Even as the world grapples to contain the coronavirus infection, a Pakistani cleric has blamed the “wrongdoing of women” and their “immodest actions” for the pandemic that has infected millions worldwide so far, Dawn reported. Maulana Tariq Jameel made the assertion during a televised prayer meet in the presence of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
According to the Pakistani daily, the cleric condemned women for dancing and for how they dress, saying it was these “immodest actions” that have “brought the Almighty’s wrath upon the country”. He is yet to issue an apology in this regard.
“Obscenity and nudity are the reasons behind God’s wrath in the form of coronavirus,” PTI quoted Maulana Jamil, who has a huge following in Pakistan, as saying.
“Who is making my nation’s daughters dance. Their dresses are getting shortened. Allah sends his wrath when obscenity is common in the society.”
The cleric’s remarks triggered a storm among Pakistan’s politicians and on social media, with leaders from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf taking on his “ignorance about pandemics or a misogynist mindset”.
A few of them also upped the ante against Khan for remaining silent on the issue.
The cleric also earned the wrath of the Human Right Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) for his “inexplicable” statement.
Taking to Twitter, the body said, “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.
Nida Aly, director of the Asma Jahangir Legal Aid cell, said while women under lockdown needed security from the community, “The government trotted out Tariq Jamil on a broadly televised programme who not just objectified women but declared them and their individualist actions to bring the wrath of God and punishment in the form of COVID-19.”
Pakistan has registered over 13,000 Covid-19 cases and more than 250 related deaths till now.
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