Did you know that around one million women in Pakistan are diagnosed with breast cancer in Pakistan every year? Breast cancer claims as many as 40,000 lives every year, with Pakistan having one of the highest rates of breast cancer in Asia.
These facts could never have come to light if not for an awareness campaign that recently kicked off to highlight how dangerous and prevalent this silent killer is in Pakistan.
The number of deaths caused by breast cancer can go significantly down if people were aware of its warning signs. If detected early, precious lives could be saved.
That was the intent behind a breast cancer awareness program in Pakistan recently. As part of PINKtober or ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’, one of Pakistan’s most famous landmarks, the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, was illuminated in pink lights a few days ago.
The awareness exercise was launched by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Pink Ribbon (PRP), so that more people become aware of the warnings of the deadly disease.
Controversy Rules the Day
However, many people took offence with the decision to light Faisal Mosque in pink colors as part of ‘breast cancer awareness month.’
Protests soon followed over social media:
Basically, people took offence that a mosque was being used to discuss a ‘taboo subject’ like breast cancer. An exercise that was aimed at fostering understanding and goodwill for breast cancer sufferers was misunderstood by certain segments of the society.
This is all the more surprising, seeing as there were no protests when the Pink Ribbon campaign partnered with the Govt of Pakistan and other authorities last year to illuminate Mazar-e-Quaid with similar colors as well.
Using Mosque as a Platform for Highlighting Serious Issues
According to the teachings of Islam, mosques are meant as places where people are welcome.
Whether they were seeking knowledge, advice, healthy debate or even residence and refuge, history has shown us that mosques have been considered as a sanctuary for more reasons than one.
In this respect, using it as a platform to save countless human lives seems like something that is pretty much in line with the teachings of Islam and its respect for human lives.
So what do you think? Do you think that educating people against a deadly disease is problematic? Or there was a better way to spread awareness about breast cancer? Sound off in the comments below.