Sure, some of you are going to hate me for this expression. Some of you might resent me, some of you may think of me as ‘shameless’. Khuda ka khauf nahin hai, most of you Pakistani, Islamic State of Pakistan’s women citizens will call me ‘a bad girl’. What I bring to the table this time is nothing but the truth-I have kept a little quiet on the issue because I was looking for words to describe and express my feelings. I think I have found them now, so read on if you want to know “WHY” a Qandeel exists inside each of us, and “HOW”.
First things first. She was after all, before anything else, a human being. After being a human being, having full right of her own body and mind, she was an independent individual. All of us come to this world alone, we have our own experiences and we die alone too. (most of the times, that’s how it’s written, unless it’s a one in a million kind of story in which your other half dies of heart break on the same bed as you).
Secondly, after being a human being and an independent individual, capable of making her own decisions and having her own mind, she was a woman. A woman, who holds alot of value in Islam. A woman, who, regardless of her good deeds and bad deeds, is respected in Islam. As Muslims, we are even told to not hurt women and children during battle. What does that tell us about the designation of a woman in Islam? Alot. Apart from that, a woman is, after being an independent individual and a human being- a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister. I am creeped out at the use of the word ‘sister’, after this cringe-worthy and ruthless death, strangled with the hands of the very man she must have spent most of her childhood with. She would have had so many good and bad memories with her brother. A brother who must have loved her with all her flaws, a brother who must have slapped her sometimes, must have knocked her down, a brother she might have fought alot with, but nevertheless, there would have been sibling love between the two, I’d like to suppose.
According to media reports, Qandeel’s, or Fauzia Azeem’s as was her original name, brother was a drug-addict. Sure, that tells us alot more about a male-dominated society than anything else. Why is the media not talking about his bad addictions, and of the horrible crime he has committed? Because, it’s easier to blame a woman who is half-naked on our screens, than pinpoint a man who hides and does everything in secret. I’m pretty sure this man must be having a lot more in his pockets than just ‘drug addiction’; such men tend to have alot of other ‘addictions’, but the only flaw that is pinpointed is in the women because why? Because there is no one left to defend a woman who is not scared to bare herself on media.
I ask every woman a question today. Don’t you watch Katrinas and Deepikas on screen and awe them for their ‘amazing figures’?? How many of you have not seen a pornographic film and wanted to be one of those hot stars who openly show themselves and are confident about their sexual appeal? Nobody would want to mention it, but most of us want to be hot, pretty, and all that glitters. All that catches a male’s attention when we walk past them, all of us want to be seen and to be noticed. How many times have we walked into a grocery store, seen a hot man, and wondered if he would look ‘my way’?
How many of us have not wanted to be a model, up somewhere on a billboard? I’m not saying every one of us has the same aspirations from life. That everyone has wanted to be a ‘pornstar’ or wanted a hot physique more than a religiously beautiful mind. I do agree on what was wrong with her, but before agreeing on wrongs in other human beings, which, by God, we are told to treat equally, reach out within yourself and realise all your flaws. Once you do, you won’t be pointing fingers at anyone anymore, I assure you of that.
So this woman, Fauzia Azeem aka Qandeel Baloch, wanted to be somewhere. She saw a billboard somewhere in her early years and said to herself, “One day, I’ll be on one of those boards.” Have we not, I ask you Pakistani girls, seen an Iman Ali poster on the chowk where we cross everyday and wondered, “I’d like so pretty up on that billboard, but damn it, I’ve got family reservations, and I could never do it because it’s too much risk.” Risk of what, girls? Risk of society, risk of people who love you, risk of your lover, your husband, risk of possibly anyone or everyone you know who might leave you for what you have done. So in a way, this profession was to leave you secluded, if you were to take it up ever. Isn’t it? However, if one out of a million ever takes the chance, she must be very brave to do so. And she must have pretty strong, valid reasons on doing so. Remember and keep in mind, we DO NOT know anyone’s reasons, only ALLAH does. Only ALLAH judges, and neither you, nor I can.
Whatever reasons Qandeel had of committing to those things that she found out she loved the most, she had her own reasons. We do not know whom she supported, how she supported, and what problems she might have had or faced. Once we see documentaries going inside brothels and see women doing all sorts of things to feed their children, we develop a sort of compassion for them, a sense of pity for the ‘poor souls,’ that they have to stoop to that because they must be so desperate for money and must have had no other way. Then again, do we KNOW that they were desperate enough? Do we know that all of them were desperate enough. No, we don’t. Only ALLAH knows, and therefore Allah judges, ONLY.
When I pass by poor people on the roads, some of them handicapped, some of them poor but enjoying their lives, I get happy and give them money on my own account, thinking of it as ‘sadaqa’ for my family, for my loved ones. I do not judge, maybe some of them live fairly decent lives, maybe some of them smile and don’t even have one meal a day. Who knows? Nobody does.
Qandeel’s death taught me alot about people, about society, and about religion. The affect that it had on me as an individual, I think I did not have time to think about religion and death in a better way than this death. The sad part is, and the tragedy is, that she did not get enough time to make her wrongs right. She did not get a chance to clean her slate, and start all over again. You always come back to your roots, I have heard. Most of the times, I’ve seen people go back to square one, and become what they ALWAYS have been. I’ve seen it in friends, I’ve seen it in family, I’ve seen it everywhere. You go back to your roots, whatever they may be.
It does not matter what I think but just as an opinion, I think whatever Qandeel was upto, she would have improved herself in the future, when she would have gotten bored of all the fame and all the money, and gotten back to being herself, what she once was, what she always had been. Thinking of Veena Malik, and Mathira, all I have to say is, every dog has it’s day. So did she, she was just starting out with her journey, and with it discovering that she could use all this popularity of hers to stand up for women rights in Pakistan. Trust me on that, she would have had alot of support from women in Pakistan once she had done that.
However, the sad and bitter reality of our nation is that a man cannot stand a woman doing her own thing in this country. Many would argue on me over baseless things: bringing religion in, bringing politics in, bringing the tragedies and miseries of the world in. You know what? It has become so easy for us to disregard something that is a tragedy in the world because THERES JUST SO MANY TRAGEDIES GOING ON AT THE SAME TIME. If you talk about a particular tragedy, well guess what, it isn’t even a tragedy to other human beings, who want to argue on the basis of religion. It isn’t a tragedy to those people who are grieved over the millions of muslims dying in Syria, or the millions of muslims dying in Kashmir, or the millions of muslims being killed on a daily basis in most countries of the world; they would argue about the hate crimes and the illness-related deaths in the world, and curse you for arguing over or discussing the death of a ‘bad woman’.
I believe all lives are equal, and should be equally grieved. Some of you may argue that there are so many other girls who die of ‘honour killing’ on a daily basis, but nobody stands up for them. Reality check, girls. THIS WAS ONE WE KNEW OF, and to talk about one is to talk about all of them, and about this EVIL IN SOCIETY through the better-known individual. I’m sure, most of those girls were very innocent, well behaved and followed religion. They still got murdered by the hands of their family members, or their husbands or any male/female in the family who spewed hatred over their existence.
In the country where around a hundred women are either burnt, strangled or shot to death to re-establish ‘honour’ of the family after they do something that allegedly brings shame to family’s name, Qandeel was no exception. She was an exception, however, with her fearless attitude and having zero remorse, or regrets. She said in a few interviews that she did not even regret one thing she had did in her life, and that she was pretty content with herself. Her confidence was scary to me, yet beautiful in how free she felt being just the way she had imagined herself to be.
How many of us can do that? In hiding, some of us are doing things much worse than Qandeel did. But ours are hidden, ofcourse. Otherwise, people would spit and hate on us too. The only hypocrite that I see here is ourselves, and not her. She was there doing it openly, while we do those things behind closed doors. How many of us have not had boyfriends, drank wine or alcohol and smoked around? How many of Pakistani women have not slept around with men who weren’t their husbands, men who weren’t even their lovers, or were men they ‘randomly met’ at a party, got intoxicated and made love to? I would like to ask women this question, being a part of ‘Pakistani society’, don’t you all hide your flaws and weaknesses? Maybe some of you know that you cannot live with one man, and some of you have evolved your lifestyle around this one thing. Do you inform others of your reality? No. You are too scared. Because you want to be accepted in society, to be like everyone else.
Most of us made fun of her, because, in all honesty and being brutally honest here, we didn’t have the guts ourselves to be as bold and confident of our bodies and our sexuality as this one woman. Sure, many of us brought ‘religion’ in, to judge her and her ‘ways.’ Many of us said that this was just ‘plain wrong’, and that she was ‘setting a bad example’. What about the examples of millions of women worldwide being followed by the same teens? Do you think Pakistani girls have Pakistani women idols? Who follows Kim Kardashian’s and Kylie Jenner’s big asses then? Who has instagram pages of porn celebrities and big boobs and big asses all over their ‘followed’ lists? These same ‘teens’ and ‘youth’ that you think women like ‘Qandeel Baloch’ were influencing so badly. Just look at yourselves for once, and then try to justify whether you REALLY BELIEVE yourself when you say this, or were you just plain resenting her because she defied what you really believed in.
Well you know what, you are the ones who highlighted her in the first place. She could not have reached where she did, if it weren’t for women like us, who shared her videos across messenger inboxes and sent links to friends to have a laugh. And then there were more hurtful women who actually made dubsmashes of her and put them on social media. Don’t you have anything better to do? Make a dubsmash of Kim K showing her ass to the entire world. Or better yet, make a video of yourself masturbating to porn in your room, while your boyfriend watches.
Shame on such women, who blame other women for the ‘evil’ in society, and yet fail to realise themselves that by the murder of such women, no matter HOW GOOD OR BAD THEY ARE, ultimately it’s the males telling the females that ‘this society is not for you to conquer, we alone are the conquerers of it.’ In Pakistan, even if you’re Benazir Bhutto, you cannot survive. What was wrong with Benazir Bhutto, I question you all. Nothing. Studied from the best Universities around the world, had knowledge and intellect unmatched by any other Pakistani woman, she was on her way to conquer Pakistan and bring the true positive image out of Pakistani women.
What did the society do to her? They killed her, right? Was she like Qandeel? No. Was she a good woman? Yes. Did she deserve to die (with all due respect to Qandeel) No. Who are we to decide if one should die or not? What about the millions of men who play around with girls on a daily basis in Pakistan, who rape women, who gang rape women, who throw acid on women, who mentally torture their women, who physically abuse their women, who murder women just because she did not give him food on time, and all those bizarre reasons for Pakistani men to kill women. Nobody talks about them.
The rant is over, you may now go back to your lives and pretend you’re the most innocent beings on this planet and have never wronged or sinned. Peace x