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Reading Ahmad Quraishi in Lahore

October 13, 2010

I haven’t blogged in quite some while. Thankfully, Ahmad Quraishi has kept himself busy and provided me with the impetus to spitefully attack his latest piece. Tee Hee.

For those of you who may not know, Ahmad Quraishi is part of the Zaid Hamid – Shireen Mazari cabal of “America did it!” He is a self described “public policy writer, commentator, broadcaster, and blogger” and has a blog named PakNationalists that is “a forum dedicated to the rise of Pakistan (read: rabid conservative nationalists who have wet dreams involving placing a Pakistan flag at the Red Fort in Delhi and then launching a raid on Somnath for old times sake).

Mr. Quraishi recently wrote on the Express Tribune blogs section (I’m not entirely sure what the criteria for selecting bloggers for the ET blogs are, but skill is surely not among them) on the Nobel Peace Prize bestowed on Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Oh, he was mad. So mad in fact that he probably sat down at his laptop and started typing furiously without a bit of research. How else to explain the fecal matter that he passes off as political commentary?

Mr. Quraishi starts his post with:

This Nobel for Peace has all the ingredients of war.

Yes, very good. Some Masala to get things started right. An indication to all to switch off the parts of their brains responsible for rational thinking and switch on the OUTRAGE AT THE WEST section.

He then goes on to list a number of countries that are ‘rising’ but have not voiced their outrage at the awarding of this prize. In this list is included Pakistan where the only thing rising is the population.

Mr. Quraishi actually lost me when he stated that the Nobel prize would be awarded in Belgium.

What now? Belgium? The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded annually in Oslo, NORWAY. All the other Nobel prizes are awarded in Stockholm. As you can see, Belgium doesn’t have shit to do with the Nobel prize. Unless, of course, your piece is ill researched. In which case, sab chalta hai.

The inaccuracies don’t stop there. In a section entitled “Mr. Liu never mattered”, the writer claims that Liu Xiaobo was “jailed for 20 months in 1989 and then left to lead a normal life.” Except for the time he was jailed from May 1995 to January 1996, and then sent to an ‘Education Camp’ (NOT a summer camp) for three years from October 1996. And, you know, the eleven year jail sentence he’s serving as we speak. So, yeah, normal life.

Mr. Quraishi’s general disregard for democracy is quite evident in this post. He calls the 1989 student uprising “so-called ‘pro-democracy’ demonstrations.”

First, Mr. Quraishi, those pro-democracy demonstrations are ‘so-called’ because they were in fact pro-democracy demonstrations. How else to explain the need of the Chinese government to imprison him?

Second, what is up with the obsession with this term ‘so-called’ in the Pakistan media? Everything from the War on Terror to the current democratic government has been termed ‘so-called’. For e.g. ‘This so-called democratic government.’ IT’S CALLED DEMOCRATIC BECAUSE PEOPLE ELECTED THEM INTO POWER, DICKS.

No piece by Ahmad Quraishi would be complete without breathless reportage on evil American machinations. This time he refers to the Americans soiling their pants at Berlusconi bathing the Colloseum in red light for a Chinese state visit. He also informs us of the durm und strang the US is suffering from at the EU meeting Chinese media demands. This information is not sourced. It’s not sourced because he and Shireen Mazari probably made it up while playing Go Fish with Zaid Hamid brand playing cards. A card set where Mr. Quraishi is prominently displayed on the Joker cards.

Adding to this is the fact that some Americans are raising the Chinese bogey in their campaign ads for the upcoming mid-term elections. Because, you know, campaign ads by crazy Republicans reflect the true pulse of American policy making. Just like Ahmad Quraishi reflects the desires and thinking of a nation of 180 million.

Now that the US has been sufficiently attacked, Mr. Quraishi feels the need to get some India bashing in. So he concocts a story about how India lobbyists are actually behind the China attack ads to take the media heat off jobs being outsourced to India. His source? This Joel Stein piece from TIME. I’m pretty sure one piece does not make anything common. And that one piece isn’t really attacking jobs being outsourced to India. It’s just Joel Stein being a racist asshole.

Mr. Quraishi nears the end of his piece by telling the world to back the fuck off and that China will eventually make itself a democracy that works for them. You know, like the one they have right now.

His finals words are, “The Nobel Foundation, Mr. Liu and the United States have no right to interfere
[in China].” He’s correct about Liu Xiaobo not having any right to interfere. As a Chinese person he should have no input in how his country is run or what trajectory it adopts. If only this could happen in Pakistan too. No, Mr. Quraishi?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Amna K permalink
    October 14, 2010 6:29 am

    ET is confused in selecting people to write for its blog. Maybe they wish to shed light on every and any kind of opinion/subject, whatever. No set standards (which kinds sucks!)

    Poor Qureishi bashed by Kaala Kawaa! Haha!

  2. Razes permalink
    October 14, 2010 6:57 am

    The words “so-called” and “pseudo” ought to be banned from Pakistani media.

  3. October 14, 2010 10:35 am

    Thanks God for having America on the globe! Had it not been for her presence, wonder whom the ‘so-called’ public policy writers could hold responsible for the hiking tomato prices in the country!

  4. M. S. Najam permalink
    October 15, 2010 10:01 am

    Brilliant! We need more bloggers to counter these rabid, myopic conspiracy theorists. Keep up the good work 🙂

  5. Abdul Moiz Jaferii permalink
    November 7, 2010 10:06 pm

    agreed with everything except the so called democracy bit. we had one day of democracy. the day we voted and when the votes were counted. after that there has been very little of it.

    democracy means the rule of many, not just the rule of the elected by many. it means that people through their candidates and their area’s elected representatives voice their concerns in the great hall of representatives where they congregate.

    where a democratically elected representative stops listening to those who gave him or her the mandate, it stops short of being a democracy.

    yes we elected them. but they stopped listening a couple of days later, and are now bunkered down in a city very far away from most of us.

    hence, so called democracy. so called kalakawa.

    PS. it is quite important to keep calling yourself kalakawa after the CJ twitter thing i just read, because the biggest helping of shit you have ever had thrown at you could be forthcoming from the darkest of crevices in our established power hierarchy if your identity was to be known. spooks in this country are surprisingly efficient. but it was extremely creative.

  6. Abdul Moiz Jaferii permalink
    November 7, 2010 10:19 pm

    also, i read the joel stein piece you linked to this goof you are wasting your time writing about. the article is not racist. he is trying to explain something very delicate through comedic terms, and anyone possessing one of many phobias can be rubbed the wrong way by it.

    there was no need for him to apologize for it, it was merely for the sake of readership loyalty that he did so, i feel.

    I dont know if you have lived abroad for an extended period of time, i feel that if you have you would not make such a statement.

    if you have not, dont talk about racism. not when you are a Pakistani. please. you do not know the meaning of the word. and if you do, you haven’t applied it properly to this piece you so casually trash.

    • November 9, 2010 1:00 am

      I don’t know why you’re conflating living abroad with thinking that Joel Stein’s piece wasn’t racist. There are many ways to address issues through the prism of comedy without resorting to hackneyed statements that paint an entire racial group in a specific way. Besides, simply because it’s comedy doesn’t mean it’s not racist – ever heard of racist jokes?

      And I have lived abroad for a sizeable portion of my life. But as I said before, I don’t see what that has to do with the perception of racism. I found his article to be racist, and so I referred to it as such.

  7. jaferii permalink
    November 9, 2010 1:54 pm


    i was conflating living abroad with racism because i feel that the view someone has regarding racism is vastly different when they live in a society where they are in the majority versus when they are living in a society where they are in a minority. i don’t know whether i will be able to do justice to my point of view over this particular medium, but i will try.

    Racism in its core is a forgotten concept for most people. it involves the fascist element of a certain kind of skin and the mentality that goes with it are superior or inferior to other kinds of skin. that idea is dead for most people. it exists in the skin heads of england and in the rednecks of america, but it is dead for most people living in urbanized areas.

    i can explain what i said through a few examples, which might be off. an indian who was born in england and raised there and has english culture embedded into him will very rarely face people in England who treat him or her differently solely because of the colour of their skin. they will be english for all intents and purposes, to most people living around them.

    you are far more likely to be treated differently and thought of in ways you think are racist if your mannerisms and your mentality is Indian. but people will not be reacting in an awkward fashion because of the colour of your skin. it will be because the culture you represent is alien to them, and it takes them out of their comfort zones. it is something that happens around the world, but not due to underlying racism, but to the very root of human nature. what is familiar is more acceptable than what is unfamiliar.

    I have a few Arab friends. their cultural tendencies are very western. so when i go to one of their homes for dinner, i feel completely comfortable in my surroundings, and we have a great time. Now in the past i have met Arabs who were very deeply attuned to their own culture. they would sit on the floor to eat, usually rice out of a large shared tray, which always had a large slab of meat on top of it. If they were having fish on that day, it would be cooked whole, and put on top of the rice in the tray. before starting, they would offer the eye of the fish to their chief guest. not eating it would be disrespectful. My father would gulp it down, and i would be sitting there terrorized thinking about a fateful day where i would be the chief guest somewhere and would have to eat the eye of the fish. i was continuously uncomfortable in such gatherings, and i did not like eating with people that shared their food out of a huge tray with a whole fish on top of it.

    But that does not make me racist. it makes me averse to a few cultural quirks that are part of the beautiful Arab culture, but that does not make me averse to the Arabs themselves.

    now back to my point. apologies for being so long winded. I thought that the piece you quoted as being racist, was actually trying to bridge the gap between cultural divides, because the writer identified that it is not racism that divides Americans, rather it is the unfamiliarity of various culture shocks they have experienced.

    i may be wrong, but i feel evidence of this lies in how he wrote about the Italians. it showed how when something seemed to be so unfamiliar in the past, it was a phobia. and now the Italian community is part of the American dream. similarly, he compares the Indian community to the Italians of a few decades ago, and how their kids are pretty much more american than americans. he goes about proving his point with a bit of crude humour, but i feel that his point is noble all the same.

    i may be wrong. but if i am right, it causes less damage than if you are right and it is true that time would publish something racist without batting an eyelid.

  8. sidra permalink
    December 1, 2010 2:12 am

    At the risk of sounding like a pompous grammar-worshipping ass, which i perhaps am, I am itching to point out an error. In your first sentence shouldnt it be ‘for quite a while’ or ‘for some time’. Just a thought,

    • December 1, 2010 10:15 am

      You’re absolutely right. Oh well. It’s been up there too long now without my having noticed to change it.

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