By Sunny Hundal
It started with a Tweet.
23-year-old Faran Rafi from Islamabad, wrote: “I say when/if these #protests end, we take up the streets and clean up the mess. Show the world that real #Pakistanis say NO to violence.”
He wrote the same on his Facebook wall and then created an event. In four hours, hundreds of people people across Pakistan signed up. By Saturday evening that number had gone up to thousands.
On Sunday morning, The Express Tribune reports, hundreds of Pakistanis across major cities took to the streets to clean up. The FB event said:
The idea is simple, just get out on the streets and roads, use whatever resources you can to clean up the mess created by the riots.
Faran Rafi told local media they were also against the “blasphemous film” but wanted to register a peaceful, non-violent protest.
“The basic purpose is to tell the world that Pakistanis can be peaceful and productive as well.”
The clean up was filmed by Syed Muzamil Hasan Zaidi, who said it offered “the other side” of Newsweek’s Muslim Rage cover.
Today, tens of hundreds of people showed up from 8 year olds to 60+ senior citizens in different cities of Pakistan to clean up the mess created by the few individuals who somehow always end up defining Pakistan. Here’s to all of today’s participants, you’re the reason why we have a good future. Pakistan is proud of you.
Police in Lahore and Islamabad also helped offer them security as they cleaned up.
“The tweet turned into a movement,” Faran Rafi said.