Ayesha Kazmi

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

I Miss White People

In The Personal on 27/03/2011 at 16:05

It occurred to me within the first two years of moving to Britain that my life was lacking something: white people.

To be fair, while I may have lived in a neighbourhood that was often described as a Muslim ghetto, it wasn’t only filled with Muslims. Muslims weren’t even the majority. The Asians were even diverse. There were many Sri Lankans living in my neighborhood with their produce shops and restaurants, Mauritians, Sikhs, and Hindus. Read the rest of this entry »

Becoming a Paki

In The Personal on 27/03/2011 at 12:05

I was excited at the prospect of moving to a city where there would be a lot of people who looked like me. Before moving to London, I didn’t know any different – perhaps, rather, I didn’t know what this would mean.

My 28 year old self knew well that Pakistanis, Indians, and Bangladeshis made up the largest minority population in the United Kingdom. I even knew that they were referred to as “Asians” – whereas in the US, the term “Asian” was used for Read the rest of this entry »

We all Call Each Other Paki

In The Personal on 19/03/2011 at 00:53

It’s true.

It follows the same logic that African Americans follow: it’s ok when it comes from one of ‘us,’ but if it comes from a gora, then it’s racist.

I think the first time I used the word ‘Paki’ was when I was with a few of my friends from my previous job as a magazine editor. I worked with several Pakis – well, one Indian, and three Bangladeshis, an Afro-Caribbean, Read the rest of this entry »

5 Years a Paki

In The Personal on 19/03/2011 at 00:50

I’ve seen Bend It Like Beckham. In fact, if I were to be brutally honest, I’ve seen it so many times I’ve lost count. Just before I got married in 2005, I watched it non-stop.

I lived in Boston, MA just before moving to London in the winter of 2005. Boston is where I was born and raised. I went to Brookline public schools as a kid, then onto a private high school in Chestnut Hill on account of being one of the bad kids – incidentally where I picked up smoking. Read the rest of this entry »

The American Muslim Witch Hunt: an Inglorious Statistic

In The Political on 19/03/2011 at 00:40
Ever since US Congress Representative and Chairman of US Homeland Security, Peter King’s, announcement to hold hearings on the radicalisation of Muslims in America, many critical of these hearings, including American Muslim leaders, such as Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison – who converted to Islam at the age of 19 – Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Not Multiculturalism that has Failed, it is David Cameron

In The Political on 19/03/2011 at 00:35
It has been a month since the now notorious speech Prime Minister David Cameron gave at the Munich Security Conference. Since then, the varied responses have ranged from vociferous applause from right leaning nationalist English Defense League (EDL), and abroad from French nationalist leader, Marine Le Pen, organisations like the Quilliam Foundation, to scathing criticism from journalists, academics, organisations such as the Institute of Race Relations, and multiple Muslim institutions such as Muslims4UK. While the multiplicity of voices have now subsided, a month later, it is critical to review the speech within a wider perspective in order to understand its Read the rest of this entry »

British Muslims are being Singled Out

In The Political on 19/03/2011 at 00:32
Maajid Nawaz of the Quilliam Foundation in his “Defense of David Cameron’s Speech on Multiculturalism” asks his Muslim readership if they’ve bothered to take the time to read the speech David Cameron gave at the Munich Security Conference this past Saturday 5th of February. Now my question is, did Nawaz actually take the time to read through Cameron’s speech thoroughly?
Sure, Nawaz talks about the embarrassing victimhood mentality many British Muslims developed in response to such a speech by Cameron. But did Nawaz bother to take a moment to look at the reaction of the British far right? Cameron’s speech was applauded by the leaders of both the BNP and the EDL. Read the rest of this entry »

If This Man was a Muslim…

In The Political on 19/03/2011 at 00:28
Last week, Justin Carl Moose pled guilty in a Greensboro, North Carolina court to the charges of distributing information pertaining to the manufacturing and use of an explosive device on Facebook.
If you’ve not heard of this man, I’m not surprised. I hadn’t either until I received an email in my inbox forwarding me the following article with a one line message: If this man was a Muslim, there would be terrorism charges for sure.”
Moose is part of an organisation called “The Army of God” – a fundamentalist Christian organisation committed to stopping abortions by using any means necessary – through protest, by killing doctors who perform abortions, or seemingly in this case, potentially bombing family planning clinics. Read the rest of this entry »

Caged Blue Budgies and the Aafia I know

In The Political on 19/03/2011 at 00:17

My mother knew that I would be a barrel full of trouble when she smelled cigarette smoke on my clothes once when I was in seventh grade. From that point on, she was quite adamant to clandestinely place a Muslim “big sister” every step of the way in my life – particularly when I was a teenager.

One of the appointed big sisterly figures to me was beloved Aafia Siddiqui. Aafia baji, as I called her, entered into my life when I was fourteen. One of my very first memories of her was at a women’s get together and Aafia baji was dressed from head to toe in maroon. Her hijab meticulously matched her stockings, which meticulously matched her shoes. Read the rest of this entry »


In The Personal on 16/03/2011 at 05:25

Welcome to AmericanPaki… Stay tuned ….