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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 21 Jan 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Pakistan TV: How to End Vulgarity


By Harris Bin Munawar

January 21, 2014

Sexy women frolicking in dazzling semi-nude outfits have taken over Pakistan’s television news shows and soap operas, in the fantasies of several famous clerics that were revealed recently.

Shocking details of these women’s skimpy clothes, provocative gestures and seductive utterances were uncovered in a number of recent speeches and newspaper writings. Outraged by the description, thousands of young people took to the streets to protest against cable operators, television channels, and the media regulatory authority, questioning why none of those women appeared on their own televisions despite soaring cable fees.

“All we get to see are old women teaching young girls how to cook, and harassing them if they step out of the kitchen and go to the park to meet their boyfriends,” one young man said. According to one recent report, about 2.3 million women in Karachi are regular viewers of cooking shows. At least 80.5 percent of them host their own cooking show.

Meanwhile, a delegation of clerics met government officials and asked them to ban all soap operas, music shows and other obscene television programs. “There should be more content that features our renowned and popular religious leaders,” they told the government, according to details revealed to the press later. The government officials expressed full confidence in the clerics and thanked them for their support. “We acknowledge their contributions to the society and we accept their demand. We will ask television channels to give more coverage to them.” In a notification issued right after the meaning, TV channels were asked to give more air time to reports about crime and terrorist attacks.

“Intellectuals believe the portrayals of women in the speeches and writings of clerics are a great insight into the female onslaught of vulgarity that has ruined the society’s moral fibre. It is also a great insight into its effects on its primary victims – the clerics,” said Azad Khan, an independent journalist dependent on his parents, in whose basement he has spent several years of his life closely monitoring nudity, obscenity and vulgarity.

“This is not what the tax department meant when they asked television channels to honestly reveal their figures,” said an elderly cleric, who later turned out to be a midget eating white cotton candy.

“I have closely examined the recently leaked personal footage of actress Mira,” said one scholar. “I am speechless.” He ended the interview after being reminded that this scribe felt the same way after looking at his leaked personal footage.

“A nation cannot control its destiny if it cannot control its women,” another cleric told reporters. “That is why the West is where it is today. Terrorism and lawlessness have crippled their economy, destroyed their society, and turned their cities into ruins. They slaughter their own soldiers and play football with their severed heads.”

Women’s right organizations reacted swiftly to the developments. In a joint Fatwa released recently, they said clerics should not be allowed on television during prime time, because they were a serious threat to the moral fibber of the country. “Their own provocative utterances and full figures create intolerance and diabetes in the society,” said a woman who has been successfully operating a business despite openly declaring her gender.

Some activists called for more serious measures to address the root cause of the problem, such as forbidding clerics to roam around freely without an adult supervisor. “For order to prevail in the society there should be a force that ensures clerics do not violate this law.”

One housewife expressed her dissatisfaction at not being able to marry her real husband after she would go to heaven. “We cannot marry without a cleric,” she explained, “and there are no clerics in heaven.”

Harris Bin Munawar has a degree in Poetics of Prophetic Discourse and works as a Senior Paradigm Officer.