Last night Fasih Ahmed, the editor of Newsweek Pakistan, jolted Twitter with his jokes about the Zainab rape case. And Twitter did not take them well.
The sexual abuse of children will always exist. You can never eliminate it. Sometimes it leads to great art. So there’s also that.
— Fasih Ahmed (@therealfasih) January 23, 2018
The series of tweets he did were followed by a huge backlash from the audience and rightly so
Are you in your senses @therealfasih? I doubt your sensibility if your twitter account is not compromised. Sickening
— Dr. Rooh Ullah (@hellodrsoul) January 23, 2018
Jesus dude just accept that you put this in the worst possible terms at the worst possible time and quit trying to be edgy.
— Malice Amarantine (@BeautyDestroyed) January 24, 2018
This backlash has spilled over, beyond Pakistan, now
Hollywood celebrities, international journalists, activists and media personnel have also picked up the unusual tweets and expressed their disgust.
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) January 23, 2018
Actress Alyssa Milano was one of the Hollywood celebrities who called out Newsweek
This development has laid bare the discussion that organizations are responsible for opinions of the people associated with them.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) January 24, 2018
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) January 23, 2018
He was also called a disgrace
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) January 23, 2018
And they pointed out how rape is not a matter of joke
Indeed, we, initially were mistakenly of the opinion that he may be trying to make these disgusting remarks as a form of “satire”. And we apologize for our readers thinking that we were trying to defend the man’s opinions on sexual abuse.
No Mr. Ahmed, rape by Tom Cruise is NOT a dream come true. What is wrong with you?
— SheWhoVotes (@SheWhoVotes) January 23, 2018
— #FireFasih ?️? (@merabichrayaar) January 23, 2018
This shows how quickly the topic of sexual abuse is relevant all over the world, given recent sexual abuse discussions in Hollywood
People are commenting on the tweets of these Hollywood celebrities to express their disgust.
Ugh…I am a generous person. I think he needs to delete the tweets and issue an apology for them. It’s so hard to figure people out. Saying those words (especially after #MeToo), seems incredibly tone deaf.
— Becky (@RealBeckyJo) January 23, 2018
What the hell kind of fuckery is going on at Newsweek? #MeToo
— Jess Clackum (@JessicaClackum) January 23, 2018
OMG is this clown really saying abuse leads to art?
— Samantha Garcia (@samraegaz) January 24, 2018
Ewwwwww !!! someone needs to check the hard drive of his computer …thats so disturbing….I need a shower now.?
— T'mara Michaels (@spiderbsider) January 24, 2018
I dont expect much from musalmaniacs. They will defend anything. ANYTHING. They have devolved from humans to subhumans. Not part of mammals.
— Winestein (@FolderTemp) January 23, 2018
Anyone without their heads in the sand knows this will be the next sexual "civil right" movement the left will be pushing
— MagicMetalKnight?⚔️ (@MagicMetalNinja) January 23, 2018
And the international backlash has also prompted a response from Newsweek who have declared that they’re evaluating their relationship with Newsweek Pakistan
Thanks for bringing this to our attention, @Alyssa_Milano. Recent tweets by Newsweek Pakistan editor @therealfasih do not represent the views of @Newsweek. We are reviewing our relationship with Newsweek Pakistan, which operates under a license agreement.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) January 24, 2018
The backlash indeed proves that the situation is indeed getting darker and is going to have repercussions. People are finally genuinely speaking up about an issue that they feel strongly about and think that it needs to be eradicated from the society. And this is not just limited to Pakistani audiences but these words have had an impact. Such issues prove that people from around the globe are ready to join forces on issues that effect humanity on a day to day basis.
There are contrary views in certain circles of Pakistan on the matter with some defending the man
While some are saying that it was an attempt at sarcasm, others believe that he went a little too far and crossed a line by making a joke out of such a sensitive issue.
If you yourself don’t find any kind of humor to any hard situation funny that to is fine and I respect you for it but how can you defend one victim by abusing another? How do you justify where your sensitivity or lack of it is coming from?
— Shahbaz Taseer (@ShahbazTaseer) January 24, 2018
I don't see @therealfasih as a pedophile or supporting child abuse in any https://t.co/hMrxtECw0b his Tweet's&the threads below them clearly.Wht he's saying is horrific and blood curling but true,even if the way he's said it may be offensive to some.Time to own up to these truths
— Shehrbano Taseer (@shehrbanotaseer) January 24, 2018
Please guys #NotAllTaseers. Support for Fasih is coming from my estranged embezzling stepmother ‘s side of the family who would sell their soul for a back stage pass. Am disgusted and appalled
— sanamT (@sanamtaseer) January 24, 2018
— Sara Taseer (@sarataseer) January 24, 2018
Of course, people have different perspectives and tend to look at situations differently but this is what we feel
The aftermath of the situation should have prompted Fasih Ahmed to issue an apology for his tweets because that was an ill-timed remark. Clearly his expression has outraged a lot of people and a sensible thing to do in the matter would be to own up to his mistake.
It has not always been the case that the people of the country join forces to discuss such matters and when they do, it means that they feel strongly about it. That should be respected and encouraged. Yes, everyone is aware of this denialism that exists in the country and the tendency to forget matters for another news, but at this point what matters is that everyone is together in this. And we as individuals need to gauge on which side do we stand; those speaking up or those mocking those who are finally speaking up?