she was wearing a sari.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was concerned about the incident and vowed to prevent a recurrence.

And in 2009, America’s Continental Airlines apologised to former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam for frisking him before he boarded a flight to the US.

Members of India’s parliament were outraged after it emerged that Mr Kalam had been frisked and made to remove his shoes at Delhi airport in April.

Protocol exempts former presidents and other dignitaries from such searches.

Khan joked about the incident saying “Whenever I start feeling arrogant about myself, I always take a trip to America. The immigration guys kick the star out of stardom”.

“They [immigration officials] always ask me how tall I am and I always lie and say 5ft 10 inches. Next time I am going to get more adventurous. [If they ask me] what colour are you, I am going to say white,” he said.

Amusingly enough, SRK did a film called “My Name is Khan” was about an American Muslim with Asperger’s syndrome. I think it would be more appropriate if he did something like The Mad Adventures of ‘Rabbi’ Jacob where a rabid anti-Muslim Jew is confused with a Muslim because his name was Kahn.

After all, Muslims can also be semitic people.

Nimrata, you are such a shame!

Nimrata, why are you ashamed of being Indian?

I look at this picture and you look like a Farangi (If I were using Cantonese, the word that comes to mind is “gweilo”).  Did they lighten your skin up? Did they Photoshop you to change your looks?

Sikhism is a noble religion.  Why did you give up the kirpan for guns?  The symbolism of the kirpan is much more productive than the ridiculous chant of “gun rights” that people mindlessly chant as a mantra in your neck of the woods.

Isn’t ahimsa a better principle to live by?

Not to mention, I have a thing for Indian Food and music.  Bollywood movies are over the top, but what the heck, they are fun. I seriously think you should choreograph your next speech as a Bollywood dance routine!

So, does your American Story mean that you have to renounce Indian Culture to fit in?  Does it mean that you have to hide how you look and assimilate into the culture?  Why can’t you be proud of your Sikh heritage?  Or do you associate that with corner shops rather than being a governor?

Remember Margaret Thatcher was a grocer’s daughter when you think such thoughts! Not to mention that your father was a doctor.

I don’t know, Nimrata, but this picture scares me quite a bit about the US.  Does one have to assimilate and lose their heritage to belong to that society?  Is historic amnesia part of the American nightmare?  Does one need to become a White, Christian to be a proper American?

Somehow, all that seems wrong.  The US is headed in the wrong direction–not that I really need to care about that myself.  The society I live in is working at living with its diversity and moving forward.

What I see in the US and from its media, shows that it is a society that is moving backward to a world that I don’t want to live in. I am glad to have left it.

You should say the Punjabi equivalent of “Jai Ho”, not “Can’t is not an Option”


I will add as a postscript that my copy of Flora Steel and Grace Gardiner’s The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook, which was a guide for British ladies living in Colonial India first published in 1888 on how to live in that society, just arrived today.  That seems rather fitting to add that bit of the Empire to end this post.  Maybe Nimrata is trying to be a Memsab!

Counterproductive politics

There is an interesting interview on today’s Newshour about the rise of the religious right in the US. One of the interviewees points out that the number of evangelical Christians in the US is declining due to its involvement in religion.

I’ve found that gunloon comments tend to reinforce my belief that the US needs gun control due to the fact that these people are not responsible and have no idea of what right the Second Amendment was intended on protecting. Add in that the institution of militia is pretty much an anachronism. In fact, the militia was irrelevant at the time of the Revolution (see Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations).

Anyway, we have already seen that the Heller-McDonald decisions have nor resulted in much in roads being made in the field of gun rights. And as the word of Revolution go “if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t going to make with anyone anyhow”.

Perhaps saying that a variant of “Political Power comes from the barrel of a gun” will backfire on them as badly as failing to heed that religion and politics should not be intertwined.

Lancaster Witches? Which Lancaster?

This book came to my attention a while back, but it is my latest read.  The title is a bit deceiving since the Lancaster County in question is now known as Lancashire most of the time. Although, some people do call it the County of Lancaster: those people are few and far between.  As I said, these days it’s called Lancashire most of the time.

Of course, this is about Witch hunts from the 1600’s.  That’s more of a puritan thing.  That means that in the US the witch hunts were more of a New England thing since they pretty much kept to themselves in the New World.  On the other hand. Puritans (the puritan mentality) were all over the place in 16th and 17th Century Britain–sticking around way too long in Scotland.

The Quakers in Pennsylvania probably wouldn’t have gone around on witch hunts, preferring to see the godlike quality in the witches.  That would make the title even more interesting if it were about Pennsylvania Witches.  Although the cover would then be a bit incongruous!  Love our witch friends, not hang them!

The basic gist of this post is that there is quite a difference here between the two places.  What the hell has happened in Pennsylvania that gun freaks are running around instead of Quakers and other fringy religious types.

On the other hand, in Lancashire we have the Uni offering this course of Study these days!

My how times change!

Fundamentalist Christians and The Founding Fathers

I came across these courtesy of American Creation and the post How Religious Were the Founding Fathers?:


Unfortunately, both videos neglect the likes of John Witherspon and Patrick Henry who were religious types. But even the strongly religious believed that Government had no place in religion.

Message to Anwar al-Awlaki.

As salaam alaikum, mate, Keef Halik?

OK, I’m not a muslim, but we’ve got a few things in common.

First off, we were both born in the USA.  I bet you probably get sick when you hear Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” as well.  On the other hand, that fact makes us both US citizens. And even though we both find that fact as appealing as (fill in the blank), it unfortunately is something which is a truth.

The next thing we have in common is that we have no love for the USA as it happens to function right now.  How we would handle this is a matter of opinion.  I have to admit I find that your sermon about killing Americans hits me as being pretty stupid.  Does that mean that the people listening to it should start with you?

I’d guess that we can come to an understanding as to why you said what you said, but you have to remember that beyond the stereotype, there isn’t such a thing as a typical American: after all you are a muslim and I am a Brit.  But we would agree that the stereotypical yank is a real dickhead.  But the problem is that by saying what you did about killing yanks, you play into the hands of the jerkoffs who say that Muslims (and any other non-Christian) American can’t be a proper citizen.  The Botox Bandit whose brain has turned to oatmeal from too many botox injections can say that Muslims weren’t also victims of 9-11.

Not every US citizen is unaware of what the US has done to the rest of the world.  The fact that what was supposed to be a peaceful nation has become a tyrranical one and wants to shove its culture down the throats of the rest of the world. Some of the US citizenry know that Israel is not the friend of anybody as well as the meaning of Al-Nakba and the USS Liberty.  Don’t listen to the rants of the Christian right who want to support that sick regime.

Where we differ is in how to address the wrongs.  You want to destroy.  I want to build.  We need to get rid of the negativity.

You can’t work outside the system or you play into the hands of the people who show shock and awe to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan in the hopes of lord knows what.  In fact, the best place for you to be is here and showing what good citizens the muslims are.  Tell the world of the zionist hypocracy as they say never again, yet have been perpetrating al-Nakba for over 60 years.  Tell the idiots that say only Christians can be good American citizens that the US was founded as a religiously neutral country.  Franklin wrote that “even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

You should be given a pulpit, but you need to stop saying kill Americans: especially since you are one.

The way to stop Americans from being “parties of the devil” is to show them a different way. As the slogan goes: “be the change you want to see”.

Believe in change.

By saying what you say, you show to me that you doubt God’s/Allah’s power to change people.  Even worse, you show that you lack faith in the truth of his message.  You show a hatred for yourself as an American, which you are like it or not.

Is that what you truly want to tell the world?  Or do you want to send a different message: one that affirms God/Allah.

Take it how you will, bro.

Ma salaama.

[Quran 5:4] They consult you concerning what is lawful for them; say, “Lawful for you are all good things, including what trained dogs and falcons catch for you.” You train them according to GOD’s teachings. You may eat what they catch for you, and mention GOD’s name thereupon. You shall observe GOD. GOD is most efficient in reckoning.

The Fear Monster Doesn’t like me because…

Lots of good reasons, but I like this young woman’s

I just wish her mouth was in sync with what she’s saying.  She looks like a bad 1960s Japanese cartoon.

And she”s cut off at the end of her speech.