Amounting public outrage in Pakistan against actors Saba Qamar and Bilal Saeed continues to stir controversy in the country and across social media, especially after Pakistani authorities issued an order to investigate the two actors' appearing in a music clip whose scenes are filmed in the well-known Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan.
"Best location for photoshoot in Lhr, Badshahi Mosque".— Asma Khan (@ImAsmakhan) August 8, 2020
Here is a glimpse of modeling and romantic couple photoshoot. Saba and Bilal isn't the first pair who performed there. In holy places photoshoot and songs/movies shooting should have be banned before.#SabaQamar#BilalSaeed pic.twitter.com/vDdNi9o6zs
The attack on the actors followed the music clip "Qubool," which was filmed at a historical mosque depicting a wedding scene, prompting thousands of Pakistanis to protest what they described as "a violation to the sanctity of holy sites." Other counter-arguments, however, pointed out that public outrage has been "selective targeting harmless art while turning a blind eye to other more-serious violations that take place in mosques."
TLP has found another blasphemy case to latch on to with #SabaQamar's Wazir Khan twirl. Khadim Rizvi has smelt blood & an easy victim in an outspoken actress and he's going to milk this. This is going to get ugly.— Ammar Rashid ☭? #RedistributionNow (@AmmarRashidT) August 15, 2020
Woke up to the news of an FIR against Saba Qamar and Bilal Saeed under section 295 for the twirl they did in Badshahi Mosque.— maida awan (@maidaawann) August 15, 2020
While the Mullah who molested and raped 12 boys INSIDE A MOSQUE roams freely.
I’m disappointed to the core. #SabaQamar
Online comments specifically highlighted a video that went viral four months ago, in which a Muslim cleric was taped as he molested and sexually assaulted a 12-year-old boy who was reading Quran in the mosque in the Sindh province.
In their response to allegations of blasphemy against the two actors, social media users questioned priorities of the Pakistani society and urged people to reassess issues they think should receive the most attention.
Will we bash this mullah the same way we did to Saba Qamar and Bilal Saeed? Will we also ask him to publicly apologize and penalize him? Isn't this a big crime than the one they committed? Where is all the Haw Haye Islamic Brigade? Where is your zameer and izzat now?#SabaQamar pic.twitter.com/u2W5DXck2d— Markhorni (@Markhorni1) August 14, 2020
In his first response to the public, actor Bilal Saeed posted a video on his Instagram account, in which he "offered his apologies for the music clip filmed at the mosque" and pointed out that he and other Muslim artists "will never, ever trivialize or condone disrespect to Islam or any other religion, race, caste, color or creed."
We realize what has happened over the past few days has hurt your sentiments deeply. We as Muslims, as decent human beings and as artists will never, ever trivialize or condone disrespect to Islam or any other religion, race, caste, colour or creed. If we have unknowingly hurt anyone’s sentiments we apologise to you all with all our heart. Please find the video below as a sincere apology from myself, Saba Qamar and the rest of the team. . #BilalSaeed #SabaQamar #Qubool #OneTwoRecords
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