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Woman Behind Pakistan's First Hackathon, Sabeen Mahmud, Shot Dead 494

An anonymous reader sends word that Sabeen Mahmud, a prominent Pakistani social and human rights activist, has been shot dead. The progressive activist and organizer who ran Pakistan's first-ever hackathon and led a human rights and a peace-focused nonprofit known as The Second Floor (T2F) was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Karachi. Sabeen Mahmud was leaving the T2F offices with her mother some time after 9pm on Friday evening, reports the Pakistani newspaper Dawn. She was on her way home when she was shot, the paper reports. Her mother also sustained bullet wounds and is currently being treated at a hospital; she is said to be in critical condition.
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Woman Behind Pakistan's First Hackathon, Sabeen Mahmud, Shot Dead

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  • Damn... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @12:51PM (#49555205)

    You think the US is hostile to women in tech?

    I hope they find the bastards who did this, but I'm not holding my breath. She seemed like a vibrant, engaging, and intelligent woman. Pakistan will need more people like her to continue the fight against their more regressive, barbaric elements. My condolences to her family and friends.

    • Re:Damn... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @01:01PM (#49555249) Journal

      Pakistan is a very radical Islamic country. Why did they seceed from India when India has millions of muslims? Because it wasn't radical enough. Education is dangerous to the extremists with beards if women started thinking for themselves then how can they have Sharia law?

      • Re:Damn... (Score:4, Informative)

        by mean pun ( 717227 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @01:39PM (#49555425)
        These neat little theories are always so so convenient to explain why everyone else is inferior. Yet Pakistan elected a woman as prime minister: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org]. Perhaps the world is more complicated than these little theories suggest?
        • Re:Damn... (Score:5, Informative)

          by GiganticLyingMouth ( 1691940 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @05:20PM (#49556315)

          These neat little theories are always so so convenient to explain why everyone else is inferior. Yet Pakistan elected a woman as prime minister: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org]. Perhaps the world is more complicated than these little theories suggest?

          ... the fine print being that she too was murdered (in 2007), with Al-Qaeda claiming responsibility. Arguing that Pakistan doesn't have a problem with militant islamist groups murdering women is a pretty tough sell

        • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

          Pakistan is a country of islands of modernity, surrounded by an ocean of the dark age. It's definitely neither uniform nor unified. It has little control over its own mountainous regions, barbarians operate with little repercussion, and even in the civilized areas the government, even the military, is corrupt and purchasable by extremists.

          Also, Ms. Bhutto probably has much better protection than the poor murdered girl.

      • Re:Damn... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @01:45PM (#49555465)

        wrong, get a refund on your history lessons, radical islam not responsible for Pakistan but rather push lead by All-India Muslim league which was concerned with rights for muslims and also by the way led in promoting the democratic process for Pakistan.

        only about 15 of the populace of Pakistan would be "radical" by any standard. The rest are "hippy muslims" that drink, smoke (and not just tobacco), watch porn, gamble etc.

        • Re:Damn... (Score:5, Informative)

          by BCGlorfindel ( 256775 ) <klassenk&brandonu,ca> on Monday April 27, 2015 @10:03AM (#49559751) Journal

          wrong, get a refund on your history lessons, radical islam not responsible for Pakistan but rather push lead by All-India Muslim league which was concerned with rights for muslims and also by the way led in promoting the democratic process for Pakistan.

          only about 15 of the populace of Pakistan would be "radical" by any standard. The rest are "hippy muslims" that drink, smoke (and not just tobacco), watch porn, gamble etc.

          I'm not sure you are defining "radical" the same as we would in the western world. Does support for punishing blasphemy and apostasy with the death penalty count as "radical"?

          Shahbaz Bhatti was Pakistan's Minister for Minorities Affairs and he made his opposition to the blasphemy laws known, and he was assassinated in 2011.
          Salmaan Taseer was the Governor of Punjab and he made his opposition to the blasphemy laws known. He was assassinated by his own security guard once again in 2011.

          Now, before you declare that assassinations are often a fringe movement, lets look at the treatment of the guard that killed Taseer. Nearly 500 clerics [eurasiareview.com] praised the murder and called for a boycott of Taseer's funeral.

          Also take a close look at the blasphemy cases brought up regularly in Pakistan. Very often the accused don't make it to trial or execution before they killed by an angry mob, or while under police 'protection'.

          There are moderates in Pakistan that are opposed to the same radicals that we are. People like Sabeen Mahmud, Salmaan Taseer, Shabaz Bhati, and Benazir Bhutto all share many of our more moderate and tolerant views and values. The severity of the problems in Pakistan though are revealed in that same list as those moderates are increasingly ending up dead like EVERYONE in that list. We have survivors as well, like Malala Yousef, the young school girl shot in the face on her bus by the TTP. Of course, she is carying on from Britain right now because the TTP have sworn to finish her off should she return.

          Oh, and it should be noted that everyone on that list save Shabaz Bhati were muslims as well. The severity of the extremism in that ?15%? is staggering and I also seriously question that the percentage is fairly characterized as merely 15%.

      • Re:Damn... (Score:5, Funny)

        by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @02:13PM (#49555615)

        Education is dangerous to the extremists with beards if women started thinking for themselves then how can they have Sharia law?

        Exactly, and on a side note, this perfectly illustrates the mentality of men who have beards. Hipsters and women who are attracted to bearded men, take note.

      • Pakistan exists because of the machinations of the British & nothing else. It is the standard "sting in the tail" that the British employed when they had to give up a colony... sow dissent and divide the populace as much as possible so that they would focus on tearing each other apart instead of trying to unite against their former masters and to demand justice and reparations for the 2 centuries of economic stagnation & outright theft.
        • Re:Damn... (Score:5, Informative)

          by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @03:20PM (#49555883)

          That's like the opposite of what happened.

          Pakistan does not exist because of the machinations of the British. Rather, Pakistan came into existence due to the withdrawal and general shutdown of the British Empire, which like many occupations was suppressing tribal and ethnic dissent in order to keep their territories together. The moment the Empire (which was weak and failing at this point in time anyway) released its hold on the country there was a huge bloody massacre and a civil war ("The Partition") which resulted in the creation of Pakistan.

          So it's not like the British stood around and encouraged Muslims and Hindus to fight each other. They did that all on their own.

    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

      What the fuck does this have to do with "women in tech"?

      This is Pakistan. Challenge the authority of the religious, tribal and/or self-appointed leaders and violence occurs. Being a woman has fuck all to do with it. Being in tech has fuck all to do with it.

      http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/... [satp.org]
      http://costsofwar.org/article/... [costsofwar.org]
      http://pakistanbodycount.org/ [pakistanbodycount.org]

      It's a stupid violent place.

  • Tragic... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 26, 2015 @01:04PM (#49555261)

    This is truly a tragic death. I often hear a lot from people in our society (United States) is so aggressive and repressive towards women, which I greatly disagree with. Giving soap operas here about how horrible it is is a disgrace compared to those in places like the middle east, who endure credible death threats and the like everyday. I hope this lady will be remembered, and may her death not be in vain.

  • But seriously - boiling the idiots responsible in oil isn't enough. Let's hope there's a hell.

    • The problem is, if there is a "hell" (LMAO), their religion would probably send them to "Heaven" anyway.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 26, 2015 @01:09PM (#49555289)

    Sabeen Mahmud, Anwar Sadat, Theo van Gogh, Pim Fortuyn, Lee Rigby, people in the World trade Center on 9/11, Copts in Egypt, school children in Pakistan, Christian girls in Nigeria, Yzedis in Iraq, Kurds in Syria.

    It's almost as though there were some sort of shared transnational ideology [battleswarmblog.com] behind all of their attacks.

    If only our world leaders could somehow deduce the nature of this ideology, name it, and set about creating plans to fight it...

    • by u38cg ( 607297 )
      More women have been killed by domestic violence since 9/11 than there were people killed on 9/11. Not just more. A *lot* more.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Cederic ( 9623 )

        More men too, or don't they count? Oh, it's a domestic violence statistic. Of course they don't.

        Meanwhile it's a rare day that more Muslims are violently killed than total deaths at the World Trade Center on September 11th 2001, but it has happened. It's an rarer month when there aren't.

        As the post to which you replied suggested, if only we could identify the common cause here.

  • I suspect Islamic religious conservatism was behind this. These cowardly idiots shoot a middle school girl in the head because she blogs. When is Islam going to experience the equivalent of the Enlightenment which softened and matured the Christian world? How long must we wait.

    • Though the Islamists seem to be quite good at it these days, Islamic fundamentalists don't hold a monopoly on using selective interpretation from unreliably transcribed ancient texts as a means to justify bad behavior.

    • Hey, I know! Why don't we bomb them into a feminist state? Doing what we do best!
    • Enlightenment took Christians 200 years and they still aren't done.

      Muslims are 500 years behind Christianity. You have another 7-800 years before they will improve.

      Enlightment was fought by Christians and still is.

  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Sunday April 26, 2015 @06:29PM (#49556625)

    Hitchens says it best:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=... [youtube.com]

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