There’s a phrase that’s become common in the reviews and write-ups of “The Big Sick,” a romantic comedy that debuted in theaters in late-June: “culture clash.” The film, which was produced by Judd Apatow, stars Pakistani-American actor Kumail Nanjiani. It’s Nanjiani’s first lead acting role, and the movie — which is based on his real-life romance with white American screenwriter Emily V. Gordon — documents their courtship, and his efforts to reconcile their relationship with the expectations of his parents, who continuously try to set him up with “young, single Pakistani girls.” This is where the tension of the plot lies: between Nanjiani and his family, between a white girl and his Pakistani heritage. When Gordon suddenly falls sick and is hospitalized, Nanjiani is compelled to choose between the two.
Early on, the film sets up an obvious narrative conflict. On one side, we have Emily, played by a blonde Zoe Kazan, and her parents, Beth (Holly Hunter) and Terry (Ray Romano). Nanjiani meets Gordon at a comedy club, on what is ostensibly a one-night stand that turns into something more. Her parents, who show up when Emily gets sick, are flawed but well-meaning; their shortcomings are eclipsed only by the obvious love and affection they have for their daughter.
On the other side, we have Nanjiani, son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants, Azmat and Sharmeen, played by Anupam Kher and Zenobia Shroff. The two characters embody every stereotype conceivable about brown Muslim parents: overbearing, disappointed in their American offspring, eager to get their hapless son married to the nearest single brown young woman. Nanjiani’s parents appear almost exclusively in scenes where they invite young women to family dinners in the hopes he might fall in love with them. These young women appear, too, with no backstory or very little dialogue, clinging hopelessly to an antiquated tradition. How silly these women are — not like Nanjiani, who is enlightened enough to pursue a white woman. In one critical scene in the film, as he’s arguing with Emily about the viability of their relationship, he yells, “I’m battling a 1,400-year-old culture!”
FULL ARTICLE FROM GOOD
A Christian woman has donated £1000 to a Muslim family in the UK after learning that their shop was attacked.
Mohammed Riaz, 58, was attacked in Bradford in July 2016 by three people inside his butcher’s shop, Meat Hut. The three attackers – one of whom was later charged with robbery – damaged Riaz’s shop and left him with injuries on the eve of Eid celebrations.Following the attack however, one woman named ‘Jane’ posted a letter to the family enclosed with a cheque for £1,000.
In the letter the woman said: “Dear Mr Riaz, I was so sorry to read in The Telegraph & Argus of the attack on your shop. I am a Christian, and Jesus Christ taught that when we see someone in trouble we should not walk by without helping.
Kanees Riaz, Mohammed’s wife, says she was astonished by the letter, reports indy100:
“We were astonished – we were in tears because of this woman’s kindness – she doesn’t even live in the area. This shows that in the end race and religion doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter at all.”
Speaking of the trauma, Nafeesa Riaz, Mohammed’s daughter said, “We’re all still traumatised but the community and people from all over have shown huge support which has helped us immensely. We had people from all ages and ethnicities. We can never thank everyone enough for what they have done.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM PAKISTAN TODAY
KARACHI, Pakistan — I worry about Muslims. Islam teaches me to care about all human beings, and animals too, but life is short and I can’t even find enough time to worry about all the Muslims.
I don’t worry too much about the Muslims who face racial slurs in Europe and America, the ones who are suspected of harboring murderous thoughts at their workplaces or those who are picked out of immigration queues and asked awkward questions about their luggage and their ancestors. I tell myself that at the end of their humiliating journeys they can expect privileges like running water, electricity and tainted promises of equality.
I do worry about the Muslims who face extinction at the hands of other Muslims in their own homelands, usually in places where they are in a huge majority. My friend Sabeen Mahmud was murdered earlier this year, probably for not being a good enough Muslim, and it happened in this country, a country so Muslim that you can live your entire life here without shaking hands with a non-Muslim.
But mostly I worry about my kind of Muslims, those who are expected to explain to the world what real Islam is like. We so-called moderate Muslims are urged to take control of the narrative and wrest it away from the radicals — as though we were MFA students in a creative writing class struggling with midterm submissions, rather than 1.6 billion people of maddening diversity.
I worry about the pundits who end up on TV within hours of an atrocity and are required to condemn or defend and explain on our behalf. I worry about those nice folk who are supposed to remind the world that Islam is a religion of peace.
Yes, the word Islam does mean peace. The dictionary says so. But it takes gumption to wave a dictionary in front of someone who has lost a daughter, a son or a partner, and say: “Here, I have something for you. Look. ‘Islam.’ It means peace.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
KELLER—When Muslims defend Christians in Pakistan and Christians speak up for Muslims in the United States, they not only follow the highest ideals of their religions, but also act in their own enlightened self-interest, a Baptist pastor in North Texas and a Catholic priest and a Muslim imam from Pakistan agreed.
“How we treat Muslims here (in the United States) has an impact on Christians in Pakistan and Egypt and other places around the world. We need to learn how to be civil. We need to teach those who are in the majority how to treat those who are in the minority. We want to pull together pastors and imams in different areas. We need to watch out for religious minorities worldwide.”
Abdul-Khabir Azad, the grand imam of the 350-year-old Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan, and James Channan, regional coordinator of the United Religions Initiative-Pakistan, agreed.
In June, Roberts helped facilitate a meeting of 10 Pakistani Christian leaders and 10 imams from Pakistan at the Doha Interfaith Center in Qatar. Now, Azad and Channan want to use that model in their homeland, fostering dialogue and nurturing relationships between religious leaders at the grassroots level.
“We want to heal wounds and build bridges,” said Channan, a Roman Catholic priest and director of the Peace Center of the Dominican Order in Pakistan. The author ofPath of Love: A Call for Interfaith Harmony, he recently received the Global Ambassador of Peace Award from the Institute of International Social Development at the United Nations.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE BAPTIST STANDARD
The Rev. Emanuel Nasir is a Christian living in Washington Township, Gloucester County. Shakila Rani, who is Muslim, lives in Gujranwala, Pakistan.
Together, they are trying to improve the lives of Pakistani women who are being abused inside the home, are being denied educational and other opportunities, or have become the victims of violent attacks.
Rani directs the Rehab Project, a provider of counseling and educational services, as well as legal and medical information, to about 50 women – most of whom are Muslim – annually.
The 10-year-old project, which also provides micro-loans for women to start sewing businesses and similar home enterprises, is supported by Presbyterian churches in South Jersey and elsewhere.
He founded Asian Christian Ministries, the Rehab Project’s parent organization, in 1988. The project is one of ACM’s “peacemaking” missions.
“Why would a Christian pastor help Muslim women?” Nasir says. “Because I see them as human beings.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM PHILLY.COM
LAHORE: Islamic scholars and leaders on Friday continued their condemnation of the killing of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan and expressed deep sorrow and sympathies with the bereaved family.
International Council for Peace and Harmony Pakistan (ICPH) chairman and Badshahi Masjid Lahore chief Khateeb Maulana Abdul Khabeer Azad strongly condemned the incident, describing it against the teachings of Islam.
Maulana Azad visited the bereaved family along with an IPCH delegation, also including Christian leaders, and stressed that Islam strictly prohibits the murder of innocent individuals.He said if someone was accused of any blasphemy, they should be convicted and punished by a competent court only.
Those accompanying him included Father James Channan, Father Shahid Mehraj, Fr Akram Gill, Maulana Muhammad Khan Leghari, Mufti Abdul Moeed Asad, Kazim Raza Naqvi, Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Akhtar, Mufti Saifullah Khalid and Hafiz Abdul Qadir.
Maulana Azad praised the Punjab government for constituting an inquiry committee and compensating the bereaved family for their irreparable loss. He demanded early and exemplary punishment for the culprits.
Meanwhile, leaders of the World Council of Religions (WCR) termed the incident one of the saddest and said as Muslims they could say that Allah and His Prophet (PBUH) were with the victims of the brutality.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEWS (PAKISTAN)