Maulana Tariq Jamil with Imran Khan
Famous Pakistani Islamic scholar and preacher Maulana Tariq Jamil is close friend of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Image Credit: Social Media

Dubai: Famous Pakistanis cleric Maulana Tariq Jamil’s apology to media has set the internet on fire as a huge number of tweeps has emerged to support him.

MolanaTariq_OurPride was trending on Monday as hundreds of twitteratis condemned the Pakistani television anchors who pointed fingers at Maulana Jamil for calling media ‘liars’ during a fund raising telethon on April 23 in Islamabad. Prime Minister Imran Khan was also present at the telethon when Maulana spoke for more than 25 minutes.

However, after sharp reaction from media anchors, Maulan Jamil tendered an unconditional apology to media personnel. His followers got upset and took to social media in his support and harshly criticised some television anchors for going after Maulana Jamil for explanation on his remarks.

What is the controversy

Speaking as a guest at a talk show hosted by anchor Muhammad Maalick, Maulana Tariq acknowledged that his “tongue had slipped” towards the end of a telethon. “This happens, as I speak a lot,” he said during the programme.

The Maulana had stirred a storm among journalists and members of the civil society by calling media houses around the world, including Pakistan, “liars” and said the organisations “needed to be more truthful”, reported Dawn news.

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 Jamil said one of the main issues involved was “not speaking the truth”.

Who is Maulana Tariq Jamil

Maulana Tariq Jamil, 67, is a well known Pakistani Islamic scholar who is senior member of Tablighi Jamaat. He is also preacher, religious writer, scholar and famous television preacher. He is equally famous among Pakistanis living in the UAE or elsewhere in the world for his speeches on social and religious affairs.

Why tweeps support the Maulana

One of his followers, Hadid Ahmed tweeted: “He is the man who always tries to spread the love and build universal brotherhood. He always speaks the truth and preach Islam to guide the Muslim ummah to the right path. You are our real hero. The whole nation stand with you. ”❣

Another tweep Abdul Rehman commented: “We love you Molana Tariq Jameel Sahab. You don’t owe any apology or clarification to those who misinterpreted your message. May Allah be with you. We all stand with you against that brag media.”

Zaria Khan tweeted: “ Molana Sahib, you proved your greatness. Pakistan is standing by you. you do not have to apologise, we are very sorry. ”ߙ?ߏ?

Hina Khan says in her tweet: “ Join us #MolanaTariq_OurPride, show the anchors & our media we love him we respect him we also know what they are and we agree with Tariq Jamel sahab every word of him was correct and those who are happy he apapologisedhould feel shame on them bcoz he apapologiseven he was right.”

Muhammad Kamran tweeted: “Great man with great Standing in the society. These anchors are the one responsible to destroy our society and its norms. Not a single anchor is ideal for generations to come while on the other hand Tariq Jamil is ideal of millions to become like him.”

Defending Maulana, on of his followers Noor Mehar said: “Maulana Tariq Jameel is one of the most popular preachers in Pakistan. He belongs to the Tablighi Jamaat group and his lectures focus on the subject of self-purification, observance of Allah’s orders and pursuing the way of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).”

Scantily dressed women blamed for COVID-19

During his talk at the telethon, the Maulana also cast aspersions on a large number of women, blaming 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.

As the telethon ended with prayers said by the Maulana, the anchors who were present on the occasion did not get an opportunity to respond to the comments about media houses.

Among those who reacted strongly to Maulana Tariq’s remarks was prominent anchorperson Hamid Mir, who said in a tweet that giving such generalised statements about media houses was “an irresponsible act”. “Maulana Tariq Jameel used to give similar statements to Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet too in 1990s.”

Human Rights Commision's reaction

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.

Maulana also said during the telethon that “scantily dressed women” at “private schools and universities” were responsible for the coronavirus outbreak. He said that their behaviour had brought wrath upon the country.

Though, he apologised the media, women in Pakistan, however, are still upset with the Maulana for what they say demeaning and callous comments about them.

Senator Sherry Rehman demands apology

Senator Sherry Rehman took to Twitter and said: “Why has Maulana Tariq Jameel not apologised to women yet? Because he needs to. He’s blaming this pandemic on Pakistani Womens’ alleged immodesty. This is grossly slanderous on many levels; totally unacceptable.”

Shireen Mazaari's reacts

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazaari said that it was absurd to even suggest that the coronavirus outbreak was a result of women wearing short sleeves or because of private schools and universities misleading the youth.

“We will not accept the targeting of women on the pretext of such ludicrous accusations,” she tweeted. “We in Pakistan have fought hard for claiming our rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”

Maualana Tariq Jamil's reply

Maulana Tariq Jameel also tweeted on the issue and said: “During the conversation on PM program Ehsas tetelethonthe mention of lies and obscenity was meant to indicate the avoidance of these deadly diseases it was not meant to offend any individual or institution.”