maulana tariq jameel

WHY IT SHOULD BE OK TO QUESTION RELIGIOUS LEADERS!

Hazrat Umer Farooq (R.A) was made khalifa and everyone including people of all other faiths were allowed to inquire about his doings. Questioning the dearest, bravest and most honest friend of prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W) was never considered disrespectful or blasphemy.

On 23rd March 2020 a telethon was arranged for Ahsaas Relief fund, it was a non political event majorly ran by mainstream media channels.
Sadly as much as it was a non-political event it was contaminated by political jibes both by Prime Minister and sadly by the religious leader who joined the telethon for Dua. Moulana sb made a dua which had many things to be disheartened about.

Moulana sb during his dua criticized women clothing and called it a reason for corona trouble, he blamed previous governments for present in-competencies of PTI govt and worst of all he labelled media to be liars and accused a channel owner. Before anyone could say anything in response, the program was closed and many on Twitter criticized this behavior. People got saddened that an event which should have been used as a forum for unity and faith was used to blame and shame.

First things first, religion over the years have been most effectively used against women. Women are told to be tolerant of men’s behavior, betrayals, beatings and cheating because men are their guardians (majjazi Khudda) or women are conditioned to believe that they need permission and approval of their family men in every little task they do. Remember when in 2016, a chief cleric of Pakistan Islamic Ideology council said that light beating of women is permissible. Casual statements by religious clerics intensify domestic violence and suffocated lives of Pakistani women.

Moulana sb during his dua even went to the extent of criticizing choice of women in clothing and dancing. Blaming women choices for any wrong doings of society is the sickest narrative that is powerfully harped in our society. Do men not wear inappropriate clothing, do men not dance, how come women have to bear the entire blame. This is utterly disheartening to see that now COVID19 tragedy pain and loss have to be put on women’ shoulder too.

Almost a year back I wrote an article criticizing Shahid Afridi’s public boasting off not letting his daughters play crickethttps://lifestylebymunaza.com/my-daughters-are-not-allowed-to-play-sports-shahid-afridi-game-changer-but-in-a-wrong-way/. In that article, I wrote perhaps his decision won’t affect his daughters that much because their father has given them much freedom in many other life matters. But Shahid Afridi being a revered hero in society, his words will affect common women in society because his followers would believe it to be heroic deed to stop women of their families from sports or from any outdoor activities.

Same is the case with Moulana sb’s statement on behayai and chottay kapray, common men especially who admire him as the perfect religious scholar would get a validation that they are in charge of their women. The common men would make choices of clothing for their women. I literally know a number of females which first get their clothes approved by their husbands and fathers and then wear them out.

Using religious clerics for controlling masses and buying common people’ submission is not new. In middle ages monarchs with the help of churches perpetuated justification of class system and claimed that lower classes have reward in the hereafter and to keep women tamed they told the men that females are gate to hell.  

Worst of all Moulana sb apologized from media, perhaps because media is powerful and can affect the image, work and income of anyone but he didn’t even give a slight explanation of his statements against women. Women bloggers need to talk about it despite all the hate they will face because if we won’t talk, the norm of victim blaming will continue and women in this society will keep suffering for wounds they haven’t caused.

Secondly it does not suit the stature of highly regarded religious scholar to do the politics of blaming and shaming. Rather all great Ulemas have kept a distance from people in power. Immam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik ibn Anas, Imam Ash-Shafi’I, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal all faced imprisonment for refusing to work for their respective governments-why? Because government use religious authorities to spread their narrative and justify their actions.

But the  Moulana sb we are talking about has always had great ties with anyone in power. Moulana sb was a prominent dignitary during Nawaz Shareef reign of 1990s as pointed by Hamid Mir in his 24th April show.

Powerful people of any field befriend ‘friends with benefits’ and it includes religious scholars as well. More name, more work at more prominent places like being at PMs’ ceremonies come with praising the leadership of the current times.

I am not questioning anyone’s integrity but logics need to be used to understand the ways of life. In Pakistan it is easiest to get away with wrong doing if you are known as religious, people here buy any faint logic if you support it with some religious aspect, Molvi Abdul Qavi is one such example.

Criticizing media is the risky-iest move at telethon because criticizing women is norm in Pakistani culture but media has power so it can fight back. Sadly, another puke worthy behavior of many Pakistanis is to watch tv all day, watch vulgar dances, filthy dramas and at the end say media is responsible for all wrong doings of society. Though media is only showing what people want to watch.

Moreover, Pakistani media has commendable role in its history and improved political awareness. During Zia regime despite all fears journalists kept telling and writing truth, then in war on terror despite blasts and threats media kept working. so calling all media out is unfair.

Sadly, the very next day Moulana sb apologized to media. Many people felt really sad for Moulana sb that he had to apologize, though media lies world over. If that is true than to set an example Moulana sb should have stood his ground and set an example.

Remember when Imam Abu Hanifa was offered the position of Chief Justice by Abu Al Mansur, Imam Abu Hanifa stood his ground and rejected the position constantly because he knew that Mansur would use Imam Hanifa’s religious position to influence people and to justify government’s action. Imam Abu Hanifa stood his ground to such strong level that he was put in jail where he remained till his death. I think if Moulana sb was right he should have set an example.

As a PTI voter though there are many things I admire about Imran Khan but vindictive political behavior and dictatorial way of running things is what I abhor him in most. Very similar traits can be observed in his ideal leaders of current time Mahatir Mohammaed and Rajjab Tyyab Erdogan. Erdogan has elected himself, I think until 2027, to stay in power-what a hypocrisy!

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