Sunday, March 27, 2011

Standing up to the religious bullies...

The face of courage and truth in Pakistan...

Pakistani actress Veena Malik, appearing on a television program out of Pakistan, confronts a Pakistani Muslim leader on his (and his colleagues') hypocrisy, lies, misdirections and stone age-thinking.

It's a shame that more men in Pakistan's male-dominated culture don't join her in telling the truth.

Like the recent video of a schoolboy in Australia who "schooled" his bully - a video that made worldwide news as it went viral on the web - here, too, the intended victim turns the tables on the jerk.

From The Telegraph UK: "On Pakistani television she is subjected to a lecture by Mufti Abdul Qavi, who tells her: 'No one in Pakistan can look at her pictures in the presence of their daughters,' among other things. Bear in mind that not only has she done nothing morally wrong, unless you include dressing in western clothes, but that this is not the same as being criticised by an Anglican or Catholic bishop; the allegation carries real menace in Pakistan. Watch as she reduces him to nothing. As she says: 'You are not allowed to set eyes on me in my present condition. You should be punished in public, because charity begins at home. Clerics may look at a woman once, but if they look at her a second time, they must be punished. You deserve to be punished.'"


She continues: “'Also if you want to do something for the glory of Islam…. [there is] 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 I’m a soft target. Pakistan is infamous for many reasons other than Veena Malik.'

"Incredibly brave," the writer continues, "considering the political violence in that country, including the recent murders of Shahbaz Bhatti and Salman Taseer. There’s a lot of debate in the west about what feminism means – but I think there’s no doubt that Veena Malik is a feminist hero. If there was an award given for heroic women in repressive societies, she would certainly be a candidate. And contrary to what the Mufti says, she represents an extremely positive side of Pakistan that we in the West rarely get to see."

Agreed. If the so-called leaders of her nation "grew a pair," then the Veena Maliks of Pakistan would be what the world knows about that country...not, instead, the images many of us have of a nation beset with bombers, Taliban supporters, corruption, out-of-control clerics and an obsession with doing everything but addressing Pakistan's real problems.

God bless Veena Malik.

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