Aamir Liaquat did exactly what we have been doing to Taher Shah

Published: July 28, 2013

What did he do to trigger an entire (Facebook) army to go all out and support Taher Shah, someone who himself was ridiculed when Eye to Eye was released in the first place? PHOTO: SCREENSHOT

The notorious Amir Liaquat invited an equally notorious Taher Shah to his Ramazan show, and well, had quite a bit of fun at Taher Shah’s expense on live television. Here’s a video of what he did:

This treatment of Taher Shah has triggered an unpleasant response to Aamir Liaquat and his show; people believe that what he did was absolutely detestable.  According to them,  Shah is also a human being who didn’t deserve to be treated with such disrespect – especially on live television.

In other words, Pakistanis are now defending someone they themselves took great pride in ridiculing when the song Eye to Eye was released. See this post for example.

What I find extremely interesting is that although Aamir Liaquat is infamous on many social media platforms for what he has done in the past, he has done nothing out of the ordinary to Taher Shah to create such an unnecessary racket.

Here are a few questions to ponder upon:

What did he do to trigger an entire (Facebook) army to go all out and support Taher Shah? He is someone who was widely ridiculed when Eye to Eye was released in the first place.

How did Aamir Liaquat do anything different from what we did to Taher Shah when his song was released?

Hell, one of the reasons Taher Shah ever got so much attention was because of the amount of fun we made of him; we made him famous and it was because of our collective reactions that we saw him live on national television. Whilst it’s true that Aamir Liaquat making fun of Taher Shah in front of an entire nation is a bit extreme, but the rage that we see on Facebook and other platforms against Aamir Liaquat is purely hypocritical given that we started it!

Photo: Dekh kia raha hai khaega kia? Facebook Page

How can we switch sides so easily against something that all of us were a part of initially and how can we be so quick to judge?

I admit what Aamir Liaquat did with Taher Shah was condemnable to say in the least, yet I cannot see how he is different from any of us who literally created Taher Shah through our own sarcasm. The Facebook world, including all Aamir Liaquat (and Taher Shah) haters out there, are to Taher Shah what Joe Chill was to Batman. What Aamir Liaquat did might have been wrong, but then again, what the nine million Facebook users had been doing all along was wrong too.

Another reason for me to believe that the recent burst of energy against Aamir Liaquat (or rather in favour of Taher Shah) is because we envy Liaquat. Aamir Liaquat is a strong symbol of some of the things that are wrong with our nation. After all the drama that he has been through, he comes on national television every day, feeds a bunch of (pious) people, and makes millions. Aamir Liaquat is living the Pakistani dream and that is why all of us hate him.

Hate to admit it, but its true!

As a friend of mine very aptly put it,

“We are being hypocritical, of a hypocritical show, by a hypocritical host – (a show that is) meant to be about the essence of Ramazan but has the audience basically bullying a singer while a cobra roams around on the floor.”

Exactly my point.

Taimour Abdullah

Taimour Abdullah

A sub-editor for the Web desk at The Express Tribune

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • xman

    Taher Shah has been an entertainer all along, but at least hasn’t come forth as a fake person. On the contrary he brings out what he really is, regardless of how much we ridicule him. Whereas Amir Liaquat is what you have correctly put, “a strong symbol of something that is wrong with our nation”, and that is deceit, hypocrisy, and manipulation. The way Taher presented himself on his show is ,infact, what our nation needs to learn : tolerance, patience, and humility. Aamir did more than anyone else could do so far. He invaded, rather “encroached” on Taher Shah’s personal space without his consent, and physically abused him, which no civilized person would ever do on live TV. The difference between Taher and Aamir is for us all to reflect on.Recommend

  • Asif

    The internet is a space for critique that is brutal on good days. WE have every right to satirize and criticize what has been posted for our viewing, and everyone who posts on any forum online knows this. You simply are not able to ambush someone on the internet.

    THAT does not give this self-proclaimed aalim the right to call an individual on his show, without warning, shove a snake on him and subject him to that patronizing display of insults.

  • Oasis

    Very true and well written, but I believe the main reason ppl took offence to Amir Liaquat’s behavior is because he did it on a ‘religious’ program (however debatable that may be), and is generally looked up to as a ‘holy man’.. With this perspective in mind, his behavior was absolutely disgusting!
    On the other hand, the whole of social media was laughing along with NFP when he wrote an equally scathing piece on DAWN about Taher Shah. But then NFP’s known for his cutting satire, and isnt exactly looked upto for moral high ground.
    It’s about time the Pakistani audience realized Amir Liaquat for who he really is and put an end to his ridiculous so-called Islamic shows..it’s an insult to the religion!Recommend

  • Rationalist

    Extremely poorly written blog with many unfounded assumptions to form a reasonable opinion.
    Foremost it is flawed, because the blogger -like many heavy Amir Liaquat followers- cannot differentiate between insulting someone in person and criticizing him on the Internet. The difference is fundamental and actually easy to understand. It is more confronting and direct to feel insulted when the person is standing next to you than on social media (which you have to look up and can click away if someone is badmouthing you, although I doubt that a humble person like Taher Shah is desperately looking for positive reviews to satisfy his ego).
    The blogger”s stance on the hypocritical attitude of the alleged A.L criticizers is flawed, because
    – you assume that people who criticize A.L. are the same people who criticize T.S on the Web, which is clearly not the case. Like me who barely heard of Taher Shah, and still I think that Amir Liaquat was out of line.
    – you assume that those who criticized T.S have no right to criticize A.L when they see him misbehaving with a guest
    – you assume that that those who expressed negative opinions about T.H on the Net did solely to badmouth him in stead of basing their opinion on his music. It is quite normal to judge an artist on his music.
    The assertion that Amir Liquat is condemned, because people are jealous of him, is silly and laughable. Maybe those people called him out, because there are still some people left that have the decency to speak out, when they see right from wrong. Others might think that Amir Liaquat is just a smug, who saw their opinion confirmed again when they saw the mischief against Taher Shah.Recommend

  • The author is drawing a false parallel. While much hilarity ensued online and everywhere else after Eye2eye came out, nobody physically insulted Taher Shah or treated him with disrespect in an interview. He made many appearances and always got to have his say while being treated courteously. In his turn, he also responded with dignity to the social media caricatures of his music.

    Amir Liaquat, on the other hand, was physical, obnoxious, and revolting. I can’t imagine what kind of people are still his fans!Recommend

  • Nadir

    I’ll explain the difference. When Taher Shah put up Eye to Eye, he put it up for people to watch. People make commentary, form opinions, create memes and that is a result of Taher Shah putting himself out there.

    Amir Liaqat however, invited Taher Shah on his show, and what he did was deliberate and likely planned. There is no way Taher Shah would have known what is going to happen and he probably did not expect the treatment. That just shows the dishonesty prevalant in the show.Recommend

  • Ralf

    I think there is a clear distinction between Internet Bullying and Humiliation on National Television. Even though the former does have adverse consequences, but that depends on how the individual takes it, whereas the latter one is just plain nasty and brutal.

    Two wrongs do not make a right.Recommend

  • PK

    Not really. Mr Fake degree went over the top, and this isnt the first time.Recommend

  • Khushbakht Vaka

    The public made fun of his song, “Eye to eye”. He was an artist and his work was open to criticism. And he wanted the attention. That is why he released a song with so many grammar mistakes. He wanted attention and the public gave him that.

    But nobody got personal with him. Aamir Liaquat did get personal. “Jinns would fall in love with your hair”, he said to Tahir Shah. Grabbing him. Putting a cobra on him when it was quite obvious that the guest was uncomfortable.

    There is a big difference between criticizing someone’s work and getting personal with someone (by commenting on one’s appearance or invading someone’s personal space). The latter is against ethics and morals, while the former is not.Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    A great point. I am furious people are making this into a big affair. Aamir Liaquat Hussain is a scholar, an alim. Agree with him or not, have some respect, people. What will happen to the society if people began to hound Islamic scholars and alims for every little thing that everyone does daily?Recommend

  • I.

    But as far as the Facebook users making fun of his “Song” is concerned,that’s pretty understandable. The song was like a product tahir shah was selling in the market and it wasn’t worth it which ppl showed quite explicitly. And they’ve right to do that.

    BUT I pretty much oppose the fact that that he himself,his looks etc were targeted. Nobody has the right to ridicule an individual. What amir liaquat did on his show was a portrayal of humilating an individual that too on an Islamic show in ramazan,
    OBVIOUSLY, every body had to react this way.Recommend

  • Abidi

    I completely agree. I don’t see the point of accusing only him of something that they have been doing since the release of the song. Amazing article.Recommend

  • Shamy

    You have finally read my mind. Exactly my views. Infact, i would ask all those criticising Amir Liaquat to place Omer Shareef in his position. Would we not have gone hysterical if Omer Shareef did this to Taher Shah ?? We would be loving it !!…This is extreme hypocricy ! And Amir Liaquat did not do anything different. We have all done worse on Facebook and Twitter. Just because we are not on TV and not as famous as Amir Liaquat, the impact wasn’t felt.Recommend

  • Optimist

    People are not angry because someone made fun of Taher Shah. They are angry that SOMEONE is none other than Amir Liaqat Hussain.
    The reason everyone is angry with Amir Liaqat is because Taher Shah is a saint as compared to Amir Liaqat.
    Keeping in mind that video of Amir Liaqat (he blamed Geo for ‘editing’ conspiracy at that time), he should be hiding under bed rather than hosting a show on same channel and making fun of a harmless singer!Recommend

  • Ibrahim

    It was a python, not a cobra : )……Recommend

  • SK5

    Well written author. What pains me the most is that people actually watch that hypocrites show and give him the fame and millions he doesn’t deserve. He is a symbol of those Islamic leaders who have used religion to make a buck and have defamed this great religion badly. How dare we call ourselves an Islamic republic when we do anything BUT act according to Islamic principles which are based on love, respect and compassion for all!!Recommend

  • Ash

    Spot on! Excellent article! I just worry about taher shah! Will we all, as a nation, force him into depression or worse…sucide! Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    Could people possibly be so thick as to not figure out the difference between criticizing a random celebrity on the internet, and insulting him on a Ramzan show where you’ve invited him as your guest?Recommend


    Many Western artists and celebrities have been on the receiving end of the public’s wrath for seemingly right reasons, wrong reasons or for no reason at all. But I am yet to see a talk show host or even a comedian invite Justin Bieber or One Direction just to tell them how terrible they sound in person. There is a fundamental difference between art, which is open to criticism of the worst order, and the artist. There is also a fundamental difference between kidding around and bullying.

    Aamir Liaquat crossed both those lines with Taher Shah and I’m certain I say this without holding any sense of envy towards Aamir Liaquat or the lifestyle he supposedly leads. Recommend


    i do agree that all of us have criticized Taher shahs song but we havent done it on his face and that also on live television infornt of an audience who keeps laughing at him infront of him with that ridiculous Amir Liaqat constantly passing cheap and disrespectful remarks!
    I do accept the fact that all of us have too posted lots of remarks about his music but then One shouldnt compare us with Amir Liaqat is just wrong! He come on tv representing Islam and he’s running an islamic transmission not just another normal show! He should have atleast kept that in mind! Recommend

  • Amina Ahmed

    Inviting someone at the live show and insulting him publicly is totally a different story of how people reacted abt Taher Shah on Social media ! You simply cant compare the situation in the defence of Aamir Liaquat Recommend

  • BrutalTruth

    AL was making fun of TS being a host on a extremely popular religious show during a month where it is about giving and being selfless and of worship.
    It came off as holier than thou attitude..
    AND after his leaked recordings that aired a few years ago on the same show.. its frankly outrageous.
    I don’t know how people can even stand watching any show (or any TV channel) he is on.Recommend

  • Muzaffar Abdullah

    We hate his awful music. Not Taher Shah himself! Yes, we do make fun of Shah’s music. But again that is critique. Not humiliation! Shah was subject to an attitude that targeted nowhere near his music. Rather, he became a victim of an illogical demeanor.It would have been a lot better if Amir Liaqat had simply said “Your music is pathetic”.
    But guy’s attitude was dissapointing.
    Even if a person on twitter does leave indignant remarks on Taher Shah, that is nothing compared to the mortification that Taher Shah recived amidst a crowd of audience on National Televison!
    Taher Shah may have made a fool of himself. But that gives no right to an anchor to blatantly and unethically humiliate him on National Television. Its like humbly inviting a guest to your house and kick his rear out while you laugh at him!Recommend

  • Muhammad Ishfaq

    Well, Mr. Taimour Abdullah, You admit what Aamir did to Taher Shah is condemnable to say in the least. So we condemned him. What’s wrong with that???
    And its just an over generalization that 9 million pakistani facebook users made fun of Taher Shah, who told you this??? There are many like me who had never listened to his song, who never cared to waste time on him.
    The difference between us and Aamir Liaquat is not that he is living a Pakistani dream and we are not. The difference is that he is making a fortune at the expanse of our religion. What he says and does is wrongly taken as views and deeds of a Religious Scholar which he is not. But there are millions out there; simple, sentimental muslims who think he is doing a great service to Islam and they made his program the number one in terms of viewing. His wrong acts either mislead or disappoint those millions of people. That’s why we are criticizing him.Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/Pugnate Noman Ansari

    The blogger is making the fatal mistake of assuming that all Pakistanis are the same. Recommend

  • Parvez

    There are levels of stupidity, disgust, hypocrisy, bad-taste, etc ……. Level 1 being the lowest or tolerable and Level 10 being the highest or totally unacceptable.
    In my view the public graded Tahir Shah as a 1 …….. but Aamir Liaquat is a 10+……….big difference.Recommend

  • Wahab Sayed

    Dear Blogger,

    It’s not that difficult to understand, let me put it in the simplest of ways, you don’t call someone to your programme which is watched all over the world and insult them on their face. Simply place yourself in Tahir Shah’s shoes, how would you feel Mr. Liaquat touching your hair and making fun of it in front of an audience, people you don’t know. Or how would you feel being told that your face is a source of entertainment, or that your piece of art can only be understood by a reptile, keeping in mind that you are a guest in his show. I am not a fan of Tahir Shah, I haven’t even heard his song which could be a total piece of crap, what Amir Liaquat did was wrong and disgusting and if people find entertainment in what he did all I have to say is that we need to look in the mirror and see that there is something horribly wrong with us and our society.Recommend

  • ng

    This is completely irrelevant, but is your nick,by any chance, a nod to the band oasis?Recommend

  • Dubai Resident

    @ kaalchakra: sadly your scholar and aalim lacks basic etiquettes to behave with the guest. Also I have seen this aalim couple of times roaming in Dubai malls loaded with shopping bags.Recommend

  • Allure

    then he should better start behaving like one!! An aalim and a scholar don’t do what he did! if he wants respect, he should start by respecting others!Recommend

  • Raza

    Weak Arguments, too many assumptions, extremely weak case to the point the author is making is laughable. I wish i could find the energy in me to go through this and point the errors but they are too many. good luck. Recommend

  • RM

    I haveyet to meet a single person who has not ridiculed the song but only he has ridicule the singerRecommend

  • http://twitter.com/bohotsaara Sarah B. Haider

    People made fun of Taher Shah’s song, his lyrics, his video (even those with pathetic English jumped on the bandwagon). However, nobody invited him over as a guest and humiliated him the way AL did. The masses have condemned the way AL violated the basic ethics of hospitality, that too on a show – Try and understand the difference! Recommend

  • GIndian

    @kaalchakra: You have no idea how ridiculous you sound. Recommend

  • doom

    @Author: “we started it”.
    I never made fun of Taher Shah; never even saw the song all the way through. So I don’t appreciate the we started it. But I do make fun of say the Beiber’s and Ga Ga’s of the world and I will not be held responsible if some idiot were to ambush them on TV with SNAKES.

    I mean really: it’s online memes vs SNAKES. Hardly a trivial difference I would say. Recommend

  • badarsuhail

    i was also the one to ridicule tahir shah on every social website but what amir liquat did was done on live tv where the masses are far higher than people who read the individual posts on websites
    I am not justifying what i did as right but amir took it to a next level Recommend

  • Raj Kafir

    I have been a big fan of Tahir Shah since the release of his “Eye To Eye” video. After watching him on Aamir Liaquat’s s show, I have become his (Tahir’s) biggest fan. Shame on Aamir. Hats off to Tahir. Tahir whenever you are in Canada, please be my guest. You are a person with a golden heart.Recommend

  • Citizen

    After what Amir did to TS we all have more respect for Tahir Shah. Amir has just exposed his inner hypocrite character to the world. We may not had appreciated what TS did but certainly we appreciate his good character and clam personality. There is no comparison between what AL did to him and people who criticized his music, by doing this writer wants to soften backlash faced by AL. Recommend

  • angry citizen

    Amir runs so called islamic show which not more than the neelam ghar, however, it is totaly unacceptable and unethical to invite any guest in your show and then humilate him/her like anything. Recommend

  • Pakistan

    @Shamy: Dont compare Omer Sharif with Aamir Liaquat. Omer Sharif is comedian and his job is to entertain people on the other hand Aamir Liaquat is so called Islamic Scholar and he was doing Ramzan Special Transmission and he always pretend to be very humble and polite person so it was very shamefull to see a person humilitaing someone in Religious programme.Recommend

  • view from far away

    in a country where hasan nisar, zaid hamid and Imran khan portray themselves as god’s gift to humanity, i am not surprised that people like this anchor and apologists for him are in abundant supply….Recommend

  • Nemah

    This article speaks my mind!Recommend

  • http://renegadex.wordpress.com Shiraz Abdullah Mahmood

    Please, are you actually going to compare someone getting critisized on an open forum where he posted something on his own to actually CALLING someone on a show and then humiliating them, insulting them? Also when the show in question has nothing to do with the Taher Shah or eye to eye? The fun that has been made of Taher Shah is wrong when it has crossed a personal line, agreed. But that doesn’t mean what Aamir Liaqaut did was justifiable because ‘everyone else was doing it’.

    Aamir Liaquat and GEO should both be taken to task over there shameless behaviour in not only this but many more incidents where decent moral standards are thrown by the wayside in search for ratings.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    You totally missed the point of the push back against Amir, while we have all made fun of the song and Taher it has always been limited to the product that he was selling i.e. the song…what Amir Liaqat did was mean spirited and once again showed the kind of human being he really is people who watch his shows and lap up the drivel that comes out of his mouth should be ashamed of themselves. Amir Liaqat’s obvious fake piousness and mean spiritedness is one of the main reason i never allow his show to be on TV in my home and make every effort to have it shut down when i am some place else.Recommend

  • AK

    Until Amir does not come forward and apologies to Tahir, he’ll never be respected in the eyes of Majority.Recommend

  • Sonia

    Such an apt way of putting it. We, are a nation of hypocrites. The only reason such a fuss has been created by all the Pakistani hypocrites over aamir liaqat’s dramatic episode, is that he’s really living the dream, he’s insulting someone on live television AND getting paid for it, what more could anyone want, right? Hypocrisy is just a pathetic attempt at trying to hold non existent dignity.
    The actual thing is, all us Pakistani’s, we’ve created our own “Dedh foot ki masjid”. People who have ridiculed Taher Shah on Facebook have given the funniest excuses, on the lines of “At least we were only having fun on Facebook, we didn’t insult him on national television.” or “Taher Shah is an entertainer, and entertainment is all we were deriving from his song, we didnt make him cry on live television.”
    It’s stupid and idiotic in the least to hide behind aamir liaqat, that’s hypocrisy at its best.
    I, for one, do not like Taher Shah or Aamir Liaqat. What does annoy me however, is the behavior of the people on Facebook.

    Very well written article. Recommend

  • Salma

    Two wrongs dont make a right!Recommend

  • Col. Nicholson

    “I know that you are a man of your word, General. I know that you would die for honor, for Rome, for the memory of your ancestors. But as for me? I’m an entertainer.” – Proximo

    This quote from the movie Gladiator I feel applies to pretty much all televangelists currently on air in PK (including AL) esp. during Ramzan. I think all their ‘fans’ would do well by paying heed to the old man’s words.Recommend

  • mAS

    Agreed 100% with the author…………..we all are hypocriteRecommend

  • distant observer

    don’t say “we” say ‘I’ and “people like me” , as you do not speak for me! Recommend

  • Raza Mujtaba

    Yes we did all of it ourselves- but here is the big difference we never did it to his face… Recommend

  • Bilal

    Aalim??? bro you seriously need to get your facts right…just because he hosted a show called aalim online doesnt make him an aalim…Recommend

  • Critic

    “The Facebook world, including all Aamir Liaquat (and Taher Shah) haters out there, are to Taher Shah what Joe Chill was to Batman.”

    Really? You just had to mention batman.Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/eraas.haider eraas

    we are a nation of hypocrites. Hypocrisy has gone deep in our pores and eventually reaching our white flowing liquid which once used to be red.
    We have got right to do as much as degrading possible on social media but, we take a U-turn on the support track for tahir shah.
    why this duality ? Recommend

  • Ali

    i supported taher shah since i heard his song, i supported his freedom of expression, his freedom to be himself…Recommend

  • Bushra Azam

    Well another way of telling you the difference is that this blog is open to criticism, comments and feedback.People might appreciate you and might not, you will take it positively anyways because you had put this blog. Same goes with Tahir shah when he posted his song on facebook. But if somebody humiliate you on TV or facebook or any other medium and make fun of your appearance, then it is unethical.Personal attack is not acceptable to anyone on any medium and by any person, be it Amir Liaqat or Omar Sharif. Recommend

  • http://karachi sohail khan

    Humiliation of Tahir Shah seems to be a pretext, otherwise all these comments seem to be the outcome of jealousy (hasad) or some other type of hatred our society is suffering at the moment. Anyway Amir Liaquat program is going very well and most popular to the dismay of his opponents.Recommend

  • Rameez

    Nowadays, when people don’t like the work of any artist, the easiest way to show their disliking is through the internet. But on TV, when these artist are called for interview and stuff, they are never ridiculed on face, they are appreciated instead. For example I have watched a number of shows where they invite Meera, who can be mocked pretty easily, but they never make fun of her.

    P.S. I loved the song, I still listen to it from time to time! :)Recommend

  • Amal

    Well , i agree with u … the way taher shah was insulted on social media after the release of eye 2 eye was not in a bearable way and thts not a big deal wht Aamir liaquat did to him :/ … Actually the BEST FACT in ur blog is ” What Aamir Liaquat did might have been wrong, but then again, what the nine million Facebook users had been doing all along was wrong too. ” and the truTh behiNd all this is that ” we envy Aamir liaquat ” … bt our nation crossed limits this year bcz wht thy did 2 AAMIR LIAQUAT during ramazan on fb , they vulgarity thy showed by talking nasty things about his “mother” , his “wife” , his “daughter” : that was extremely ridiculous… Sorry 2 say but the ” fb army ” is proved themselves CHEAPEST this RAMADAN…
    * I am a big admirer of Aamir liaquat and that is perhaps because I never confined myself to OTHERS past , i’ve concern with my OWN !!! i only have concern with what HE IS on-screen , and i feel there iz nothing wrong with it * Recommend