Former Quantico writer Sharbari Ahmed trolled for controversial episode even though she had nothing to do with it

FP Staff

Jun 17, 2018 13:50:55 IST

Internet — the meeting ground of bullies, hate-mongers, and religious zealots drowned in paranoia.

This fear about the internet has been re-confirmed by the latest controversy surrounding Priyanka Chopra's Quantico. The finale of Quantico's season three, in an episode titled The Blood Of Romeo, was met with huge backlash after it showcased Indian nationalists plotting an attack in Manhattan with the ulterior motive of blaming it on Pakistan.

After the episode was aired, many disgruntled Twitter users expressed their views calling the episode deeply offensive and factually inaccurate.

Some even went as far as to suggest a conspiracy behind the chain the events specifically planned to harm the the global image of Hindu Nationalists. The Hindutva wing on Twitter went into a hate-filled over-drive and found exactly what they were looking for: Sharbari Ahmed, a Bangladeshi Muslim woman who used to be a writer for Quantico.

What happened next was very obvious; she was made the target of relentless trolling, abuses, and threats. Ahmed's timeline was flooded with tweets about "Muslim terrorism" and accusing her of hating Hindus. And all this when she didn't even write the season three finale.

Sharbari Ahmed has been credited with writing two episodes of Quantico, both in first season of the show. She was made a target of Twitter's Hindutva wing for two reasons only: Sharbari Ahmed is a female and a Muslim.

Sharbari Ahmed/Image from Twitter.

Sharbari Ahmed/Image from Twitter.

A woman who is also a Muslim would be an easy target for those masquerading as "Hindu Nationalists" when, in reality, they are just trolls.

Sharbari, in an interview to Huffington Post, said, "I tweeted clarifying that I was not the writer of the episode and I thought they'd stop. They didn't. In fact, the abuse went up manifold and now, everything from me being a woman, a Muslim, a Bangladeshi, was being taken apart on Twitter".

She further said, "I was flooded with rape threats. Not just rape threats, but random people wishing that I be raped by terrorists and the ISIS. Others suggesting that I was, in fact, a sex slave of the ISIS. When my friends defended me, they faced similar abuses. A flurry of these tweets also suggested I write an episode for Quantico where a Muslim writer is gangraped by the ISIS".

It didn't matter that Sharbari Ahmed had nothing to with the writing of the particular episode, but she was chosen as a target nonetheless. Even though the episode in question was written by a Caucasian male, the subject of all the vicious trolling was the Muslim woman. The constant barrage of nonsensical hate being out-poured has now reached an embarrassing point.

If a movie can depict all Muslims in a war-torn country as illiterate savages who are terrorists (American Sniper, The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) and need to be saved by the White messiah, why is any other depiction of terrorism such a bone of contention? The agenda being pushed through these tweets is the same as the agenda behind American Sniper: To establish the only type of terrorism is Islamic terrorism.

This is simply not true. While Islamic terrorism is a real menace, it is not the one and only form of terrorism.

Fiction cannot be dictated. It is fiction for a reason. It is not true. A television show can write fiction any way they please. For years, Muslims have been portrayed as the ultimate threat to a point where real-life attacks have been carried out on innocent Muslims because of TV shows and films. And ABC's apology comes in as a major let-down for the network.


Updated Date: Jun 17, 2018 20:55:12 IST