Lal Masjid members ruin Aurat March wall paintings in Islamabad
Lal Masjid students on Tuesday night stopped the wall paintings that were being done by the volunteers of Aurat March 2020 vandalising it in the F7 area of Islamabad.
Nida Mushtaq, a painter and organiser of the march while informing about the incident to a news channel said, “We were painting the wall of a house in the area since Tuesday morning, when we had almost completed the mural, late that evening, 10 to 15 men from Lal Masjid, accompanied by the senior superintendent of the police, arrived at the venue and forced us to stop the painting midway.”
She confirmed “whenever they do this, the organisers make sure they seek permission from the authorities. That day too they had permission from the owner of the house”.
“It’s a way to promote the march and raise awareness about its essence,”
Organisers and participants of Aurat March 2020 have been installing paintings on walls across the country.
this unfinished mural should haunt us all pic.twitter.com/iOI6Rx2W6T
— Tehreem Hassan. (@retehreem) March 3, 2020
Mushtaq narrated “That morning, a police officer, who was posted near Jamia Hafsa, had seen us painting and had appreciated our work. But in the evening, he was among the people who came to stop us”.
According to the organiser, the men said that the painting was “vulgar” and “against the Shariah”. “They even called our male friends at the venue beghairat [shameless],” Mushtaq said.
You can destroy our murals, but you cannot destroy our spirit. We are not scared. We will not back down, not today, NOT EVER!
You destroyed one mural, we will paint two more. We will paint the whole city!#AuratAzadiMarch2020#WhyIMarch pic.twitter.com/9lvNocBobT
— Anam Rathor 🌹 (@AnamRathor) March 3, 2020
Lal Masjid spokesperson Haroon Rashid confirmed to a private TV channel the men had been sent on Maulana Abdul Aziz’s advice. Aziz is a cleric and khateeb at the mosque.
He claimed that the march had been rejected by a majority of women across the country saying that West has funded the march to promote westernisation here in Pakistan.
Islamabad Assistant Commissioner Danish Zakir said that the police are investigating the incident and will comment after they complete the probe.
Meanwhile, social media users reacted to the incident on Twitter and an online campaign with the hashtag #WhyIMarch has also started.