I’m Sorry, Mashal Khan

“The difference between my darkness and your darkness is that I can look at my own badness in the face and accept its existence while you are busy covering your mirror with a white linen sheet. The difference between my sins and your sins is that when I sin I know I’m sinning while you have actually fallen prey to your own fabricated illusions. I am a siren, a mermaid; I know that I am beautiful while basking on the ocean’s waves and I know that I can eat flesh and bones at the bottom of the sea. You are a white witch, a wizard; your spells are manipulations and your cauldron from hell yet you wrap yourself in white and wear a silver wig.”

This is a quote by C. Joybell C that Mashal Khan posted on his FB wall. Yesterday Mashal Khan, a journalism student at Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan, northern Pakistan, was lynched by a mob that accused him of spreading blasphemy on social media. Khan had trained as a civil engineer in Russia before becoming a student of journalism.

After his death at the hands of a 500-strong mob, people found his social media pages. Instead of blasphemy, they found messages he’d written about inclusivity and acceptance. About being different. About being a good person based on an internal code of morals and ethics, not by following rules and regulations.

Here is something he wrote: “If you are black or you are brown or you are gay or you are lesbian or you are trans or you are introvert, anyone that is treating you unkindly, it’s only because they are afraid or they have been taught to be afraid of how important you are. Because being different means you make a difference. So f*** em…”

He called himself a humanist.

RIP Mashal Khan: we have lost a good man, with your qualities of humanism and empathy. Pakistan is a poorer nation without you – and we can ill-afford to squander the good people we have left.

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