Our Silence Is Criminal


Mehzar was on her way to her school, alongside her father, when they shot at her. Two bullets. Nazar Abbass Zaidi, her father, succumbed to his injuries. Mission accomplished.

There has been no coverage of the incident in mainstream media, so please forgive me if I can’t share more details. There isn’t much to share. Except that a fourteen year old now lies wounded in a hospital bed slowly recovering from her pain, they say when she’s conscious she asks about her father, they say doctors are worried if they operate on her the surgery may leave her paralyzed, they are asking why we are all silent?

I am told the silence is because of fear. There’s a genuine fear about reporting these incidents, there’s a threat to each voice that dares to question or even grieve the killing. While bullets are tainted with the blood of the Shias amongst us the death of our collective conscience is a much bigger catastrophe. It makes us complacent.

For as long as I can remember I have read news reports, human rights journals & watched news clips reporting ‘sectarian violence’, it remains a vivid memory in my mind. But who are these sects we speak of, that are being targeted? It’s not sectarian killing, it’s systematic targeted killing of the members of a sect; the Shias. From hate graffiti to bullet riddled dead bodies its the Shias amongst us that are being eliminated one after the other. But now even the ritual reports on sectarian violence have been silenced.

If Mehzar ever gets a chance at life again, it’s only fair that she hears the truth: Mezhar, it is our bigotry and our shameful silence that killed your father and unless we break free from our fears & acknowledge the glaringly obvious please feel free to blame us for the death of your father, the horrors you will continue to face & for the blood of many more that will continue to be shed while we look away.

Moshin ye Maqbool Riwayat hai jahan main. Qatil kabhi maqtool ka matam nahin kertey

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13 thoughts on “Our Silence Is Criminal”

  1. i just came across your website. kudos to you for being the conscience of us majority who lay silent when the minorities are being brutally attacked.

  2. Unfortuntely this bigotry exists in some Sunni Muslims who do not know how to love people who do not share the same level of belief as they do. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect no matter what their belief.

  3. Beautiful write up Sana as usual!! Its hard to imagine that we the so called parhi likhi awam is still silent of these kind of issues. When Twitter got blocked, it went viral but issues like these never make up on mainstream media unless raised properly….

    Its in our genes now as Pakistani to see that people ignoring these issues…. hatss off Sana for this thought… its time now to speak up now!!!!

    1. Ammar, we have had this discussion on facebook. But just for the record, I don’t believe it is ever too late for anyone to stand up against bigotry. Rather than deterring others from speaking out, we should be encouraging more of us to keep speaking out.

  4. Sana, I prefer not to read you for some different reasons but this exactly my voice when I think about the incident that Mehzar faced! To be honest, me being “A” don’t want to blame any “B” for this… this is me! Your last sentence says it all…

    “Moshin ye Maqbool Riwayat hai jahan main. Qatil kabhi maqtool ka matam nahin kertey”

    I am not here to discuss my opinion about Malala case but just wanted to ask a single question to each and every Media person who is silent… what if Mehzar was your kid… and what this has happened to you! #justwondering

    1. Hi Moosa, thank you for your comment given the fact that you aren’t a regular reader of the blog. There should be no comparison when it comes to human life.

  5. Thanks for writing. Can this not be published in mainstream? If some (other than Shia themselves) have gathered the courage to write on the issue, can they not write in mainstream? Considering you already write in mainstream papers.

  6. The Ahmadiyya have set up their own news media to document their persecution, and the persecution of others. Follow their example. You will be rewarded for bringing truth to light.

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