Zeeshan Rasool Khan
Controversy lends publicity and many people engage in these for this reason. Such people exist in every part of the world. And, in Pakistan, Mr. Aamir liyaqat is the one among these. No doubt, as a noted television personality and politician of Pakistan, he has achieved much repute from different pockets of society. But, he has thrown and throws surprises of an obnoxious nature as well. Right from his education to the behavior, he has repeatedly made news, mostly bad. While hosting live shows, he has a record of making statements which never gone down well with most of the viewers. Many times, he was barred by PEMRA for his activities on the television screen, but such action could not change his mental attitude. Even at present, he does not refrain from these acts. Only a few days ago, in live show ‘Aalim ke Bol’, aired on Bol TV, he again resorted to his habitual action, I must say.
The aforementioned show is undoubtedly unique. Bringing scholars of a different school of thought on the same platform is truly commendable and deserves applause. Debating on issues that exist as a cause of disagreement in the ummah and coming up with consensus is appreciable. But, the way anchor of the show handled it in recent past really discredited the show. The show apparently was bringing the scholars closer, but parting away their hearts in particular and of people in general. On a Number of times, THE show seemed to be a one-sided wherein one scholar was given an opportunity to speak and the other was not allowed to make a point. However, the situation turned awful when invited guest scholar of a particular school of thought was targeted and insulted for ‘no’ reason just days ago. The hassle started when a person asked a confusing and careless question and THE host Aamir liyaqat within no time ascribed it to Zakir Naik. And at the same time, he bashed one of the Molanas (priest) , calling him Dr. Naik’s supporter without considering his viewpoint.
In this part of the world – Kashmir, this trend has developed and has engrossed the minds of orators, listeners and viewers. Every other day, videos of religious speakers appear on social media, criticizing, ridiculing, and issuing decrees against each other. Even the scholars, who have put blood and perspire to convey the message of religion in the lucid form, and who immensely and selflessly have contributed in religious affairs, are not pardoned.
Every person, especially knowledgeable, is respect worthy and viewpoint of every person deserves respect. It is a fact that our opinions can never be same. The difference of opinion has been there since time immemorial and would never end; as it is said, “different heads, different brains”, thus different ways of thinking. Nevertheless, this difference does not allow anyone to calumniate another without caring about person’s dignity. No religion, no philosophy, and no human intellect can accept it. Most importantly, love of the Prophet (SAW), in the name of which all this happens, does not endorse it.
Additionally, disparaging a religious person is not individualistic matter. A religious person belongs to the people. He represents an idea. He represents a school of thought, thus insulting him is insultive to many. These kinds of acts, disagreeable to the senses, mind, and feelings can have negative repercussions if taken lightly. We are already scattered and divided on the grounds of belief. We do not consider a mosque belonging to another Islamic sect as own. We are reluctant to perform Salah behind another Muslim, contrary to demand of time, which calls for unity.
But, TV anchors/hosts and some self-centric scholars aiming for gaining cheap publicity are furthering this animosity and are only deepening the cracks. For self-interests, they hardly care how their behavior can lead to sectarian conflicts, which is unacceptable to sensible Muslims, irrespective of their ideologies.
Against all such filthy minded people, cloaked in scholastic appearance, initiation of proper and strict action is the need of time. They must not be pardoned, as they are culpable for detrimenting the harmony.
If TV channel owners have staged a program of bringing persons of varied opinions face to face, they must utilize this opportunity in uniting their hearts as well by employing sensible conservative anchors. Also, the panelists/ scholars need to rise above their personal interests and must end the differences for the sake of Islam and Muslims. The religious orators who appear on YouTube, Facebook and other social media sites also must not stoop low for publicity. They need to bring some substantial material forth that can have a salubrious impact on Ummah instead of spewing venom. Further, it is important for all Muslims to keep their secondary opinions at bay, unite on the basis of the fundamentals of Islam, and defeat the dividing force. Success lies in our unity!
—The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org