Saturday, November 26, 2011

Meet Marvi Jr...


Sadaf Mujeeb may not have taken on a Zaid Hamid yet, but she could well be the next Marvi of Pakistan.

Sadaf is an atheist, an LGBT rights supporter and an animal rights activist who spent a fortnight before Eid gently convincing the faithful to “sponsor” an animal instead of “sacrificing” it. I watched her keep her cool on an animal rights page on Facebook where the faithful threatened to hand her over to the Taliban to be “sacrificed”.

This week Sadaf was busy taking up Rabia Saleem’s case. Rabia, an Ahmadi, was expelled from her university for allegedly tearing up an anti-Ahmadi poster.

“I called COMSATS university about six times to ask them why they hadn't taken any action against people putting up anti-Ahmadi posters around the university, and how what Rabia Saleem did was being considered as anything other than courage and integrity in the face of unrelenting, institution-sponsored bullying...” 20-something Sadaf wrote in an email.

Sadaf openly talks of her religious beliefs (or lack thereof) and is quite sure that "it is evidence of stupidity more than courage”.

“I have, like everyone else who's a minority in this country, faced discrimination based on my beliefs. But  the resulting frustration and anger only encourages me to fight harder for all minority rights, which includes the freedom to express a religious opinion, freedom of sexual orientation, and basically the freedom to live without fear of persecution or rejection from the society as a whole,” she wrote.

However, she considers LGBT rights as her most “controversial fight” yet. “People especially get offended when there is any talk of reconciling ones faith, Islam, with ones identity as a homosexual, transgender or queer.

“It's sad that people fail to recognize religion as something that's personal, and always seem to feel the need to make it part of something that rules an entire nation irrespective of whether the citizens of that nation share those views or not.”

Sadaf has also rescued scores of animals from the streets of Karachi. But, for her, animals rights is not just for the four-legged. “I believe in fighting for animal rights, which includes humans as social animals (irrespective of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender or class), and non-human animals (irrespective of breed)”


  1. Brave and inspiring. May her tribe increases with every passing day.


  2. Takes a lot of courage to fight against several wishes to Sadaf.

  3. Is it safe to be an open(as opposed to closet) atheist in Pakistan ?
    Specially when your name suggest openly that you should be (or were) a Muslim :)

  4. O religion, what crimes we have committed in thy name

  5. For those wanting more info about agnostics and aethiests in Pakistan please see

    I think like her, many in Pakistan are becoming fed up of religion!

    May she be seccessful in her mission - Ameen!


  6. Finally, a much deserved and equally valid recognition of someone who has, with her enlightened wisdom and relentless quest to seek fairness and justice in all spectra of life, inspired a lot of people. Sadaf is a true gem of a person in every sense of the term. Her passion and enthusiasm for bettering what she sees as impoverished and improving what she sees as ignored are only matched by her limitless energy. She has committed herself to a multitude of causes, and has been doing remarkably fair justice to all. It was her very kindness and patience through which I first came to know her at a facebook forum for animal welfare, and have become an ardent admirer of hers ever since. I have found her to be a lot more than what her current titles define her as. More than an atheist, she's a reason-ist. More than a vegetarian, she is a torch-bearer for the rights of those that are subject to any number of persecutions. And whats even more profoundly refreshing about knowing Sadaf is that despite coming from what can be called as pakistan's "haute bourgeoise," she and her choices in life are firmly rooted in the soils of reason and logic, justice and righteousness rather than being mere phases or fads. She is an independent thinker, and has a natural command over expertly speaking her mind without being offensive, derogatory, or dismissive about others. Her knowledge and her experiences both exceed even the imagination of those whom she engages in random debates with; yet the higher road is always taken by her alone. Respectfully and politely, she allows the freedom of thought and expression to everyone regardless of their intellectual limitations. And that is indeed what makes her a true source of inspiration for Pakistan's youth. I am both grateful and proud to have known her, and hope to always be by her side in her promising journey towards making her world and ours, a better place in the future. I must also condone this recognition by "indiansinpak," for this is an encouragement not only for our young Marvi Jr, but for all those as well who have a lot of faith in her and her peers. Pakistan Paindabad!

  7. Thanks everyone!

    Salman, very poetic! For me, Sadaf is Sadaf, her background would have been of little interest to me this way or that :)

  8. Hope you meet Marvi the third and so on. Atleast that will keep your posts alive, as it seems you are looking for a marvi in every individual who is living life for others. Way to go.