Triggering and insensitive: Abdal Mufti's illustration of Zahir Jaffer irks Twitter

The artist recently shared an illustration of Zahir with blood on his hands and a menacing smile on his face

Entertainment Desk July 27, 2021

Trigger warning!

Social media has played a significant role in calling out the recent incidents of heinous crimes against women in the country. As more terrifying details of Noor Mukadam's murder continue to surface, netizens are now urging authorities to punish the culprit, Zahir Jaffer. When initial reports of 27-year-old Noor's horrific killing made headlines, a picture of Zahir clad in a suit made the rounds on social media.

The aforementioned image shattered the stereotypes of how men from affluent families are less likely to commit such crimes against women. The picture called for a systematic change in society up until an artist changed it to a quintessential murderer. Abdal Mufti, an artist and illustrator, recently shared an illustration of Zahir, showcasing a murder scene, blood on his hands and a menacing smile on his face.

Soon after the post went viral, many felt it was needed to be shared in order to expose the 'true' face of a man behind a suit. But what people didn't comprehend was how the image can be extremely triggering too. Now, a bevy of social media users are asking Mufti to take down the image immediately.

The outrage

"I don't care about the intention behind this. This isn't it. It's no different from people sharing pictures of blood and dead bodies on social media without the victim's consent," shared artist Umair Najeeb Khan. "You sat down and drew an actual murder. The blood and the graffiti. You aren't achieving anything here. It's gross. Disgusting."

A Twitter user added, "It's very triggering. There is no message behind this, please delete this. You have to realise this looks like a mockery to her. Delete this," while another penned, "This looks like you're celebrating the murderer or at best dehumanising him to feel better about yourself and the wrongs our gender inflicts on others using the privilege you all share. How did u even come up w this? What was the thot process?"

A user lashed out, "Incredibly shameful, incredibly triggering for her family and friends, and overall bizarre that you’re ignoring so many people asking you to take this down because it’s not helpful or sparking much.”

One more chimed in, "Our trauma should not inspire "art" in you. Literally, countless women have told you how triggering this is to us but of course, you didn't do this for awareness or else you would've listened. You did this for clout. Cut the crap. Delete this.”

One user questioned how detached from reality one has to be in order to consider recreating a crime scene and the harsh reality of someone's last moments, and calling it "art?" Concurring with them, another wrote, “Men in suits rape and murder. Reflect on your internalised elitism. Delete and apologise.”

Meanwhile, many are furious at how Mufti has still not taken the image down. "The fact that so many women told you how inappropriate and triggering this image is, you still haven't taken it down clearly shows how insensitive you are and how much you care about RTs. have some empathy, this isn't the time to gain clout on Twitter. Take this down!"

One shared how Mufti has tried to divert from the fact that criminals are capable of committing horrific crimes even if they are clad in a three-piece suit. "This is not ‘art’, it only helps with adding more trauma to the victims. I can't stand his pictures in suits, why though?

Do you think people in suits are incapable of crimes? We need to let this mentality go that money, influence, or good education makes you a decent person,” a user shared.

One more post read, "As someone who knows both Zahir and Noor I implore you to take this photo down. This isn't trauma representation. It's only traumatizing.”

Method to madness

But the artist feels it's an important image that needs to be shared. Taking to Instagram, Mufti spoke about how he wanted to shed light on the monsters that hide in plain sight. "This image might trigger you, it might be too disturbing, but it is an important image. I wanted to paint Zahir Jaffer after his grotesque crime, I can't stand his pictures in a suit that are going around. I wanted to paint him as a symbol of the monsters that we hide among us," he captioned his post.


A post shared by Abdal Mufti (@abdalmufti)

Mufti continued, "I wanted to paint him as a symbol of the dangers women face in this society. I painted him with a smile and sitting on his bed, to show that he was in his senses while he killed her. I wanted to paint him as a symbol of all that is wrong with social inequality and privilege. I wanted to paint a man whose first words to media were not of an apology, or remorse or even denial. But they were, ‘I am an American Citizen, not a Pakistani....’ These words are a slap in the face of every Pakistani as they scream privilege. They tell us how he still thinks he can get away with it."

He further shared, "I painted him in blood, so even if God forbid the justice system fails we will always remember that he did it and this image haunts him for life. In the history of every society, there come moments that act as a change, for us, this should be it. Because there cannot be another Noor Mukaddam There can never be another Noor Mukadam."

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