Shadow-banning shouldn’t deter us: Ushna Shah demand Pakistanis speak up for Palestine
Celebrities across the world are expressing concern in the wake of an air strike at the al-Ahli Hospital which marks day 12 of the Israeli offensive in the Gaza strip, claiming 500 lives. Palestinian health authorities said that the deadly blast was caused by the Israeli Defence Forces, drawing protest from the Israeli military which has blamed the incident on a “failed rocket launch by a Palestinian fighter group.”
The blast was the bloodiest single incident in Gaza since Israel launched an unrelenting bombing campaign against the densely populated territory in retaliation for a deadly cross-border Hamas assault on southern Israeli communities on October 7.
Actors Ushna Shah and Armeena Khan have once spoken out against the intensifying humanitarian crisis. Condemning Israel’s brutal Occupation of Palestinian territory amid mounting death tolls, Shah took to Instagram with an ‘open letter’ with the caption, “Forget world cups, forget scandals, forget any distraction they throw your way. Appealing to fellow Pakistanis.”
The letter called upon the “people of Pakistan” to be more vocal about the oppression of Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli state. The actor expressed her disappointment over the lukewarm action from Muslim countries despite mounting death tolls to protect geostrategic interests. “Many of the Muslim powerhouses have disappointingly stepped back from this crucial issue. The responsibility, thus, falls upon us – the everyday people, the activists, the artists, the influencers, and the voices of Pakistan – to continue the fight,” she wrote.
She added, “The seeds of Zionism have deeply rooted themselves in Western discourse, allowing many to see the Palestinian people as less than human. The legacy of colonization continues to exist, very much so.” Shah also discussed media censorship and misinformation surrounding news about Palestine. She said, “Social media algorithms appear designed to suppress voices advocating for Palestine, shadow- banning those who dare to speak up. But this cannot and should not deter us.”
In a series of Instagram stories, Armeena Khan also urged followers to raise awareness about Palestine amid rising death toll in the besieged Gaza strip. “Gaza is an open-air prison. All entry points are sealed off by ISRL! Except for the Rafah Crossing in Egypt which has been bombed,” she said. Commenting on the Israeli blockade of Gaza, the actor offered, “Nobody is being allowed in, hence, the global outcry. There is a chance aid will be allowed in soon as negotiations are underway but right now even the U.N. has no presence.”
Giving a ‘huge shout out’ to the CEO of Huda Beauty, Huda Kattan, Khan reshared a screenshot of the Iraqi-American influencer shutting down an Israeli troll announcing a boycott of Huda Beauty. Kattan shot back with, “I don’t want your blood money.” “I’ve never bought from her before but now I will be a regular customer. Thank you for being so selfless, Huda. You are an icon.”
In a hostile climate of mass doxxing campaigns and censorship of Palestinian voices, Khan also commended Mira Sethi for taking a bold stance for justice. “Shout out to our very own @mira.sethi as well. I find her to be an amazing human being. Thank you for standing up,” penned the Pakistani-Canadian actor.