I recently came across a couple of videos showing a social experiment. These videos range from plotting scenarios in the mall ‘where actors are plotted to reconstruct a case of discrimination’. One of these videos include a clear case of racism towards colored people being harassed in stores while shopping. The most interesting part of the study was watching people concentrate more on their shopping while the discrimination continues to get more and more stronger. Some of these people reacted and most of them did not. Needless to say that this does portray what generally goes around and is easily overlooked.
The First Video:
However intense this is how things go about normally. It is extremely rare that someone would even try taking a stand even after witnessing a clear cut case of discrimination. This isn’t necessarily limited to color, we are all aware of the post- 9/11 increase in racism towards Muslim. I have been a victim of discrimination quite a lot of times, unfortunately most of the time it came from people within my country. Somethings that come with the ‘hijab-label’. The hijab is usually taken as a statement more than a ‘will’ or a matter of choice. Since after I started with my hijab there has been a clear difference on how people perceive what I say or believe, sometimes they are suggestive and at times they leave it for the person to ‘go figure’. Somehow the ” why do wear the Hijab” question is surprisingly considered normal,contrary to the “why don’t you wear Hijab question?” Whilst I wouldn’t say that it’s always a one-sided affair it most certainly is the most common form of discrimination. For starters I don’t believe that wrapping up a piece of cloth around my head makes me a better Muslim or human.Infact its not about ‘proving’ something at all, it has a lot more to do with the intention attached to it than anything else.In the end coming down to the fact that it is my choice,neither a compulsion and nor a statement.
The types of discrimination we face doesn’t end here. Many times a lot of my friends and people I know have been asked ‘Yeh itnay ka hai lena hai’ its worth this much are you sure you ll buy it’, all because they are dressed rather casually for a posh place. So the question comes down to how many forms of discriminations do we have in our society? There certainly is the ‘English-speaking’ automatically considered civilized culture on the other hand people are judged by what cell phones they carry or what car they drive in. The fact being while we whine about discriminations abroad we conveniently ignore the issues at home .
The discriminations faced amongst Pakistanis or among Muslim themselves reflect how it’s not just the ‘devil from the west’. I vote for social experiments within Pakistan as well, this might provoke some introspection. Since the ‘media channels’ are so hell bent on ‘reality tv’ why not something with a purpose?
The Second Video: The Hijab Discrimination