Gender, Social Justice

The Newsweek Pakistan editor, Fasih Ahmed, believes that child abuse and slavery produce ‘great art.’ Really?

An internet troll with influence. And we're not talking about Trump.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed, as one does, when I saw something that made my stomach turn into a ball of knots, making me feel extremely queasy. I was unable to breathe and to even think straight, and only able to question the insensitivity of certain human beings inhabiting our planet Earth.

I thought the brutal rape and murder of children would be enough to make one angry at the state of the world we live in.

Any person with a conscience knows the gravity of this issue, and that it’s imperative that they do whatever it takes on their part to make a difference. Apparently, that’s not the case for Fasih Ahmed, who isn’t just your garden-variety internet troll with zero decency and immense amounts of time on his hands. He is, in fact, the editor of Newsweek Pakistan, and in possession of a verified Twitter account.

Trust me, if you don’t know who he is, consider yourself blessed.

Any person with a conscience knows the gravity of this issue and that something must be done to stop this heinous crime. Apparently, that's not the case for @therealfasih. Click To Tweet

In the wake of speculation surrounding the heartbreaking case of 7-year old Zainab’s rape and murder, Fasih thought it’d be an absolutely great idea to joke about the rapist’s sexuality on Twitter, saying, “On the bright side, at least he’s straight.”

Screenshot of Fasih Ahmed’s tweet saying “On the bright side, at least he’s straight”
Source: Twitter

Naturally, he got some serious backlash for this comment, but his utter refusal to back down and respond with even crappier comments was appalling, to say the least.

Another one of his tweets stated how rape is a “subjective” ordeal while giving one of the most craptastic examples I have ever seen to date. Does this imbecile not realize just how awful of a thing rape is? How much unenlightenment does it take for one to blatantly state that rape can be one’s dream coming true?

Screenshot of Fasih Ahmed’s tweet saying “Rape by, say, Obama is rape. Rape say, by, Tom Cruise is everyone’s dream come true. All subjective”
Source: Twitter

Does he even know what’s happening to Hollywood A-Listers whose sexual harassment cases are coming out in the open?

We can sink Tom Cruise’s career faster than the Titanic if it ever happened.

We can sink Tom Cruise’s career faster than the Titanic if we found out he did something he shouldn't have done. Click To Tweet

But that’s not the worst of it.

He later went on to extend his idiocy by tweeting that despite all our efforts to raise awareness and protest against it, child sexual abuse will always exist and that it even “leads to great art.”

Screenshot of Fasih Ahmed’s tweet saying that child sexual abuse will always exist. You can never eliminate it. Sometimes it leads to great art. So that.
Source: Twitter

This is so beyond appalling, I can’t even wrap my head around it. The editor of a news column says that child sexual abuse was “okay,” will be “okay”, and that it can even lead to great art. I know, I couldn’t believe it at first, either. Or maybe it shouldn’t be all that surprising, considering he has Trump artwork as his profile picture.

This pathetic excuse of a human being was, ironically, also going to be running the Lahore Literary Festival; a three-day public event that will feature national and international writers as well as artists engaging in political and social discussions.

How the hell is a person who lacks basic humanity going to talk about social discussions?

If he doesn’t feel a speck of hatred for the perpetrators produced by this very society, he has no right to express his vile opinions on it, either.

But the inhabitants of Twitter-verse have (thankfully) taken it upon themselves to report Fasih’s actions to Newsweek and give rise to the hashtags #FireFasih and #BoycottLLF. It also caught the attention of prominent Egyptian-American journalist and author, Mona Eltahawy, who reacted and spread the word around via her own Twitter account. Fasih responded to her calling him out by, funnily enough, telling her to “act her age” and how “her hair color was clearly seeping in.”

Maturity and respect are clearly dead to this man.

According to Fasih’s opinion, problems such as child sexual abuse will always exist, despite all that we’re doing to eradicate it. For someone working in the media, he doesn’t believe in the power of even the smallest of efforts (such as raising your voice and protesting) and how they contribute to the bigger picture, altogether. I bet he probably thought he could get away with it, despite our reactions and hash-tagging.

According to @therealfasih, problems such as child sexual abuse will always exist, despite all we are doing to eradicate it. Click To Tweet

Well, a couple of hours later, this came from the official Lahore Literary Festival twitter account:

Newsweek’s official Twitter also responded:

Bet he didn’t see that coming…

So there are some things Mr. Fasih Ahmed (and people like him) can learn from this: never underestimate the power of people who are willing to stand up to wrongdoings, regardless of their numbers, because they can make one hell of a difference. Whether it be this second or ten years into the future.

You mess with the bull, you get the horns.

Never underestimate the power of people who are willing to stand up to wrongdoings, regardless of their numbers, because they can make one hell of a difference. Click To Tweet
Arsh Khan

Arsh Khan

Graduated with an Honours degree in Applied Psychology from Kinnaird College for Women University. Community Editor at The Tempest. Just your sassy, classy, and very smart-assy Pakistani woman whose dream is to sip on some good chai while she watches the patriarchy burn to the ground.

Momina Naveed

Momina Naveed

Professional ranting enthusiast from Lahore, Pakistan. When she’s not busy arguing with sexist misogynists, you may find her ogling fluffy dogs, matching foundation shades like a relentless lunatic, and binge watching Grey’s Anatomy.

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