In news that will surprise no one, Pakistani Twitter is collectively losing their mind over a choice that someone else made about their own life. This week’s target? Ahad Raza Mir, who is currently making the country proud by being the first Pakistani to get cast in a Netflix show, has found himself on the receiving end of backlash over one of his scenes in the new show Resident Evil. His crime? One, small, insignificant kissing scene. Yes, that’s right, it’s 2022, but Pakistanis still can’t stomach any public displays of affection, even if they’re entirely fictional.
One scene of the show has Ahad’s character Arjun kiss his co-star, Jade, played by Ella Balinska. It’s a short scene, and a short kiss, but oh boy has it ruffled some feathers in Pakistan. As always, moral policing begins with reminders of the fact that this is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and it has no room for such acts of fahashi. People making this line of argument seem to forget, or deliberately ignore, the idea that religion is a very personal thing and that one person’s views and beliefs can’t be forced on everyone else, even if Pakistan is an Islamic republic. Also, somehow, the fact that non-Muslims also exist in Pakistan seems to escape these kinds of people always.
The second attack by moral policers, especially on celebrities and people of note, is that they have a ‘duty to represent Pakistan authentically’. Of course, what they mean by ‘authentically’, is ‘specifically how one group wants it’. No room for democracy, in the public or the political, it seems like. “Is he a Pakistani?” asks one person, as if Pakistanis were born with an inability to kiss another human. Another asks Ahad if ‘religion, morality and customs’ are so unimportant that he had to do THIS (insert shocked face). One user asked how Ahad expected him to watch scenes like this with his wife and children, which just makes us wonder, why are his kids even watching a show based on a horror video game?
Astaghfirullah can't expect this,is he really a muslim?Is he a Pakistani?omg it's unexpected mein soch b nahi skti thi k ye itna gire ga,If any Pak male actor does this kind of things they're called hot but if any female actress does they become vulgar#AhadXResidentEvilNetflix https://t.co/i3V9OHmX3m
— Taliahussain (@Taliahussain1) July 14, 2022
Yea let the netflix destroy this world by its LGBTQ agenda.
Let pakistanis like ahad raza mir do bold scenes out there
Soon this nation will be rocking on banned sites and showing talents out there.
Destroy our Islamic legacy
Thank you pakistanis #AhadXResidentEvilNetflix
— Dr Hamza Rasool Noorka (@Dr_HRNoorka) July 15, 2022
@ahadrazamir you should be ashamed for your bold and filthy actions during a play.
Is religion , morality, customs this unnecessary and unimportant for you ??
It is sad that we muslims are ready to sell everything for couple of extra bucks
— Muhammad Arhum Lodhi (@lodhi_arhum) July 15, 2022
He shouldn't make us feel shame. Can you watch him with his bold scenes with you wife and children sitting by your side?
— Saifullah Khan (@Saif_Khank1) July 15, 2022
Weirdly, there were a lot of comparisons drawn between him and his ex-wife Sajal Aly. Sajal apparently once turned down a role in a Hollywood movie because it had a ‘bold’ scene —sidenote: can we please stop calling it a ‘bold’ scene?? — and people are pointing out that fact now, praising her virtuous ways. No hate to Sajal, but to each his own? Some people said that if Sajal Aly was doing this scene, she would get so much hate, which, although relevant in a different way —more on that later— doesn’t really matter here, because it’s not her doing the scene anyway?
Love her for this ! This is what a Muslim girl should do .. proud of you sajla.. #SajalAly #AhadXResidentEvilNetflix #AhadRazaMir pic.twitter.com/XaSfXeUIVa
— Cloudsmacy (@cloudsmacy) July 14, 2022
However, the comparisons to his ex-wife and the weird ‘what if’ scenarios did point to something larger than just point-scoring. Which is the fact that once again, men seem to get away relatively unscathed with something that would have upended a woman’s career. Mahira Khan got So. Much. Flak. for simply smoking a cigarette in a sundress, while male actors get to bounce back from actual onscreen physical intimacy. There’s nothing wrong with intimacy or cigarettes, but there’s plenty wrong with double standards.
I guarantee that if it was sajal aly doing that kiss scene, there would be so much drama right now. Her career would be in shambles #AhadXResidentEvilNetflix
— JL21 (@yugottablykthis) July 15, 2022
I still remember Sajal's reply to being offered a movie in hollywood/a bold scene. We dont know if they're still together or not but thats the difference. If Sajal was in his place people would've slut-shammed her and what not but here he's being praised for this?!#Ahadrazamir
— Bawi (@Bawi21054350) July 14, 2022
i truly hope ahad raza mir gets the same amount of hate for his bold scenes in resident evil just like mawra did
— bizzybeez (@fatherofvixens) July 14, 2022
Why all the hate is for female celebrities when they do bold stuff and praises for male actors when they do bold stuff hypocrisy at its peak….. If that is the case haram is haram then jani for male and female both. #AhadRazaMir #AhadXResidentEvilNetflix
— khabri kuri (@KhabriKuri) July 15, 2022
The moral of this story is that Pakistani’s really need to learn to live and let live, in so many ways, this maybe being the least important when you think about freedom of speech, or religious minorities. But our failure to let people do their thing in small trivial cases like this, reflects a bigger problem that we can only solve by trying to be more tolerant. And for God’s sake, stop moral policing, you hypocrites.