Friday Apr 24, 2020
ISLAMABAD: Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari on Friday sharply criticised comments blaming women's "indecency" and Pakistan's universities for the coronavirus pandemic.
Her remarks followed comments made a day prior by religious leader Maulana Tariq Jameel in which he said women's "indecency" and universities out to mislead the youth were to blame for the virus' outbreak.
Mazari said the idea "the COVID19 pandemic is a result of women wearing short sleeves or [because] of private schools/universities misleading the youth", is "simply absurd".
"This simply reflects either ignorance [about] pandemics or a misogynist mindset. Absolutely unacceptable," she said on Twitter. "We will not accept the targeting of women on the pretext of such ludicrous accusations.
"We in Pakistan have fought hard for claiming our rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan," she added.
Maulana Jameel, who was invited to say a prayer during Prime Minister Imran Khan's Ehsaas Telethon a day earlier, had spoken at length about the ongoing pandemic.
The religious leader spoke for almost a quarter of an hour, noting how the goal was not to fight against the coronavirus but to treat it and be humble in front of God. He went on to blame the pandemic on women's "indecency", prevalence of dishonesty and betrayals in society, and people accumulating wealth through fraudulent means.
Addressing all the anchors sitting alongside the prime minister, he said: "We lie so much, we are a lying nation."
"Who has torn honour to pieces in my country? Who makes my country's daughters dance? Who is asking them to wear skimpier clothes? Whom should I hold accountable for this sin?" he continued.
"When a Muslim's daughter choose the path of indecency and the youth choose vulgarity [...] the biggest curse of God was on the people of Lut (A.S) because they crossed all boundaries of indecency.
"God had cursed them five times. No nation was cursed more than once but they were cursed five times," Jameel had said.
The country's colleges and universities, especially private schools, were making people go further away from religion, he had claimed.
Maulana Jameel faced a lot of flak throughout the day for his comments and earlier today, apologised for his remarks against the media.