Fayaaz Kazi, twenty seven, was murdered on Monday night in Ventersdorp outside a Chicken Lickin outlet after a fight broke out between him and two other men.
“Two white people… they called him [Osama] bin Laden in Afrikaans because of his beard…and then they called us kaffirs,” Mahmood told Sapa by telephone on Wednesday.”
Based on his appearance he was called a terrorist and, as I assume, he stood up for himself yet was met with more than just a fight between stupidity and humanity, death.
Last month I wrote a post on another hate crime in South Africa, Hate Crime where an argument over sexuality also ended in death. Another woman was attacked but “luckily” survived. Which is just a branch off of a hate crime that has plagued our beautiful country for far too long.
Gang-raped, beaten and stabbed 25 times, she was the lesbian activist and football star whose murder blew open South Africa’s hate crime epidemic.
But more than two years after the death of Eudy Simelane, the government has done nothing to halt the barbaric sex attacks dubbed ‘corrective’ rape.
Although corrective rape is a hate crime, rape is not necessarily a hate crime under the law. In terms of psychology, the offenders of hate crimes and rape derive from the same place – A profound inability to see another person as a human being. There is a difference between a man that breaks into a house and steals the home theatre system compared to the man that breaks into the house and rapes all the women in the home and then just leaves.
I’m trying to link up all these different little acts of hate and showcase them as one huge problem, the only difference is the person being attacked. HOWEVER, all the victims I have mentioned are South Africans. As are the perpetrators. So we as South Africans must admit that this is part of our society and we are committed to changing it, it’s where we begin to eradicate this senseless and savage crime.
So what I propose to do is grow a beard. Grow it as long as I can, like a Muslim, for the obvious reason, it’s a beard plain and simple and the idea that a man can be killed from a cumulative series of events that started with some beard taunting is completely outrageous. And there is always more to a person than the appearance he gives.
At what point will I stop?
The aim is to get twenty people to physically ask me, “Yo, Bro, what’s up with the beard?” then I can tell them the story of Fayaaz, Thapelo and Eudy so that their deaths will not go in vain.
The fact is that men are the ones responsible for these crimes and not that I don’t think hate resides in women, I am just yet to see a woman actualize her hatred in a way other than verbal. So it is up to us men to stop. So I encourage any of you reading this to grow a beard, get to twenty people too. And if you are a woman reading this, remember that these criminals all have mothers some have sisters, aunts, daughters, wives or girlfriends, maybe get that man that is so close to you to understand what a hate crime is and get him to grow his beard – it will make the world of difference.
Regardless of race, creed, culture, sex and sexual preference we all have the right to live in spite of whatever others choose to believe and destroying things we can’t understand has to find an end at some point. And it’s not misunderstanding that needs the cure, but our attitudes, it’s the inability to want to understand that pushes the hatred to such volatile proportions.
Here’s to some hairy days.