Veena Malik

by Andrew Stuttaford

Even if you are going to watch nothing else over the Internet today, make sure you check out a clip of actress Veena Malik taking on some snake of a mullah on Pakistani television. You can find it here on the (London) Spectator’s website.

Here’s what the Spectator’s Nick Cohen has to say:

If we are going to avoid a clash of civilisations, we are going to need many more like the Pakistani actress Veena Malik. Watch her take on a mullah, who is trying to accuse her of immoral behaviour. This is no small accusation in Pakistan where Islamist death squads and their collaborators in the state intelligence service, operate at will. The talk show setting of the attempt at trial by media is commonplace too. The murder of Salman Taseer followed days of hacks whipping up “Muslim rage” against him.

Instead of being frightened, Malik turns on her accuser and the journalist, who helped set her up, and lets them have it.

Brave, beautiful and utterly magnificent.

And, I’d add, very moving.

My only dissent would be over Mr. Cohen’s implication that it is still possibile to ‘avoid’ a clash of civilizations. It’s too late for that. The main questions now concern the form that this contest is taking, and, of course, how it will unfold.   So long as there continue to be people in traditionally Muslim countries with the courage to speak out against bullying clerics and the rising tide of retrograde and brutal religious intolerance there are, I think, still some grounds for some hope.

Just watch the video.

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