santa fe shooting
Author explains how Pakistan views U.S. school shootings: 'You have your types of terrorism and we have ours'
Among the 10 students and teachers murdered at Santa Fe High School near Houston last Friday was Sabika Sheikh, a foreign exchange student from Pakistan who was about 20 days away from returning home after her year abroad. Her murder, by a 17-year-old male classmate, "just shows how ironic life can be," Pakistani author Bina Shah told PRI's The World on Monday. "Pakistan is always perceived as unsafe for children, especially with Taliban attacks on schools here, so this was just not something anybody could have expected."
"Our perceptions of our own country's safety and security, versus our perceptions of the United States and the larger Western Hemisphere as relatively safer, are all turned upside down," Shah told host Marco Worman. "However, thanks to world media, we do know about the problem of school shootings. Every time one of these things happens, we get to see it here on cable news — CNN, BBC, we have it all here. So we're aware of this problem and we — you know, Pakistanis can't understand, they just can't understand why there are no gun control laws that would stop school shootings from happening again and again and again."
"If you ask Pakistanis how they see violence in the U.S., what is likely to be their response?" Worman asked. "People understand terrorist violence, they understand that kind of thing, but they don't understand children taking up guns and going into the schools and shooting each other, shooting their classmates, shooting their teachers," Shah said. "But we're kind of relating it to our own problems with extremist violence. We're kind of saying: You have your types of terrorism and we have ours, and it's just really a tragedy that one of our children got caught up with your kind of terrorism, with your kind of extremism."
You can listen to the entire interview, plus more on Sheikh's life, in the first segment below. Peter Weber