Upholding misogyny in a shameless fashion, a well-known cleric in Pakistan blamed women for unleashing the deadly COVID-19 pandemic onto the world. On live television, Maulana Tariq Jameel audaciously said that the coronavirus has been unleashed on humanity because of the “wrongdoing of women."
His silly comments came in the presence of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. On Thursday, the cleric decided to give his two cents on the global crisis during the Ehsaas Telethon fundraising event as PM Khan looked on.
According to reports, Jameel blamed women who “were often scantily dressed” for the spread of the highly infectious virus in the country. Condemning them, he said that their behaviour was bringing such wrath upon the country.
He also went ahead and criticised the media for what he said was disseminating lies but later apologised for these remarks, saying it was a "slip of the tongue." Like you, we are also trying to understand just how the tongue slips this way.
However, the maulana did not apologise for his offensive comments on women. If only he had taken one science lesson in his life.
The Human Right Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has pulled up the cleric for his statement against women.
“HRCP is appalled at Maulana Tariq Jamil’s recent statement inexplicably correlating women’s ‘modesty’ to the Covid19 pandemic. Such blatant objectification is unacceptable and, when aired on public television, only compounds the misogyny entrenched in society,” the commission tweeted.
The country's popular newspaper Dawn wrote in an editorial that statements like this are troubling, adding they are also aired, unchallenged, from a very high-profile platform. They added that it is a “shame” that the cleric was not corrected when he made these offensive comments.
PM Imran Khan's silence over the matter is questionable. Are we to assume he shares the maulana's views?
The cleric is an example of what is wrong with our society. He is a pallbearer of insecure patriarchy that cannot see its women rise.