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In A Disgusting Show Of Islamophobia, The Internet Is Targeting A Newborn

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Internet outrage took an unexpectedly nasty turn on Wednesday, the 21st of December, once the birth of Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan’s newborn son, Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi was announced. Within minutes of the official announcement, #TaimurAliKhan began trending on Twitter, and in horribly divisive ways. While on the one hand, there were congratulatory messages, on the other, there was ugly Islamophobic hate against the couple for naming their newborn ‘Taimur’ – associating the name with medieval Turkish conqueror Timur the Lame, who had attacked Delhi in 1398.

Timur was leader of the Mongol empire and, in the late 1300s, had lead conquests all across Asia Minor, taking control of Persia, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Georgia, and later, India. The name ‘Taimur’ however, also means ‘like iron’ in Persian, but twitter users clung on to the former meaning, and began berating the couple for naming their child after a Muslim invader, some even going so far as to wish death upon Kareena and calling the naming ‘child abuse’.

The amount of hate leveled at a newborn and his parents merely because of his name is truly ridiculous. Islamophobic comments, equating the name to Pakistani missiles and terrorists are rife, and it’s disgusting to see just how deep the anti-Muslim sentiment runs.

The outrage, however, seems hypocritical, and a Twitter user was quick to point out why:

Within Hindu and other non-Islamic communities, so-called ‘invaders’ have been glorified for decades. Take Shivaji, or even Ashoka for example – both of whom have plundered entire cities in their time, and are yet prominent historical figures. But that isn’t even the point here. We don’t know the motivations behind the couple’s naming of their child, so, to jump to these ridiculous assumptions and pelt Islamophobic hate upon them is completely out of line.

Right-wing outrage has become Indian Internet’s mainstay in recent times, and ever since the Uri surgical strikes, these have taken a decidedly anti-Islamic turn – Fawad Khan became its target in October, after the ban on Pakistani artists, and now it’s Taimur. It’s horrifying how easily ‘nationalistic’ narratives get dragged into these conversations, and how easily they become precedent for heaping abuse on innocent people. This time, it’s a mere infant who is under attack, and that itself is scary. What does it say about us, as a society, that we would wish death and calamity upon parents for simply naming their kid after a controversial historical figure? When the kid is being born into a loving family, and is healthy and happy – isn’t that the most important thing?

It’s actually as simple as what the baby’s grandpa (Kareena’s uncle) Rishi Kapoor said:

You must be to comment.
  1. Sumeet Sarkar

    Dear Mam, Neither Shivaji nor Ashoka have ever committed war Crimea like raping women’s , killing common folks , its very true they were kings and they have been to battles and did very natural things what every ruler would have , if you want to understand the difference please read History, there is far difference between a tyrant & a ruler , I don’t give a damn about Saifina’s personal life they can name there child Buddha or Hitler there choice, but You mam , seriously don’t compare Taimur lang with Other rulers , remember “Ashoka the great” and the other great is “AKBAR THE GREAT ” I hope I don’t need to give u points why he is great , and Taimir is considered second to Chengiz Khan , and I am really happy that you ate in 21st century not in 13th or 12th during the times of Taimur or Chengiz , anyways festive season is ahead , sorry for my boring blah blah blah , happy new year and merry Christmas in advance . CHEERS

  2. Crazy Dreamer (cj)

    Why do I feel like you are making bigger offenses while judging an offense? I didn’t care about the trolls, because they show how low people can get just to get noticed.But i feel you too are going in the same category by bringing Ashoka The Great and Shivaji in this arguement. And that’s not acceptable. A little knowledge in history could have been of great help. Naming and trolling is different and this sort of comparison is totally different. About Fawad Khan, check videos of what he said after going back to Pak. Before putting such post think with a cool mind.It really helps.
    PS: The wheel in tricolor is something from The Ashoka Stambh, which is national Emblem of India.
    (no hate)
    Happy New Year! ???? Cheers!

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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