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Friday, 22 July 2016

No Shame In Murder ...

Qandeel Baloch (real name Fauzia Azeem), was something of an exponent of girl power in Pakistan. I say 'was', because she has paid the ultimate price of many a young woman with hopes of a free life in that backward, patriarchal society.

She was murdered by her family (her brother strangled her to death straight after the festival of 'Eid' ... he was a religious man), because she had in their eyes, offended the families 'honour' by modelling. Apparently murdering your daughters is 'honourable' in Pakistan. Thousands of these types of murders take place in the land of the pure every year .... most go unpunished.

Qandeel Baloch .. Another Voice Silenced

There are similar murders across the globe wherever south Asian communities have settled. In those places, there is slightly more chances of being arrested and convicted of murder. In this case, 'celebrity' reaped some consequences, and her parents have been taken into custody, while her brother Waseem was on the run, but arrested a day later. He was reported to have told the police that "She wasn't aware I was killing her. I gave her a tablet and then strangled her. I am not ashamed. We are Baloch and as Baloch we cannot tolerate [this behaviour]" ......

Pakistani social media was flooded with comments, where some called her death "good news" and even praised her suspected killer .... a few showed some support for her.

He Drugged and Strangled His Sister.

Twenty six year old Ms Baloch was from Karachi, but had fled to the Punjab after fears for her safety had reached dangerous levels. This after someone had posted her identification documents on social media, an act that led to her death as it identified her family. But she went home (a house she had bought for her parents and siblings), for the Eid festival after her father became ill. It was a fatal mistake.

Married off aged 17 against her will, to a man she described as an 'uneducated man' she later said that "I never accepted him as my husband in my heart or mind". She later described her feelings during that brief marriage as "I was not happy and never accepted him as my husband. What do you think will happen in a forced marriage? With an uneducated man, an animal". Quickly pregnant she recalled that "How I spent a year and a half with him, only I know. And I only did it because of the child. Otherwise I wouldn’t have spent even one month with him".

After he left him he told her ‘I’ll burn your face because you’re so beautiful’ ... so she kept running (after having to hand her child back to the father), and said that she completed her Matric's and did her Bachelors privately, "I kept doing it. I did quite few jobs, in Daewoo, in Lever Brothers. Quite a few jobs. Then after a while, I started working in showbiz." ...

She rose to notoriety and fame in Pakistan in 2014, when a YouTube video of her pouting at the camera, and asking "How em looking?" went viral ... doesn't take much in a sexually repressed society ... so a Pakistani female showing confident sexuality was the object of much titillated fascination. She was subjected to frequent misogynist abuse on-line (much like the abuse Labour Party activists dish out to female challengers to Jeremy Corbyn) ... but she carried on posting videos as 'The Pakistani Kim Kardashian' ... although far more modestly on the flesh front.

In one of her last interviews with the Dawn newspaper, she stated that she wanted to give her 'followers a positive message, I want to give those girls a positive message who have been forcefully married, who continue to sacrifice. I want to be an example for those people. That’s my aim.'

Is This Really Too Much For A Families Honour???? 

Like so many others, she has has been silenced forever .....

After news of her murder broke, Oscar winning film-maker ('A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness'), Ms Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy said.

"I really feel that no woman is safe in this country, until we start making examples of people, until we start sending men who kill women to jail, unless we literally say there will be no more killing and those who dare will spend the rest of their lives behind bars."

2 comments:

  1. I am really sad to hear this news, and why haven't I already heard it on the TV news?

    Another backward culture; after Religion it's family honour. Some people don't need a reason to murder but other do, and when there aren't any we'll make some up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would never make TV news coverage. It did make newspapers and web news, to varying degrees of prominence. I pick up stories like this because I have an idiosyncratic eye for what is newsworthy and what is important. For example, a story about the murderer of Walter Patterson, an ordinary man, escaping justice because of international politics. That gained little interest when I posted it. Has suddenly been viewed a number of times this week. I just post what I think is interesting or just plain odd.

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