The pseudo-doctor Aamir Liaquat Hussain (sorry, Hardilazeez [Beloved] Aamir Liaquat Hussain, since that now seems to be part of his name) is back. Not that he ever really left. But back as in back after making a hefty packet out of a Haj packaged tour sold with his name, where he sort of accompanied the faithful (who shelled out a premium to get a guided tour of the pilgrimage with him... Why, God only knows) by staying at a 5-star hotel and turning up to read a dua-e-maghfirat (prayer for forgiveness) for the camped out pilgrims.
And what a return it has been. So far, he has given his two-cents that the real cause for the losses suffered by the Pakistan cricket team in recent weeks has been the green soles of the team's shoes (apparently a direct rebuff to Islam since green is the colour associated with it) and opined that the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist a few weeks ago had to do with Iran kowtowing to Zionists by constructing synagogues for its Jewish citizens.
I had actually caught some other twerp on his programme on January 31 (right after the 5th ODI between Pakistan and Australia and devoted to cricket, including an appearance by Maulana Inzamamul Haq) holding forth on the green soles issues and had been looking around for a clip of the programme to make its way to the net. But apparently, Mr. Jahil Online (JO) actually said the same thing himself in his first programme back, on January 29, which has been blogged about by a number of other people including Teeth Maestro and Nadeem Farooq Paracha in Dawn.
Here's the clip from that programme (the bit about the green soles is between 3:30 and 4:15):
As JO points out: "Yeh belief ki baatein hain, yaqeen ki baatein hain, aql ki hujaton ko poojnay waalon ko kabhi yeh baatein samajh nahin aayein gi." ('These are matters of belief, of faith, those who worship at the altar of reason will never understand them.') Damn right about that, you silly superstitious little twit.
But if propounding silly superstitions were the only thing this moron did, it would be easy to ignore him (though not of course Geo and Jang which provide him with the platform to take his twitdom to the public at large). No, he uses his platform to far greater effect. Remember, this is the same man who had called on air for Salman Rushdie to be killed (which led to his expulsion from the MQM) and for Ahmadis to also be targeted. He has now spent two full programmes about the Dr. Aafia Siddiqui episode, interviewing her mother and sister in a manner that can only be termed calculated to provoke religious zealots.
I don't want to get into the content of the programmes at this time but even the ad for the programmes, splashed on the front page of The News and Jang, can provide a fair inkling of it.
The ad reads: "Amreeki adalat mein Pakistani beti mujrim qaraar... Mutaasib jajon ke janibdaraana faislay par aik pur-istaqaamat maan aur pur-azeemat behen ki istaqlal aur azm se bharpoor guftagoo." ('Pakistani daughter convicted in an American court... A discussion full of commitment and resolve with a steadfast mother and determined sister about the biased decision by prejudiced judges.')
Now, that's what you call objectivity, innit. To be frank, I don't know the real truth about Aafia Siddiqui's case, there are issues that need to be resolved (was she actually arrested in 2008 as claimed by the Americans or had she been detained illegally - as the notorious "Grey Lady of Bagram" - since 2003? Did she actually try to kill her American interrogators or is this a purely fabricated case? What was her actual link with Al Qaeda? What's become of her two children not yet recovered? etc etc etc) and she may indeed be a victim of human rights violations perpetrated in the name of the "war on terrorism." But does that give JO and the largest media group in Pakistan the right to pass judgement all by themselves? Forget that, ostensibly, what does a 'religious' programme have to do with a legal case... On what basis is this judgement being made? The opinions of an obviously traumatised mother and an irritatingly self-righteous sister who seems to be hiding a lot more than she is divulging?
And what about this news, published in the Jang Group's own English paper? According to it, the Taliban have threatened to execute an American soldier if Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is not set free, their demand coming after Dr. Siddiqui's family approached them to put pressure on the US. The Taliban commander had this to say to explain the call for her release:
"“We tried our best to make the family understand that our role may create more troubles for the hapless woman, who was already in trouble. On their persistent requests, we have now decided to include Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s name in the list of our prisoners in
custody that we delivered to Americans in US for swap of their soldier in our custody,” explained the militant commander. Afghanistan
He claimed family members of Dr Aafia told the Taliban leadership that they had lost all hopes in the
government and now Allah Almighty and the Taliban were their only hope. Later, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also called The News from somewhere in Pakistan and owned a statement given by the Taliban commander." Afghanistan
There is far more to this case than meets the eye. But will Dr Aafia's sister continue to hold that the family has no connections with militants in Afghanistan? You can bet that JO will never be asking her this question.