Posted on April 26, 2017 by beenasarwar
Wrote a short piece last night for the Women’s Regional Network, published on their original content blog. Honoured to be in the company of women like Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal in India, Najla Ayoubi in Afghanistan and others Pakistan taking on issues like how Street Harrassment is Hurting Afghanistan’s Democracy and Development, Young Pakistani Women Recognized for their Achievements, The Rise of Online Trolls in India, Countering Violent Extremism and more. My brief contribution Borderless Issues: Mothers in Conflict also copied below: Continue reading
Filed under: 'War on terror', 'Internally Displaced Persons', Violence in the name of religion | Tagged: Afghanistan, India, Mashal Khan, mothers, nusrat ara, Pakistan, sons, terrorism, women in conflict, women peace prize nobel | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 21, 2017 by beenasarwar
Like many, I feel shattered and heartbroken by the brutal murder of the university student Mashal Khan. In this op-ed published in The News, April 19, 2017, I try to contextualise the tragedy, share my observations about changes underway and suggest a way forward. Copied below with additional links and visuals. Please also sign and share this online petition: Pakistan Against Extremism: Minimum Common Agenda. Continue reading
Filed under: Blasphemy Laws, Violence in the name of religion | Tagged: #MuslimBan, 295-C, blasphemy, cow vigilantism, democratic political process, Gen. Zia, Gojra, justice, Mashal Khan, najeeb zafar, qadri, salmaan taseer, shama shehzad, Trump | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 15, 2017 by beenasarwar
Here’s the story I wrote for The Wire about journalism student Mashal Khan and his barbaric murder on campus yesterday – a tragedy I felt quite gutted by and felt compelled to write about (text below). For a short, sharp analysis of the phenomenon that led to the brutality, read Raza Rumi’s piece in The Daily Times, ‘Blasphemer Hunting must Stop’.
Facebook post by Mashal Khan with an Urdu couplet (roughly translated): Along the way sometimes I feel / As if those hidden eyes are watching me.
Filed under: Blasphemy Laws, Human rights | Tagged: 295-C, blasphemy, Mardan, Mashal Khan, Naimat Ahmar, Pakistan, right wing, vigilantism | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 14, 2017 by beenasarwar
The horrific murder of a journalism student lynched on a university campus in Mardan on April 13 after being accused of ‘blasphemy’, 2017 has revived the urgency of coming together on a joint platform with a minimum common agenda to uphold humanitarian values. Nothing will bring back Mashal Khan, a poet, self-declared humanist and “voice of the voiceless”, but we can at least try to ensure that no other mother loses her Mashal (light) to such barbaric ignorance and orchestrated violence.
Mashal Khan: student, poet, humanist, “voice of the voiceless”
We drafted this statement a few months after the massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar, signed by over a hundred activists, teachers, lawyers and other professionals as well as students in March 2015: Pakistanis against terrorism: Minimum common agenda against violence in the name of religion – below. Does it need to be amended or updated? Continue reading
Filed under: Blasphemy Laws, Human rights | Tagged: blasphemy, journalism, Mashal Khan, mob violence, terrorism, vigilante violence, vigilantism | 5 Comments »
Posted on March 30, 2017 by beenasarwar
Morse School students use ribbons to express their support for immigrant families.
I wrote this piece after a discussion with fourth and fifth graders at a public school in Cambridge MA; slightly different versions published in the Cambridge Chronicle and The News on Sunday. The students’ desire to be “in the news” reflects what I believe is one of journalism’s key roles – to ensure that the voices of the under-represented get heard. The selfie-culture sweeping the world isn’t just about narcissism. It speaks to the human need to be affirmed and remembered. I was here. See me. Hear me.
By Beena Sarwar
“Did you see our ribbons? They are for immigrant families,” says Emma, one of half a dozen 9 and 10-year olds I’m talking to about journalism on a bitterly cold weekend in March.
Filed under: Art and activism, democratic political process, Media, Uncategorized | Tagged: 24/7 news, Education, journalism, Media, public school, Trump | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 15, 2017 by beenasarwar
Sharing details of two very relevant films by Pakistanis whose work I’ve seen and liked: Rahm (Mercy), the movie, in London and Glasgow this Friday…
…And upcoming, seeking support: Forbidden Steps – a feature film that aims to humanize a faith and a people that have long been misrepresented; writer/director Iram Parveen Bilal’s earlier work includes Josh based on Karachi’s Khana Ghar, and The PHD Movie.
Filed under: Art and activism, Islam, Pakistan | Tagged: #MuslimBan, Dance, film, movies, Pakistan | Leave a comment »