‘Infidels’ on the Internet: Pakistan’s Social Media ‘Cancel Culture’ During the Pandemic


  • Sadia Uddin York University




This paper explores how the pandemic intersects with religious nationalism in Pakistan and isolates vulnerable groups through the use of its colonial-era Blasphemy Laws. Using the August 2020 case of a music video shoot inside a mosque, the paper emphasizes the role of social media ‘cancel culture’ in mobilizing these laws to persecute ‘wrongdoers’ in the name of ‘Islam’. The paper confronts power relations and creates new knowledge to challenge prevailing hegemonic structures by exploring the selective applicability of cancel culture and the Blasphemy Laws.

Author Biography

Sadia Uddin, York University

Sadia Uddin is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Humanities Program at York University. Her research focuses on the narratives of Pakistani women during periods of conflict. She examines the interplay of public policy, patriarchy, and misrepresentations of Islamic law as controls on knowledge production. Sadia holds a Masters in Humanities and an Honours B.A. in Political Science and South Asian Studies from York University. She has also completed a Professional Certificate in Public Administration and Law with a Diploma in Asian Studies. Her research interests include Pakistan, religious extremism and minorities, gender, postcolonial literature, and law.


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How to Cite

Uddin, S. (2023). ‘Infidels’ on the Internet: Pakistan’s Social Media ‘Cancel Culture’ During the Pandemic. Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, 14(1), 87–113. https://doi.org/10.17742/IMAGE29665