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Evergreen logic

Evergreen logic

When ‘Islamic’ televangelist, Aamir Liaquat, traveled to Saudi Arabia to perform (his umpteenth) Hajj late last year, intelligent, sensitive and rational Pakistanis let out a sigh of relief.

The more mischievous ones among us even prayed to the Almighty to let the Saudis fall in love with this eminent ‘Islamic scholar’ and fund his outlandish theories. The whole idea behind this sincere pray was for Liaquat to stay put in Saudia Arabia playing the Saudi faith’s Dr. Frankenstein (remember Dr. Maurice Bucaille?), leaving television viewers in Pakistan ever so grateful to the Saudis for keeping him there, away from the corruptions and temptations of Pakistan.

But, alas, all hopes have been dashed as Liaquat has been brought back for yet another invigorating season of ‘Alim Online.’ This despite the fact that in 2008, he was accused of instigating violence against the Ahmadiyya community through his highly enlightening show, and is also known for holding some truly audacious views about Islam, society, and politics in Pakistan.

Well, actually, such men (and some women), have ironically proven to be real attractions for multinationals wanting to advertise their brands during the most foolhardy shows, so one can understand private television channels’ unflinching obsession with these characters.

That said, this article will focus on a 10-minute section of Liaqaut’s show that aired on January 29 this year. After announcing his return to the mini-screen (so much for our prayers), Liaquat launches into a discussion on our unfortunate cricket team that has recently turned suffering defeat into an unparalleled art, nay, a fascinating science.

For a second I thought he would start cursing the fact that there are still not enough Tableeghis in the team for it to start winning again. But Liaquat, being the bolt he is, said this instead: “Our team has been losing a lot lately. So, a viewer called me and said, Liaquat bhai, do mention the fact that ever since Pakistani cricketers started wearing shoes with green soles, they have started to lose!”

Yup, you read that right. Liaquat bhai then went on to endorse this brilliant insight by suggesting that green soles are the culprit because green is the colour of Islam and also of our national flag.

Marvelous. This should also mean that the Pakistan team should stop playing on grass, and the hockey team should stop dribbling and running across green AstroTurf as well?

Conscious of the fact that maybe even the biggest religious nutcase will have some trouble swallowing this belligerent and breathtaking proclamation, Liaquat then quickly adds that this was a matter of faith and not aqal (reason). In fact, he said that such talk has to do with belief and would not be understood by the ‘worshippers of reason’ (aqal kay poojney walley).

So, on a mainstream Pakistani TV channel, which has recently made it a point to become the leading upholder of a corruption-less society, we get to hear about a very green reason behind Pakistan’s defeat in Australia. More than that, in a country with less than a 50 per cent literacy rate, we also get to hear how useless and sinful things like logic, reason, and intellectuality really are for the Muslims. Bravo.

Anyway, in that glorious 10-minute span, Liaquat then moved on to comment on some international politics. He talks about the recent murder of an Iranian nuclear scientist, and asks our own bomb daddy, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, to watch his back.

Interestingly, he also alludes to the fact that Dr. Khan is a regular viewer of his show. If so, then I have a question. Was it aqal that Dr. Khan used to make the bomb, or did the non-green soles of his shoe did the trick? Or maybe the doctor sahib’s brains are (literally) green, along with his heart, gallbladder and kidneys? Maybe it is not a bomb at all that he has made, but a giant shoe with non-green soles that we will use to kick India with?

Moving on, Liaquat bhai then at once puts the blame of the Iranian nuclear scientist’s murder on the continuing existence of a handful of synagogues in Iran! Shame on Iran for being a repressive theocracy and still managing to demonstrate more religious tolerance than a democracy like Pakistan can or ever will afford.

Then, like a typical whining demagogue, Liaquat says that there are synagogues in certain Muslim countries, but no mosques in Israel. At once realising that one of the holiest mosques of the Muslims is situated in Jerusalem (Dome of the Rock/Masjid Aqsa), he quotes a supposed Gulf News report that states that the Israelites have protested that the early morning call for prayer from the mosque is too loud and should be stopped.

After going through dozens of recent editions of Gulf News I could not come across even a single report suggesting the above. However, even if this is true, then Liaquat bhai should also share with his evergreen viewers the many incidents in Pakistan where perfectly good Muslims have rightly gone to court against a maulvi or two to stop them from turning the volume up to 10 while delivering the morning azaan. And as any pious Pakistani would vouch, the early morning call for prayer is (comparatively) the softest.

Anyway, doesn’t this make Iran and all the other Muslim countries that have synagogues seem a lot more tolerant than Israel?

Liaquat bhai then goes on to talk about the ‘Jesus’ Bible coded guns that were handed to some American soldiers in Afghanistan (but then taken back, even though bhai does not mention this). He says this is a sign that the war in Afghanistan and Iraq is a crusade. He moves on to suggest that the Swiss cannot tolerate minarets (on mosques); the French can’t tolerate hijabs, so on and so forth.

Indeed, how intolerant of them. But for the sake of the argument, let’s reverse the situation. Let’s say, a misled, misguided, bad and green-soled-shoe wearing Muslim like me objects to the fact that the Pakistani soldiers are trained to chant ‘Allah Akbar’ as a battle cry; or that army tanks and trucks have hadiths written on them – these are the trucks, tanks and soldiers the army will take into a war, wouldn’t it? So how is this any different than guns having verses from the Bible?

Let’s now go on to say that a bad Muslim like me also bemoans the fact that churches are regularly attacked in this country and that there are many areas in Pakistan were a woman without a hijab, a burqa, or a woman in a western dress, can’t even imagine venturing into without being harassed or attacked. If I start asking such questions, how many bemoaners of western intolerance will be willing to exhibit any tolerance themselves?

And now, returning to our cricket team, Liaquat bhai should also remind himself that each and every non-Muslim country where Inzimamul Haq’s hyper-tableeghi team played, it made it a point to hold public prayers (in the stadiums) and openly practice Islamic evangelism.

The Indians, the Australians, or the British didn’t challenge this blatant show of religious exhibitionism. It was stopped (and rightly so) by the Pakistani Cricket Board. And can you imagine what might have happened had the Indian team or an English squad decided to use Pakistani stadiums for Hindu or Christian rituals and their tours to the country as a recruiting side activity? Liaquat and the likes of him would have been throwing green-soled shoes at them and calling it jihad!

So, Liaquat bhai, life’s a two-way street, a fact that men like you continue to dodge. But what can one expect from a person who has nothing but contempt for reason and aqal?

nadeem_80x80 Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and

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129 Responses to “Evergreen logic”

  1. Rehan says:

    Amir Liaqat is a person who is spreading hatred amongst some sects of Islam. I thinks he wants to become an artist in his young age.

  2. AM says:

    NFP, you’re brilliant! Keep writing…


    Dr. Aamir Liaquat Hussain, a very stylist young man, working hard on Islam religion, doing some good job but he seems to be confused and he tries to convince people that he is following a new and modern version of Islam where as Islam religion has got only one version derived from Holy Quran and Prophet’s Sunnah.

  4. Latif Khan says:

    Amir Liaqat seems to be one eyed man preaching Islam to blinds in his arena. His way of Islam is based on self centred and narrow thinking which would damage Islam and its serene teachings. This is not the essence of the teachings of Islam. He has been depicting Islam in a different way from his arena.

    Someone to advise him that Islam teaches tolerance, peace and love and simply grooming one’e beard and hair …as if one is a great scholar, is not the link to reach Allah.

    Well done Mr. Paracha for exposing him.

  5. guru singh says:

    An excellent article. Pakistan, the most beautiful part of east while India has been spoiled by persons like Aamir Liaquat. In India where there is much more religious tolerance and freedom to choose one’s religion or not to choose any religion if one wants to. I am sure many Pakistanis may be wanting similar environments in Pakistan also but persons like Aamir Liaquat won’t let them have so.

  6. Uzair says:

    NFP, you make me your fan…

  7. Qavi Qutub says:

    I do not fully agree with the thoughts of the writer of the above article but it certainly has some good opinions if not facts. Both Dr Aamir and the writer of this article are doing the same thing which is not presenting the facts as responsible public figures as journalist and TV anchor but putting their own opinions / wishful thinking in other minds.

    I think we need some codes of how reportings should be done of facts but not individual opinions portrayed as facts.

  8. Wazir says:

    I actually have to agree with NFP here.

  9. Taslim says:

    Green is the color of Pakistan, not of Islam, Dear Liaquat bhai. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has said that for men, white color clothes are best. By the way, white is color of simplicity. Let Pakistani cricketers compete in Lim. Over cricket in Whites. Simple and religious as well!

  10. A khan says:

    Excellent article. Nicely written. Amir Liquat is fake. I know it. He misleads innocent ignorant people. People need to wake up.

  11. Zeba Syed says:

    A well written article Nadeem and you certainly got your point through but give Amir a BREAK!

  12. Naveed Malik says:

    Well Nadeem you will always be criticizing no matter what. Don’t forget our literacy rate and mindset of our people. Dr. Liaquat does pretty good job at laying out things so simple for these people to understand. I am not his biggest fan but have watched his few programs where he engages very well in bringing up our most common religious, social and political matters. I do applaud his efforts of speaking so blunt against our corrupt politicians and maulvis who run our country. If you don’t have anything good to say for our people then please refrain from tarnishing image of such folks who atleast are doing something positive out there.

    • Shariq says:

      I have to agree that Dr Liaqat is blessed with ability to speak but his theory is mostly biggoted and flawed. He needs to focus more on the short commings displayed by us Muslims before pointing finger on Jews, Hundu and Christians

  13. Aysha Khan says:

    After reading this article, I watched one of Aamir Liaqat’ s program on TV at my friend’s house. I have to agree with the writer that Aamir Liaqat is spreading hate. He was talking about Aafia Sidiqui’s trial in US court. The words Aamir Liaqat used were” Aafia ko ghaseetay hoay americi adalat main laya jata hay” (Afia is dragged to American court for her trial). All I would say is this is just a Sheer lie.
    Amir Liaqat should know that this is greatness of American system which gave Aafia Siddiqui to come to court and defend herself for alleged crimes. If Americans wanted, they could have done alot with Aafia in Afghanistan. She would be one other name in the list of hundreds of people disappear in Pakistan everyday and nobody would ever know where did she go???

  14. Owais Afridi says:

    it just came to me….our flag also has white in it, so does this mean even white soles are bad omen?!

    • Bin Ismail says:

      No. No. White soles should be a good omen. The white of our flag is supposed to represent the ‘minorities’.

      • AP says:

        LOL if you meant it as a joke… if you didn’t then I would prescribe you to read NFP’s articles number of times and keep following him..

  15. sana says:

    To someone above arguing that questions asked in Alim online are planned. Dear sir, I happened to participate in a quiz show organized by PTV and you know what, every word of it was planned. Infact, they edited the wrong answers by the students. So to speak, this is the culture of everything that we’re watching on TV not just this channel or that channel or this show or that show.

  16. sarah kazmi says:

    Well I really agree with this article.. And no doubt Nadeem F paracha is a good journalist!!

  17. SJ says:

    One of my friends got a chance to attend his program. He told me that all the questions asked during the program and answers given etc are all planned. This is how they drive the thoughts of people here.
    BUT im my opinion both Aamir and you NFP are absolutely same when it comes to trying to damage the Islam..only the methodology is different

  18. nida says:

    I absolutely loved this article. I live in New York and whenever I watch this program air on geo I get so annoyed. I wish people would voice this type of reasoning more often.

    “But what can one expect from a person who has nothing but contempt for reason and aqal?”

    Amazing way to end the article!! props!

  19. Iqbal Qasim says:

    Unless we find ways to shut down hate speech which is told regularly on our “free speech” media, we will find ourselves in the undesirable position of protecting them from those that they target.

    This has happened before and will continue to happen.

    When will we learn?

  20. Amer says:

    Nice Piece Mr. Paracha

  21. Momna Gull says:

    I feel that Mr. Amir Liaquat Hussain has hidden himself in a beautiful and clear Mask which he named Islam but there is something wrong with his theory of Islam
    I don’t Know why but I can’t still understand how people agree with each other in his AALim Online
    while the reality is entirely different.

  22. Nadeem A. Sheikh says:

    I wonder whether the write up would bring any good to our nation. Having good writing skills, Mr. Paracha could better contribute towards improvement in our soceity.

  23. Zarrar says:

    I think it is not the fault of people like Liaquat hussein only. It is the fault of our media to promote such people through their screens and they do not just promote them but also promote and sell their fanatic views to the viewers. Mr. Liaquat is just a tool, the real culprits are media owners. Our media has played a great role in educating people to adopt extremism via TV talk shows, dramas and even songs. What we are today is because of our media specially our electronic media.

  24. ALI KHAN says:

    Superb! logical and enlightening. We really should think over each and every sentence which these TV personalities utter because now I am beginning to believe that probably half of them are lies, and since we don’t research them and accept them without discourse, these simple uttered sentences can be very influential in forming our concepts.
    bravo Paracha!!!!!!

  25. Friends… the only good thing about Aamir Liaqat is that he is a good presenter (He holds and exhibits the qualities of good speaker and an impressive orator)…

    And, what he speaks is mostly exploitation of underprivileged and illiterate (kind of raw minds) people across country. The facts put by NFP can be explained in another 100 pages!

    Good luck!

  26. Bilal Ahmad Bajwa says:

    I have to congratulate Mr. Paracha for his powerful writing on a tricky subject against a biased fanatic. I strongly believe that people like Amir Liaqat are preaching hatred for others and making fun of their beliefs. Bulleh shah asked about such people ‘‘ Per Kalma Lok Hasaee da, Kadi under Smaj na Laee da’’. I really feel sorry for those tv channels who allow him to come on air ever and lecture hatred and speak lies.

    Bilal Ahmad Bajwa

  27. Khan_Ghalzai says:

    Nadeem, Thanks for an excellent article. Resposibilty lies with the Pakistani TV channels to keep people like televangelist, Aamir Liaquat off the air. Pakistan is going through difficult times, and people of Paksitan can not afford hatemonger like Aamir. TV channel owner please keep these people off the air.

  28. Maqsood Ahmed says:

    Excellent article, but alas in our society, where ignorance thrives, people like Aamir Liaquat become popular and only a few know Nadeem. That really is the tragedy of our nation and major cause of our all ills. Nadeem you need to be more vocal and all the literate segment of our society must encourage Nadeem and other courageous people like him.

  29. adeelkunwar says:

    Liqauat bhai is a fantastic artist, but if he limits himself for questions and answers sessions , whenever he tries to delivers a sermon, its the most irritating part of the program as he has half baked knowledge!

  30. ali says:

    Well written article.
    good job done NFP.

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