On Friday, renowned religious speaker, Pakistan’s most well-known Televangelist, and public speaker Maulana Tariq Jameel was grilled by prominent TV Anchors on his comments on Pakistani media during PM Imran Khan’s live telethon, Ehsas, broadcasted by Hum TV.
Maulana in his uncontrolled exuberance had condemned the whole nation as liars, he also blamed national and international media for spreading lies. Though he was careful in making his allegations generalised onto whole Pakistani nation and media as an industry.
Maulana Tariq Jameel's bold message, asking Muslims to pray from homes in Ramadan, in PM Imran Khan's telethon, was a turning moment in Pakistan's religious history – a bit of Martin Luther moment when he had interpreted Bible & turned Christian world around. Well Done Maulana!— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) April 23, 2020
TV Anchors offended by Maulana Tariq Jameel
But few prominent TV anchors were sitting there including Hamid Mir, Kashif Abbasi, Mohammad Malik, Kamran Shahid, Sami Yousafzai and others who could not respond there. Broadcast was being moderated by young TV Anchor Shiffa Yousafzai (Hum TV) and Muneeba Mazari (on behalf of Ptv)
Maulana Tariq Jameel did call me and rectified the situation that was created a day ago .. Tariq sb is an inspiration for many and I respect him for his knowledge of religion … His phone call shows his upmost modesty and his exceptional stature .. pic.twitter.com/z0HrNIqTdG— Kamran Shahid (@FrontlineKamran) April 24, 2020
Though Maulana had later offered an unconditional apology to media personnel as well as his fellow clerics on Friday over remarks on Thursday in which he had termed media houses “liars”. However he was relentlessly grilled in a tv program hosted by prominent TV Anchor, Mohammad Malik – however Malik himself, perhaps being host, was polite and kept bailing out Maulana.
Maulana Tariq Jameel apologises
Speaking as a guest in this talk show, on Hum TV Maulana Tariq generously acknowledged that his “tongue had slipped” towards the end of a telethon the previous day, which was also attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Maulana made an interesting confession when he added that “this happens, as I speak a lot,”.
While saying a longish prayer at the end of the Ehsaas Telethon, which was meant to raise funds for the victims of the Covid-19 pandemic, Maulana Tariq said one of the main issues involved was “not speaking the truth”. He couched the corona pandemic in terms of a biblical “Azab” (punishment) from God. However his comments were neither towards any particular person, or class of persons nor towards any particular community or industry but were rather generalised like the televangelists do in the United States.
Maulana tariq Jameel sahab❤️ not supporting Imran khan, Maulana tariq Jameel support Ik Initiative like Madina ki Riasat, he support Ik struggle for his nation. You can have differences with IK but making fun of Maulana Tariq jameel is disgusting. 🙏#molanaTariqJameel pic.twitter.com/FqqMef9Gyv
— ALi SALMAN RAHAT🇵🇰 (@alirahat4u) April 24, 2020
TV can’t run without lies: Media Tycoon?
But he definitely created problems for himself when speaking about an unnamed proprietor of a news organisation, a television channel, Maulana said: “The owner of a mainstream channel asked me for some advice; I told him to abolish all incorrect news or lies from his channel. The owner replied that in case that was done the channel would be finished but lies would not end… he added: This is not just here, but media the world over is the same.”
Some TV Anchors, present in the Telethon and later in Mohammad Malik’s program were particularly irked by this half narration of anecdote and demanded Maulana to spell out the name of the media tycoon. However Maulana stuck to his guns and said it was a private conversation and he apologizes for not being able to give out any names.
Will Tariq Jameel apologise to female artists?
The maulana also cast aspersions on female artists blaming all those who “were often scantily dressed” for the spread of coronavirus in the country. He condemned such women and said their behaviour was bringing such wrath upon the country. Once again his comments were directed towards the modern conventions of the media industry. However, this has given rise to huge controversy on social media.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) also took exception to the clerics’ comments. In a tweet, the commission said: “HRCP is appalled at Maulana Tariq Jameel’s recent statement inexplicably correlating women’s modesty to the coronavirus pandemic.”
“Such blatant objectification is unacceptable and when aired on a public television it only compounds the misogyny entrenched in society,” the commission added.
Will Maulana now appear with a female tv anchor to respond to his broad sweep allegations against female artists scantily dressed or those who dance and brought Allah’s Azab? This will be electrifying interaction, but it probably won’t happen.