We Heart: Pakistani Actor Veena Malik

Earlier this year, Pakistani actor Veena Malik, a participant on the Indian television show Big Boss (a variation of the reality show Big Brother), was accused on Express News of shaming Pakistani culture by her behavior while on the show.


The newscaster said:

There is an allegation against you, made by a segment of Pakistani society, that…your dresses and your actions, as well as your interactions with people there did not represent the ideological foundations of Pakistan.

Moreover, she faced criticism from Mufti Abdul Qavi, a religious scholar, who said that her behavior on the show (which he hadn’t seen) promoted “hollow ideologies.”

Despite these accusations, she responded firmly by saying that these accusations were unfounded because the show that she went on does not promote a particular culture, religion or people:

I have not done anything wrong. I am just an entertainer and if anyone can prove that while living in this country I did anything against the law–whether the Islamic or state law–you can punish me for that.

She added:

Islam also means that I am the sole provider for my five sisters and my brother and I have paid for their education. … 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? … Did Veena Malik wear shorter clothes than what Pakistani actresses wore in India the past? … There are Islamic clerics who rape the children they teach in their mosques. … Pakistan is infamous for many reasons other than Veena Malik. … I am more angry with you people than you are with me.

She also turned the tables on Mufti Abdul Qavi, criticizing him for not making changes in his own home and mosque, and for publicly shaming and disrespecting her.

While the video of Malik is a few months old, its contents were recently brought to our attention by Shelby Knox via Twitter. We want to give a signal-boost to Malik for her courage and insight. Stay strong!

TOP: Veena Malik speaks in her defense.


Amy is currently a student at Scripps College, the women's college in the Claremont College Consortium, studying English and the humanities. She writes for her college magazine, [in]Visible, which discusses issues of women's body- and self-image. She is also a passionate nerd (and nerdfighter!), queer woman and ally, anti-racist, and Oxford comma user (except on the Ms. blog, of course).