03292017Headline:

[Newsline] Aamir Liaquat, Saint or Hypocrite?

“Everyone knows it is a world of technology. They have manipulated and tempered [sic] few clips and dubbed the abusive worlds [sic] in my voice,” tweeted Dr Aamir Liaquat in the aftermath of the recent video scandal (see the video below) that quickly went viral this past weekend. The video consists of several unflattering clips of the TV personality filming his show and reveals what many believe is Liaquat’s “true face.”

Dr Aamir Liaquat’s official bio states that he is a renowned Islamic scholar, the executive director of television channel ARY Digital and the managing director of its Islamic channel, QTV. He was the host of “Aalim Online” on GEO TV and currently hosts a religious show on ARY. Drama is not new to Liaquat. He has been at the centre of multiple controversies, from getting a PhD in 20 days to arousing sectarian strife – including, but not limited to, a statement that led to the killing of three prominent Ahmadis in 2008 and involved abusive language targeted at Islamic holy personages.

In the newly surfaced video, the publicly modest-looking Islamic scholar can be seen using abusive and derisive language in recorded outtakes of his programme. He is shown swearing, casually and routinely letting off the vernacular for “mother fu**er”, “pimp” and “sister fu**er,” etc., during conversations. The “Aalim” also appears to be big on Bollywood, for which he has quite a varied taste (“Ghalib movie dekhi hai?”). In one clip, he tries to remember a certain actor from a movie song who he says is notorious for rape scenes.

The video gets particularly opprobrious and the histrionic Liaquat appears to take a deeper plunge into his sea of disgust when he shows cold insensitivity to a female caller’s question on “rape and suicide.” Anyone having the slightest bit of dignity and shame wouldn’t burst into a guffaw like that. The video also confirms that at least some calls in his former GEO programme were planted.

Liaquat has claimed that the tape is doctored, and he is frantically pointing fingers in every direction. He initially blamed his previous employer (GEO TV), then said it was a conspiracy by those who did not want him to “spread the true essence of Islam in Ramazan,” and has lately also implicated groups that he said were against the finality of prophethood. But what most people are thinking about is not blame: it is whether, other than Liaquat’s confused berserk behaviour, there is any evidence the tape is genuine.

As soon as the video surfaced on YouTube, it was removed by GEO TV, who stating copyright claims. Quick they were, but late by modern standards. The video had been downloaded and was re-uploaded a gazillion times to multiple video-hosting sites. Interestingly, GEO kept pulling down the videos one after another in a hurried frenzy.

They failed, but, in the process, furnished strong proof of the video’s authenticity. The tape’s credibility was further improved when the Aalim later verified that the clips were indeed taken from GEO’s archives. If it was truly GEO that had planned Liaquat’s defamation, the hot pursuit of the videos was indeed smartly scripted.

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