The sudden murder of Fouzia Azeem, or as the world knows her Qandeel Baloch, our first-ever social media star, shook the country by a storm and forced people to put a lot of things in perspective.
Qandeel was murdered by her own brother, who reasoned his inhumane act by calling it ‘ honor killing’.
He felt that the content Qandeel posted online brought ‘disrespect’ to him and their family. However, after inspection, five other suspects were acquitted, including religious cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi. Mufti Qavi was later released, because of his social status as a ‘mullah’.
Although she has left us, her memory, her message and everything she stood for is still alive. Qandeel is remembered by people across the globe and has had books written on her, and drama serials made on her life journey, preaching her message even after her demise.
There is no honor in killing
Qandeel’s very death stands against the very orthodox concept of ‘honor killing’, which has become common in Pakistan. However, her death forced people to think, to analyze, and to change. While there are still many people who still justify this ‘so-called concept’, many people have changed their thinking and finally started to accept the fact that a man’s honor does not lie on a woman.
The demise of the social media star became a symbol of rebellion and change. American celebrities like Khloe Kardashian, Miley Cyrus and even US President Donald Trump raised their voices in support of Qandeel.
Qandeel was a very vocal person, she wasn’t scared of anything and was never afraid to have her thoughts known. On her death anniversary, let us remember the five times Baloch did not absolutely hold back, and spoke for women across the globe.
1. “As women, we must stand up for ourselves. As women, we must stand up for each other. As women, we must stand up for justice”
2. “I believe I am a modern day feminist. I believe in equality. I am just a woman with free thoughts, free mindset and I love the way I am”
3. “Nothing is good in the society. This patriarchal society is bad”
4. “It was my wish since I was a child to become something, to be able to stand up on my own two feet, to do something for myself”
5. “I want to give my 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 or those people. That’s my aim”
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