Mir Afsar Ali is an Anchor, Radio Jockey and comedian, who is well known for hosting the Bengali stand-up comedy show Mirakkel. He is active on social media too, and on the day of Eid, he decided to post a photo with his father, with a caption that read “My father… My Allah…” in Bengali:
The photo of the father and son, presumably on a Mosque premises after Eid prayers, received over 1.6 lakh reactions, most of those ‘likes’ and ‘loves’, but it also got him a lot of hate and abuse. Many Facebook users, especially from Bangladesh, took attack him because he had ended up comparing his father with Allah by writing that caption.
Although Mir did not explicitly compare his father with Allah, and it was mere an expression of love and gratitude towards a father, the caption was deemed “blasphemous” by some. It should be noted that in Islam, one is not allowed to compare any living being or even any historical figure with Allah.
Apart from hateful and abusive comments, the one that appeared to receive support involved giving religious sermons to Mir:
For those who can’t read or understand Bengali, the above comments translated in English would mean:
- Faisal Ahmed Shishir: Allah is one and unmatched. Don’t compare or equate anyone with Allah. Repent it. Allah is definitely forgiving
- Masud Hossain Mridha: Mir Bhai I am writing to you from Bangladesh. You belong to a Muslim family and are highly educated but its sad that in this post you compared Allah with you father. I hope that after sense dawns upon you, you would realise your mistake and will repent your actions.
- Tousif Haque: After reading the comment of this F****** donkey my Eid got ruined.
- Riyadh Ahosan: Mir Bhai what are you trying to say by writing “Amar Abba, Amar Allah”. And there’s no doubt about the fact that you have written a wrong statement. A Muslim can never say something like this. I hope you will realise your mistake.
- Nahid Khan: Your father cannot be your Allah. Allah is the only one. He cannot be compared with anyone else.
However, Mir could get some support from other users who protested this “trolling”. Some celebrities from Bengal too, like singer Abul Bashar, too supported Mir.
This is not the first time when Mir has been targeted for his ‘weak understanding of Islam’. Last December, he had to face a similar saga because he had publicly celebrated Christmas, which was not appreciated by a similar bunch of his followers who commented as to why he did so being a Muslim.
This is also not the first time when a Muslim public figure has faced a backlash from extremist elements online for engaging in acts which according to them were against Islam.
As recently as last week, prominent Kashmiri woman leader Dr. Hina Bhat had to deal with downright obscene and sexist comments on Facebook for practicing yoga, which was termed against Islam by some. Cricketer Mohammad Kaif too was attacked on Twitter last year for posting a pic of himself doing yoga.
Earlier, cricketer Mohd Shami and his wife were at the receiving end of abuse from religious fanatics who also reminded them of the morality they needed to follow as Muslims, just because Shami had uploaded a photo of him and his wife who was wearing a sleeveless gown. An actress named Fatima Shaikh too had to face hateful comments for posting a picture in bikini in the holy month of Ramzan.