Something really disgusting happened today.
I woke up, opened my Instagram, and saw a message. It stated that one of my posts had been deleted, because it did not follow “community guidelines”.
When I checked my page to see what had been removed, it was the one about Malala Yousafzai, and her disenfranchised Pashtun identity in a Punjabi/Muhajir privileged Pakistani society. This picture had a link to my blog, that discussed the second-class status of Pashtuns living in Pakistan, who are constantly marginalized, and physically under attack in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
So now I understand, that Instagram will tolerate Kim Kardashians facing down with her rear-end exposed, over Pashtun lives.
Now I know, that those who live in the “drone capital of the world”, matter less than the millions of “Instagram models” who parade around in lingerie.
This was disciplinary action taken against me for shedding light on an issue that has been perpetually swept under the rug. And it would not have been so, if someone, maybe a friend, maybe a random Instagram lurker, reported the post.
I am at a loss for words. I am extremely upset and angry.
I understand that my opinions (which are all fact-based) on Punjabi privilege may come off as insensitive or aggressive. Some might even think I’m racist. Which is far from the truth.
But so do bombs falling on my Pashtun brethren thanks to the Pakistani ISI and the CIA.
So no, sorry I’m not sorry.
And a huge middle finger to those Instagram “lurkers” who report my political posts because I’m whiste-blowing on something no one wants to admit.
My whole life I have lobbied for one Ummah. I gave up my entire summer to fight for Palestine.
But the second I raise awareness about the state of Afghans and Pashtuns in Pakistan, I am silenced.
People unfollowed me, people blocked me. People I personally know.
But I will not apologize for any of my actions. If you feel like your toes are being stepped on – then they probably are. No one said you have to agree.
One of the tenets in my 6,000 year old Pashtun code of honor is called Badal. This is seeking revenge against a wrongdoer. Another is Turah, which is bravery. We also believe in Sabat, or loyalty. And most important, is Khegera, righteousness, and Nang, honor.
I take all of these into consideration when making any of my posts. I strive very hard to write about what matters, and exposing the wrongdoers for their malice.
So to whoever reported my post, congrats. You got one picture off my page deleted. Hooray.
But you’ll learn what every empire who has come through Afghanistan has learned, we do not stop the fight until we come out victorious. My pen and my voice are my sword and my armor. And I will not stop the battle until everyone knows that Afghan lives matter.
Afghanistan zindabaad. Pashtunistan zindabaad.
And to my haters, Mordabaad.