Jan 18, 2009 - Uncategorized    105 Comments

Women, not allowed.

This photograph was initially published in Daily Times, January 12, 2009 and caught my eye at Pakistaniat. The caption read:

“Women are not allowed in the market,” reads a banner displayed at the entrance of a market in Mingora. Taliban have banned the entry of women in markets and ordered the killing of women who violate the ban. Most shop owners have sold or shut down their businesses because of falling sales following the restriction.

For people like us who are living in Karachi and other urban centres, the restriction of this kind of public space (a market for clothes) is unheard. My question is: what in the God’s name government is doing in Swat besides placating right wing crack pots (Read Rabia’s blog for details). Another thing that frightens me is that, if this remains unchecked and the government continues to give in to these people, it may spread out to other parts of the country.

Clip to Evernote


  • i dont know much abt this (i intend to find out) but banning women from bazars is prespostorous

  • …and we call ourselves a civilized people!

  • Well if they keep bombing them that is exactly the sort of reaction they will get.

    Second we need to read the fine print on the banner as well.

    Third the issue with Pakistan is not about women rights it is about Human Rights.

    Vote for PTI! Vote for rule of law.

  • Yeah, Vote for PTI, bring another obscurantist minus beard (that’s Imran Khan) and make this a reality in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad as well.

    If you happen to read Rabia’s post you will realize that this has been happening for quite sometime. The bombing only started last year. Oh but you belong to the cult of Imran Khan and Imran Khan is the idiot who shuns all scientific study.

    read this for reference

  • Women should not be banned! Anywhere! Women should be everywhere!

  • thats a real sad state man…

  • This is horrifying!

  • I can’t image how angry I would feel. Unfortunately we all have our share of small-minded nut jobs bent on turning back the clock.

  • and i utter in good humour…

    men never protest when a sign says… yahan per mardo ka dakhla mana hai 🙁

  • Its a scary thought when extremist hardliners call the shots. What’s scarier is their interpretation of the Quran. Who gives them a right to impose their view on the rest of the society? This kind of stuff makes me see red. And its this kind of nonsense that makes Richard Dawkins atheist preachings seem very attractive.

  • I can’t imagine living somewhere where the government wouldn’t step in to stop something like this.

    What was public opinion like in the big cities when this picture was published? Is anyone putting pressure on the government to do something?

    Maybe I just don’t understand things in Pakistan as much as I should and please educate me if my questions seems silly. I’m just curious and a little angry at this banner…

  • I am more puzzled ab’t why in ‘mainland’ pakistan there isn’t enuf voice against this tyranny. This 15th jan timeline was set well before. Taking moral responsibility from now on, every news paper/channel should publish/telecast atleast one article/show daily ab’t plight of those people. NGOs/pvt. orgs/pol. parties should do peaceful rallies atleast to give some strength to those victims. I have some net friends from Peshawar and they are not responding from some time now. Its really frightening!

  • “Is anyone putting pressure on the government to do something?”

    Not particularly. They are all far too busy protesting the IDF actions in Gaza. O’s comment above pretty much sums up the public opinion on the matter. In the meantime the army is (imo) deliberately letting the situation deterioriate to the point at which the provincial government will be forced to come to a settlement with the Taliban.

    Oh but babies are dying in Gaza!! So we’ll think about later.

  • Thanks Rabia… I appreciate the explanation.

    There’s got to be an answer for something like this though, I mean people can’t in their right minds support anyone who declares that women can’t even shop!

    (BTW Tanzeen, I linked to your post on my blog, I hope that’s okay)

  • Not only have they put up a banner like that, but the government seems content doing perfectly nothing. Our two countries have a lot more in common than most people think. If only most of these similarities were positive!

    Quirky Indian

  • Gay paradise!

  • Apoo,

    Spoken like a true blue heterosexual single man.


    Oh yes it is. North West Frontier province is probably the only place on planet where homosexuality is considered normal and pedophilia, a sign of status. Rich men keep young boys as their sexual servants and it is considered a status symbol in some districts of the province.

  • Muchacho Enfermo,

    You must have seens loads of Pakistanis in Canada. They are not all economic migrants as most people believe. A lot of them were doing really well in Pakistan but they left the country because they couldn’t be free to do whatever it is they wanted.

  • Muchacho Enfermo and H2O,

    I couldn’t agree more with Rabia. I post on another forum called Karachi metblogs. I posted this news that the body of a newborn baby was found in a drain in the city. The baby was obviously born of an extra marital affair and somebody decided that the bastard should not live so threw him in the drain where he died.

    Forget protests, no one even bothered to leave a comment on it because it called for introspection and reflection on the way WE behave. If it had been a post ridiculing the President of Pakistan or Bush for that matter, i would have received a good 30 – 35 comments.

    We are busy protesting the death of women and children in Gaza, we couldn’t care less what is happening in out own backyards and we certainly are not willing to take responsibility for that.

    A link if anyone is interested in reading the whole story


  • This is so like India …. the Government doesn’t do anything unless the public revolts and raises hue and cry. You all have to demand action.

  • Ok, I thought women not being allowed out of the house unaccompanied by a male relative was a bit much, but this seems way worse.

  • This is frightening. You are so right, it doesn’t take long for this kind of demented violence to spread, if it goes unchecked by the government. And it’s always, always the women who suffer.

  • @Tazeen,

    You comments just goes to show the validity of the saying “Parha likha Jahil”.

    It looks like you are infected with the Bush Blair syndrome. An elementary conclusion considering your lack of comprehension of basic facts and your muted cry “They hate us because of our freedom” remember that line?

    The automatic reaction of any society to having ALIEN ideals / morals / tradition FORCED upon them is to fortify and radicalize with THEIR original beliefs irrespective of the fact that the society is western / liberal or traditional / religious.

    I know that’s a heavy line above but try to follow me! If you go to an American town and tell them that they must dress in shalwar kameez have aunty parties and have arranged marriages, what do you think their reaction will be? They will do the opposite of what they are told and even take it to the extreme.

    This is exactly what is happening in the north of Pakistan. By destroying the existing system of governance they have made it not a war on radicals but a war on their tradition and Islam. What we see in the picture above is EXACTLY the reaction you will get when you kill women and children and force them to change without even providing them basic necessities! By the way they did not start a year ago please try to have a memory longer then two seconds.

    Regarding Imran Khan he was talking about there not being enough education centers that can create scientific thought like they do in the west.


  • Dear O (you obviously do not have the moral courage to come out with your name, but it is still better than anonymous)

    Thanks a lot for invading my space and calling me parha likha jahil (this literally translates to an educated but ignorant person).

    This is the first time I have been bracketed with Blair and Bush and I must say I am much humbled by that.

    Back in 1970s when Swat was an independent state under Wali-e-Swat, the social development indicators of that district were the best in NWFP. Female literacy rate was the highest and most kids went on to acquire college education. As late as 2000 (the last time I went to Swat) it was a happy place with tourist bustling around and local pashtun men selling soft drugs to local and foreign tourists. I have played translator to a group of French Canadian men seeking a particular variety of Hash and a very enterprising 18 year old drug vendor. I am not saying that every 18 year old should start selling drugs but my point was that what used to be a very permissive society where men and women were equally participating in social and economic spheres of life has now come to this!

    Maulana Mohd Sufi and his brand of religious vigilantism came, followed by his son-in-law Mullah Fazlullah (commonly know as Mullah Radio for his hate invoking sermons on illegal FM radio channel) and Swat changed from a happy place to a battleground. The hotels that were booked months in advance now stay vacant all the time. People died and businesses went under. So many Swatis are fleeing the valley because of poverty, lack of employment and insecurity that was thrust upon them from outsiders (Al Qaida and Saudi sponsor Wahabi clerics who upholds the puritanical and obscurantist version of the religion). This is not a homegrown movement as people like you and your leader (Imran Khan) want everyone to believe, this is a war that is thrust upon people from outside.

    Barring women from going shopping is the ALIEN ideal; otherwise they would not have needed to kill the women who violate their dictates. If it had been part of their culture/religion/society, they would not have needed to put the banner up, it must have been an inherent part of the society.

    People from sub continent (at least older generations) still dress in shalwar kameez and saris in America and England and they may receive an odd look or two but no one would stop their liberty nor would they try to impose their ways on you. Can a woman wear a skirt and tank top and go grocery shopping in Pakistan? I bet she would be lynched. No wonder everyone wants to leave Pakistan.

    Call Americans (or other Western nations) whatever names you want to call, but they must be doing something right, that’s why everyone wants to move to their countries. Who wants to come to Pakistan? Perhaps Afghanis and Zimbabweans? Oh cross that, even Zimbabwean’s would not want to come to Pakistan, we are such a racist bunch, and we would harass them to death for their darker skin tone.

    I would also like to thank you for likening my memory with that of a goldfish. I only wish I had the memory span of 7 seconds, life would have been too beautiful.

  • On the other note if they dont want women we will happily take them 😀

  • O,

    You are indeed a moron for having the audacity to

    1) justify gender discrimination, something that existed in Islam and that region long before, by blaming the bombings.

    2) By assuming that the entire world has been hypnotized by Blair/Bush Witch conspiracy.

    By chance when and if you pull your head out of someone’s dark crevice you maybe surprised to find out that GWB/Blair conspiracy is as tired and passe as is your holier-than-thou tude…

    Oh and while the head’s out catching a fresh breath or two you may also learn that two wrongs don’t make a right.



  • On a digression, didn’t know that term “obscurantist” is du jour even after Mushi left. “enlightened moderate” has definitely fallen out of lexicon. What else has changed? that would make for a good blog post.

  • Tez,

    Desi aunties/women walking about town wearing saris, shalwar kameez is not an un-common site in Silicon Valley, or most any major urban area in the US. Actually, a bhabhi of mine, a mom, who also happens to be a Mathematician/Scientist at NASA, regularly shows up at work dressed up in shalwar kameez…

    O’s just a sour puss…


  • Dear Tazeen,
    I don’t think my name is of any relevance however if you would like to contact me I can give you my email ID. Although I do not see why how it makes me morally brave, but I will humor you. Maybe you wanted to start of with a personal attack, the last resort for those who do not have an argument?

    You have been bracketed with Blair and bush because you purport the same line as they do. “They hate us because of our freedom” A line that lays the blame squarely back on the victims.

    I too have gone to SWAT in the 2005 and find your paint-brushing of ground realities to be similar to Bush once again. You are not against the people of swat but want to save them from the Saddam like mullah (Mullah = Terrorist / Dictators) and his extremist views.

    The poor innocent people of swat are hypnotized by this great Saddam / Mullah and we must send the Pak army in to swat and kill and bomb them back to the gay liberal life style of drug peddling they had before.

    Here is a fact that you keep missing! Swat did not change from a “happy place” to a “battleground” because of the Mullah, it changed because of the bombings and terrorism of the state of Pakistan on the behest of the US.

    Since the only people with balls seem to be Mullahs who tell the people like it is the popularity of the Mullah increased.

    I said this before by bombing and killing them by trying to forcibly changing the lifestyle of the people of swat by making this foreign war a war on Islam and tradition; the people have become radicalized. The bombing and killing is the reason why so many Swatis are leaving the valley.

    I do not understand something if following the Mullah is bad for business and the region don’t you think the people will automatically reject his ignorant line of thinking?

    Once again you twist and lie regarding Imran Khan. Imran NEVER said there are no outsiders, he has always said that the outsiders have been around but never taken seriously by the majority of the people, plus the local traditions never allowed them to be more then insignificants ranting fools.

    However NOW after the bombing and killing of many people, they have become more popular and this war on Al Qaida has now suddenly become our war!

    You are still missing the point. I am not talking about tolerance, which is a separate topic and the examples of western intolerance are plenty. Jog your memory regarding the French girls and Turkey’s parliament.

    Can at least be honest with yourself, what deluded world do you live in to come the conclusion that people are leaving Pakistan because they do not have enough freedom to shed clothes. Are you some kind of elitist who does not venture out from Defense?

    Lady people are leaving Pakistan because we do not have the basic such as clean water, electricity, proper system, justice and rule of law. Since most Pakis are flocking to the ME where they have more restriction placed on them your la la land theory does not even launch.

    Plus what is this obsession with shedding clothes? Is that the criteria for being a developed nation. The only think you like about western country is that you can wear skirts and mini blouses there?

    What about the fact that the western countries provide the basics for their people, that they have rule of law, a separate justice system (you know the one Imran is fighting for) that they have a welfare health system. There is a lot more to admire the west about then their ability to shed clothes.

    Let me summarize it for you: The problems of Pakistan are two folds the immediate one which is of this moronic Bush war on terrorism (which translates to civil war for us) that is radicalizing and alienating our own people throwing them in the hands of extremist. The long term one is to provide the basics to our own people such as clean water, justice, rule of law, protection of property, a healthcare system and the biggest EDUCATION.

    When you start fixing the above issues banners like the one you posted will disappear overnight.


  • @Zobee,

    You are a Islamaphobic. Go flush your head down a toilet and do the world a favour.


  • O,

    Islamophobe – which is all you have to say for having your idiotic justification by blaming GWB and war on terrorism. In any case, the moronic holier than thou tude has you blinded to the reality.

    Let’s see – it’s not about taking clothes off or putting them on – it’s about freedom to choose… and no, forcing aunties, in some random American town, to wear shalwar kameez is NOT the same as forcing aunties to cover up, to not to go to school, stay at home, and I know a shock this must have been to the singleminded in ya…

    BTW – while at it add “freedom of expression and movement”which is what Pakis, who bail, discover after arrival, to the list of reasons why some Pakistanis don’t then go back to the land of philosophy you so conveniently fantasize about…

    BTW – it is rather naive to think that “since following Mullah is bad for business, people will automatically reject…”. It goes to show that how ignorant you are to the situation FUBAR in Swat Valley –

    What we’re seeing in Swat is the blow back that resulted from the shortsightedness of a generation of leadership… and no Bush is not to blame. Instead it is people like you who shamelessly fail to accept the responsibility…

    I have witnessed shameless apologists , who naively think that things will get better overnight, even though the things were FUBAR long before Bush showed up, like yourself since 1977…


  • Dear Tazeen,

    As I said I was there in 2005 I do no to read what people are saying as part of Propaganda.
    I would advice you to see the hundred of videos that our tv journalist took of the atrocities that were committed there.
    Then tell me what will a person whose family has been butchered by helicopter is going to do?

    Just imagine if your whole family died killed by the Pak army, how will you react?
    How do you think an uneducated person would react? This is not a black and white issue of Mullah verses the Defense Club.

    You never told me do you want me to contact you by email so I can prove how morally brave I am?


  • “Just imagine if your whole family died killed by the Pak army, how will you react?
    How do you think an uneducated person would react? This is not a black and white issue of Mullah verses the Defense Club.”

    Oh lord that pathetic tired old “what would you do if?” Well some of us MAY choose not to take the “an eye for eye” path and opt for something that does not involve hurting innocent lives… oh my!


  • @Zobee,

    So you are saying we have had this problem since the 80’s? How many sucide attacks did we have when Zia the ISlamist was in power? How many restrictions were placed on women during the 80 and 90s?

    Why did all of this start now when we took on the War of Terror?

    Repeating the Bush Dubya line is not going to get you anywhere. “They hate us because of our freedom?

    Plus this is Tazeen blog and I am conversing with her. If you want to have a conversation then email me or start a blog

    “Zo bee it”!


  • O,

    And for your information – just as your holier than thou attitude prevents you from saying anything other than placing majority of blame on Bush – it also prevents you from imagining that just as there are “purha likha jahil” peeps hanging out, there are “un-parh aaalims” walking about Pakistan and living daily lives with dignity and honor. Now, only if you had lived amongst the despondent yet the dignified you’d realize. Instead, as appears to be the modus operandi, you’re to busy boxing, those who disagree, in “defense colony” mentality…

    Look in the mirror and see if it shows someone who’s never experienced abject starvation…


  • @Zobee,

    I see all that what you fail to see is that there is no differnce between the “purha likha jahil” and “un-parh aaalims” they are peddling the same thing just different sides of the coin.

    Now as I said earlier this is Tazeen blog and I am conversing with her if you wish to take this up with me then I will give my email id.

    I am not intersted in responsing to you.


  • LOL! Just as you are free to be a moron, to ignore me, I am free to voice my opinion – however, given that I had called out your moronicness early on, your wish of shutting me up is not surprising at all.

    Yes, technically, the Islamization of Pakistan began the moment Pakistan was coined an Islamic Republic. BTW, your statement “How many restrictions were placed on women during the 80 and 90s?” goes to show how much you really know about Pakistan…


    Let me know if you need me to help you Google-burst that naive lil bubble of yours.


  • “I am not intersted in responsing to you.”

    LOL! of course – had you had anything to say you would – being true to your holier than thou single mindedness easy way out is the only way…;)


  • @Zobee,

    Ok Zobee, let me sort you out then.

    Wiki is an editable database. Please try to look beyond GOOGLE for your research. I would suggest the supreme court archives or some of the law libraries around Karachi. If you are interested I can give you the names and directions to these places.

    Just answer this: do you know how many women were convicted on hudood law in Pakistan? How many women in the last 20 years have been arrested in Pakistan on hudood law.

    Don’t link to an article they are useless I am talking about doing some real research.

    Here is something for you that I am sure you will not believe but is something that can be verified by checking the archives of law cases in Pakistan. All cases of hudood law the few that are (and I want you to come up with the number after doing some real research) came through the civil courts. When they reached the sharia courts (the courts of the Mullahs) they were all dismissed because they did not meet the requirements of Sharia law.

    I have spoke to the judges in the Sharia court and they said that they have always dismissed these cases which are always submitted by civil courts because this law does not comply with sharia. It was always the civil government that would use the law and the mullahs that would reject it.

    You are not going to find article written about this. So please do not come here and talk to me about how unaware I am of the situation in Pakistan. Once you verify this I would like you to visit the jails in Pakistan and talk to the people that are there. You will see that the majority almost 60 – 80 % are innocent poor people wrongly convicted. Check the figures on this and compare it with the hudood law and tell me which on is the REAL problem!

    Try doing some real research but that would require you to get up of your couch. It is also very easy sitting in the comfort of your home and talk about forgiveness for the killing of your family. You must be young.

    The reason that I do not wish to talk to you has nothing to do with your attempt at logic nor with your wiki links. It has to do with you taking nonsense.


  • O,

    I am afraid I cannot stop Zoobee from commenting here. I actually invited him to visit the blog and I know at least two people who read my blog because of Zoobee’s comments.

    You actually wanted dialogue with me? Not only am I a parha likha jahil, I am also a girl with probably a lot less brains than a mighty man. I am also westernized and can only equate Western world with minimal clothing for women. After all, what do I know about concepts as alien as liberty and freedom of movement and thought.

  • Our watchman lost his 35 year old brother in Orakzai Agency and his brother was bombed, not by Pakistani army, but by the Islamofascist militants. He was part of the jirga which wanted to kick the Taliban out and restore peace and prosperity in that area. You know what happened afterwards? Local Taliban leader wanted to marry his brother’s widow after bombing her husband. She had to flee to Karachi to save her and her children’s lives.

    and your moronic leader Imran Khan wants the whole country to turn into a place like this when there would be no place like Karachi where people can come to save their lives.

  • O,

    even though not all women were convicted under the hudood ordinance, it does not make that draconian law any less hideous than it was. As someone who has visited these women regularly in Women’s jail, I can cite at least 15 cases personally known to me where women and their partners/husbands languished in jails for over 10 years because they exercised their constitutional right of choice.

    They chose their own partners.

    The fact that Hudood ordinance was in direct violation of not only UN declaration of Human rights but also constitution of Pakistan should be reason enough for its abolition.

  • O,

    Sorting me out – sure – let’s see you honor with a response by listing the numbers – the research – the conviction rate – wait a minute sounds awfully like a westernized way of dealing with things as unwesternized and tribal as are in Pakistan?

    Since we’re talking restrictions on women in Pakistan – guess what, unless you are a woman, whether or not one who lives in “defence” or Undroon Shehar Lahore, and have lived in Pakistan all your life, you too may not realize that there exists not much research nor any sociological surveys other than reports, of atrocities committed against women by their loved ones, or those who live in their community. The fact is that a life of woman in Pakistan has become more and more restricted…

    Since you have spoken to judges etc. etc. how about speaking to girls, say from 8th graders till University, professionals, or homemakers, and see what they have to say about the encroachment of restrictions upon their person while growing up… and report back with result of research.

    In the meantime – lay off the blame game and imagine yourself in the shoes of women in Pakistan….



  • Dear “O”

    I am intrigued at your choice of the pseudonym “O”.

    Could you be e inspired by the 1950s erotic novel “Story of O” by French author Anne Desclos who wrote under the pen name Pauline Réage?

    The Story of O was about dominance and submission, which in Swat means a whole different thing 🙂

  • Even in India, scores of newspaper volume is being devoted towards this rapid talibanization of Pakistan.

    Good to read that people in there are worried about it too.

  • Tazeen,

    If you do not want to address the content of my mail and put me down as a stereotypical male then so be it that is your choice. I still stick to my comment of “Parha Likha Jahil” which incidentally has nothing to do with your gender.

    That’s the problem with the feminist lot they think about only women, I am telling you to think about humanity!

    The jigra was bombed by Pakistan military they even admitted it.

    Now you are blatantly lying, Imran Khan wants to bring about social change through justice, rule of law and a welfare state. Not bomb its own people by it’s own army.

    I asked you a number regarding the women convicted under hudood ordinance, you think you can get up from the keyboard and actually do some research as opposed to reading propaganda in newspaper?

    Then you talk about the law being draconian. I love it when Pakistanis who have far bigger issues talk about the draconian hudood laws. Please Tazeen tell me how many laws in Pakistan other then the hudood law are used for abusing people? Here is a clue ALL OF THEM!

    How many people are languishing in Pakistani jail on some pretext or the other of Pakistani law? How many are tortured, murdered and killed based on some pretext or the other in police Jail or custody?

    No but lets forget about FIXING the justice system in our country lets just give lip service to the draconian law called hudood and how it is bad for women’s freedom. Once again please tell me how many were convicted under hudood law and how many humans (men and women) have been unjstly locked up in our jails?

    So you know 15 people who are in jail because they choose thier husbands. More then 70% of the people in Pakistani jail are innocent. Tell your 15 to join the rest of the hundred of thousands.

    I hope you understand that I am not arguing for the huddod law just showing you that it is the system that is the problem not the laws. So as opposed to supporting some one who only gives flowery speeches and makes no change to the situation (see Musharaff) we all should some one who wants to fix the system (see Imran)

    As opposed to addressing the root of the issue every one here are talking about leaves.


  • O:
    The problem with your narrative (Imran Khan version of Pakistani history) is that it completely ignores the role of the intelligence agencies in creating the TNSM to begin with. Hmmm, is it a coincidence that your hero Imran Khan’s political mentor is Hameed Gul?:

    “The TNSM was founded in 1989 in Dir and penetrated into Swat. It was tacitly supported in Swat by the then commissioner of Malakand Division through a so-called loya jirga. The jirga demanded the implementation of Sharia in Swat and joined hands with Sufi Muhammad, a close friend of Major Amir, the then director of the Intelligence Bureau.”

  • Z,
    Yes inshallah one day the tribal’s when they have proper roads, electricity, clean water and schools and university Inshallah that day they too will argue in the same way that I am. By reason and logic and not hand waving and hyperventilating.

    Z, you make it sound like all the women in Pakistan are oppressed, I remember a similar line of thinking during the run up to the Afghan war. Fat lot of good it did them now they are worse of then before.

    You know I don’t know which planet you come from but if I ask the women that I see every day about restriction placed on their life they will start laughing. So where exactly are you living? you are making an issue where there isn’t any.

    Now please go and find out about the hudood ordinance about which there was so much hue and cry and women were beating their heads about how oppressed they were.


  • @TarekFatah

    I lost you after Orgasm…

    But to clarify my name is Omair


  • //@TarekFatah

    I lost you after Orgasm…

    But to clarify my name is Omair



    I know you have a blinkered vision but I thought you can at least read whatever is written properly.
    Where in the God’s name did Tarek sahab use the word ‘Orgasm’ or is it a Freudian slip?

    Sigmund Freud was another heretic like Charles Darwin, you may disregard that reference as well.

  • and before you call him a parha likha jahil as well, let me remind you that he is the celebrated author of ‘Chasing the Mirage’

    You can google him if you want to. Oops i believe google is also not good enough for you. That too is a tool developed by Jewish devils

  • //Yes inshallah one day the tribal’s when they have proper roads, electricity, clean water and schools and university Inshallah that day they too will argue in the same way that I am. By reason and logic and not hand waving and hyperventilating.///

    And how will they achieve that? By burning over 178 schools in the past year or so?

    Read three cups of tea and see what can happen with a little enterprise. We have the example of Northern Areas where the roads are bad but they are producing high class educated people because they are not being run by obscurantist.

  • I’m flabbergasted at the banner’s picture… i’m in a state of denial. Can people even do such stuff in 2009?!?

    And wow@ discussion above. 😮

  • Tanzeen:
    “Yes inshallah one day the tribal’s when they have proper roads, electricity, clean water and schools and university Inshallah that day they too will argue in the same way that I am. By reason and logic and not hand waving and hyperventilating.”

    Obscurantists don’t want people to become educated, if people remain ignorant they can never form opinions of their own. I’m sure I am just stating the obvious and probably missed the entire point you were trying to make. But either way I’m really really liking the conversation in your comments section. It’s an education in and of itself.

  • This is just ridiculous.

    O doesn’t seem to be able to distinguish between Pakistanis being concerned about the condition of Swati women who have just been taken over by a small army of religious extremists and the US using women’s rights as a pretext to invade Afghanistan (which isn’t even really true, in any case). O, can you explain what kind of women would NOT be upset that their countrywomen are being subjected to this kind of violence? You’re trying to make Tazeen look like some kind of nutty neo-con hypocrite but YOU’RE the hypocrite for happily acting as an apologist of Fazlullah and his militants and making all sorts of assumptions about what the people of Swat REALLY want and what their culture is REALLY like. Tazeen, OTOH, just wants the same rights for Swati women as she has herself.

  • Hallo Tazeen,

    Can’t help thinking all this is related to religion. Get rid of it and improvement is inevitably round the corner.

    Two thousand years ago this region was one of the most civilized on earth. These people erected the Bamyan monuments.


  • this is disturbing. its a complete violation of human rights. no one can dictate where women can or cannt go.


  • this has nothin to do with religion !

  • Rabia,

    Thanks a lot for standing up for me 🙂

    Muchacho Enfermo,


    Tanzeen is not bad either, my name is Tazeen

  • Sorry… about the mistake in the name… I meant no offense at all 😉

  • Abdul Sami,

    Lets admit it. Whatever is happening in Pakistan has a lot to do with religion and its inclusion in constitution and state affairs.

    Religion is a personal choice and should stay personal. Who is Taliban or anyone else for that matter to restrict public space for women or children or minorities?

    This just an example. Why do you think you have to have your religion on your passport? It is because the Mullahs in Pakistan do not want Ahmadis to go for Hajj, thats restriction of another public space for a religious sect.

    We all need to grow up and smell the coffee or whatever your preferred beverage is

  • u r right… but just coz somthin is done in the name of religion does not make it part of religion

    if u hear sombody blew up somethin in the name of religion.. do u think that is what religion taught them or us?

    i disagree

    we only use religion for the sake of our convenience… or at least the mullahs do … examples r also pretty clear among teachers , parents and what not !!!

    specially in pakistan !

  • “Z, you make it sound like all the women in Pakistan are oppressed, I remember a similar line of thinking during the run up to the Afghan war. Fat lot of good it did them now they are worse of then before.”


    Setting aside your apologist ineptitude – yes – women in Pakistan are oppressed: culturally, religiously, and legally. Of course, only a moron like yourself would equate a fact with fiction: women in Pakistan are oppressed being the fact, and oppression of women being used as a ruse to invade another country. These two things have NO direct correlation whatsoever. This goes to show that you have not yet yanked your head out of dark crevices… it’s time you wipe off that foam at the side of your mouth and climb on to the wagon that is reality.



  • “You know I don’t know which planet you come from but if I ask the women that I see every day about restriction placed on their life they will start laughing. So where exactly are you living? you are making an issue where there isn’t any.”


    LOL! There we go again with “mommy, mommy, the women I see/meet are nothing like what Zoobee talks about”. On top of this, missed is the irony when an apologist moron like O then goes ahead and assumes that the other is living in some other planet, while failing to realize the bubble that surrounds. Dude – where do you meet these women? Defence? multi-national company parties? clubs? ritzy cafes? or place like mohalas of cities like Gujranwala, Abbotabad, Jehlum, Quetta, Sukkur, Multan, Pindi, thousands of abadis that surround Karachi, and Lahore etc. etc.?

    Dude I have been involved with women’s education in Pakistan for almost two decades – I have witnessed hundreds if not thousands of, talented and intelligent, girls, belonging to able families, whose dreams of higher education were dashed right in front of my eyes for reasons “girls are meant to be homemaker” or “humary ghar ki lurkiyaan jobs nahi kurteen”.

    Yet again your holier than thou single mindedness prevents you from seeing the reality that exists for MILLIONS of women in Pakistan. The oppression that an average woman suffers through in her life is something a woman has not choice but learn to live within. Something, being a man, even though you claim that what you experience firsthand with your limited social reach (unless you have interviewed thousands of women across the spectrum in the country), you may never understand.


  • Tazeen, I just finished reading Ahmed Rashid’s Descent into Chaos, perhaps you already have. The most worrying aspect for me was the fact that there are many elements within the Pakistani army and ISI especially that encourage this extremism for their own ends and how deep the indoctrination within the ISI really runs.

    It doesnt seem to me that the Pakistani establishment became serious about fighting the extremism in the country until recently when the terrorists started attacking urban Pakistan itself. Until then they were just content to arrest/kill some scapegoats every time Powell/Rice/Bush/Blair would come by.

    I think these episodes are just the consequences of breeding and not eradicating extremism when the chance was there, immediately after the WTC attacks. From the book, I can say that the ISI has to be rectified by the Pakistanis. It really is not very far from being an evil cult indulging in the most macabre activities. Unless the ISI is brought under control this kind of thing is going to become more and more common.

  • I absolutely agree with Vikram. ISI is THE problem and I am confident that it already has been a cult force following various macabre regional, extremist and other vested agendas of its members for years. It has got to be stopped.

    I also think that although the army took its own sweet time in realizing the magnitude of the monster they had created in their own backyard, the people running it probably Have realized it given how much control they’ve lost. But what’s happening now is a result of too little-too late.

    And although I wouldn’t go as far as blaming the babies of Gaza for drawing too much attention from Pakistanis (it is OKAY to stand against oppression elsewhere in the world) but I do earnestly hope that educated Pakistanis like O and many others who have held a sympathetic corner for Talibanization and the Mullah Radios of our world, mistakening those voices to be of a positive revolution, are very, very afraid right now. For their own well-being, their own livelihoods, families, children, and future.

    Their dismissing the Mullahs’ ‘conquest’ of the Swatis as justified and accepted by the people of Swat (who used to thrive on tourism and a booming mineral export business, both diminished after the Taliban took over) is baloney. It is well-known that the Taliban moved in with great force into the north-western region of Pakistan to reorganize themselves, and easily overcame the local public–initially by propaganda, and later by just sheer use of force (charging ransoms from local mineral businesses to let them operate, closing down girls’ schools, operating their own laws in defiance of the state laws).

    Blame the people’s ignorance and illiteracy for their having let the Mullah radio’s voice into their homes and having sympathies for the Taliban, but don’t mistaken it for passionate allegiance to a way of life that’s been thrust upon them, destroyed their livelihoods, and subjected them as scapegoats to the unavoidable reactionary measures taken by the state against which Taliban were operating — that would be the currently hapless Pakistan army.

    This is no child’s play, people. And this deserves more attention from you right now than anything else going in the world, especially from our revolutionaries with terribly misplaced ideas of what kind of revolution needs to be brought right now and by whom.


  • Well said Madiha… Peeps like O/Imran Khan need to very afraid indeed – once Talibnization is complete and focus is turned inwards, it is then when Talibanis would find people like O and Imran Khan as a liability worth purging – like what the Mullahs of Iran did to the intelligentsia immediately after the Allah Revolution of 1979. It is rather sad to see peeps like O ignore the lessons from the past.

  • “u r right… but just coz somthin is done in the name of religion does not make it part of religion”

    Stoking dust off my “Islamophobe” creds – religion – in this case Islam – actually is rife with gender discriminatory edicts. As I have stated many times before, Islam discriminates against minorities AND women:

    1) Unlike men, a woman can’t “give” a divorce, she has to ask for it instead.

    2) Jiziya tax

    3) Non-muslim cannot be elected a caliph

    4) Concept of Na-mehram etc.

    Since religion is more often then not wielded as a stick to silence those who merely disagree – it becomes necessary, to warrant a just treatment of citizens, to enact a system that is fair to ALL and special cases ONLY based on physical limitations (e.g. protections for handicap citizens) of a person, not their belief or lack there of.


  • The ban is a very misogynistic view of the bazaar. Men did it so women could be prevented from shopping or even window-shopping. Cos after all, shopping is equated to (gasp!) BLASPHEMY.

    Wise cracks aside, what a shame on our society.

  • And I actually like Imran Khan. C’mon…he might have a tribal mentality but it’s a “liberal” tribal mentality.

    He did marry a gori (who was smokin’ hot). Kudos to Khan.

  • @Tazeen,

    You are right I went back and read his post and did not see the word orgasm! I don’t know what freud would have said about it but Darwin would probably say that the word erotic and O came together under random chance and after some gobledygook evolved into an Orgasm 🙂

    Or was it an orgasm that resulted in the evolution hmmmm…

    Any way as I said the “celebrated author of ‘Chasing the Mirage'” lost me at some point in the message.


  • @Tazeen

    Google is my main search engine but for research I do not prefer the net, although sometimes I do use it for research that is.

    When I was talking about schools and roads I was talking about a government initiative. Provide the people the ability to think, give them the tools for reasoning. So that they do not have to follow leaders blindly. This goes for both liberal as well as religious.

    You want to curb violence give the people a reason to live. You want women rights work for human rights and basic amenities, women rights will come automatically.

    Listen I cannot go on typing here it was an especially slow day yesterday hence my response. Plus there are so many topics and sub topics that it is hard to keep track.

    So unless people want to contact me on my email or start a mailing list I will have to bid adieu.

    After I say goodbye to Rabia and “Zo bee it”


  • khara wara wara da khatoon da market da para da klashankof da tha tha kara! 😀

  • Dear Zobee,

    “women in Pakistan are oppressed: culturally, religiously, and legally.”

    I am seriously starting to wonder about you Z.

    I have travelled the length and breadth of Pakistan and been to places and villages where there is no electricity. Some had only a single radio in a single household which is their only communication to the outside world.

    This is the majority of the Pakistanis. Pakistanis are not the defense tea drinking cafe hopping variety that we see. The majority of the Pakistanis do not even speak English. Do you understand that? Only 10% of Pakistanis are like us, able to converse in English and have the luxury of discussing Women Rights!

    The rest of Pakistan is busy trying to survive! This includes men and women. The problem is your kind only focuses on the fads. The fad in West is about women rights because that is what you read about in the ENGLISH newspapers and BOOKs and that is what you are taught so that is what you focus on. No original thought just followers. Lets follow what the books say about women and about men and about abortion etc.

    You are so far away from the ground realities that I like to call your line of thinking la la land!

    So let me bring you to the ground here. For the average Pakistani woman it is about survival and making ends meet! Not about whether they can #$%^ VOTE or wear #$%^% sleevless dresses. For them it is about the next meal, and in rural areas getting out of debt from their landlord and this zameendari system that we have implemented.

    So the problem once again for the umpteenth time is HUMAN RIGHTS! JUSTICE! HEALTHCARE!

    Speaking of healthcare, I am sure you can give me statistics from other blogs about how many women are oppressed, can you tell me how many women die of curable diseases in Pakistan? How many children girls and boys that do not read the age of five? Have you been to the hospital where the first thing they ask you is if you can pay your bills before admitting you.

    Seriously get out of la la land it is rotting your brain. The problems of Pakistan are not women rights they are Human Rights. If you want to fight for human rights then go and talk to the west about their treatment of Dr. Afia.

    To be continued…

  • Dear Z,

    “Dude – where do you meet these women? Dude I have been involved with women’s education in Pakistan for almost two decades”

    Dudette so am I. Education is in my blood. Figuratively and literally. I too have been involved in education. The problem you talk about is the same problem with lot of talented and bright boys as well. They do not have the money to pay for higher education.

    In Karachi where the elite can spend 20 K on a dress the average student struggles to make the ridiculous fees of rupees 17000 for a semester in KU! For a lot of Pakistanis that is an astronomical amount.

    The problem is you are still talking of a minority, these women you talk about still have a home, food on the table and more than one pair of clothes. I am talking about the majority of the Pakistanis little boys and girls whose parents cannot survive or feed their kids if the children do not work. You have to beg them to allow their kids to come and get free education. Paying for education is out of the question for them. This is the story of the average Pakistani.

    “The oppression that an average woman suffers through in her life is something a woman has not choice but learn to live within.”

    La la land feminist movement. I am sick of this. I remember going to a club in Karachi, the name escapes me, where the elite sit and discuss women right and the horrible Mullahs. Of course no one here wears Shalwar Kurta, only the maids do. There was a sign in one area which said no Maids beyond this point.

    This sums up the mentality of those talking about women rights. They of course did not see anything wrong.

    Don’t bother replying unless you like to have the last word. I will repeat what I told Tazeen:

    I cannot go on typing here it was an especially slow day yesterday hence my response. Plus there are so many topics and sub topics that it is hard to keep track. So unless people want to contact me on my email or start a mailing list I will have to bid adieu.

    I have already wasted precious hours of the day typing this one out. Can’t say it was nice but it was certainly enlightening and entertaining. It is always a good idea once in a while to see how far the thoughts of the elite of Pakistan has evolved. I am still waiting….


  • If the tribal are one day going to argue the same way as Mr. O is… then, really God help them and us. And how come it’s the tribals’ anyways, the girl’s education system apparently cant be allowed to exist, being such an ALIEN ideal / moral / tradition for the society!
    Or maybe the word tribal simply implies tribal men? Oh! of course, the moral fabric of the society bans one from including women in general references – it is haram after all.
    I’m sure Fazllullah claims to have education in his blood too- he has to be a pretty forceful teacher to have so many disciples, willing to play katib-e-taqdeer to any who dares defy them.
    And Tazeen. you elite! I fear you are going to hell for wasting precious hours of Mr. O’s day – who knows how much effort was put in ‘typing this one out’ .

  • Yawar,

    Liberal tribal !!! what an oxymoron?

    Wait for my next post titled my encounters with Mr. Imran Khan and you will find out how liberal he is. No wonder the smokin’ hot erstwhile Mrs Khan left him because she too had had enough of the liberal tribal.

  • //Yes I understand that and that is exactly the issue I have with her and the reason I responded to her post. There is a newcon like hypocrisy in following the above thought.//

    So wanting what you want for yourself is not egalitarianism but neocon hypocrisy! I thought it was Prophet Muhammed who said that want for your neighbour what you want for yourself, i thought i was only following sunnah here.

    Ibteda, Zoobee and the rest,

    Ayn Rand (another heretic) wrote in her (blasphemous) book The Fountainhead that ‘One can fight reason with reason, but how can one fight the unreasonable?’

    I rest my case with that.

    In any case, hum tehray wailay log, humain bhala kya pata logon ka waqt kitna qeemti hota hai.

  • Dear Yawar,

    Are straw men arguments and personal attacks the only way you can dodge the substance of my post.

    Let me clarify for you that I never said education for women is haram.

    In fact I am a big advocate of education and if you actually bothered to read what I had written then you might now have made that comment. IF you have read that but still insist that I am against education as implied by your post then you are a Liar and there really is no need to have any further conversation.

    You and Tazeen keep linking me to Fazlullah. I don’t care who Fazlullah is, what he says, or what he believes in. My first concerns when it comes to the North of Pakistan is the civil war that is going on there and how it must cease immediately.

    Why do you keep referring to these religious arguments. When have I ever brought religion into any of my arguments? I have only been advocating the right of people to choose for themselves as opposed to having ideals and culture forced upon them. This goes the way for religious institutions and vice versa the liberal institutions.

    Elite mentality has been defined in my post although I do not believe there is any correlation between that and hell. Unless you personal visits show otherwise, so please do share your experience.


  • @Tazeen,

    Yes you quoted Prophet Muhammad pbuh correctly I just wish you can see how you have twisted the saying around (a lot like the Mullahs do). All throughout this discussion I have been advocating that we need to provide the basics to the people of Pakistan. Let me break it down for you once again Tazeen I am saying that the blessing you and I have, clean water, education etc. (Human rights etc are arguable) should also be given to the people of Pakistan.

    These ridiculous concepts of Women Rights when people do not have Human rights are as I said a fad that only those who sit in cafes have the luxury of discussing. The ground realities are far different.

    I am beginning to sound like a broken record. Having to repeat myself again and again and again. Yet you “all” still fail to grasp what I am trying to say

    So I would like to borrow from the heretic Ayn Rand saying and just change it at the end to ‘One can fight reason with reason, but how can one fight the Fanatic?’

    That is unfortunately what you all seem to be fanatics who are beyond reason, and feel that any other point of view other then yours is that of a religious intolerant.

    When I have not used any religious arguments throughout this discussion you all continue to align me with a Mullah. Almost every single counter argument has in some way implied that I am a religious zealot. When nothing could be further from the truth. Sadly these automatic responses just like the mentality are a product unoriginal thought a byproduct of the western education system. Which si a separate topic any way.


    PS Yeah I know I said I would not reply but it is turning out to be another slow day. These net discussion unfortunately are addictive although completely useless. Note to self must practice more self restraint.

  • First off, how can OUR education system which is based totally on the rattafication of text books filled with constructed lies equate with the Western education system?
    Secondly, are you really saying that it is okay for people to target girl’s schools cause they don’t have clean water? And calling this a wrong deed is stupid cause well, it is only the girls schools being burnt, only the women being suppressed and so it is a ‘ridiculous matter of Women Rights ‘ not ‘Human Rights’.
    The civil war is a result of U.S. bombings in the tribal belt and doesn’t have anything to do with the militants harbored by some tribals themselves.
    Providing facilities might be the government’s job, but the people also have some duty to the state. The militants have prospered here NOT cause US bombed, but cause our tribes were stupid enough to shelter them. Educating people is not a one way job, willingness of the other party is also a factor.
    You are sounding like a broken record my dear,simply cause you are repeating yourself, NOT saying anything to answer the questions raised.
    Try seeing your point of view as it appears to us, it is okay to ban women from going to markets, bombing schools, making it impossible for them to get healthcare unless accompanied by an adult mehram cause the tribals haven’t been given the basic ‘human’ rights. Right!
    And then you blame us for not getting your point.

    And btw, notes to self are meant to be kept to self, not flaunted over public forums.

    Tazeen: You ARE right, only, ugh, it is so infuriating to see people take lines as crazy as this and blame us for being narrow minded.

  • Dear Yawar,

    At least have the decency to admit that you were wrong about my stance on education.

    You begin the mail once again by falsely accusing me of words that I have not written. I never said that our education system is better than the western one. Nor have I said it is ok to target girls school because people do not have clean water.

    Please try to follow the conversation before picking words from different places and change the meaning of what I said.

    I have maintained in all my post and once again I will repeat myself. The issue of the majority of Pakistanis (not just tribals) is not about women right or how many schools there are. The issue is that the majority of Pakistanis do not have HUMAN Rights, Rule of Law, Justice and basic amenities such as clean water etc. We have discussed a variety of issues and if you would like to know my stance on the tribal area go back up and read about it.

    Here is what I had written to give you some clue: “The automatic reaction of any society to having ALIEN ideals / morals / tradition FORCED upon them is to fortify and radicalize with THEIR original beliefs irrespective of the fact that the society is western / liberal or traditional / religious”

    How you can reach the conclusion that you did I have no clue and then accuse me of being unreasonable.

    Yawar I suggest you take some time to reflect. Ask yourself why you and the rest of your co thinkers resorted to label me a religious extremist when I NEVER used religion as an argument. Why the only way that even you address me is through putting words in my mouth and twisting my arguments to mean something else!

    Who is really narrow minded here?


  • ///These ridiculous concepts of Women Rights//

    Do I need say more, who says stuff like? Ummmm Qazi Hussien Ahmed, Mullah Fazlullah, Imran Khan and some his followers perhaps !!!

    //Yet you “all” still fail to grasp what I am trying to say///

    So the problem is with the rest of us and not the almighty orgasm seeking braader is faith!!!

    Between us (Tarek Fateh is a writer and activist, Yawar is a World Bank economist, Ibteda is a senior journalist, Zoobee is a silicon valley scientist and the rest) we all fail to grasp what the almighty O said because we are stupid, fanatic and cannot grasp the facts?

    This is beyond ridiculous…

  • “Dudette so am I. Education is in my blood. Figuratively and literally. I too have been involved in education. The problem you talk about is the same problem with lot of talented and bright boys as well. They do not have the money to pay for higher education.”


    You really are full of yourself eh. Read my post again and note the line that mentions “able families”. To re-iterate for your singleminded suffering from victim complex outlook – the girls in Pakistan face insurmountable hurdles when it comes to asserting basic rights as a right to higher education. Hopefully this makes it clear for ya…

    For your information I am a dude – not a dudette. As I said before, lay off the blame game and open your eyes to the reality that starring right at ya!

    Lemme know if you need further help in sorting out your chronic problem with misreading things!



  • O,

    When I am in Lahore, I stay in Chauburji, or Undroon Shehar, when I am in Gujranwala, I stay in Chooti (small) Civil lines, when I am in Karachi, I stay in a build not too far from Hussein Chowk, in Pindi, I stay in Raja Bazar. In Punjab, I regularly visit, Hudyara village (sits slight north east of BRB canal not far from the Indian border), people there speak a variant of Punjabi called Rootaki, and even though it’s only 30ish miles from Lahore, there’s only electricity for three “tube wells” that provide water for thousands of acres of land. I have spent months traveling about villages, some of which can ONLY be accessed by foot in the surrounding areas around Jehlum.

    I have sat in board meetings at Punjab Textbook board, I have been working with Lahore College (Now Lahore College for Women University) since 1991. So, I too have met my share of women and people. It is from this personal experience that I speak, not out of your moronic-like holier than thou singleminded zealot-like blindness. Heck, in my own immediate family, my family had a hard time letting my sister go to the University outside of Pakistan ten years ago.

    In any case, what makes you a moron in my book is your justification of people bombing their own people just because some foreign power bombed their neighbors… take this to that “la la land” mind that is yours, not the other way around.



  • Very interesting discussion here, i thought i would add my two cents.

    Frankly what is going on in the north of our country is not due to our religion it is due to the fact that the tribals have been misled into believing what our religion is.

    How can this happen? Take a look at Gaza right now and the answer is in front of us. Tazeen gives sardonic remarks on why we mourn Gaza while people die in our own back yard but it is because of places like Gaza that fundamental zealots get fodder for their bran washing machines. How can you convince someone of suicide bombing unless they or any in their family have been so utterly devastated and wronged that they have no way out as pointed out by O, Omair or whoever it is.

    Although you Taz and Zoobee and the others have some valid points, the whole idea of a blog post is discussion not discrimination. In your comments you are clearly discriminating amongst your own friends and ganging up on anyone who has a differing opinion. That is our bane, we are like sheep and anyone who speaks out of the herd is slaughtered or banned from shopping or studying in a school or what not. Its the same disease on both sides

  • @Tazeen,

    Someone objected to me calling you a neocon hypocrite. Now can you tell me what other conclusion am I to reach when you act like them?

    So from all my posts you take a single line out of context and direct your verbal barrage based on that. What happened to the paragraph before that or the one after? What happened to putting things into context? You tell me does this not reek of “They hate us because of our freedom”?

    I made that comment in frustration to you insisting that the issue in the north and Pakistan is that of women rights. It isn’t and that is the point you still keep missing.

    Just between you and me Tazeen the credentials you listed unfortunately are not worth the paper they are written on. When conversing with people of the religious variety their arguments are an exact copy of you and your friends i.e. I do not know what I am talking about because:

    1. They accused me of being a hypocrite and a liberal (you guys said that I was a frothing religious zealot)

    2. They have credentials doctors, lawyers, business men, scholars etc. (you too list your credentials and say that if you cannot understand the point then there must be no point)

    3. They took my words out of context and put words in my mouth to make arguments that they could easily put down. Wow that is so similar to what I went through here.

    At no point did anyone ever address the content of the presentation or the points I raised. The arguments were always directed at my person, or straw men arguments, reaching conclusion that I never made. They did this because they were unable to address the actual content of my argument.

    I am currently doing research for a book that I am writing on the Liberal / Religious debate in Pakistan. The main thrust of the book is that there is no difference. They are the same TYPE of people i.e. Narrow minded zealots who are only interested in beating / forcing their point of view into the other person. The only difference is the ideology they believe in.


  • @ O,

    You are writing a book, but who will read that book (provided you do find a publisher)? The educated ones are hypocrite neocons who obviously will not buy your book and the rest … they cant read and write, all the schools have been burnt already.

    Read the other post I have, they have burned/blown up 200 schools in 2008 and six since the January 15 deadline, that is one school a day.

    Good luck with your book, but please do not make the same Freudian slips while writing your book.

  • Dear Z,

    // — You really are full of yourself eh. Read my post again and note the line that mentions “able families”. To re-iterate for your singleminded suffering from victim complex outlook – the girls in Pakistan face insurmountable hurdles when it comes to asserting basic rights as a right to higher education. Hopefully this makes it clear for ya… — //

    All clear bro, unfortunately I would rather focus on the issues of the majority because the able families compromise a very small percentage of the Pakistani people. Now you can understand why I link you lot to the neocon agenda in Afghanistan.

    When the issues in Afghanistan were more than just about Women Rights that is all the they focused on. So now they have it, the rights are given to them in the constitution and the law after bombing, killing, and thousands of atrocities later.

    The condition on the ground unfortunately is worse then it was during the Taliban times. This forced change on the Afghans has made it a war on their culture and their religion. Now they are even more extreme in their views of how women should be treated. While the other problems of Afghanistan have resulted in the killing, raping and selling of women and little girls.

    But hey at least they can console themselves to the fact that they can vote and have the rights.

    Is that clear bro? Please do not come back and talk about me supporting the Taliban I only mentioned them in context of the condition of the women.

    // — In any case, what makes you a moron in my book is your justification of people bombing their own people just because some foreign power bombed their neighbors… take this to that “la la land” mind that is yours, not the other way around. — //

    ROFLOL there it is again I am Justifying people bombing their own people. Wow Z, you great big silicone scientist amazing sense of logic and reasoning.

    Try to have a memory longer then the last alleged suicide blast. At least have the decency to argue on valid points. You tell me yourself isn’t this the “la la land” mentality?

    We have been bombing and killing alleged terrorist in the North since God knows when. What happened oh great champion of women rights to innocent until proven guilty? Shouldn’t I be asking you this question why are you justifying the killing of our own people in the North?

    Please go back and read what I had written or read Faisal’s comments he summarizes what I have been saying.


  • @Faisal.K

    Thanks another voice of reason.


  • @Tazeen

    200 schools in 2008, can you tell me how many before they started bombing them?

    How many in the 90s or 80s or the 70s at the height of the Taliban era with a pro Islamic General in place please tell me how many school in Pakistan were burnt because of Islamic Fundamentalist.

    You can’t can you. You understand why I said that you have short term memory.


  • EVerything we say is wrong, everything we quote is ‘out of context’ everything we understand is actually simply the view we get through our narrow veision glasses.
    Just to correct you though, assuming you are confusing me with Yawar (as evident by your post on my blog) I said how can you EQUATE our education system with European system of education – that does NOT mean it is better than that, it is SIMPLY a comment on your accusation that my point of view is a result of Western System of Education. Ours is NOT a Western System of Education & speaking for myself, I dont boast a foreign degree.
    And I admitted that my stance on education was wrong? Umm??? When? Where?
    We are justifying the killing of our own people? Ugh!!!
    I think I’ve had my fill of this!

  • That’s ridiculous. No respect for Women hence No knowledge of Islam and they themselves call the followers of Islam..crap

  • This is totally outrageous! To ban women in the market is sooooooooooo ridiculous! The people who do this belong way back to Jahilliyya!

    Allah bless and save these poor women!

  • “We have been bombing and killing alleged terrorist in the North since God knows when. What happened oh great champion of women rights to innocent until proven guilty? Shouldn’t I be asking you this question why are you justifying the killing of our own people in the North?”

    I have NEVER justified indiscriminate killing/persecution/prosecution of ANYONE. I have no problem with people believing whatever the hell they want to believe. As usual, your single minded victim complex has you assuming that my denunciation of Taliban is somehow acceptance of injustices Pakistan Army/Gitmo/Bush/Anti-Islam/ rhetoric. It is not. Nor am I ignorant to the issues that Pakistan has faced since almost the day of independence.

    Faisal.K – if calling out fallacies and justification of injustices is considered “ganging up”, then so be it.

    Pakistan has suffered and been made to suffer by inept leadership, and is constantly exploited by opportunists. I am aware of poverty, injustices, lack of rule of law, and non-existent infrastructure. Pakistan’s downward spiral was cemented around the time when ZA Bhutto declared “mein sharab peeta huun, awam ka khun to naheen peeta” – thus was put Pakistan on the path of Theocracy – which while promising riches of heaven and Islamic banking actually ended up turning Pakistan into a land of ignoramus – who while being educated and all justified injustices at the behest of Islam.

    If Pakistan is to survive and failed state is to be recovered, it needs the following:

    1) Removal of Theocracy from the public office/laws etc. etc.
    2) Strengthening of institutions (Education, Legal, Law Enforcement, Banking etc. etc.)
    3) Implementation of an Economic stimulus program (e.g. creation of a free trade zone between Pakistan/India/China and rest of the South East Asia)

    Easier said than done – nonetheless NEEDS to be done.



  • Coralbead,

    you asked Allah to help these women. Let me tell you that even God will not help those who will sit on their asses and ask for forgiveness, blessings and what not.

    We need to get our shit together as a nation and weed out the elements that are regressive and counter productive. This is what Europe did in Renaissance to come out of dark ages. Now dark ages are upon us and we need to realize that, pronto.

  • hey there are certain women only bazaars in Pakistan, so why not a men’s only place 🙂

  • farooqk had the best comment.

  • @Zobee this is for you regarding the statement that you made regarding Islam discriminating against women.

    You simply have no idea how Muslim women are protected and respected within the Islamic framework which was built more than 1400 years ago.

    Yet, by writing about cultural issues like child brides, female circumcision, honor killings and forced marriages we wrongly believe they are coming from a point of knowledge. Please, Please do not confuse cultural behavior with Islam.

    Does Islam allows men to beat their wife. Sorry, not true. Yes, I’m sure critics of Islam will quote random Qur’anic verses or ahadith but all are usually taken out of context. If a man does raise a finger to his wife, he is not allowed to leave a mark on her body … this is another way of the Qur’an saying; “Don’t beat your wife, stupid”.

    Now let’s take a glance at some really interesting statistics, hmm. I can almost hear the words pot, kettle, black. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, four million American women experience a serious assault by a partner during an average 12-month period.

    On the average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands and boyfriends every day . . . that is nearly 5,500 women battered to death since 9/11.

    Some might say that is a shocking indictment on such a civilized society, but before I sound too smug, I would say that violence against women is a global issue.

    Violent men do not come in any particular religious or cultural category. The reality is that one out of three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Violence against women transcends religion, wealth, class, skin color and culture.

    However, until Islam came on the scene women were treated as inferior beings. In fact women still have a problem in the West where men think they are superior. This is reflected in their promotion and wages structure right across the spectrum from cleaners to career women who make it into the boardroom.

    Lets look at inheritance, tax, property and divorce laws. This is where Hollywood divorce lawyers probably get their inspiration from. For instance the woman gets to keep what she earns and owns while the man has to stump up half his worth.

    Isn’t it funny the way the tabloid media gets very excited over the prospect of some pop or film stars pre-nuptial wedding agreement? Muslim women have had wedding contracts from day one. They can choose if they want to work or not and anything they earn is theirs to spend while the husband has to pay for all the household bills and the upkeep of his family.

    Just about everything that feminists strived for in the 70s was already available to Muslim women 1400 years ago.

    As I said, Islam dignifies and brings respect to motherhood and being a wife. If you want to stay at home, stay at home. It is a great honor to be a home maker and the first educater of your children.

    But equally, the Quran states if you want to work, then work. Be a career woman, learn a profession become a politician. Be what you want to be and excel in what you do as a Muslim because everything you do is in praise of Allah (swt).

    And yet in Britain we have had the former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw describing the nikab – the face veil revealing only the eyes – as an unwelcome barrier. When, oh when, will men learn to keep their mouths shut over a woman’s wardrobe?
    We also had Government Ministers Gordon Brown and John Reid express disparaging remarks about the nikab – both these men come from over the Scottish Borders where men wear skirts!!
    I am afraid Islamophobia has become the last refuge of the racist scoundrel. But the cowardly, chauvinistic attacks launched – largely by men – is unacceptable to Muslimahs as well as their secular, female sisters from the left.

    No where in the framework of Islam are we told as women that we must do washing, cleaning or cooking for men – but it is not just Muslim men who need to re-evaluate women in their home. Check out this 1992 exert from a Pat Robertson speech revealing his views on empowered women. And then you tell me who is civilized and who is not.


    Here is an American man living in a pre-Islamic age who needs to modernize and civilize. People like him are wearing a veil and we need to tear that veil of bigotry away so people can see Islam for what it is.

    The article is wrritten by Yvonne Ridley

  • Owais – why is it that anytime someone raises the issue of gender discrimination in Islam, like a clockwork pops “It’s not Islam’s fault”, or “this is not the true Islam”, or in your case “framework build 1400 some years ago”. Or, my favorite, irrelevant correlations between then and now or between Islamic world and the western world.

    Let me be clear, for the umpteenth time:

    1) Islam discriminates against women by not allowing her to divorce her husband in the SAME exact way as is allowed a husband

    2) Concept of Na-mehram is applied only to a relationship between a man and a woman

    I have never equated child brides, female circumcision, or honor killings as acts that are officially condoned by Islam. So for fuck sake stop thinking that all who question Islam are rabid anti-Islam dickheads. Surprisingly, some of us take the time in learning about the topic, or are capable formulate opinion objectively. Of course, not every one is perfect, however, similarly not every one is an ignorant. I say what I say about Islam, based on what I have learned, or see.

    Lastly, whether a religion condones an act or otherwise, fact remains religion is more often than not is USED as a tool of oppression and committing injustices. For example, even though a contract is signed by woman at the time of nikah, when time comes collecting upon the so-called contract ends being dragged in courts whether or not a it was the woman who initiated the “divorce”. Some of us have lived through the family court systems in Pakistan and know very well how easy it is for a husband to abuse his wife using the religion that is Islam.


    p.s. Tez feel free to edit my not so pleasant words…

  • Also, it is ironic that Muslims so valiantly re-print articles authored by western converts. All this while, brilliant minds from within, such as Prof Abdus-Salaam, a nobelaureate physicist, are ignored and disrespected just because they happen to belong to a minority. Not only that, even though people’s conversion to Islam is celebrated, those who leave Islam are banished, labeled blasphemous, persecuted as such, and in many instance are killed just because they decided to leave Islam.

    Owais, please take time with introspection, and remember, when you point a finger at others, there are three other that are pointing right back at you.



  • Hey Dude, by no means I was raising fingers at you or suspecting your belief on Islam, That’s totally your personal matter and is totally between you and your God. So don’t take me wrong on this. Peace Brother …….:)

    If you really wisph to talk about divorce and women let me know and I would be happy to discuss it on this blog. Might be possible that I may be wrong…….:)

  • This is so scary. I hope the government and the people do something about Swat. Such natural beauty, such wonderful locals – I feel like crying when I think of all the times I’ve been there.

  • At least some countries see the light

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