When the Music Died in Pakistan…

Pakistan: Taliban forbids women from obtaining ID cards

It is “un-Islamic.” Women thinking otherwise will “face the consequences.” “Pak Taliban warn govt against ‘un-Islamic’ I-cards for women,” from the Times of India, 

“Dancing girls” must be exiled, businesses closed during prayer

Sufi Mohammed: putting the “piety” back in “Pakistan”

Yet Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari maintains that “Pakistan has not and will not negotiate with extremist Taleban and terrorists.” This is but the beginning, Asif. “Swat ‘dancing girls’ must leave,” from the BBC,


Swat ‘dancing girls’ must leave

By M Ilyas Khan / BBC News, Swat, northern Pakistan

Work for girls such as Palwasha is drying up

An agreement has been made in Pakistan’s troubled Swat valley to remove dancing girls from the main town of Mingora, a top official has said.

Malakand Commissioner Mohammed Javed told the BBC that an agreement had also been made for shops and businesses in Swat to close during prayer times.

Militants and officials recently agreed a truce as they try to implement a peace deal that will bring Sharia law.

However, more violence on Tuesday has put the truce under increased strain.


Mr Javed told the BBC that the agreement to remove the dancing girls and close businesses during prayers was agreed between him and Sufi Mohammad, the cleric who is brokering the peace deal between the government and militants in Swat.

The BBC’s M Ilyas Khan in Pakistan says that critics of the deal see it as part of the growing Talebanisation of Swat and proof that the militants are increasingly exerting their influence despite President Asif Ali Zardari’s recent assertions that Pakistan has not and will not negotiate with “extremist Taleban and terrorists”.

Our correspondent says that the decision to make the dancing girls leave Mingora effectively means they have been sent into internal exile and that Swat is now embracing an Islamic legal system that also pronounces on social and political questions.

The Taleban have destroyed nearly 200 schools, most of them for girls, during a sustained campaign against secular education in Swat.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Mr Zardari said that the “clerics” with whom his government had engaged in Swat valley were not the Taleban.


“Indeed, in our dialogue we’d made it clear that it is their responsibility to rein in and neutralise Taleban and other insurgents,” he wrote.”If they do so and lay down their arms, this initiative will have succeeded for the people of Swat Valley. If not, our security forces will act accordingly.”    

Mr Zardari said that “this process of weaning reconcilable elements of an insurgency away from the irreconcilables has been mischaracterised in the West”.

He said that Pakistan would “not condone” the closing of girls’ schools in Swat.

“Indeed, the government insists that the education of young women is mandatory. This is not an example of the government condoning or capitulating to extremism – quite the opposite.”

Mr Zardari said Pakistan’s fight against terrorism was “relentless” and the government had conducted a number of operations against militants.

Swat has been the scene of bloody clashes between militants and government forces since November 2007.

More than 1,000 civilians have died in shelling by the army or from beheadings sanctioned by the Taleban. Thousands more have been displaced.

Suspected militants shot and killed two soldiers and kidnapped an official.


Taliban blows up Pakistani music stores


Deja vu. More here on Islam’s position towards the arts. “Taliban blow up Pakistan music shops: police,” from AFP, from JW

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) — Taliban militants blew up 16 shops selling music and DVDs in northwest Pakistan overnight, police said Thursday. 

“An improvised explosive device planted in a market selling music and DVDs in Takhtbhai town blew up 16 shops overnight,” local police official Fazal Mabood told AFP, blaming Taliban insurgents.

There were no casualties in the attack in the town, northwest of Peshawar, because the market was closed at the time of explosion, he added.

Islamist militants have bombed scores of entertainment shops across the country’s northwest in recent years, charging that music and films are contrary to the teachings of Islam


* But hey, why let that get in the way of the ‘yoots’ who are trying to do a bit of Islamic hard-selling to the kuffar in olde England?

“Muslim MTV” aims to provide an Islamic take on music video

How ya like me now, kuffar?

Women will even be appearing on this station, “as long as it is according to Islamic standards.” “Rapping for Allah – the new channel for the Muslim MTV generation,” by Jack Shenker for the Guardian, via JW:

The thumping beat, baggy football tops and slick production values bear the trademarks of a regular hip-hop music video. But instead of scantily clad women dancing around a pool, there are rappers promoting prayer, healing and Allah. For this is 4Shbab (“for youth”), Egypt’s new entry into the lucrative music television market and a channel dedicated to bringing Muslim values to the MTV generation. 

On a boat moored on the Nile, 4Shbab’s founder, Ahmed Abu Haiba, explained why the current music video networks were a threat to Muslim identity. “These channels are strange to our culture,” he said. “There are young Muslim men today who’d like to have girlfriends, be part of a dating culture, and yet when they want to get married they look for a devout, religious wife. This is cultural schizophrenia … and it’s these channels which are giving our young generation such misunderstandings and smashing their identities.”

To reverse this corruption of a generation through “lewd imagery” and “contradictory values”, he travelled around the Gulf raising funds for a channel that would appeal to young Muslims. Now ‘4Shbab’ has arrived on TV sets throughout the Middle East and Europe. But the channel — which declares it will “listen to the tune of Islam” — is already being criticised. On the one hand, Abu Haiba has been accused of demeaning Islam by those who believe that all music is haram (forbidden). On the other hand, his station has taken flak from women, who rarely feature in its music videos or game shows such as Who Wants to Be an Islamic Pop Star?. The network’s content is vetted by a committee of five men who decide whether videos conform to 4Shbab’s Muslim philosophy.

We don’t have a problem showing women, as long as it is according to Islamic standards,” insisted Abu Haiba, who previously worked with Amr Khaled, a blockbuster preacher who has revolutionised Islamic sermonising on television. “But we must be careful in dealing with the issue of women on TV, and it’s not wise to smash all the walls straight away.”…

Is that a hint that Abu Haiba’s ultimate intention is to eventually “smash all the walls”? If so, beware, Abu Haiba, of those whose mindset has been sheltered (or imprisoned) behind those walls for nearly 1400 years: they don’t like their “walls” tampered with.

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