30
Mar
07

Hardline clerics free alleged brothel owners

A woman seized by female seminary students and accused of running a brothel was freed yesterday after a hard-line cleric forced her to repent in public. The episode in vigilante justice shows the boldness of Islamic extremists in Pakistan.

Students had seized the woman and several of her relatives from her home late Tuesday during an anti-vice campaign in the capital, taking the law into their own hands and embarrassing President Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s military-dominated government.

The students are disciples of Abdul Rashid Ghazi, vice principal of the Jamia Hafsa seminary and a cleric at the adjoining Lal Masjid mosque. The mosque has a reputation for preaching hard-line Islam as well as links to an outlawed militant group accused in sectarian attacks on Shiites.

With no sign of police intervention to force her release, the woman, known as Aunty Shamim, was presented to reporters at the seminary to meet Ghazi’s demand that she stop “spreading obscenity” in return for her freedom.

“I apologize for my past wrongdoing and I promise in the name of God that in the future, I will live like a pious person,” said Shamim, only her eyes and part of her nose visible beneath a burqa.

Critics say the government has not lived up to pledges to regulate Pakistan’s thousands of religious schools, even in the capital. Some of the schools promote extremism and are a recruiting ground for jihadists fighting U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The mosque’s students are occupying Islamabad’s only children’s library in protest at plans to raze the mosque for illegal encroachment on government land.

The actions of the seminary students in Islamabad are “evidence of growing Talibanization in the country,” the liberal daily paper The News said in an editorial yesterday.

Source: Time Dispatch

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3 Responses to “Hardline clerics free alleged brothel owners”


  1. 1 Huma
    March 30, 2007 at 10:57 am

    What is going on in Pakistan????? stick-wielding-burqa-clad-jihadi women are roaming the capital and threatening women to go back to their homes and stay there? What is the police and the government doing about this?
    Is this how Islam is supposed to be spread in the world? By sticks and threats?
    If the government does not control this surge of insanity now then Pakistan will forever be lost to hard line fanatics making us not only another Taliban ruled afghanistan but also a prime target for US bombs!

  2. 2 Saquib
    March 30, 2007 at 11:05 am

    the country is in dire need of some ACTIVE GOVERNMENT and as always there is no hope to look up to. i dont know which way is our nation and its people going.

  3. 3 mujtaba
    March 30, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    impose martial law on their a**e*! they have the audacity to spread their rule in the name of Islam, a peaceful religion for ALL mankind.


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