After media, renowned preacher Maulana Tariq Jamil has also apologised to the nation for his controversial remarks on women, which had drawn mixed reactions over both mainstream and social media.
During Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan’s Ehsaas Telethon to raise funds for government’s coronavirus relief programme on April 23, Jamil, who was invited to deliver a prayer, had said that the COVID-19 pandemic was caused partly because of the “immodesty” of women.
He had also called out media houses both in Pakistan and around the globe for “spreading lies”.
The comments sparked outrage on social media with leading human rights activists, as well as some of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) ministers, demanding Jamil to tender an apology for his “callous” and “demeaning” remarks.
“My aim was to point out that we are all to blame for our current state. It was meant to be a general remark not targeting any specific men, women, persons, or gender, but as a reminder to get closer to what Allah teaches us,” Jamil clarified in a series of tweets early Tuesday morning.
The cleric also said that his “goal was to remind us all to focus on the spiritual and away from our desires and the materialistic”.
“I am the first to admit as I have taught over the years, that there is no excuse for making any hurtful comments about anyone or making anyone feel uncomfortable.”
The apology has been very well received by a majority of netizens.
“Thank you for the clarification. Really appreciate it. You have many followers and this will send a clear message to those who seek to misinterpret your words to target women,” wrote Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari while retweeting Jamil’s apology.