Friday, 3 April 2009

Shariat Law in the Swat valley

A video is circualting in Pakistan like wildfire about an ugly incident in the beautiful SWAT valley. Aamir in Pakistan who sent me a link writes:
This what Swat valley has been turned into after 'holy justice' got introduced to the once peaceful tourist resort in the heart of Pashtun land. Public bashing, humiliation, illegal detention, and deaths are a daily routine.

There is more coverage on BBC News   and Video link.  And you can also see the video on YouTube   (Please note it is disturbing)

Stephen in Dehli also sent an email about the response in India: 
India's Muslims denounce Taliban whipping of girl as un-Islamic

Sat, Apr 4 02:23 PM   New Delhi, April 4 (IANS)
After video clips of a 17-year-old girl being flogged in public by Taliban fighters in Pakistan's Swat valley were shown on TV, India's Islamic scholars denounced it as 'un-Islamic' and 'satanic' and condemned it as 'gross violation' of Quranic codes.

Renowned Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan spoke out strongly against the incident and added that if anything, the act was absolutely 'un-Islamic - even satanic'.

'This kind of treatment is neither Islamic nor human. In fact, not only is it un-Islamic and inhuman, but also satanic,' Khan, who has authored over 200 books on Islam, told IANS.

'The first thing that should be done is to educate people, develop ethical values, sensitivity towards women and treat them equally. Society can be reformed through education - punishment (of the perpetrators) can never be the starting point for any kind of reform or change,' he added.

Similarly, Mushirul Hasan, vice chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia university, condemned the incident saying that it was a wrong portrayal of Islam, which preaches exactly opposite of what the Taliban were seen doing to the hapless young girl.

'I am horrified. This (incident) is a gross violation of Islamic and Quranic injunctions which teaches humanity, love, peace and magnanimity,' Hasan told IANS.

The dangers of imposing Sharia laws in Pakistan's restive Swat Valley were brought into sharp focus Friday with the airing of a two-minute video showing a 17-year-old screaming, burqa-clad girl being whipped by Taliban fighters for coming 'out of her house with another man who was not her husband'.

The grainy video, shot on a mobile phone, showed the girl face down on the ground. Two men held her arms and feet while a third, a black-turbaned man with a flowing beard, whipped her repeatedly.

Salima Khan, a student doing her PhD in Delhi University, said that she literally boiled in anger after seeing the video clip on YouTube, the popular video sharing website and then again on TV.

'I can't believe how anybody can humiliate and beat up an innocent young girl in the name of religion. And what was her fault - that she was seen with a man who was not her husband! Who in their right state of mind would ever dare to do such a dastardly act?

'Such acts just show how Islam has been grossly misinterpreted by a handful of people who are using it as a tool to serve their own cause,' Salima said angrily.

On YouTube, the video received thousands of hits overnight and a barrage of comments.

One of the comments read: 'These people (Taliban) should be given a taste of their own medicine. They should be whipped in public for maligning the name of Islam and inflicting torture on poor, helpless women'.

Another comment from an Indian woman read: 'Thank God I was born in India and not there (Swat valley). There they treat women like animals - no, even worse. To live a life like that seems like sheer hell.'

What is obvious is that this video is getting wide circuation around the world and is caausing quite a response among Muslims in the sub-continent. It is whipping up interest to say the least. 

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