Selling Expensive Clothes While Preaching Simplicity: Tariq Jamil's Hypocrisy

Selling Expensive Clothes While Preaching Simplicity: Tariq Jamil's Hypocrisy
Maulana Tariq Jameel recently launched a fashion brand called 'MJT'. Amid criticism from people who pointed out that he has been preaching simplicity and opening a clothing brand that sells expensive outfits is against this principle, he came forward with his explanation and said that he opened this business to fund madrassas.

According to the cleric, madrassas thoroughly run on donations and every time donations are sought, the one who seeks them feels insulted and the one who gives charity also thinks of himself as superior. Therefore, he says, he had to come up with a system where madrassas can be self sufficient. One has to be ignorant to buy this reason. This is exactly how money making is often justified in our society: it is being done for a good cause.

It won't be wrong to say that the Maulana's action reeks of hypocrisy. He has been lecturing us on how the 'obscene' dresses of women are the reason why earthquakes happen. Recently, while holding a prayer for an end to Covid during a government event, Tariq Jameel had said that Covid is being spread in the country due to the immodesty at display. To quote him, "Yeh meri qoum ki betiyon ko koun nacha raha hai?" (Who is making my nation's daughters dance?) He also preaches simplicity in his lectures and talks about the uselessness of money and this world. Why is he then venturing into capitalism? Isn't his action in direct contrast to what he so vehemently claims to stand up for?

The launch event of the brand was a lavish affair. It was clear that tonnes of money were spent on the event. Doesn't that contradict Maulana's approach about temporariness of the world? These questions need to be asked because the clergy has been getting away with hypocrisy for far too long.

On one hand Tariq Jameel wants to cover the women of the country from head to toe and on the other he sells clothes that are certainly not in line with his definition of 'modesty'. It is about time we called out this hypocrisy from those who use religion for profit. Tariq Jameel made a name for himself due to his sermons and religious credentials. Now he is using the same to make money. If this is not hypocrisy, what is?

The only reason religious figures get away with such blatant hypocrisy is that religion in our society is used as a tool by them. We must refuse to be fooled by them.

The writer is a Lahore-based journalist.