Pakistani Actress Fights Fire With Fire

March 29, 2011

Veena Malik, a Pakistani actress who appeared on India’s version of Big Brother (called Big Boss) has been condemned widely in Pakistan for her “shameful” behavior.

This clip shows part of an interview in which a cleric is attempting to humiliate her, sometimes screaming at her. Her response is stunning to watch. She has already received death threats from the Taliban, and here she risks her life, turning the cleric’s own weapons back on him. I’ve reproduced some of the translated captions below, because her statement is worth reading properly.

Veena Malik:

Mufti Shahab, first I would like to respond to your questions. As far as the Islamic religion is concerned, Islam is a vast religion. Islam also means that I am the sole provider for my five sisters and my brother, and I have paid for their education.

And as long as we are talking about Islam, let me tell you that you are not allowed to set eyes on me…Clerics may look at a woman once, but if they look at her a second time they must be punished….

Secondly, if you want to do something for the glory of Islam, you have plenty of opportunities. What are the politicians doing? Bribery, robbery, theft and killing in the name of Islam. There are many things to talk about. Why Veena Malik? Because Veena Malik is a woman? Because Veena Malik is a soft target for you?

…There are many other things to deal with. There are Islamic clerics who rape the children they teach in their mosques, and so much more. Pakistan is famous for many reasons other than Veena Malik. Veena Malik is into entertainment, and believe me I have done 10,000 good deeds, and my people have not supported me in this.

[Moderator and Shahab attempt to break in, but she continues]

Since you have set up a court here, I demand that the court dispense justice. I am more angry with you people than you are with me. If I am held accountable by you, then you must answer my questions.

Mufti Shahab, there are many things in your community that need to be rectified, so please correct them. Veena Malik and the entertainment industry are much further down on the list.

[Mufti Shahab cuts in and tries to say a few things, including “There is no need to get so emotional” – as if his ranting was calm and considered]

Mufti Shahab, I remember when you once called a woman “shameless”. If you are indeed spreading the Islam of the Prophet, peace be upon him, then you would know that the Prophet would stand up out of respect whenever a woman walked in. He never called them shameless.

You should begin by reforming your own home, and only then ask me to do the same.

(Thanks to Dave, in Kabul for the link)


One comment

  1. […] the use of religion as a tool of oppression of women, this post, Pakistani Actress Fights Fire With Fire, shows an extraordinary clip of an incredibly brave woman standing up to a Muslim cleric who is […]

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