Over the weekend, we learned that 26-year-old Qandeel Baloch, a.k.a. “Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian,” was strangled to death by her brother in what was dubbed an “honor killing.” It happened shortly after Baloch posted a picture on Instagram of herself with a senior religious leader.
The brother, Waseem Ahmed Azeem, was on the run soon after the murder, but he was eventually caught and arrested. When asked about the crime, he confirmed every suspicion about his motives:
“I am proud of what I did. I drugged her first, then I killed her,” Waseem Baloch says. “She was bringing dishonor to our family.”
“I planned this after her scandal with the mufti and was waiting for the right time,” he says.
Waseem goes on to remark that he thinks he will be remembered with pride and honor, and by bringing honor to his family he has earned his place “in heaven.”
“Girls are born to stay home and follow traditions. My sister never did that,” he says.
He admits it. He admits it was all about women knowing their place at home. He admits he killed his sister because she tampered with tradition. He admits this was about preserving his family’s honor.
Honor killings are all too real, and there’s nothing honorable about them. They won’t stop unless this community, this culture, and local leaders (both religious and political) condemn them unequivocally.
Be sure to also read Maajid Nawaz‘s piece on The Daily Beast about Qandeel Baloch’s courage:
most of all let us remember Qandeel Baloch as a fearless Pakistani women’s rights campaigner who had zero fucks left to give.
For it is only by having zero fucks left to give that a woman in today’s Pakistan can be brave enough to post sexually suggestive videos of herself. It is only by having zero fucks left to give that a woman in today’s Pakistan could promise to strip online if her country’s national cricket team won against India. It is only by having zero fucks left to give can a woman in today’s Pakistan pluck up the courage to summon a leading member of her country’s mullah mafia to a hotel room, only to film him turning to putty in her hands, mesmerized by her flirtation as he allowed her to sit in his lap while she donned his religious hat. Apparently, Mufti Abdul Qavi even proposed to her in that fateful hotel room encounter.
This feckless mullah reacted to Qandeel’s murder by claiming it was a lesson to others. Apparently, no one should dare mock religious clerics in this way. Well, Mr. Abdul Qavi, Qandeel Baloch had zero fucks left to give about you.
(Screenshot via BBC)