The brutal rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab Ansari triggered massive protests across Pakistan – a great deal of further outrage when Fasih Ahmed, above, the editor-in-chief of Newsweek Pakistan tweeted on January 23 that the sexual abuse of children cannot be eliminated and at times can even pave way for ‘great art’.
According to this report, he hurriedly deleted the tweet. But screenshots of his tweet flooded the Internet, especially Twitter.
However, he did not delete other tweets he had posted on the same day. On read:
Child sexual abuse has always happened, is happening, and will always continue. Two days of outrage on Twitter and participating in a 10-person vigil may make you feel so noble but that’s all just about you, not those who’ve been victimized.
Another deleted tweet said:
Ahmed has since backtracked, saying:
Rape by, say, Obama is rape. Rape by, say, Tom Cruise is everyone’s dream come true. All subjective.
My tweets of yesterday were coming from anger, were poorly phrased, and misread. I’m sorry to have upset the people who have survived child abuse. I have been angry at the conspiracy of silence around this evil. #MeToo #StopChildAbuse.
This did nothing to appease the the management of Lahore Literature Festival (LLF) which has since severed relations with Ahmed.
On Facebook and Twitter, LLF wrote:
The Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) has received several complaints pertaining to the tweets on January 23, 2018 from the personal twitter handle of Mr Fasih Ahmed. This account and its tweets do not in any way represent or reflect the ethos or values of the LLF.
In view of the same, Mr Ahmed has recused himself from the LLF and the Board has unanimously accepted his resignation.
And Newsweek announced it was reviewing its relationship with Newsweek Pakistan.