A screenshot of Jannat Mirza's controversial TikTok.
Christian activists in Lahore have filed a complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) accusing Pakistan's most popular TikToker of insulting the Christian cross.
Jannat Mirza has been heavily criticized on social media since she uploaded several videos last week of her wearing a silver cross on a chain dangling from her waist. The videos have since been removed.
Catholic philanthropist Raja Walter and three other activists are pursuing a blasphemy case against her.
“Mirza has intentionally desecrated a cross, the holy sign of Christians. She has hurt the religious feelings of millions of Pakistani Christians. She should be punished and arrested,” they stated in a May 28 complaint.
Walter said the cyber wing of the FIA had called the activists.
“Deleting videos doesn’t make any difference. They don’t spare our community in blasphemy cases. We also demand a first information report against Mirza,” he told UCA News.
If a Christian had done it, they would set his house and children on fire. Woe on this law
“Last year she uploaded a video wearing pants with images of Jesus and Mary. But the FIA took no action against her, arguing that it was filmed in Switzerland.”
The activists have garnered support on social media. Many netizens are calling for a boycott of Mirza, the first Pakistani to reach over 15 million followers.
“If a Christian had done it, they would set his house and children on fire. Woe on this law,” stated Francis AD, a Karachi-based Christian, in a Facebook post.
Blasphemy is a highly sensitive issue in deeply conservative Pakistan where mere allegations have led to extrajudicial killings and mob violence. However, Muslim TikTokers often insult Christians and their faith.
Last November, a TikToker apologized for using a derogatory term for her Christian maid.
In December 2019, TV show host Mubashir Luqman drew the ire of the Christian community over uploading a video called “25th December, Christmas Day, Myth or Reality” on his YouTube channel.
A month earlier, another female TikTok user uploaded a music video of her walking barefoot on a rug depicting the Last Supper. Both later apologized.