What I say is not hateful nor am I spreading hate: Hamza Ali Abbasi in an Open Letter to ‘respected liberals’
This is how his lengthy, emotional open letter commenced.
Hamza started off by saying,” Please read all of it and then comment. I”ll try to make it short and precise. Its strange how a law passed in a land far away has generated a debate about a topic which is somewhat irrelevant in Pakistan. I was never interested in this matter until I saw hundreds of my very educated friends, who have traveled the world and some have a lot of fan following, update their profile pictures with the rainbow flag of homosexuality and hash tag LOVE WINS, only then I felt I too have the moral permission to present my opinion as well.”
Continuing on, he further wrote,” I will not get into the debate of whether celebrating the legalizing of homosexual marriage in USA by Pakistanis is a good thing or a bad thing or irrelevant, that remains to be a personal choice, but this whole fiasco has revealed a shocking revelation to me which broke some of my own taboos. I once wrote my opinion on Music and Art in Islam which was met by a wave of fierce personal attacks. But i knew it would happen since it came from a group of people, who are in some circles known as, notorious for their narrow mindedness, intolerance and ferocious approach towards matters. However, on the matter of gay marriage, the same reaction that i faced from the “Religious Fanatics” was shown by those who i always deemed to be the flag bearers of “tolerance”, “freedom of speech”, and theories like “agree to disagree”.
Further on, he stated 4 points for his readers. He wrote:-
“I am not trying to preach the concept of tolerance, but i am giving you a humble advice.
1) You must learn to treat the other person in the same way as you want to be treated. That means, if you express your opinion respectfully and expect it to be tolerated, you should also know that opinions which contradict with your opinions, presented respectfully, must also be tolerated.
2) What I say is not hateful nor am I spreading hate. I merely presented an opposing opinion to yours RESPECTFULLY, which you might not agree with, but again, you cant expect everyone to agree with you and neither do I. I would be spreading hate if i said, for example “THAT GUY JOHN IS SUCH A MORON WHO SUPPORTS GAYS”, I am giving an example, no disrespect intended. In a nutshell, I only said that homosexuality in my opinion is wrong and a sin and we should keep a taboo as taboo and not celebrate it. But I only hate the sin and not the sinner. I find no hatred in this opinion, neither am I insulting anyone.
3) It is in fact you spreading hatred and intolerance by opposing my view with such insulting, humiliating and intolerant words and with your ferocious approach, you are creating more problems for yourself. Let me explain. When you show such intolerance, insult, personal attacks to my opinion on this matter, everyone who shares my opinion will eventually, in retaliation, show the same intolerance, insult, personal attacks to you and then you will complain that Pakistani society is so ignorant. Disagree, be vocal, do not be afraid to voice your opinions, but with respect and without judgement.
4) I have some people I know who are homosexuals or supporters of the gay marriage matter who unfriended me on Facebook and are writing insulting things about me. Its a mundane matter and I don’t really care. But it explains a mindset. What they don’t realize is that knowing that they are homosexuals and what their opinions are about the matter, I differed with them, but never showed them an anti social behavior and gave them utmost respect on social media and in person. So who is judgmental? Who is being intolerant and ignorant? I hope you will think twice before complaining that “Pakistani society is so intolerant” because you are also part of the same defects you are complaining about.
The best thing about this debate is, a taboo is broken. A man in a shalwar kameez and a beard with limited exposure and education is easily stereotyped as an intolerant fanatic, but now we know that intolerant fanatics exist who wear western clothes, have utmost exposure, education and are very eloquent in their English skills.
I could have ignored all of you since you are a minority and it absolutely doesn’t make a difference to my life what you think, but I shall for one last time, for your sake, reach out to you, so you may listen.
Homosexuality and its celebration in any way is against my religion and my morality. To me its a sin and should be treated as a taboo. But you think otherwise and you have a right to do so. In conclusion, the biggest problem of our society is not “Difference of Opinion”. The biggest problem of our society is lack of respect and tolerance for “Difference of Opinion”.
P.S: If I was saying all this to get attention, Alhamdulillah I have plenty of it already and I am happy with it but if I wanted even more, I would have gone to Bollywood instead, which I will never ever do. And in case you say how dare I speak about religion and morality when I did a shirtless scene looking at a bikini girl, you should know that I apologized for it and vowed never to do anything immoral again, so I know how to stick to my words and translate them into my actions, you don’t worry about that
Violence and hate is incited not by religion, nationalism or ethnicity but by intolerance to these concepts, which I am afraid in this case, you are displaying with flying colors while ironically championing the cause tolerance and open mindedness. I am doing nothing more than fighting, not with a sword, but by my pen, or in modern times, my keyboard. You are welcome to do the same, but with respect.
I am a sinner, but i shall never justify or defend my sins and I will always talk against those sins, its up to you to agree, disagree or ignore. Amr bil maroof wa nahi anil munkir. “Promote what is good and forbid what is bad”. I am a human who is a Muslim first and then a Pakistani.”
Apparently the actor had a lot to get off his chest. Let’s hope this will be the end of it!
Hamza Ali Abbasi posts status opposing legalization of gay marriages
And apparently, he also has a bone to pick with those in Pakistan who celebrated the legal status of same sex marriages in the United States.
Hamza Ali Abbasi, who has come under fire for posting controversial remarks as his status update on Facebook every now and then, has again courted controversy. The Pyarey Afzal actor, who usually targets Pakistan’s political leaders in his statuses, burst out at Pakistani ‘liberals’ for supporting legalization of same sex marriages in US.
Irked by Muslims uploading rainbow colours as their display picture (as a symbol of gay pride celebration), Hamza Ali Abbasi expressed his disappointment in a series of posts.
“I am really sorry but i am disappointed at people in Pakistan celebrating a behaviour which is taboo even in animals,” said Abbasi in a post.
However, the rant against gay pride did not stop there. Hamza’s status begot responses, to which he replied with yet another post.
And finally, yet another status update for the ‘liberal extremists’.
The actor had earlier announced his decision to resign from Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf’s post of secretary culture. Abbasi had stated that he had not acted according to his beliefs (when he had starred in Jawani Phir Nahi Aani) and also said that the movie was against the cultural values of Pakistan.
Let’s hope Hamza does not get carried away due to the legalization of same sex marriages in the United States. I mean, aren’t there other issues that need our attention?