Why Is #StopHazaraGenocide Trending?

By now, you may have come across the hashtag in the title of this editorial. Yet, what the hashtag–#StopHazaraGenocide–indicates is more than what any social media post by itself can cover. Indeed, it is the vast torrent of words accompanying the hashtag that has resulted in creating a vast digital movement around the world, thanks to those individuals, numbering tens of thousands–if not more–who felt a sense of moral responsibility by not staying silent. 

These individuals have flooded your Twitter feeds to remind you about the ongoing genocide against one particular ethnicity–Haraza–in a country still struggling to find self-determination and sovereignty. 

Those of us–including the Afghan diaspora, who have borne witness to acts of genocide, the latest being the attack on the Kaaj Educational Center–have a responsibility to raise our voices.

Who do we owe this responsibility to?

Primarily, we owe this responsibility to ourselves, but we also owe it to all those who have suffered the brutalities that no human deserves to bear under any circumstances. 

Once we have witnessed an act, we cannot disentangle ourselves from the great sense of responsibility that emanates from our hearts. To say otherwise is to think falsely of how moral responsibility works—it would simply be denying what we have witnessed in the first place, and calling ourselves blind is not wise nor a step in the right direction. 

But our responsibility doesn’t simply end with ‘retweeting’ instead, we are all responsible not only for what comes after the horrific acts but also for how we can avoid such outcomes in the first place. There is no shortage of opinions and editorials as to what exactly has been happening. The facts are out there, yet the problem seems to be that too often, people forget their part in allowing such acts to happen.  

Too often, as we all know (or at least claim to know), the voice of those who bear the brunt of these attacks are not heard; and afterward, the news coverage limits the essential context. The missing context here is that these individuals are not simply victims. 

Yes, let us reframe the context, and this time we should keep in mind that these individuals wanted to raise their voices so that we—those of us who bear witness to the carnage–can enact a sense of responsibility. After all, our task is not to simply repeat the same message (by appending the same hashtag to our posts) but to claim a right to our moral responsibility. It is only in this way that we get to properly honor those who have perished–and therefore avoid the risk of having their memories forgotten. 

Commemorating their memories allows for their voice to speak the truth about what has been happening for the past several years, if not for the past several decades. In this way, we get to offer future generations a chance not to repeat the same horrors.