ISLAMABAD: Scholars banded together in the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) issued on Thursday a fatwa (religious decree) against Geo TV for disrespecting religious and cultural values.
The fatwa was prompted by an episode of the Geo Entertainment morning show ‘Utho Jago Pakistan’ aired a day earlier, which contained blasphemous content. The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) also issued a show cause notice to Geo TV on Thursday over the same issue.
While passing the decree, SIC scholars said that after targeting the country’s security institutions in a smear campaign, Geo TV had now started harming Islamic principles. This, they said, is the agenda of anti-Pakistan forces.
In the episode of the morning show in question, the host and the guests carried out untoward activities while a sacred hymn was being read out, the scholars said. The indecent attitude of the host and guests was totally inappropriate, they added.
Showing disrespect to holy figures is strictly forbidden, said the scholars. In this instance, they said, not even a hint of respect was shown towards them by the host and guests. This act of Geo TV has hurt the religious sentiments of millions of Muslims worldwide, the scholars added.
The SIC scholars said they and other citizens expected the media to nurture religious and ethical values instead of spreading vulgarity in the name of entertainment. They also pointed out it was the duty of the government to prevent such content from being broadcast.
Participating in programmes where religious personalities are disrespected is strictly forbidden, the scholars said. If the government fails to stop such programmes from being aired, it becomes the duty of citizens to boycott them, they added.
The scholars said Geo TV cannot be forgiven for its ‘indecent, inappropriate, anti-Pakistan’ behaviour and demanded that the network’s owners, administration and management be tried immediately for blasphemy.
The religious scholars who issued the fatwa against Geo TV included Sheikhul Hadees Allama, Muhammad Sharif Rizvi, Mufti Muhammad Saeed Rizvi, Mufti Muhammad Akbar Rizvi, Allama Hamid and Sarfaraz Qadri, among others.