Written bySiddhant Pandey ·
A renowned Pakistani cleric has sparked a controversy by blaming women for the coronavirus pandemic.
The Islamic cleric, Maulana Tariq Jameel, suggested last week that the pandemic was God's wrath against the "obscenity" of women and the lies propagated by all media houses.
Although the cleric apologized for his comments against journalists, he has not apologized for his remarks against women.
On Thursday, Maulana Tariq said, "Obscenity and nudity are the reasons behind God's wrath in the form of coronavirus." He was speaking at the Ehsaas Telethon fundraiser for COVID-19, during which Prime Minister Imran Khan was also present.
The cleric added, "Who is making my nation's daughters dance. Their dresses are getting shortened. Allah sends his wrath when obscenity is common in society."
Further, Maulana Tariq said, "The owner of a mainstream channel asked me for some advice; I told him to abolish all incorrect news from his channel. The owner replied that in case that was done the channel would be finished but twisting of facts would not end," Dawn reported.
He added, "This is not just here, but media the world over is the same."
The day after he made the comments, Maulana Tariq apologized for his comments against the media, saying, "Such things happen, but there is no reason for the slip of tongue made by me." With no apology to women, the backlash over his comments continued.
In a tweet, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said that it was appalled by the cleric's remarks.
The HRCP said, "Such blatant objectification is unacceptable and, when aired on public television, only compounds the misogyny entrenched in society."
Slamming the cleric's "grossly slanderous" comments, Senator Sherry Rehman tweeted, "Why has Maulana Tariq Jameel not apologized to women yet? Because he needs to."
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. Suo moto ka waqt yai hai.He is encroaching on fundamental rights— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) April 25, 2020
Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazaari said the comments were "absurd" and are reflective of a "misogynist mindset" and "ignorance about pandemics."
Director of Asma Jahangir Legal Aid cell, Nida Aly, underlined how the comments come at a time when women under lockdown need more security from honor crimes, domestic violence, assault, and abuse. Aly said domestic violence cases have risen amid the lockdown.
Pakistan has extended its lockdown till May 9 as the cases of coronavirus continued to rise. Pakistan's Health Ministry said on Monday that the coronavirus cases have climbed to 13,328, while the death toll has reached 281.
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