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Intolerance is the other pandemic we’re facing: Riz Ahmed

For years, Riz Ahmed has been using his international appeal to shed light on the plight of the oppressed from around the world.

The 37-year-old British-Pakistani actor and rapper often speaks of the injustices and violence being committed against Muslims in particular and tries to channels all of his work to show it to the world.

In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Ahmed opened up on visual approach for his new short film The Long Goodbye as well as the song Mogambo, particularly one lyric from it that reads, “They want to kill us all.”

Asked about this, the Reluctant Fundamentalist actor said, “I think it’s been shown to be possible by what’s going on in India right now; what’s happened in Europe in our lifetimes; state-sponsored violence in America, Russia, Myanmar, etc. I think there’s an extent to which this isn’t really a work of speculative fiction.”

Ahmed added, “On the other hand, it’s also not designed to be a documentary. It’s a projection of what’s going on in my mind and in the mind of the film-maker, Aneil Karia. I’d say not just Muslims but people from around the world are staring down the barrel of this rising intolerance and wondering, ‘What’s the logical conclusion of all this rhetoric?’ This is the other pandemic we’re facing: intolerance and hate.”

The Venom star also opened up about the right-wing in both the United States and the United Kingdom, and how his rap album negates them “wanting their country back” from immigrants. “It’s interesting: at certain points in my life, I would say that I’m British-Pakistani, to try and convey the complexity — not the contradiction — of my own identity.

But I realised that British should be enough, not because I’m trying to negate my history but because my ancestors helped to build Britain before they’d ever even set foot there.”

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