Earlier this week, TV presenter Fareeha Idrees (she is kinda irrelevant generally, her star shone briefly when she managed to get the first post world cup Afridi Interview) said that Altaf Hussain and Zulfi Mirza are responsible for floods in Sindh. Now we all know that Both Zulfi Mirza and Altaf Bhai are capable of a lot of things but flooding their voters and constituencies is not one of them. Ms. Idrees’ argument was fairly simple. She said, “Jin jagahon pe logon ne Quran uthaya ho wahan azaab tau ayega” (The places where Quran has been disrespected will face the wrath of Almighty). My geography may not be as good as Ms Idrees’ but didn’t Altaf Bhai pull his antics in London and Zulfi Mirza in Karachi? Going by this logic, shouldn’t Northern London and the city by the sea be submerged in water and Nawab Shah and Badin be dry as a walnut?
As if Ms. Idrees’ ramblings were not enough, Kamran Khan (hosting the highest rated TV show in the country) presented one Maulana Tariq Jamil, a Rajput brother from the fine district of Mian Chunnu and spiritual leader of the likes of Junaid Jamshed, Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul-Haq, on 13thSeptember 2011. Maulana sahib very clearly stated that the floods in Sindh and the Dengue in Punjab are a consequence of our sins (he blamed 2005 earthquakes on a gay marriage) and we must repent and seek forgiveness. Now I am all for repenting the mistakes and seeking forgiveness, but the list of sins listed by the good maulana was mind boggling to say the least. Some of the bizarre sins listed were being friendlier towards your friends than to your father, being obedient to your wives, popularity of music esp. female musicians and greeting each other with hello and hi.
Perpetuating this kind of thinking on such a high rated TV show was most irresponsible of Mr Kamran Khan and his team. Instead of looking for public officials responsible for not ensuring that safety and evacuation measures were taken, they took the easy way out and made a telephone call to a member of clergy. The Maulana sahib conveniently blamed the victims for their sins instead of holding the public officials accountable for their negligence of criminal proportions. Junaid Jamshed has done it before and now his mentor is doing the same, blaming the victim while absolving the perpetrators of any wrong doing. Is this the modus operandi of the religious right in this country?
The message that came on Kamran Khan Show was loud and clear; stop making friends, beat your wives twice a day, stop greeting others with hellos and perhaps public beheading of a female musician or two will take care of natural disasters, bad planning and climate change be damned.