“Feminist Hero” murdered by her brothers in Pakistan

A belief system that calls the murder of an unarmed woman an “honour killing” is a belief system that has no honour.  A legal system that allows murderers to escape justice if a family member forgives them, also has no honour. The latest woman murdered in the Islamic country of Pakistan described herself as a modern-day feminist.

“As women we must stand up for ourselves. As women, we must stand up for each other,” she told her 758,000 followers on Facebook, days before her death.

There is clearly no place for feminism in a society with a misogynistic legal system and misogynistic beliefs. Fauzia Azeem, like many Muslim women before her, has learned this the hard way – sadly. I wonder when Western feminists will finally get it? Islam is incompatible with feminism. The Muslim women in the West who claim to be feminists while wearing their hijabs, only have the freedom to say those things because they live in the relative safety of the West. It isn’t Islam that gives them feminist freedom, it is Western civilization.

The brother of murdered Pakistani celebrity Qandeel Baloch said he is “not ashamed” of his actions, as he confessed to strangling her for “family honour”.

At a press conference held by police yesterday after his arrest, Wasim Azeem described his sister, a model turned reality television star who had angered many in Pakistan with a series of risque photographs, videos and publicity stunts promoted on Facebook, as having an “intolerable” showbusiness career.

He said he had killed Baloch for bringing shame on his family.

“Yes of course, I strangled her,” he said. “I am not ashamed. We are Baloch, and as Baloch we cannot tolerate this.
He said he waited until his parents were asleep before drugging and strangling Baloch at their family home in Multan. “I was determined either to kill myself or kill her,” he said.

Baloch recently courted controversy by posing during Ramadan in a series of “selfie” photographs which included Mufti Abdul Qavi, a senior Muslim cleric.

One video shows her sitting on the cleric’s lap.

Qavi, who was suspended from a prominent Muslim council in the controversy following the posts, told local media after Baloch’s death he had “forgiven her” and the matter was now in God’s hands.

He had forgiven her? Who forced him to let her sit on his lap, pray tell?

She also pledged to do a striptease for Pakistan’s cricket team if they beat India in the T20 World Cup.

Pakistani law permits so-called “honour killings” to be treated as a private offence, allowing the culprit to be pardoned by the victim’s family. However, police said prosecutors would seek the “maximum punishment” for Azeem, 25, who had told them that even though his sister’s career brought the family wealth, he killed her because of her “objectionable videos”.

His older brother, Mohammad Aslam Shaheen, has also been charged with murder.

The killing sent shockwaves across Muslim Pakistan and triggered an outpouring of grief on social media for Baloch, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem.

In Facebook posts, Baloch, 26, spoke of trying to change “the typical orthodox mindset” of people in Pakistan.

She faced frequent misogynist abuse and death threats but continued to post provocative pictures and videos.

“As per our initial investigation ‘honour’ is the motive of murder,” said Azhar Ikram, the police chief in Multan, where Baloch was killed.

More than 500 people – almost all women – die in Pakistan each year in such killings, usually carried out by members of the victim’s family meting out punishment for bringing “shame” on the community.

National newspapers paid tribute to the “fearless” Baloch, calling for a new anti-honour killing Bill.

After Baloch’s death, many Pakistanis again called for the passage of an anti-honour killing law, aimed a closing a loophole that allows family members to forgive the killers.

“The death of Qandeel Baloch conveys an insidious message: that women will be kept back at all cost; murdered, if they dare nurture ambitions to break the glass ceiling,” the English daily Dawn newspaper wrote in an editorial on Sunday.

“Her murder…must serve as an impetus for legislators to renew demands for legislation to protect women who are threatened under false notions of ‘honour’.”

Baloch, who called herself a modern day feminist, was described as Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian and built a modelling career on the back of her social media fame.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

– The Telegraph

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