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Backlash at pakistanis after bomb scare Options
kisholoy mukherjee
Posted: Sunday, May 9, 2010 4:56:13 PM

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Joined: 10/31/2009
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I read this in today's newspaper:

http://chattahbox.com/us/2010/05/08/u-s-pakistanis-ashamed-pose-as-indians-to-get-jobs/

American residents of Pakistani descent are fearing a racial backlash, after the Times Square car-bombing attempt, carried out by Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized citizen born in Pakistan. And many are now posing as Indians to not only avoid discrimination, but because they are deeply ashamed.

According to a report by Reuters, since the deadly terrorism of 9/11, in which the mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is Pakistani, U.S. residents of Pakistani descent have paid the price for the crimes of a few of their countrymen:

“Suspected September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and convicted 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef are also of Pakistani decent, and anti-American militants fighting U.S. forces in Afghanistan take refuge in Pakistan.”

Now, with attention focused on the Pakistani man responsible for the Times Square bombing attempt, some American-based Pakistanis are holding themselves out as Indian, even though Pakistan and India have never been on the best of terms:

“A lot of Pakistanis can’t get jobs after 9/11 and now it’s even worse,” said Asghar Choudhri, an accountant and chairman of Brooklyn’s Pakistani American Merchant Association. “They are now pretending they are Indian so they can get a job.”

One man of Pakistani descent identified as Farhan,who was born in the U.S., reported of a store manager refusing to sell him fertilizer for his lawn. And when he complained, the police were called.

“What kind of a country are we living in when a 22-year-old male can’t buy fertilizer?” Farhan asked. “I’m American. I’m not Pakistani.”

The area known as Coney Island was once home to a thriving neighborhood of Pakistanis working hard to achieve the American dream. But since 9/11, many residents have moved away, after repeated raids and crackdowns by law enforcement, including the FBI and INS, searching for suspected terrorists and violators of immigration laws.

Since New York City is home to one of the largest Pakistani populations in the country, Mayor Bloomberg released a public statement warning against reprisals or discrimination, after the Times Square bomb scare:

“New York is “the city where you can practice your religion and say what you want to say and be in charge of your own destiny and we’re going to keep it that way,” Bloomberg said.

Still, Pakistanis bear the everyday fear of reprisals. But worse than the fear is the shame. “We are ashamed,” said Choudhri.
boneyfriend
Posted: Monday, May 10, 2010 2:06:44 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/3/2009
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Location: Columbia, South Carolina, United States
kisholoy, it is a shame that we fear innocent Pakistanis in America because of the recent terror attempt in Times Square. I guess that is human nature. I don't live in a threatened part of the country so I wouldn't feel so frightened by a Pakistani. I would think for every 10,000 decent Pakistanis in America there may be one bad apple. This terrorism thing is so furtive that you don't know who your enemy is. That is what is so hard about it.
Things change and seasons pass. I do hope in 20 years all of this crappy terrorism will be over and our next problem wont be so secretive.
Khan
Posted: Monday, May 10, 2010 3:26:27 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/13/2010
Posts: 63
Location: United Arab Emirates
Boney friend has rightly said that all Pakistanis are not the same.Only few of hundred of thousand Pakistanis might have ill intention like harming non Muslims or whatsoever. I heard many Pakistanis that the man attempted this terroristic attack to be punished severely as he defames the whole country. You know pak forces are fighting against these terrorists which caused a great loss in term of property and lives.The militants made many counter attacks which killed hundred of thousand of innocent citizens.The economy is in doldrum and the confidence of the people has shattered and they feel themselves insecure. It is Pakistan which has to face a lot of hardship in the war against terror.Pakistan is rightly called as the front line state in the war against terrorism.
supercoder106
Posted: Monday, May 10, 2010 4:32:37 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 4/16/2010
Posts: 16
Neurons: 48
Location: United States
I am truly saddened by the fact that in a country founded upon the idea that all men are created equal that there are those who choose to discriminate and harass a group of people based on the actions of a few. I know people are scared; it's understandable, but we can't blame everyone who has some ties of Pakistan. It seems as if we didn't learn anything from our country's treatment of Japanese Americans during WWII.
Isaac Samuel
Posted: Monday, May 10, 2010 2:15:54 PM

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Mr. Mukherjee has painstakingly cherry picked some quotes from biased sources to defile the Pakistanis, to make an impression on the minds of the forum members. His ethnocentric attitude makes him believe that Pakistanis disguise themselves as Indians to curry favors from Americans. Far from it; because Pakistanis have done more favors and sacrifices to Americans in the cause of terrorism—however much it is ill-conceived—than any other country. Pakistanis and Americans need each other now more than ever to squelch terrorism in both their soils.

It is unfortunate that any one with a Muslim name is under the radar of U.S Homeland Security, regardless of which country one belongs or pretends to belong.
kisholoy mukherjee
Posted: Monday, May 10, 2010 3:17:54 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/31/2009
Posts: 3,740
Neurons: 7,777
Location: here and there
Mr. Isaac wrongly guessed:
Mr. Mukherjee has painstakingly cherry picked some quotes from biased sources to defile the Pakistanis, to make an impression on the minds of the forum members.
Perhaps you should try telling that to renowned news agencies yourself, since almost every major news paper has reported this.
It is so sad you find it hard to understand the spirit with which a certain post is written. It wasn't meant to defame Pakistanis at all, in fact, quite the contrary. Both the news item (at least I think so), as well as my intention (certainly), were trying to show how innocent and good Pakistanis (muslims in fact in general) are facing the brunt of paranoia and are being singled out and often harassed or discriminated against just because of a small percentage of miscreants.
My heart and best wishes goes out to all those who are facing these problems right now.

Mr. Isaac makes another baseless remark:
His ethnocentric attitude makes him believe that Pakistanis disguise themselves as Indians to curry favors from Americans.
I just read it in newspapers, and I didn't even make one single comment on the issue. I was waiting for others to chime in. As for ethnocentric attitude, I would say that is something that you exhibit a lot yourself. You are always blaming every Indian who raises voice about anything that is not Indian in origin. You accuse them of being racists, casteists and ask them to rid their own country first of all evils (which is an absolutely impractical thing to say, of course you know that) before venturing to point their fingers at others, even if something worth condemning happens (like the Pauline comment).

'painstakingly cherry picked' - I liked this part. Except the fact that it is so untrue in this case. It took me only a couple of minutes or maybe less to read the article in the newspaper, and then later a couple more minutes to find it in hundreds of sites on the net.
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