Pakistani women who use cell phones can be attacked with acid, Islamist clerics say
Horrific developments in Southeast Asian nation going unreported, organization says
A particularly disturbing series of events throughout Pakistan has slipped through the world's radar, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute. The organization says that much of the world has turned a blind eye to the treatment of women there, and no one in the international community seems to be in a hurry to condemn or highlight these recent atrocities.
A former Pakistani lawmaker and prominent cleric Maulana Abdul Haleem says that secular women working with non-governmental organizations can be captured and forcibly 'married' to local men if they dare work on women's education, health, or welfare projects in the district of Kohistan.
In addition, a former Pakistani lawmaker and prominent cleric Maulana Abdul Haleem says that secular women working with non-governmental organizations can be captured and forcibly "married" to local men if they dare work on women's education, health, or welfare projects in the district of Kohistan.
According to the organization, Maulana Abdul Haleem is not just any cleric. "A member of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, [he] is known to have nurtured a generation of Islamic clerics in Pakistan.
"In 2002 he was elected a Member of the National Assembly, the lower house of the parliament, from the platform of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, an alliance of religious-political parties cobbled together at the behest of then-Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf," the organization says.
The cleric's other accomplishments include declaring poppy cultivation in Kohistan, a major source of heroin production worldwide, is "in accordance with Islam."
Two very brave Pakistani women are fighting and ridiculing the new declarations.
"Who will tell the 'fatwa guys' that they are nearly an extinct species?" Fouzia Saeed wrote in an article. "Who will tell these men that they need to wake up to 2012 . Perhaps they should be kept in a museum with the caption: 'we used to have people like this who thought work for women was 'un-Islamic,' but marrying them by force was 'Islamic.' Idiots who thought talking on a cell phone was 'un-Islamic,' but throwing acid in women's faces was 'Islamic!'"
Another female author, Tazeen Javed, wrote that "[We] are teeming millions of people who cannot feed themselves, have limited access to energy, and will be dumber and weaker in the future because of the stunted mental and physical growth of our children due to the lack of education.
"At such a juncture in history, amongst us is individuals who issue fatwas and promote misogyny and obscurantism against hygiene, education, health, and progress.
"In short, a former legislator issues fatwas during a Friday sermon inciting hatred against [NGO workers] and declaring the constitutional rights of getting an education for half of the population forbidden and no one, barring a few bloggers and tweeters, raises even an eyebrow," Javed writes.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Pakistan, cell phones, Pakistani women, fatwa
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