The “Burka Avenger” and All the Racket

on Saturday, August 17, 2013

The east and everything about it has always been a hot rod for debates and criticism, whether it is Islam, the cultural norms or anything that doesn’t match with the “liberal” or western mindset of today. But who could have thought this streak of opposition would go to the extent of questioning a children show made for the children of Pakistan, by Pakistanis and hence following the norms of the country.

Alright well, maybe it is not as simple as that, the Burka Avenger, as the name suggests, is an animated series with a burqa clad girl playing the protagonist. Do you think this is such a controversial topic that both the liberal extremists and the fundo extremists are on the verge of barring it from going live? I for one saw that coming, here’s why:

Since the day this cartoon series hit the news, the liberals have been acting as if their beds got replaced by a stove –literally. Just look at it, they say, what impression will it give to the nascent minds of gullible children when they see a superhero in a burqa! They might start thinking of the adornment as a preferable dress –oh the grief! Without trying to comprehend the fact that this is just a cartoon, they are assuming that children would take the idea to heart. Let me ask these liberals this: when you were young and superman came out, did you start wearing under wears on top of your jeans? Or maybe if you are a girl, did you start wearing body clinching swimsuit-like outfits so that you could resemble the bat girl, not to forget conical bras? So yes, children don’t follow superheroes like that. If only the enlightened liberals of our country as well as the west had enough thoughtfulness.

To top that up, the fundamental extremists haven’t held back on the criticism too! Claiming the whole series is a façade to humiliate the Islamic values, they believe that it should not be given the permission to be aired. They claim that the outfit nearly resembles a “burkini” that is a burqa styled bikini insofar that it clings onto the body like a bikini does. But they don’t stop at that; they believe that showing a Pakistani girl in a local Islamic dress as a superhero that runs the streets at night is a mockery of sorts. Now think what the character is about:

The protagonist is a girl who fights for education, who lives a normal life otherwise wearing “shalwar kameez” and a “dupatta”. And it’s Education she fights for. It’s such a pity that neither side can understand that fact. Instead, they go on criticizing minor issues. It is a greater pity that the analysts, and the heralds of liberalism, and even those who always want to promote burkas and abayas can’t just get a life and let it be! For it is just a cartoon series! It’s just a cartoon series for the kids to have a good time. In fact, I believe it is perfect for the Pakistani children as it falls in line with the cultural values that most of the families hold dear to themselves.

To me, a burqa clad superhero is not something that either of the critics should fear. On the contrary, it is probably the only thing that both the religious extremists and the liberal extremists have joined forces on –isn’t that funny?

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