Was Making Faisal Mosque Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Offensive?

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.

    • Your assumption that a mosque is only a place to perform prayers entails that nothing else can be done besides it. If assumed true, even speeches/sermons wouldn’t be possible, since that is something other than performing prayers. If your assumption isn’t correct, then it follows that speeches/sermons within mosques are allowed (and that agrees with what happens during Friday prayers, and other occasions). But what could be the content of the speech? Is it limited to stories about the past, and legal issues? Nope, because in congregational prayers (duas), we relate to things that have to do with ‘wordly’ (as opposed to purely spiritual) issues. Given that we can discuss ‘wordly’ issues, we can discuss the negative effects of Paan/Gutkaa (and I’ve seen that happen). If we can discuss an issue that causes premature deaths, then be it so. But the lack of breast cancer awareness also causes premature deaths. If so, then it too can be discussed by all means. If we can extend that to how expression of something can be displayed inform of lighting up a mosque, such as during Mawlid, then there can be other expressions that maybe displayed inform lighting up a mosque.

      • Sorry to say but comparing religious sermon with a awareness painting is pretty much dumb argument… perhaps, next time you will be defending the rainbow colors lighting on the mosques in case (god forbids) that gay bilawal is elected as PM of Pakistan…

        • Yes , lighting the mosque pink just for awareness is abit much. But i agree with Anas, a mosque can be used to discuss and educate the mass on public health issue/awareness. In other words: lighting up the mosque pink, isnt a good idea but by all means educate via public announcement /sermon/discussion in mosque regarding issue like these

    • Those opposing it must go to Islamic cultural centers in US and should see how much they are doing for society and for muslims particularly. Muslims in Pakistan think that mosque is only for namaz.

      If mosque was only for namaz Islam would not asked for “Ba-jumat-namaz” as it lets you socialize with other muslims, know each other, help each other.

  • حضور صلی اللہ علیہ کی سالگرہ (میلاد) کے نام پر مسجد کو روشن کیا جا سکتا ہے تو سرطان کے لئے روشن کرنے پر اتنی گرمی کیوں؟

    • Two Alag things :
      Please Don’t Mix Publicity Into ISLAM :
      Kal Ko HIVAIDS K Liye Bhi BLUE Kar Dena : Masjid K Color Ko :
      Support HIVAIDS K LIye :

      Awerness K Liye Collage Uni Building House Etc hai Masjid Main Waha Kun Si Ladies Ayenge Jinko Breat Cancer Pe Dars Diya Jayega : THINK POSITIVE :
      Tump Yahi Chahta Hai Apas Main Lare :

      • “Masjid Main Waha Kun Si Ladies Ayenge Jinko Breat Cancer Pe Dars Diya Jayega”

        You know who needs more education about breast cancer? Men.

        • My Means K What is FAIDA Of MAJID PINK COLOR for Favor of Cancer :

          Bhai Aur Bhi Jagah Hai Jaha Ap Kar K ladies Ko Educate Kar Sakte Ho :
          School Collage Uni Main Subject Ka Part Banao Ladies K Liye

          • This isn’t related to anatomical and medical education, it’s about social awareness which is a different thing. If I am remembering correctly more than 15% women suffer from breast cancer and in countries like Pakistan many women and their families simply ignore it despite knowing that it could be really risky and even cause death.

            • You do know where ladies mostly go? Malls & Precious Metal Shops, that where Pink lights should have been displayed to spread msg more effectively…

    • This whole statement will heat things up considerably considering the sects we have been divided into lol.

    • بے غیرت نظفہ حرام قادیانی سوچ سمجھ سمجھ کر لکھا کر کیا بھونک رہا ہے تو تجھے تو دلیل کے ساتھ جواب بھی نہیں دیا جاسکتا۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ کیا تجھ کل بیوی نہ ملے تو کیا بہن پر چڑھ جائے گا،،،،اس کا جواب دے پھر بات ہوتی تیرے سے،،،،،،،،،،

  • No it isn’t a taboo. Mosque can be used to raise awareness about any disease. Prophet used to talk about intimacy issues sitting in Masjid e Nabvi.

      • Can you produce an Islamic evidence that only Imam can discuss issues in a mosque? Mosques used to be community centers in Islamic era, people convened meetings and discussions all the time.

        • Wao : Only Masjid have Places to Discuss about Community & There is no other places in Pakistan and World :
          This Problem is for Ladies NOT Men
          Kal Ko MARDANA Kamzori Ka Discussion and Dawai Masjid Main Miligi Phir : Because it’s National Community Problem of Pakistani Men :

          • Sadly this time I agree with Geek.

            Impotence or erectile dysfunction is something else and WILL NOT be a cause of your death.

            Whereas breast cancer, if not properly found before it spreads to other parts of your body, can cause the death of the woman. So it’s a health issue and major one at that and I think nothing is wrong in spreading awareness. Only pink colour was used as that symbolizes breast cancer day.

            How many women would have seen it? How many would have no idea about it and would have googled it and acquired knowledge? How many would actually be saved through this method of awareness? Even if only one soul, then I think Almighty Allah wouldn’t be angry at us for saving one of his creatures.

            Kindly don’t mix up disease now. Some are life threatening and should be screened according to the guidelines.

            One more thing, you are blowing this out of proportions just like that Sharmeen drama queen. Faisal Masjid was only used a symbol for awareness by making it pink. No pictures, no announcements, no discussions were held. Only Pink colour. That shouldn’t trigger anybody, what it should have done is to make men and women alike, more conscious towards this disease. It is cancer we are talking about. If you have no idea how this can ruin a woman’s life, go visit oncology wards or breast clinics. All because of not screening for it regularly or not going to the doc when you found some abnormality in the breasts.

            • You do know where ladies mostly go? Malls & Precious Metal Shops, that where Pink lights should have been displayed to spread msg more effectively.

              • Yeah right, nobody can see the majestic Faisal Masjid in Islamabad and the colour pink. You can nitpick all you want but in the end, it isn’t a controversy as we are making it out to be.

    • Geeku, i don’t understand you say you have no religion but still whenever there’s anything about religion you put your nose in. When you have no religion, you should have no concern.

  • Pakistani Muslims are offended by everything.
    When it comes to religion, our Muslims just lose their common sense.
    You have no idea how much importance Islam places on saving a human life.
    If a mosque is God’s home and humans are his most important creatures, then how can saving humans lives with the help of his home (mosque) be offensive to Muslims?

  • Molvees molesting kids inside mosques does not infuriate us. Alas.
    Faisal mosque was likely chosen for its monumental and architectural importance. Thats just that. Nothing more.

    btw, liberal religion haters and modernized skunks defending the act is laughable. They have nothing to do with Islam or its mosques. They should stay at bay. None of their business.

  • – Bacha gum ho jaye. Masjid ka loudspeaker use ok hay.
    – Koi mar jaye. Masjid ka loudspeaker use ok hay.
    – Every friday, molvi sahab society k issues k khutba den, wo bhi ok hay.
    But if a masjid (spefically Faisal Masjid, which is primarily a landmark only) is being used to highlight a “SERIOUS” issue in society, with just a color … everyone loses their mind.

    Jahil Qaum. Inn ka ALLAH he hafiz hay.

  • Useless article… Please don’t put articles which are debate able on Islamic issues…. And there is no one in my knowledge which has condemned or said something about it… And mostly educated people know about breast cancer it’s just villagers who are unaware of it.. So lightning up is useless…

  • Well I had no idea that pink color was used for awareness of women breast cancer.

    And I couldn’t saw any banner in the images… so to whome they were trying to tell.

    Hospital theek kerne ki perwah nahi… bass g ghar main bimaar na hon please.

    Islaam ne jo Musalman ki zindagi batae hai us per bhi zara nazar daal lain to shayad is cancer ki malomaat phelane k liye batiyaan jalane ki nobat bhi na aye

  • oh boy! another cyber meltdown amidst gazillion other meltdown worthy topics for my Pakland’s pure men… Khuda khair kare keyboards ki.

  • Most of those who are defending this pathetic act of lightening up mosques for ‘Awareness campaign’ do not come close to mosques entire calendar year except in case of someone’s Janaza or Eid prayers… laanti hypocrites

  • Why don’t they painted Parliment or PM house or Supreme Court Pink or red or whatever…..Are they more sacred than a mosque

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