TikTok star Jannat Mirza came under fire for wearing a cross pendant around her waist in a series of videos she uploaded on Instagram. She apologised to the Christian community for the videos after they created an uproar but wasn't about to take criticism from veteran actor Bushra Ansari.
Ansari came across the video and commented, "Aik dur fitteh mun to banta hai, in jaahil stars par afsos. Na Islam ka pata na kisi aur religion ka [curses are in order for these disappointing, ignorant stars. They don't know Islam nor any other religion.]"
Mirza did not appreciate the comments at all and hit back at Ansari saying, "You can't judge anyone without knowing the facts!"
Questioning Ansari's rationale, she said, "Aap Islam ki kese baat kar sakti hain, kese kisi pe tanqeed kar sakti hain jab aap khud dance karti hain, khud singing karti hain, khud dramas karti hain? [How can you talk about Islam or criticise someone else's religiosity when you dance, sing and do dramas yourself?]"
But this wasn't all Mirza had to say. She uploaded Ansari's comments to her Instagram and gave her another piece of her mind. "This is not okay at all!" she said a second time.
"Please do not judge anyone without knowing anything, Amma Jee," she continued, adding, "I respect you a lot but you can’t defame anyone without knowing the facts."
"Islam ki baat ap kese karsakti hain aunty, ap koi tableeghi jamaat nahi chala rahin [How are you talking about Islam? You're not running an Islamic movement here]," wrote Mirza.
Noting her disappointment, she said she learnt today that Ansari "does not have a heart", urging people to look at themselves before criticising someone else.
In a later video post on Instagram, Mirza addressed her offensive video more directly. She owned up to her mistake and made an apology. She clarified that the chain in question was received as part of PR package by a brand and that she made the video for it without really checking the product.
"My intention was never to hurt anyone, I found out through the comment section of my videos after posting them that the chain I’m wearing on my waist has a Christian cross and I deleted the videos instantly after. It was my fault and I am accepting my mistake," she said. However, a complaint has already been filed against her with the FIA.
Ever since Ansari's comment went viral, other TikTok stars, ostensibly Mirza's friends, have been calling on the veteran actor to apologise. The problem in Mirza's argument is that it is completely flawed. Ansari's "dancing, singing and acting" have nothing to do with her comment about religion. Her comment might have been worded better, but the sentiment was that people should educate themselves about religion, and not just their own. Mirza's immediate reaction seemed to be to attack Ansari for "dancing, singing and acting", which is a bizarre argument. Does she believe that because Ansari is an actor, she has no right to comment on religion?
Anyone who identifies with a religion has the right to comment on it, regardless of their profession. Mirza started strong with her immediate removal of the video and apology, but attacking Ansari and putting her down because of her profession lowered the standard of her response. If she wanted to rebut what Ansari said — and she the right to — she shouldn't have brought her profession into it.