Moe's Inner Struggle

Zeeshan Haider/Newscom

Islamabad: Women ‘vow to raise kids for holy war’

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*   “peaceful inner struggle” of course, not what you’re thinking, you Islamophobe, you!

HUNDREDS of Islamist women gathered at the radical Red Mosque in Pakistani capital today and vowed to raise their children for holy war, days after a suicide bomber killed 18 people after a similar rally.

Chanting slogans of “jihad is our way”, burqa-clad women, some with babies, listened to fiery speeches from the daughter of the mosque’s jailed cleric on the eve of the anniversary of a commando raid on the complex in which more than 100 people died. 

“Our mujahideen (fighters) laid down their lives for the enforcement of the Islamic system in Pakistan. We are left behind to carry forward their mission,” the daughter of cleric Abdul Aziz told the tightly guarded rally in the mosque compound. 

Several thousand men attended a similar rally on Sunday to mark the anniversary of the July 10 commando raid that ended a week-long siege that began when gunmen from the mosque clashed with police. 

Shortly after the Sunday rally ended, a suicide bomber attacked police who had been guarding the gathering killing 18 people, all but three of them policemen. 


The attack highlighted the danger posed by militants in nuclear-armed Pakistan, where a new coalition government has been preoccupied with what to do with the unpopular President Pervez Musharraf, a staunch U.S. ally who has been isolated since his allies were defeated in a February election. 

The blast in the centre of the capital also compounded gloom on Pakistan’s financial markets where stocks have been sliding because of economic worries and the rupee has set new lows. 

The Red Mosque had for years been a bastion of militant support in Islamabad, but the clerics and their followers had waged an increasingly defiant campaign to enforce Taliban rule.

They occupied a state library, kidnapped women they accused of prostitution and some 
policemen, and stormed music and video shops and beauty parlours, much to the dismay of the moderate majority in the capital. 

They also accumulated weapons and battled security forces for days after the siege began, rejecting calls to surrender. 

President Pervez Musharraf ordered commandos to storm the mosque and an adjoining women’s madrasa to end the stand-off. 

The assault unleashed a wave of suicide bomb attacks across the country in which hundreds of people were killed, including former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.