Rumana Monzur, a 33-year-old master’s student of political science at the University of British Columbia, was assaulted by her husband while visiting her family in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The attack left her battered and blinded, but she is not alone. Monzur’s attack has served as a rallying point for anti-violence activists internationally, from Vancouver to Bangladesh and beyond.
I am writing with deep sadness to share with you the news of the brutal attack on our graduate student Ms Rumana Monzur in Dhaka, Bangladesh. . .
. . .Along with all of Ms Monzur’s colleagues, friends, and instructors, I was appalled to learn of the violence she has suffered. I join with other members of the UBC community in expressing my condolences, my support, and my prayers for Rumana at this difficult time. I am heartened to hear of the strong support that she has received from her colleagues and students at the University of Dhaka. We at UBC join with those colleagues, students and friends in our support for her.
This tragic occasion is a poignant marker of the need to work to protect the fundamental human right of all women to pursue education. The allegations that her commitment to her studies was a factor in the attack are of grave concern. As the President of a leading global university, I emphasize that this right is fundamental to our mission, and I applaud those at the University of Dhaka who are expressing solidarity and support. . .
In the end, Rumana’s plight is not just about her and a monster of a husband. It is about all of us and the monstrous society that we have created, and that we are a part of, and the monstrosities that we acquiesce to every day by our tacit acceptance of the prevailing value structure.
Rumana is paying the price for our refusal to look squarely at ourselves in the mirror and acknowledge what a sick society we are. We all failed her.