Monday, May 29, 2023

Saba Qamar and Bilal Saeed face charges for shooting a dance video inside a mosque

A brief video teaser of their forthcoming song, titled “Qubool Hai,” was released last year in August 2020 by superstar Saba Qamar and well-known Pakistani vocalist Bilal Saeed. This song was shot at an ancient Asian masjid in Lahore, near the Dehli Gate mosque known as the ‘Wazir Khan’ mosque.

Although Saba Qamar was in charge of directing the film, it included some improper footage showing an unmarried couple dancing in the masjid. The performance was completely incompatible with the respect due to the masjid, and as a result, they both received a great deal of negative feedback from their followers and the media.

Because the production of a music video that includes dancing scenes has harmed the religious feelings of the general population. Additionally, action was taken against the mosque’s management as well as the congregation.

Later, a FIR was filed against both of them at the Akbari Gate police station under Section 295 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which was later dismissed. According to Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, “Whoever defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) directly or indirectly by words, whether spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”

But, fortunately, they were both granted pre-arrest bails against surety bonds totaling Rs 50,000 from August 15, 2020, to August 25, 2020, with a further extension allowed till September 2020. Bilal Saeed later apologised to the public in a video uploaded on social media, which was later removed from the site. “We recognise that what has transpired over the last few days has caused great distress,” he said in the description of the photo. ‘We, as Muslims, as good human beings, and as artists, will never, ever belittle or condone contempt for Islam or any other religion, race, caste, colour, or faith,’ says the author. If we have unintentionally harmed anyone’s feelings, we sincerely apologise to you all from the bottom of our hearts.”

Against this, Saba Qamar reacted to the criticism with a series of tweets, claiming that the footage was a “prologue to the music video, which would include a Nikkah sequence.”

For their failure to appear in court on the date set by the judge, both artists were given arrest warrants by Judicial Magistrate Javeria Bhatti in September 2021. The judge had called them earlier in the day while their case was being presented, but they both failed to appear in court on time. As a result, the court has issued arrest warrants for both of them.

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