Oscar award and religion

Mahershala Ali got oscar award for the best supporting actor for his acting in the film ‘Moonlight’. Instead of congratulating him and discussing his performance many are discussing his religion.

Is he a real Muslim ?

In Pakistan Ahamadiyyas are not considered as Muslims.  So the Pakistan’s UN envoy had to delete her congratulatory re tweet because it mentioned him as first Muslim actor to get an oscar.

As Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim actor to win Oscar for his role in Hollywood flick ‘Moonlight’, Pakistan’s Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi tweeted in support of his achievement. However, Lodhi’s tweet came under fire for promoting Ahmadiyyas considered to be ‘non-Muslims’ in Pakistan. Lodhi removed the tweet soon after the post. Ali, a Muslim convert since 1999, joined the minority Ahmadiyya Community, a move seen as heretical by other Islamic sects in 2001.


The Ahmadiyya population in Pakistan has often come under persecution and discrimination by the Sunni majority.

Currently, Ahmadi Muslims across the world are facing persecution because of their religious beliefs. Particularly in Pakistan, Ahmadi Muslims are severely persecuted and lack basic civil rights such as freedom of speech, religion and the right to vote.

Pakistan’s parliament had declared Ahmadis non-Muslims in 1974, and they have repeatedly been targeted by Islamic extremists, who view them as heretics. Article 260-3 of Pakistan’s Constitution declares Ahmadis “non-Muslims”.

In 1984, they were banned from calling themselves Muslim.

They are banned from preaching and even from travelling to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage. Several Ahmadi mosques were shut down at the time in Pakistan. Their publications are prohibited.

The minority Ahmadiyya Community members have also been taken to court on blasphemy charges.

Pakistan’s only Nobel laureate scientist Dr Abdus Salam, a major figure in the 20th century theoretical physics, was also an Ahmadi.

Ahmedis were prosecuted by the fundamentalists and contribution of eminent people like Dr Salam was ignored.

Another interesting aspect for this controversy is whether Ahmedis are allowed to see or work with cinemas. Most Ahmedi scholars are dead against it. Also many Sunni groups too. Here is an explanation for why cinema is considered as prohibited for Muslims.

A cinema is a place which has been built for the sole purpose of showing movies. It is a place which is filled with a great amount of sins, and one which is far away from Godliness, piety or righteousness. Many of those who frequent the cinemas are those who are void of good morals and decency, and are open violators of the requirements of religious teachings. You will find that approximately 99% of women cinema-goers do not dress modestly. Instead, most of their bodies remain unclothed and their physique, visible. It is a place where youths and others go to have a ‘good-time’ with the free uncontrolled intermingling of the sexes. The lewd and licentious behaviour of many cinema goers have no limits. Promiscuity, caressing and indecent conduct between the sexes have found its safe haven in the cinema.

Further to this, we see that cinemas have been built primarily and solely for the purpose of showing movies. If we investigate movies, we will find that they are very destructive and harmful in nature. If there happens to be anything that may be deemed to be educational or ‘safe’, these are extremely minimal, and the unlawful (haram) acts and scenes shown on cinemas far outweigh whatever little seemingly benefit that may be there.

Films and movies are filled with lewdness, nudity, love affairs and love scenes. Indulgence in sexual activity and the displaying of one,s body are heavily associated with those movies. Music, cabaret dances and scenes, depicting fornication and adultery are also dominant in today’s movies. Drinking, gambling, theft, robbery, cheating, murders and violence are the norms of the day in movies.

Working in a cinema might result in one of the two following scenarios. Either you have a direct contact and link with showing films and movies, then this type of work is deemed impermissible. The reason behind this is that the majority of such films are immoral and against the teachings of Islam. Thus, one would not be allowed to work and the income gained will be unlawful.

So it seems if he is a “real” Muslim he must not have been working in films. ?

It is good that theists are not  following properly what their religion preaches. Other wise world will miss out on amazing acting like that by Mahershala Ali.



  1. says

    He was amazing in Luke Cage, and I was very disappointed when his character died so early in the show. (I know that’s a spoiler, but I think it’s been long enough since the show first premiered…)

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