Social media campaign blasts the event scheduled for Sunday
After two years of coronavirus lockdowns and studying from home, students at the Abbottabad campus of the COMSATS University decided to take a break from all the stress and enjoy a night with music and dance. Unfortunately, their “innocent desire” has been termed “obscene” by some quarters of the society.
The event, a dance and musical programme, has been organised by a students society called the FunKadda. The plans include theatre plays, a musical night, and a concert featuring singer Farhan Saeed. The event has been scheduled for December 5, Sunday.
“We have always had such events at the varsity,” Nasir Ahmed, the media coordinator of COMSATS, told SAMAA Digital. “For the past two years, we were unable to hold the festival because of the coronavirus lockdown.”
According to Ahmed, as per the Higher Education Commission’s policies, a student week is observed at the university every year during which students organise several extracurricular activities such as sports galas and drama week. “It is like a break from studies.”
He said that the backlash against the concert was influenced by a religious students organisation, Islami Jamiat Talaba or IJT.
Twitter has been flooded with tweets and videos denouncing the planned concert. People have called it “anti-Islamic”, “haram”, and “an attack on the moral values of Islam”.
Some Twitter users quoted a recent statement of Prime Minister Imran Khan criticising the western culture.
That is not just the matter of music or enjoyment. It’s largely affect on our moral ground. Why we are moving against our values. If we lost them than we have nothing for our coming Future. Why we want to follow west…..is we have no values , ethics #Ban_Obscenity_in_ComsatsAtd pic.twitter.com/jbgrJAr4sl— Nadeem Khoakhar (@nadeemhakim2gm1) December 3, 2021
The student body has put up a number of posters in the city in protest against the concert. One of them reads: “The people who are trying to spread obscenity amongst Muslims are destined to go to hell.”
Then they say a girl proposed a guy at uni. So much you are learning from western countries, why don’t you learn how to be sharp at things that are necessary for a better future and for a poor nation to be developed.#Ban_Obscenity_in_ComsatsAtd pic.twitter.com/2rWhPKQ34w— Muskan (@muskanmalic) December 2, 2021
Another post that is going viral on social media is a video from a sermon. It shows a man, a religious preacher, addressing a group of people.
He says, “This programme arranged by the university allows women and men to dance together…” The man then hurles obscenities at Farhan Saeed. “Imagine that at a university men and women will dance together. This is anti-Islamic.”
However, some people have tweeted in favor of the varsity.
How about banning obscenity in your thought process first? I’ve been to concerts beginning from my school days and trust me in that time to this day Islam koi nuksaan nahi pohoncha concert say. Pakistan Zindabad 🇵🇰♥️ #Ban_Obscenity_in_ComsatsAtd— Haroon Shahid (@Haroon_5hahid) December 3, 2021
Ffs leave the students on their own.— Zee™. (@SwaziJwand) December 3, 2021
Dry subjects as engineering, IT & non professional behaviour of instructions is draining brain of students..
Let them enjoy the concert & take my word if they’re successful to manage it, I’ll be in COMSATS atd IA..#Ban_Obscenity_in_ComsatsAtd
It’s the #Ban_Obscenity_in_ComsatsAtd mindset that leads to the evil of #Sialkot
It’s all around us. And we’re responsible for our lack of condemnation of every single innocent who’s been harmed by fanaticism.
— zapi (@yougoglencocco) December 3, 2021
COMSATS’ Ahmed believes that IJT is running a vilification campaign against the university. “If the students were actually against the concert, they would have had complained to the management. We have received no complaint so far.”
He added that the concert will still take place, and the varsity has no plans of canceling it.