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Friday Sep 11 2020
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Video allegedly featuring Mufti Qavi sparks another controversy

Seen without his traditional Jinnah cap, Qavi — who featured prominently in the days leading up to the death of social media star Qandeel Baloch and was also one of the accused in the case pertaining to her murder — seems to be advised by someone else in the room to twirl the woman seen in the video. Twitter/IBC URDU (@ibcurdu)/Screenshot via Geo.tv

KARACHI: Prominent cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi has landed once again in hot water after a video apparently showing him dancing with a woman has gone viral on social media. 

Read more: Mufti Qavi's remarks about 'halal' alcohol raise eyebrows, invite criticism

Meanwhile, Mufti Qavi has categorically denied the veracity of the video.

"This video of me dancing with the Korean woman is fake," he told The News correspondent Nadeem Shah. 

He claimed that a 'lobby' has been active against him ever since he issued "strong statements against Indian premier Narendra Modi for subjecting Kashmiris to inhuman torture and killing innocent people in the [Indian occupied] Kashmir valley."

He said the group had edited and produced a fake video "for the sole objective of widely defaming Pakistan and the religion of Islam".

He said he never wears "such a tight kameez as displayed in the video" and claimed that the video editor had "pasted my head on the body of someone else."

Qavi claimed a United Kingdom-based YouTube channel had uploaded the fake video and the channel's owner, whom he identified as Hamad, had also sought an apology from him for doing so.

'Halal' alcohol controversy

Last he was in the news, it was due to his off-hand remarks about "halal" alcohol, which he had said ought to be permissible if derived from minerals such as spirits, petrochemicals, and other substances.

He made the comments after he was asked to respond to reports of a fatwa allegedly issued by Saudi Arabian clerics deeming beverages containing 40% alcohol or less as halal.

"I got various calls from Europe a few days ago and some youngsters told me that Saudi ulema had deemed those beverages halal that contain 40% or less alcohol in them.

"This is their [Saudi ulema's] opinion. I will give mine. I would say that alcohol derived from minerals, such as spirits, petrol and other substances, if it is applied on clothes or elsewhere, then it does not render them impure.

Related: Saudi Arabia hands over Qandeel Baloch's absconding brother to Pakistan

"Now what is the Shariah status [on this matter], whether it [such alcohol] is halal in 100% [quantity] or less, this will be decided only after a thorough consideration," said Qavi, whose membership with the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee was revoked the Ministry of Religious Affairs back in 2016.

Prior to that, he had expressed his views on selfies, the lunar calendar, and legislation that he intends to introduce to promote religious tolerance after being acquitted in the Qandeel murder case.

Responding to a question about taking selfies, he had said there was nothing wrong with the practice since taking pictures is allowed. He has 70,000 selfies snapped at different places and still willing to pose with anybody who wants to take a picture with him, he had said.

Also read: Religious Affairs Ministry revokes Mufti Qavi’s Ruet-e-Hilal Committee membership

Qavi had told officials back in 2017 that the owner and driver of a vehicle that brought Qandeel's murder suspects — her brother Waseem and cousin Haq Nawaz — from Dera Ghazi Khan to Multan and then took them back was his cousin, Abdul Basit.

The cleric was arrested on October 18 after his bail was rejected by the court.

During one of the hearings in their daughter's murder case, Qandeel's parents had blamed Qavi for their daughter's murder. On the other hand, the social media star had accused him of inappropriate behaviour before her death, telling AFP at the time that she "thought I would expose him as he is in reality".

"He is a different person alone and different when he has his followers around him," Qandeel had said.

Qandeel's murder over so-called 'honour' had sent shockwaves across Pakistan, triggering an outpouring of grief on social media and condemnation from around the world.

Related:

Mufti Abdul Qavi says nothing wrong with taking selfies

Qandeel's parents blame Mufti Qavi for daughter's murder

Mufti Abdul Qavi given clear bill of health