Following are excerpts from an interview with Pakistani actress Veena Malik, who participated on the "Big Boss" show – the Indian version of the "Big Brother" show. The interview aired on Express News TV on January 21, 2011.
Interviewer: There is an allegation against you, made by a segment of Pakistani society, that you brought dishonor upon Pakistani culture by going to India. Your dresses and your actions, as well as your interactions with people there, did not represent the ideological foundations of Pakistan, its culture, or its people. As an ambassador of Pakistan, do you regret your actions – if these allegations are true – or do you think the allegations are baseless?
Veena Malik: Look, these allegations are baseless, because according to the format of the "Big Boss" show, celebrities – not only from Pakistan, but from all over the world, including Hollywood – participate in this show. It is not a cultural variety show, which promotes a certain culture, or a religious show, where one is allowed to promote one's religion. You are not allowed to bring your religious books [onto the premises].
Interviewer: My basic question is whether Veena Mali, as a Pakistani, brought disrespect upon Pakistan by going to India and by her actions there.
Pakistani religious scholar Mufti Abdul Qavi: In the name of Allah, most Merciful, most Compassionate. First, I would like to welcome my sister upon her return to Pakistan.
Veena Malik: Thank you.
Mufti Abdul Qavi: What she has said certainly filled my heart with sadness, as well as the hearts of all Pakistanis, who believe that she is among those Pakistanis who owe their fame to Pakistan. I believe that she was both challenging the Two-Nation Theory,1 and promoting hollow ideologies, which are not appropriate for a famous and great person like her.
Veena Malik: I would feel a burden on my conscience if I had done anything wrong. I have not done anything wrong. I'm just an entertainer, and if anyone can prove that while living in this country, I did anything against the law – whether the Islamic or state law – you can punish me for that.
Mufti Abdul Qavi: If she does not have pangs of conscience because of what she did, then I would tell her to awaken her conscience. No one in Pakistan can look at her pictures in the presence of their daughters. I don't think that her son will like to look at his mother's picture in the future, in her presence or in the presence of his father or brother.
Interviewer: Go ahead.
Veena Malik: Mufti Sahab, first, I would like to respond to all your questions. As far as Islamic religion is concerned – Islam is a vast religion. Islam also means that I am the sole provider for my five sisters and my brother, and I have paid for their education.
Also, as long as you are talking about Islam, let met tell you that you are not allowed to set eyes on me in my present condition. You should be punished in public, because charity begins at home. Clerics may look at a woman once, but if they look at her a second time, they must be punished. You deserve to be punished, because you are not allowed to look at me in this condition.
Secondly, if you want to do something for the glory of Islam, you have plenty of opportunities. What are the politicians doing? Bribery, robbery, theft, and killing in the name of Islam. There are many things to talk about. Why Veena Malik? Because Veena Malik is a woman? Because Veena Malik is a soft target for you? What has Veena Malik done? Did Veena Malki lip-lock? Did Veena Malik wear shorter clothes than what Pakistani actresses wore in India in the past? Why Veena Malik, Mufti Sahab?
There are many other things for you to deal with. There are Islamic clerics who rape the children they teach in their mosques, and so much more.
Pakistan is infamous for many reasons other than Veena Malik. Veena Malik is entertainment, and believe me, I have done 10,000 good deeds, and my people have not supported me in this. Since you have set up a court here, I demand that the court dispense justice. I am more angry with you people than you are with me. If I am held accountable by you, then you too must answer my questions.
Mufti Sahab, there are many things in your community that need to be rectified, so please correct them. Veena Malik and the entertainment industry are much further down on the list.
Mufti Abdul Qavi: Respected Veena Malik Sahiba, I told you earlier that you are my sister, and there is no need to get so emotional. Every person plays a role.
Veena Malik: If there are immoral people in the show business, there may also be immoral people among the clerics... Mufti Sahab, I remember when you once called a woman "shameless." If you are indeed spreading the Islam of the Prophet, peace be upon him, then you should know that the Prophet would stand up out of respect whenever a woman walked in. He never called them "shameless."
You should begin by reforming your own home, and only then ask me to do the same. I am a Muslim, and I have done many good deeds. You have to listen to me to learn about them.
Mufti Sahab, what does your Islam teach you? Does it teach you to issue edicts on the basis of rumors? You started to talk about a girl without even seeing what she had done. So what if people say – what does your Islam say? What do you say? Have you seen me...
Mufti Abdul Qavi: Listen, my religion says...
Veena Malik: Show me a single picture of me doing something inappropriate. Listen to me.
Mufti Abdul Qavi: Let me tell you that I did not watch the show, but there are millions of Pakistanis who watched what you did, and all 100 percent of them think that you have disgraced Pakistan, as well as Islam.
Veena Malik: Mufti Sahab, you are wrong.
Pamela Anderson, who is a very big Hollywood star... When she was leaving the show, Salman Khans asked her who she would remain in contact with. She said that because Veena Malik does social work for Pakistan, she would like to do social work in Pakistan. Now, tell me how many programs you did on this aspect of my role.
When at the beginning of the program, Shweta used very dirty words against my character – where were my people, where was the media? When Rahul voted for me just for being a Pakistani, where were my people, where was the media? When Manoj Tiwari was hurling dirty abuse at me, where were my people, where was my media?
You saw the footage. Didn't you see how much love I gave to every person in the house? Watch from the first day to the last. I gave my love to everyone, just to show that these people do not represent Pakistanis... Those people whose passports turn out to be Pakistani, when a terror attack takes place... There are also Pakistanis like us, who enjoy entertainment, fun, and love.