TV preacher defends Ramadan baby give-away

2013-08-02 11:00

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Karachi - A charismatic Muslim preacher criticised for giving out babies to childless couples live on prime-time Pakistani television denies he is crudely seeking top ratings and insists he is spreading charity.

Aamir Liaqat Hussain, one of the biggest stars on Pakistani TV, spoke to AFP as a charity involved in the process said a third baby is due to be given away in the coming days.

Hussain broadcasts a marathon 12-hour show each day during the holy month of Ramadan, watched by millions of viewers across the country.

He mesmerises his audience with celebrity interviews, game shows, by providing in-studio meals to the needy - and, on two consecutive weeks, handing out baby girls to childless couples.

But international media coverage and public criticism of the baby give-aways has seen him vigorously deny that he is pulling out all the stops to maximise ratings in a competitive Ramadan TV market.

"It is not like parents come in the show, and [we] deliver the baby like a prize. What prize? It is rubbish to say 'who wants to win a baby?'" he told AFP on the sidelines of his chat show.

Real Islam

He insists the two couples were pre-screened for their suitability as parents, and says he is right to find good homes for abandoned babies in a country without official laws of adoption.

"We are trying to create an environment in the society for those people who are needy and want to adopt babies," Hussain said.

"It is not commercialisation, it is not showbiz. It is real Islam. Where are the actors? Where are actress? I have not seen any actors or actress here," he added.

A local charity told AFP it was involved in the screening process that took place before the babies were handed over, saying it took part to discourage women from abandoning unwanted children and men from divorcing wives who cannot give birth.

"We give adoption to those couples only on merit basis," said Ramzan Chhipa, head of the Chhipa Welfare Association.

He said both couples had been screened and went on the show expecting to be given the babies. A third baby is expected to be handed over in coming days, Chhipa told AFP.

The future of Pakistan

"It is not you answer a question on a show and you get a baby. This is false!" he said.

One of the couples say they married more than 15 years ago but have been unable to have their own child.

They registered with Chhipa and told AFP they were interviewed earlier this month by the charity, which then rung up a day before the show, asking them to appear on TV.

"I cannot express in words our happiness. There was a great void in our life and that is filled by having this baby," said the father Said Zulfiqar Hussain, a policeman from Karachi.

"This child is the future of Pakistan," said the mother Soreya Bilqees who dreams her daughter will grow up and join the army.

Hussain, who also courted controversy last year after a young Hindu man converted to Islam live on his chat show, is unrepentant.

"This is the real picture of Islam, to help poor people, to listen to poor people," he told AFP.

"People love me, that is why they watch me. Through television we spread the message of tolerance," he said.

Read more on:    pakistan  |  religion
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Ramphele: ANC can be defeated

The African National Congress can be defeated, Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele has told supporters in Temba near Hammanskraal.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Stikland - 16:57 PM
    Road name: College Road
    ROAD CLOSED at Strand Road due to a vehicle fire - use alternative routes
  • Thursday Langa - 16:47 PM
    Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive Southbound
    DELAYS between Jakkalsvlei Avenue and the N2 Highway
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.