Sexy Actress Veena Malik of Pakistan made a scandal across India and Pakistan earlier this month when she had the nerve to pose naked on the cover of FHM India with the initials ‘ISI’ stenciled on her arm. Malik was roundly criticized in the Muslim world and in fact disowned by her own father for her brazen public sexuality. Now her situation has worsened considerably as The All India Muslim Festival (Tyohar) Committee in Bhopal has issued a fatwa excommunicating Malik for “objectionable” photos and for showing disrespect for the sacred institution of marriage (nikah) by signing a contract to choose a groom herself on a reality TV show.
Ausaf Shahmiri Khurram, chairman of the committee, said: “We were getting complaints from concerned community members who said that the activities of this Pakistani female were sending a wrong message to our teenagers, especially girls.”
“The complaints said that there were offensive photographs of this woman all over the internet and that she was going to have a `Swayamvar` on television. Islam has a certain procedure for a marriage (nikah). We do not have `Swayamvar`,” Khurram added.
Swayamvar is the practice whereby the woman herself is influential in choosing a husband – usually from a list of suitors – very much like The Bachelorette TV show. Swayam in Sanskrit means self and vara means choice or desire – this procedure is strictly forbidden in Islam where women have no such rights of choice.
Malik appears in the controversial photos in FHM with ‘ISI’ tattooed on her arm – these are the initials which stand for Pakistan’s feared and hated spy agency, Inter Services Intelligence. Many Indians and observers in the West regard the ISI as a quasi-terrorist organization responsible for terrorist attacks in India including the 2008 Mumbai massacre. However Malik both denied that she posed in the nude – claiming the photos were computer enhanced – and that it was her idea to tattoo the ‘ISI’ on her arm.