Monday, December 8, 2014


The singer turned fashion house owner turned Islamic preacher Junaid Jamshed also known as JJ during a talk show committed an act of blasphemy. A First Information Report (FIR) was registered against him at the Police Station Risala, Karachi, on 2 December 2014 on the directives of a District and Sessions Court (South) after mounting pressure from influential Sunni clerics at Numaish Chowrangi. The owner of JJ and J. (read J Dot) - mens’ Shalwar Kurta brand, Jamshed is currently incommunicado and his whereabouts are unclear.

The dark stain of the blasphemy laws has been turned on its head in a twist that is as ironic as can be. Junaid Jamshed, the pop star-turned-orthodox Islamic preacher, has been charged with blasphemy after some inappropriate remarks made by him in a televised sermon. He was speaking, in his usual misogynistic manner, about the nature of women and used the example of Hazrat Aisha, the revered wife of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to illustrate his point. This act of his has unleashed the ‘blasphemy mob’ with many clerics distancing themselves from Mr Jamshed — particularly those belonging to the Tableeghi Jamaat of which he is a part — and one cleric from the Sunni Tehreek getting a blasphemy case filed against him.
Things are not looking good for Junaid Jamshed. He even posted a teary, desperate video of himself apologising for the remarks he made, stating that his ignorance is to blame. However, even after that statement of regret, reports are now emerging that the famous religious preacher has fled to the ‘secular’ shores of the UK in fear of his life. After more than a decade preaching God’s word and being a known figure on the sermon circuit, Junaid Jamshed has been damned by the blasphemy madness that has taken Pakistan in its vice-like grip.

While some may be amused by the fact that a staunch religious preacher is being cannibalised by his own, the whole affair is certainly no laughing matter. We have been seeing a frightening upswing of blasphemy cases recently with people being lynched and murdered — the most atrocious being the burning of a Christian couple in a brick kiln — by the ‘protectors’ of the faith, angry mobs driven by the vitriol of the nearest mullah. Now that a famous cleric is also receiving the same kind of treatment we can rest assured about one thing: this monster does not discriminate. Something must be done.

Whilst many sane, levelheaded individuals may not agree with the gender bashing and orthodox ideologies of people such as Junaid Jamshed, one cannot condone anyone, including him, being subjected to the barbaric treatment that all blasphemy accused are given. They are shot in jail cells by members of the police force, they are tortured and killed by manic crowds and no sense of mercy seems to prevail. This has gone on long enough. The blasphemy laws must be amended before all logic and rationale completely abandon this land. 

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