Original Articles

The horrors of media capitalism and the orthodox televangelist whores -By Zeeba Hashmi


It’s all about hunger for control. It’s all about hitting the right audience.

Amir Liaqat’s exposure came at a time when there was a general perception of godliness about him, and this perception becomes much more stronger among his followers when all he had to do was simply tell it on screen once more that there is an “Ahmediya” hand behind this footage which he claims has been forged by his predecessor chanel he worked for.

How easy it is to thrive on emotionally charged and religiously sensitized minds that’s hungry for a tad bit of violence erupting for “righteous” causes. “Kill them. Just Kill them All!” is the subtle abstract mantra Liaqat’s sending out in hate spewed air waves once more.

This hunger for control goes uncontrolled. If channelised properly, capitalism might not be a diesease in itself, but unregulated practices and exploitation is.

Our profit-greedy TV magnets here that hardly ever pay their taxes to the government are overtly obsessed with peoples’ emotions. Politicians use it to divert their attention from core issues to other administrative concerns that a general audience has little concern about.

The television buys their time because engaging them in charged hard talks with opponents translate into more TRPs for them. And when there is all the chaos being created, the only solution that give them to win an argument is to bring in their version of Islam to justify a certain stance.

Where can there be further debate in futile tongue gutterings?

Amir Liaqat is in deep trouble now, as he has been exposed beautifully. But I don’t think it’s the Islaminess of his that has become an issue here , no matter what filthy trash he’s been spitting over through over-exagerrated expressions of a “true scholar” for his viewers, it is all about finding an oppurtunity in excercising power through his artifical piety that the mass scale audience idealise here.

Ever wondered why has it remained a booming business for the pop singers and cricket players to exhibit their religiosity here?

They themselevs might not necessarrily be that in private lives, but because it gives them a reason to become popular symbols, thay act like one.

Where is the control when one issues a fatwa over another because they are in disagreement with them? Where is the media sincerity?

And where the (f) is the government in all this when it is needed to protect its vulnerable citizens more than it banning mundane bollywood profanities on screen? Does itr ever become serious about the kind of hate that is being spread on our mainstream media in the name of Islam?

Preaching about love, peace, respect and harmony for other religions/sects and people of different non-millitant perceptions, orientations and ideologies is not an issue.

But it is a problem because harmony is lacking in all our islami televengalist preachers—rather the televengalist whores that the likes of Zakir Naik, Amir Liaqat and Junaid Jmashed are.

The capitalist liason with Islam is a dangerous thing, as it re-endorses the judgemental attitudes and thrives on playing with people’s sensitivities on certain issues, and our oppurtunists here know it too well that in order to excercise power,they have to make best use of religion, as all debates and discourses are then futile and defenseless when heavily charged emotions are involved.

Tableegh or religious preachings must not be condoned as it is subject to variant versions of Islam which tread dangerously on fault lines of rift and differences.

The ownership of religion in the media must go if one really wants their society to progress further instead of debating over whether people smoking in public during Ramzaan should be stoned or not.

Related Video: Viewer Discretion Advised; This Video is exclusively for adults. Contains coarse and abusive language.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgOJJO-w8Wk

About the author

Dr Uzma Ali

13 Comments

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  • BTW, even if he said such things (which I am sure he is quite capable of), he could have admitted it and moved on. On the other hand, by claiming an Ahmedi hand, is just too much!!!

  • Compliments to Zeeba Hashmi for linking televangelism with unfettered capitalism. If the market unconstrained by any regulation rooted in social policy is given a free hand, as it is in Pakistan, then such religious ‘whores’ will stand alongside all other media whores to sell their respective wares. If everything else is commodified, no reason that the ‘opium of the masses’ should not be commodified.
    On a side note though, I must admit some of it is very funny. His take on wahabis is perhaps this low life’s redeeming feature. My favourite was ‘utha zahanat ka balla aur laga SMS ka Chhakka.’ Encapsulates what passes for intellectualism today!

  • The same was done by ex Jamati and PPP law minister when he called the accusations of taking bribes in Haris Steel cases, a conspiracy against him by the Qadiani(Ahmedi) lobby.

  • Joining Junaid Jamshed and Zakir Naik into the fray with Amir Liaquat is the same as saying anyone associated with the PPP is a corrupt whore as well because of Zardari and his likes.
    The law of association does not come into play here. There are good and bad people everywhere but it seems the author is painting everyone with the same brush due to her own internal fights and lack of knowledge and a sense of being more loyal to the crown than the King himself.
    A sense of Islamophobiac stench comes out of this article and it would have served her much better and been more effective if she wouldnt have added Junaid Jamshed and Zakir Naiks name to it. I have never seen any of those two stoop down to the levels of Amir Liaquat or his showmanship.
    Lastly, it seems the writer is more concerned about the Islamic televangelists and no one else. There are many scholars who provide the needed resources and knowledge to a lot of people who seek it through television. I would rather have more of them than watch shows with half naked girls, pathetic storylines that are a cause of breakup of the family structure and a curse on our Islamic values. If the writer is so worried about her rights then what about the rights of millions of Pakistanis who came to and created Pakistan because it is a state built on Islamic ideolegy and principle. Go find another country to spread your views maám…it wont work here!

  • @Ali Alam

    Why did Jinnah appoint an Ahmadi as foreign minister and Hindu as law minister. Was that hindu law minister going to implement Sharia. And Jinnah was himself a Shia, do you think he wanted Sunni Islam to be imposed on the sect to which he belonged.

  • Ali Alam:
    Junaid Jamshed peddles ‘halal’ vaccines in an ad for Avantis – a multinational phramceuticals company. Yet another example of capitalism selling religion. Zakir Naik openly promotes terrorism and considers Osama Bin Laden and others as Islamic heroes.
    Surely ‘half naked girls’ is about as dangerous and hypocritical as promoting jihad and pronouncing people as outside the pale of religion and liable to murder! In any case, if your preference is half naked boys, then I am sure that is catered to also on Television!!
    What was Pakistan created on is by no means non-conentious. Those of us who wish to make it a country where religion and politics is separated have every right to do so. If Islamic ideology and tevelangelist TV is so dear to you, you might as well migrate to Saudi Arabia or Sudan (not many choices I am afraid!)

  • We are living in the Age of media abundance, and lamentably, there is a dearth of news stories and reporting that offer any hope and portray the enlightenment as a fundamental reality. Though we are moving from information scarcity to information abundance yet Pakistani citizens continue to struggle for reliable information and pro citizen journalism. what a paradox? Liberal view and voice goes completely missing in Pakistan, and media offer no space for unpopular point of view. Baluchistan and Parachinar like sensitive issues deserve more mention and the media focusing only on non-issues.
    Democracy requires compromise, reconciliation, support, understanding, hope, and above all, accurate reporting from the media. In times of democratic crises, the media should strive to disseminate pro-democratic thoughts, not offer conspiracy theories based on little or fake evidence as well as bleak assessments with no grounding in fact.

  • At least don’t mention JJ until you have some proof. That man changed openly, non of u got guts to change like him, at the peak of your careers. Referring to Novartis Vaccine ad, he is just telling you to get yourself vaccinated b4 leaving for Haram. Its a public service message and never said to use novartis.

    And please also mention some reference (video) where Zakir Naik supported OBL as hero. I never heard that before.

  • Zeeba should set a good example by not choosing wrong type of language, Whore and then (f) towards the end.
    How can you be critical of someone else when you display the same disease.