Just over 24 hours ago, Faisal Edhi, the son of Abdus Sattar Edhi became a part of the alleged culprits of harassment. Another well-known comedian, Junaid Akram also had claims made against him.
In the wake of this, comedian Shehzad Ghias has emerged on the right side of things.
In a Facebook update, he posted a screenshot of responses people have given in the past 24 hours in light of harassment allegations against Faisal Edhi and Junaid Akram.
Under the picture he wrote:
“How to not respond to the #metoo movement
This is literally all the comments so far on the Dawn story of the accusations against Faisal Edhi and Junaid Akram.
Based on everything I have seen, as a comedian and a social media personality, I would like to categorically unequivocally state that I will not perform at any show where Junaid Akram is invited.#WeBelieveSurvivors“
The fact that Abdus Sattar Edhi’s son was the alleged harasser this time around, literally threw everyone in a frenzy. Some people even went on a barrage of attacks against Urooj Zia who came out against Faisal in a rather brave Twitter status update.
*takes a deep breathe*
Since this is all coming out, #MeToo too many times than I can count, but this one is about Faisal Edhi, Abdus Sattar Edhi’s son – the guy heading the Edhi Foundation now.
It happened when I was very young (22 or 23 years old, I think.)
— Urooj Zia (@Sewrigami) October 10, 2018
Similarly, TV show host Rabia Anum Obaid narrated her experience of harassment, allegedly at the hands of Junaid Akram.
So Several Young Girls are speaking out against the Sexual harassment attempts by a Known Social media Guy and a Comedian. He not only lied to a dozen girls but now also pressurising them to stay quiet. Some of the girls have reached out to me for help.
Kya karna chahye?
— Rabia Anum Obaid (@RabiaAnumm) October 9, 2018
These two latest claims are fueling up social media with ongoing debates about the state of the #MeToo movement in Pakistan.
Coming back to Shehzad Ghias, however, his stance is solid and serves as a model for emulation for others in the industry and everyone else, for that matter.
The fact that Shehzad did not cover the names of the people shows that there might just be power in naming and shaming such viewpoints that unknowingly (or knowingly) banish possible victims into the shadows of silence. Perhaps that is something the general public should adopt as well. If you see something wrong, if you come across an oppressive stance, speak up! Such issues cannot be dealt with an on the fence stance, particularly because that on the fence stance is heavily critical of the victim as opposed to the perpetrator. We don’t see people asking for accountability from the alleged culprits on the chance that the claims are true. Rather, supposedly ‘neutral’ stances almost always question the veracity of the victims themselves.
Moreover, Shehzad has shown that it is possible to involve ourselves in concrete action. The small step vowing not to work with Junaid Akram has at least created this air of solidarity with possible victims. Such actions create a safe space for more victims, male or female to come out and share their stories.
Earlier in July, he spoke eloquently of how to keep election fever in check. Today, in the wake of several #MeToo moments that have enveloped the country, Shehzad Ghias Sheikh has shown his stance firm and clear, yet again.
Definitely a learning point for all those who say #MeToo is useless and won’t achieve anything.