Updated- Tuesday January 23, 2018:
Just heard the news that the accused rapist and killer of little Zainab has been apprehended. He is a 24-years neighbor of Zainab’s family and the DNA testing has linked him with the rape and murder of 7 other girls in the area. The government of Pakistan is promising swift proceedings in the courts. I hope and pray that they have indeed caught the beast and that justice will be served swiftly.
This is by far the most difficult post I have ever published.
If any crime can be called heinous, this is it. Like millions of people, the news of the brutal rape and murder of the 7-year- old Zainab Amin in Kasur, Pakistan made me sick to my stomach.
When you look up the dictionary for the meaning of ‘heinous’, the following words pop up:
Wicked, evil, atrocious, monstrous, abominable, detestable, contemptible, despicable, egregious, horrific, awful, abhorrent, hideous, unspeakable, odious, terrible and villainous.
This crime is all of the above and then some.
The news coverage is painful to watch. As of now, the culprit has not been caught but is suspected to be an acquaintance of the little girl.
According to the reports, the 7-year-old Zainab went to a Qur’an class nearby and never returned. Her body was found in a heap of garbage about a mile from her home. Her parents were on the minor pilgrimage to Makkah (Umrah) at the time, leaving Zainab to stay with her aunt. I have deliberately not included her picture on this post. It is too painful for me to look at her picture.
Close Circuit TV footage shows Zainab walking with a man, seemingly happy and under no duress, indicating she likely knew the culprit.
The city, and very quickly the whole country, went into an outrage. Protests erupted as the police and authorities were blamed for inaction. There are 12 other similar reports that have been reported in the city in the past two years and the DNA evidence links at least five of them to one suspect.
The outpouring of grief, anger and shock from villagers, strangers and celebrities across the nation has gripped Pakistan, and the overseas Pakistanis as well as other communities internationally. The media has been all over the case both locally and internationally. The #JusticeForZainab quickly went viral.
The father has blamed the police for acting very slowly. Apparently relatives, not the police, found the CCTV video footage. The local police has been also blamed for being complacent in prior such incidences.
I certainly hope the culprit is brought to justice quickly. I hope he receives the punishment he deserves. As a believer, I know he will face the ultimate justice in the afterlife but I hope justice is served in this world quickly. I want this to be a deterrent to the would-be-rapists and would- be-murderers who take away innocent lives and leave their parents and others a lifetime of grief and emptiness.
I know some people have been critical of the girl’s father asking to remove the local chief who was in charge of the investigation, as he belongs to the Ahmadiyya sect, deemed “Non Muslims” in Pakistan. This has been called bigotry.
In any other situation, I would say you have a point but for the father of this terrible tragedy to be accused of this? Do we know what he must be going through? I would not wish this to my worst enemy. The focus must be on the tragedy, finding the culprit to bring justice and prevent further tragedies.
Call to action:
What can I do to help, sitting thousands of miles from her town? I could certainly pray for her soul, and her family and friends (as I have been). I can also do my little bit to help put pressure on the authorities to take action, and leave no stone unturned to find the culprit and bring him to justice. I know it won’t bring the innocent little Zainab back, but justice will be served.
I have sent a message to the Pakistani embassy in Washington DC. I urge you to do the same. Email them or call them up. You don’t have to have Pakistani roots to do it. You just have to have a beating heart.
Send them a strong message through the embassy contact page to express your grief and outrage, and ask them to use whatever resources are needed to capture the culprit and bring him to justice:
Call them at:
Let’s pray for the soul of the little girl whose only fault was to trust a seemingly family friend or a family member. May God bless her soul, give strength to her family, especially her parents, to bear this unimaginable tragedy. Ameen.