‘People started judging me before watching Astaghfaar’

Veena Malik baffled by outrage that led to the cancellation of her Ramazan show.

News Desk July 24, 2012

Actor Veena Malik’s Ramazan show “Astaghfaar” was cancelled after the promo received immense criticism from the masses, but the actor feels it is “sad” that people started judging her before watching the show.

“Even before the show was released, people started saying that Veena Malik is not allowed to do this show. It is very sad,” said Veena in an audio interview with BBC Urdu, where viewers could call in and ask questions. “Neither did people see the show nor did they know what the show is like. It would have made sense if people reacted at the end of the show, but this does not make any sense to me… it was very strange behaviour.”

When asked why the show was called off, Veena said she was not aware of details, but she knew that Hero TV, the channel that was going to air the show, had received “serious threats”.

Describing the show, Veena said, “This is a beautiful concept and I have not done a show like this before. In the holy month of Ramazan, I made an effort to learn something related to religion and I made an effort to sit with people and interact with them as to why this is a blessed month and what good things we should do in this month and what we need to learn in life.”

But when one caller asked whether her future will be a religious one or one full of scandals, Veena snapped back saying that people are being judgmental when they say there is a rift between her and her religion. “Religion is a very personal matter for me. I am very religious, but it is something between me and my God. I don’t think a third person can stand in front of me and judge how religious I am or not.”

Another caller asked her to move towards religion, to which Veena said that she has been studying Islam since she was 10 years old. “The difference between me and others is that I have read the Holy Quran with translation, which most people have not. I may not be a perfect Muslim, but I constantly try to understand Islam better.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2012.