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Lollywood, Maulviwood, Hollywood—Pakistani actor attacked for Bushra Bibi Halloween costume

While some have criticised Yawar Iqbal for disrespecting Bushra Bibi, others have called him anti-feminist and anti-hijab.

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New Delhi: A Pakistani actor has caused a stir over his choice of costume for Halloween. Yawar Iqbal has drawn flak for dressing up as Bushra Bibi—former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s third and current wife. Criticism has been swift and intense, bringing the hijab back into focus.

As calls for apologies grow louder, the actor has now made his Instagram account private and removed his profile photo.

But ‘damage’ has been done. Images of Iqbal in an all-white ensemble, channelling the former First Lady of Pakistan, is now a meme of choice on social media.

His costume has sparked massive outrage and angered various factions in the country. Some have called him out for being ‘disrespectful’ to Bushra Bibi, while others have accused him of mocking the hijab. Many have called his outfit ‘anti-feminist’ and accused him of “ridiculing” a woman’s personal style of dressing.

Actor Areeba Habib unwittingly stepped into the controversy by sharing a picture of Iqbal in his Halloween get-up on social media.

Lollywood, Maulviwood, Hollywood

Yawar Iqbal’s costume was quite convincing. He wore a white hijab, abaya and niqab and completed his look with a handbag and a pair of sunglasses.

In the viral Instagram picture, he was seen posing with producer Asad ul-Haq and his wife, Farah. He captioned it, “Lollywood, Maulviwood and Hollywood.”

Iqbal soon posted another selfie with his stylist Tabesh Ali Khoja, captioned ‘Pinky and me’. ‘Pinky’ is a nickname Pakistani media often uses for Bushra Bibi.

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Pakistani celebrities in soup

It isn’t just Iqbal—all those responsible for helping the actor put his look together, or resharing it on social media handles, have been caught in the crossfire.

Nabila salon, a high-end beauty parlour responsible for the actor’s makeup, is being criticised for creating this look and for “making fun of the Hijab.” Some are even urging people to boycott their business.

Areeba Habib, a Pakistani model and television actor, was also criticised for sharing Iqbal’s viral look on her Instagram story. She was condemned for supporting “such a frivolous sense of humour”. Habib shared a brief public apology post the backlash, attributing her misjudgment to ‘human error’ and ‘ignorance.’ While reiterating her respect for Islam and the hijab, Habib said she only wanted to appreciate the designer and makeup artist.

Meanwhile, some Twitter users are quoting Iqbal’s example to comment on how celebrities and the country’s elite are “touching new lows.”

(Edited by Zoya Bhatti)

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