Some days before, the news of little Setayesh being brutally raped and killed by a teenage boy on outskirt of Tehran shocked so many Afghans and Iranians. On April 10, Setayesh, aged only 6, stepped out of home to buy an ice-cream but never came back. Instead, her body was found in her neighbor’s house. She was raped, kill
ed and her little body was soaked in acid. Despite the heinous crime, the news went unreported in Iranian media until people started publicizing this heinous act and calling for justice.
Of course, we cannot claim purity and innocence of all three million Afghan immigrants in Iran, however we need to talk about why such violence might happen to a little Afghan girl. Obviously, this is not the very first murder case, not the very first case of rape or not the first case of oppression against Afghan immigrants in Iran. Almost each year, Afghan immigrants living in Iran have to face a new phase of anti-afghan and racist wave during which many of them get injured, abused, or killed. This year, the new TV series of Shoyoo/Outbreak spread a sick xenophobic idea among Iranian people through showing that America is sending a fatal virus to Iran through an Afghan immigrant. The years before, usually a sudden outbreak of a news about an Afghan man raping and killing an Iranian woman or an Afghan man as the suspect of some serial killings would break out a wave of hatred followed by so many physical and social media attacks on Afghans. I remember the last year of being in Iran as one of the most horrific years of my life when for several days no Afghan man or woman dared to step out of home because they would have been stabbed, beaten and abused by some Iranian neighbors and even those who had been friends before. So many houses were burnt, window glasses shattered, properties stolen and looted. Beating Afghans had turned into a festival for Iranian mobs and policemen were the bystanders who enjoyed the most. Mostly, most of accusations came out incorrect in the end, but they never made it to be as publicized as the first news. Some of them turned out to be fake news. But, who was behind such scenarios? Who was responsible for spreading such news? Mostly, Iran’s national radio and TV were responsible for covering fake and invalid news and never taking it back when proved wrong. Mostly, Iranian national mass media is responsible to make and broadcast TV series and movies in which Afghans are depicted either as criminals or as miserable dumb people who have seen nothing of civilization but only war and poverty.
Now the question is why!? Why Iran government is trying to create a rift among Afghans and Iranians? What is the good point about hating Afghans? If Iran really needs Afghan immigrants as labor force, and a source of money, why trying to defame, dehumanize and vilify them? What is good about hollowing them out and take out their dignity?