Saba Qamar's smoking pictures leaked on social media, conservatives ask 'Are you even a Muslim?'

Today in daily sexism and misogyny: Saba Qamar has dethroned Mahira Khan to become the archetypal 'Muslim woman who also likes her cigarettes'.

FP Staff July 25, 2018 10:41:14 IST
Saba Qamar's smoking pictures leaked on social media, conservatives ask 'Are you even a Muslim?'

Today in daily sexism and misogyny: Saba Qamar has dethroned Mahira Khan to become the archetypal 'Muslim woman who also likes her cigarettes'. A few photographs of the accomplished Pakistani actor have gone viral on social media. So while the photos have been sneakily leaked on social media, the blatant violation of Saba's consent is not the area of concern of conservatives disguised as keyboard warriors.

Saba Qamars smoking pictures leaked on social media conservatives ask Are you even a Muslim

Meanwhile Saba Qamar's waiting for trolls to get over it. Image from Instagram/sabaqamarzaman

Instead, it is a cigarette perched between Qamar's fingers, that has threatened parochial and dangerously fragile mindsets masquerading as the protectors of Islam. What is worse? She is wearing a pantsuit. How dare she take a smoke break between a fashion photoshoot wearing the most obviously Western outfit? *takes a dip in their own orthodoxy*

If the tweet does not infuriate enough, have a look at the comment section. But before you do that, keep a fire extinguisher close. Did Qamar not learn her lesson from the relentless trolling that came Mahira's way for puffing on a cigarette on the streets of New York? Smoking is bad for health and all, but isn't she a 34-year-old woman going on 35, who can also make her own decisions? While people, unfortunately, are still divided over the degree of freedom that Muslim women should be able to exercise, some of Qamar's colleagues and friends came to her aid and had some important points to make. Renowned Pakistani actor Adnan Siddiqui, who has worked with Qamar in the critically acclaimed TV show Maat, said he was "saddened" by the images which have been "spreading on social media like wildfire".

Osman Khalid Butt, Qamar's co-star from Baaghi, had a stinging message for those responsible for the leak. The actor-choreographer-writer deemed the whole stunt an "all-too-familiar misogynistic, repulsive rhetoric" targeting one of most accomplished Pakistani actors.

While Qamar is yet to respond to these images (because she is probably doing better things like minding her own business and living her life?), it is evident that for religious fundamentalists, there is nothing more unsettling than a liberated woman making her own choices, with or without a cigarette.

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