On August 12, 1948, two days before Pakistan was to celebrate the first anniversary of its creation (August 14, 1947), the Pakistani government attacked and killed over 600 Pashtuns during a peaceful demonstration against the unjust imprisonment of several Pashtun leaders demanding justice for Pashtuns. This took place in a town called Babarra in Charasadda, Pakhtunkhwa. Hardly anyone knows about this massacre and Pakistan doesn’t want to acknowledge it; such denial on Pakistan’s part and the ignorance on Pakistanis’, including Pashtuns’, part is unacceptable. We can’t bring the dead back, and we can’t heal the wounded, but there’s a reason history is important. It’s especially unhelpful that Pashtuns don’t know about it because that’s a part of the deliberate attempts on Pakistan’s part to keep Pashtuns as ignorant of their history as possible. I have my theories about why this is so (e.g., aware Pashtuns as a threat to Pakistan), but we’ll talk about that another time.
Continuing our series on Pashtun women’s experiences with social media / what it’s like being a Pashtun woman on good ol’ internet. (The other stories are linked at the bottom of this post. Please be sure to read the Introduction to the series! I’m afraid someone brilliant is going to rise up and say, “But it’s not just Pashtun women who face these problems! Why are you targeting Pashtun men as harassers only?!” Because you didn’t read. READ!) Continue reading →
Continuing our series on Pashtun women’s experiences with social media / what it’s like being a Pashtun woman on good ol’ internet. (The other stories are linked at the bottom of this post. PLEASE read the Introduction to the series so you understand why I choose to focus on Pashtuns and not on other people. No, harassment and intimidation have no race, I know that.) Note that one of the following ladies’ harassers has been identified and his Facebook is linked; another of her harassers, a Hamza Jahed, is also linked with his Facebook – and a quick visit to Hamza’s FB page proves the man’s hypocrisy: he’s got pictures of the Qur’an with Allah’s name here and there! I believe in naming and shaming to death all men like this.
Here’s some love to the littlest feminist I know ❤
When Kashmala was turning five (last year), I decided to start writing letters to her as a birthday message – that I hope she’ll read when she grows older. Or now, whatever works. The first letter can be read here. Here’s the second one. InshaAllah, I’ll write many more to her, if I don’t forget ❤
I’m actually not sure what I’m going to say here … then again, I wasn’t sure what I was gonna write in the last one, either, but I feel like I wrote a pretty good letter to her ❤ Just being real and honest when I say I’d consider myself pretty darn lucky if I had an aunt/uncle like me. But I’ve got a niece who love me unconditionally, so no complaints here!
The firs story in the series of being a (Pashtun) woman on the Internet. (Be sure to read this, folks – I’m afraid someone brilliant is going to come up and say, “But it’s not just Pashtun women who face these problems! Why are you targeting Pashtun men as harassers only?!” Because you didn’t read.)
The following person shall remain anonymous. Whatever I am sharing has been approved by her. It is told from her perspective.
Pasting the following brief intro to Samar Minallah from my old blog:
Continuing our discussion on Pashtun leaders, both past and contemporary, we present to you – – – Samar Minallah. I’ve been meaning to write about her for over a year, but I think she’s so important that I’m afraid of not introducing her fairly enough. So please remember that these biographies of Pashtun leaders are intended to be only a glimpse of their lives and achievements and are not intended to be complete sketches of their lives. Thanks! 🙂
Pakistan has to be the most creative country in the world with its conspiracy theorists. Look them up if you’re interested, but I’m most fascinated by the anti-Malala rhetoric being produced in Pakistan or by Pakistanis outside of the country. Believe it – there are humans (Pakistanis) with plenty of time on their hands to hate a teenager with passion, manipulate her story, and mislead other fellow Pakistanis.
See? Not ALL Pakistanis hate her.
It’s not all, I know–it’s never all. And there are many articles already in existence taking issue with the claim that “Pakistanis” hate Malala. Take this article, for example: Actually, All Pakistanis Don’t Hate Malala (because saying “Pakistanis” hate Malala obviously = “All Pakistanis hate Malala”). But the fact is that way too many Pakistanis do hate her; check out the comment section on literally any article on Malala, whether by the haters or by the lovers or by the indifferent; check the comments under this one out, for example: You can’t keep her down! Vote Malala for Pakistani PM. Or check out the many Facebook groups created with names like “we hate Malala.” Orr literally just google “Malala haters” or “why do some people hate Malala” or something.
Because today, December 10, 2014, is the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony, and Malala is there along with many other Pashtuns.
The post below is basically copied and pasted from my Facebook status about the matter. Since it wasn’t intended as a formal write-up and was written in a rush, there may be many typos and disjointed thoughts. Apologies in advance for those.
SO INFINITELY PROUD that Malala has won the Nobel Peace Prize!! I was thinking and thinking about reasons why people might suspect she doesn’t deserve this thing, but I have come to find none. There are a couple of points, though, and specifically in response to those who’ve been asking me what I think about Malala and the fact that she’s become the youngest person in the world to win the Nobel Prize (and the first Pashtun person, let alone woman, to do so, and the first Pakistani woman to do so). So here.
What better day than August 14th to write about the prominent Pashtun leader and thinker, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan – popularly known as Baacha Khan (or Badshah Khan)!
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, also known as Bacha Khan (1890 – 1988)
Bacha Khan, father of Ghani Khan and Wali Khan, was born in 1890 in Utmanzai (Charsadda) in Peshawar. The fourth child, he was sent to a local mosque for religious education. After the completion of his Qur’an lessons, he was sent to the Municipal Board High School in Peshawar, where he later joined the Edwardes Memorial Mission High School. When his elder brother was sent to Bombay for medical school, Bacha Khan remained with his family servant, who later influenced Bacha Khan’s decision to join the British Indian army. However, as he was in the process of applying, he witnessed a British Raj officer mistreating a countryman and also realized that the Guide officers, an elite corp of Pashtun soldiers for the British Raj, were treated like second-class citizens; this highly offended him and made him change his mind about joining the army.
Again: Pasting from the old blog! (Just a reminder, I’ll be doing this with most of the posts from there! So please be patient in case you’re getting too many notifications from me with the updates.)
Khan Abdul Ghani Khan (commonly known as Ghani Baba or Ghani Khan) (1914-1996)
Young Ghani Khan
Ghani Khan was born in January 1914 in Utmanzai, Hashtnagar, in present-day Charsadda in Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pashtunkhwa. His father was Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Bacha Khan), a prominent and respected Pashtun leader who rose to international fame because of his teachings against violence and his efforts to fight for independence from British India without violence. Often dubbed “the Frontir Gandhi” [“Frontier” refers to the former name of the northwestern Pakistani province now called Khyber Pashtunkhwa], Ghani Khan’s father and Gandhi shared many of the same ideas and beliefs, but Bacha Khan is not known nearly as widely as Gandhi is. (I’ll write about Bacha Khan for next week.) As for Ghani Khan’s mother, Meharqanda, she hailed from a village nearby, married Ghani’s father in 1912, and passed away a little after World War I of influenza. She left Ghani when he was six years old–he was the oldest among his siblings. His younger brother, Khan Abdul Wali Khan (Wali Khan), Ghani’s younger brother, also grew up to be an influential leader, a politician, in Pashtunkhwa.