A Quick Guide to Dealing with Qandeel Baloch’s Haters

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Qandeel Baloch was choked to death by her own brother. In the aftermath of this heinous honour killing, the apologists and misogynists took to the internet to defend her aggressor. Abbas Shah provides you with a quick guide to responding to these hate mongers:

1) ‘I of course don’t condone/support/defend Qandeel’s murder but I think she set herself up for it’

Response:

Victim-blaming is part and parcel of the complex social forces that enable ‘radical’ acts like murder to arise. It absolves the perpetrator of his/her heinous act and locates the blame with victim in a horribly unfair way (not only are you killed, but you’re also blamed for it). She, in no way, ‘asked’ for anything horrible to happen to her, much like someone who goes out of their house does not ‘ask’ to be murdered/raped.
This insidious apologist point places ‘limits’ on acceptable discourse/behaviors after which, it tacitly concedes that violence against the transgressor is ‘understandable’. No one who exercises their right to choice in a manner that doesn’t harm others commits a (capital) offence. Moreover, extra-judicial murders in particular need to be stopped – you as a citizen cannot, acting on your delusions and illusions, wield the power of the State, God, or both.
Lastly, you may legitimately disagree with her lifestyle but that doesn’t make her murder any more palatable than, say, that of someone else. There is also a time and a place to voice your moralistic concerns about her life, and the immediate aftermath of her murder is certainly not one of them.

2) ‘ … but she dishonoured her family’
Response:
A) Archaic secular and religious concepts that tie a woman’s ‘honour’ to her genitals/mobility and then further embed this unholy nexus in the ‘honour’ of the family, clan, nation, or religion, have no place in any modern societies (I say this unabashedly in defiance of any claims to relativism in this regard).
B) These myths of ‘honor’, even if they apply, should not outweigh something as tangible and precious as human life.
C) Your ‘honor’ lies in your own actions and not in those of anyone else.
D) If you think murder is more honorable than being ‘sexually promiscuous’, then your priorities are derived from problematic/demoded/oppressive moral calculi.

3) This isn’t that important – There are more important issues. What about Syria? What about Kashmir? What about Rohingyas? What about the War of the Roses?
Response:
A) One tragedy does not mitigate the horror/disgust/anger we should feel at another. Moreover, women are ‘honour killed’ in Pakistan at a staggering rate, meaning this is not an isolated incident.
B) Furthermore, people who use ‘other tragedies’ as a talking point only do so as silencing tactics – it’s so convenient to bring up ‘other tragedies’ to silence a group one has fundamental disagreements with. How many of these people, as part of their lives, make it a point to ‘aid the Syrian people’? Even if they do, they cannot self-righteously decry another human rights cause as less important.

4) ‘She was an American/Jewish/Indian agent and/or she ruined Pakistan’s image’
Response:
A) No. Everyone who expresses ‘liberal’ or any other kind of opinion that goes against ‘Pakistani morality/ideology’ is not, by default, an ‘agent’ of some other country. There have always been liberals, leftists, dissidents, etc, in Pakistan, and they have equal claims to the country.
B) Everyone from Fatima Jinnah to Qandeel have been accused of being ‘Indian agents’ because it’s such a convenient silencing tactic – you completely discredit and imperil another person by removing their moral claims to citizenship and/or inflaming rabid crowds against them
C) Pakistan’s image is tarnished by the existence of honour killings, not by people airing them. Moreover, the pain felt by people who undergo oppression of any kind is MORE important than your false understanding of/pride in your country.

5) ‘She deserved to be murdered’
Response:
A) Send a therapists number
B) Refer to a free, online liberal arts curriculum
C) Pray for their salvation
D) Poke them repeatedly on facebook
E) Wonder if they get their talking points from the Onion/Orya Maqbool Jan
F) Invest in the poisoned halwa industry
G) Throw water balloons laced with liberalism at them

2 Comments

  • Areej Hassan says:

    Agreed !!
    An innocent girl she was force to fo this all .
    Something really true about the article that our country image is going down to down through these heinous practices .
    This was sad incident
    She don’t deserve to be murderd.

  • Mahmood says:

    The day we killed Salman Taseer and 85% of Pakistanis justified it was the day that was the end of our society. If he did wrong or right is not to be decided by any person in the street or brother or father. While we r ruled by the most corrupt and we vote them in I don’t know why our society becomes insane on wine and women issues – as if those are the biggest crimes that we need to safeguard against – I am sorry but I have written off this society. Good Luck

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