The three murderers of Muzammil Bibi have been captured. We are now sicker to our stomachs than ever. Police say the victim’s boyfriend has admitted that she was raped and murdered after refusing to have sex with two of his friends.
She was murdered for saying, “No!” She was hung alive from a tree, and beaten brutally for saying, “NO!” Her lungs were denied another breath for saying, “NO!” As they put the rope around her neck, in tears, in a blood-filled whisper, she said, “No…” Now it is time to pick up her dying breath, her last words, as we say “NO!”
No more denial. No more apathy. No more silence… In the name of Muzammil Bibi, in the name of every victim, and every survivor on this planet, we are taking our last breath before embarking on the fight womankind deserves. We are mounting a real fight. We aren’t asking for justice. We aren’t dancing for a day of justice. We are demanding proactive justice to save the lives of every woman and girl who depends on our actions today. Now, will you lift her name up? Will you be an echo of the proactive justice we are building in “Her Name was Muzammil Bibi”?
Muzammil Bibi was murdered because she refused to give into hyper-masculine, violently misogynistic entitlement. She refused to have sex with two of her boyfriend’s mates when she was ordered to by her boyfriend. So they beat her, brutally. They raped her, repeatedly. Then they lynched her. They hung her alive. Imagine those men’s faces as they watched her struggling for her last breath, a breath that would never come. A dream of potential that would never blossom. A flower of tomorrow hanging from a poisoned tree. She will not just be Muzammil Bibi the tragedy.
She will not be the “Punjab Rape Victim.” We will not settle on a court trial.
We will transform her name into a star, and use it to spell out justice across the solar system—the common roof for all of the life on this planet. We will make Muzammil Bibi mean bravery, and we will shout, “Her Name…Is Muzammil Bibi.” We don’t get anywhere though in defining what Muzammil Bibi means to us, unless we get there together. Let us get there together by starting to get together.
Cast members of Price of Silence’s “Blurred Lines of Justice” are organizing, hitting the streets, and letting people know what the name Muzammil Bibi means. Will you join them?
This is a call to action. It is very simple:
1. Tell a group of your friends about the tragedy that has stolen the life of Muzammil Bibi. Share this post.
2. Ask your friends, fellows, colleagues, fellow students, whoever, to join you at a location where you know there is a heavily trafficked train station, park, beach, market place, storefront, wherever.
3. Get poster board, a sheet, white paper, or whatever you can afford or get your hands on. Write the words, “Her Name Was Muzammil Bibi” on them.
4. Stand at a busy location in a straight line so everyone that walks past you is forced to read the posters.
When people ask, “Who is Muzammil Bibi?” relay her story. Ask people who take pictures to post them with the hashtag, #HerNameWasMuzammilBibi (and you can even write the hashtag on pieces of paper to hand to people).
5. Have a friend take pictures that you can send to local press with Muzammil Bibi’s story. They may not cover it, but it will get the news to the press, which people aren’t just tweeting, but are using to educate the public, as they begin to stand up.
6. Send your pics to Price of Silence and we will create a blog post and help spread the word that we aren’t just sitting around tweeting; we are stretching our legs, all over the world, and we are building ourselves mentally, for what will become the largest stand in history.
Some things people will ask: “How does this change anything?”
Answer: Change doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen by just arresting people, or through fear, it happens through education and by changing mindsets. This is a blossoming movement, and when it flourishes it will create the biggest stand of this century. It will address more than just women’s rights, but also corruption, impunity, poverty, racism, education, caste discrimination, and much more.
Other people will ask: “Aren’t there more important things to worry about in this country (if you are outside of Pakistan)?”
Answer: Today, from this place, we are developing the notion that violence against women, any woman, any place, is violence against womankind. Mankind has created a tiered notion of value for human beings based on artificial constructs—melanin, ethnic identity, gender, religion, lack of religion, education, caste, class, “east,” or “west.” These ideals have created violence. When we unite as one these ideas become ideals to value each other, not separate each other into spheres of worth.
We need to ask of ourselves and others: Did they rape her because she was Dalit? Did they rape her because she was brown? Did they rape her because she was Indian? Did they rape her because she was South Asian? Did they rape her because she was from the so called “East?” Did they rape her because she was from the Near East? Did they rape the girl in school because she was North American? Did they rape her because she was at the party? Did they rape her because she was drunk? Did they rape her because she was black? Did they rape her because she was from Juarez? Did they rape her because she was indigenous? Did they rape her because she was Aboriginal? NO!
What do all those rape victims have in common?
They are women. They were raped first because they were women. They weren’t in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were in entitled space, surrounded by distinctions, codified excuses, and propped up entitlements. It’s time to take a stand and end this.
Statement by: JJ, Artistic Director of Price of Silence
Edited by: Sioux Mahadeo
For more info on Price of Silence, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org