Dear Zainab,

You deserve so much more than just a hashtag. Your last name, Ansari, literally means support. And we have failed you.

You were 8-years-old. Police have done little to nothing to find the murderer who raped and killed you.

8-years-old walking home from a Quran class in Pakistan when your attacker raped you, strangled you, and left your dead body in a trash can. Is there a more horrific way do die?

Many adults like myself have seen some painful things in this world. We made vows to ourselves that we’d shield angels like you from ever seeing or experiencing those painful things.

There are so many angels like you Zainab that we have failed to stand up for and protect. In your region of Pakistan in just the past year alone, there have been at least a dozen girls that have been kidnapped, raped and killed in similar fashion.

These evil forces are lurking everywhere. Just a few months ago, there were at least a dozen unsolved cases of missing black girls in the Washington DC area. There are so many more cases of kidnapping, sexual abuse and murder among children that don’t even get reported let alone is there outcry about.

And of course, a just as frightening realization – one out of every 9 girls has been sexually abused before the age of 18 – a statistic even larger within the Muslim community (I’ve seen research saying 1 out of 5!). The number of stories I’ve heard and read about Muslim women being sexually abused in their childhood and formative years, by relatives, friends and others is gutwrenching.

I pray Zainab that Allah swt have mercy on your soul and may He give justice to the disgusting people that did this to you. You had so much potential and so much light to bring on this earth before it was all taken away from you.

Just know that we will carry your light on. Your name is Zainab Ansari and your father is Ameen Ansari. Your last name hails from the Ansar, the noble tribe of people in Medina during Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) time that took care of him and his followers when they fled persecution in Mecca.

It is time we start taking care of children like you Zainab. We each made these vows growing up that we’d protect our children from the horrors and dark forces in this world that lurk on every corner. And in this case and so many other cases, we have failed.

No longer. It is time we seek more than #JusticeForZainab. Together we will also seek, #LoveforZainab#ProtectionForZainab and most importantly #StandingUpForZainab and #FightingforZainab. There are Zainabs in every neighborhood in the world that deserve this.

I’m just so sorry it has taken this moment for ignorant people like myself to realize this.


Aman Ali

Originally published on-


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Aman Ali

Writer. Storyteller. World-renowned advocate for the bald.

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