Militants killing laughter and music in Pakistan region

February 11, 2009

It’s hard to write about the Taliban on a religion blog without giving the impression that this militant movement in Afghanistan and Pakistan is basically religious. It’s certainly Islamist, i.e. it uses Islam for political ends. But it’s hard to find much religion in what they’re doing, while there’s a lot of power politics, Pashtun nationalism and insurrection against the Kabul and Islamabad governments there.

(Photo: Pakistani pro-Taliban militants in Swat Valley, 2 Nov 2007/Sherin Zada Kanju)

It’s often difficult to separate religion and politics in groups like this, but President Barack Obama gave a basic rule of thumb in his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington last week:

“Far too often, we have seen faith wielded as a tool to divide us from one another – as an excuse for prejudice and intolerance. Wars have been waged. Innocents have been slaughtered. For centuries, entire religions have been persecuted, all in the name of perceived righteousness…

“No matter what we choose to believe, let us remember that there is no religion whose central tenet is hate. There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know.”

Zeeshan Haider, senior correspondent in our Islamabad bureau, clearly makes these distinctions in his feature “Militants killing laughter and music in Pakistan region” about the intimidation of musicians and comedians in Peshawar. The blame lies not with “Muslim militants” or “medieval Islam” — broad terms often heard when the Taliban first emerged as a force in nearby Afghanistan in the 1990s — but “Islamist vigilantes hell-bent on imposing Taliban-style values.”

(Photo: Polish geologist Piotr Stanczak before his beheading by militants demanding the release of Taliban prisoners, 9 Feb 2009/Reuters TV)

Haider also makes a distinction between the Islamist political parties in Pakistan, who banned music on public buses and movie posters featuring women, and the militants who went further and used murder and bombings to intimidate the population.

Read the whole feature here.

37 comments

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“As soon as we lose the moral basis, we cease to be religious. There is no such thing as religion over-riding morality. Man, for instance, cannot be untruthful, cruel or incontinent and claim to have God on his side.”

- Mahatma Gandhi

Posted by Aaruni Upadhyay | Report as abusive

The chicken is coming home to roost from Afghanistan. Remember the golden rule from the bible: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”.

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive

These men worship Evil. It is not so much that they hate, kill, behead, maim, suppress women, it is more that they have an abscence of love, happiness, rationality, don’t view others as humans.

These men utter God and death in the same sentence. They actually evoke the name of God wishing death upon others.

Using fear and violence to intimidate other to forcibly believe what they believe is a state of mental illness and evil. Killing scores of innocent people and destroying culture and nations, that is what they are doing in Afghanistan and what they will do in Pakistan.

They have no redeeming qualities for humanity and bring nothing new to humanity.

These cowards who feast on the souls of the innocent in the name of God should be unequivocally destroyed, where ever they are. No exceptions.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Pakistan has to get rid of all these militants & miscreants…its for our own benefit as Pakistanis

Posted by Qasim | Report as abusive

–here is same as Jerry’s but in a more familiar flavour.

“Seek for mankind that of which you are desirous for yourself, that you may be a believer; treat well as a neighbor the one who lives near you, that you may be a Muslim [one who submits to God].”—Muhammad

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

I can’t speak for muslims, but speaking as an outsider with a deep appreciation for true islam and prophet mohammed, it is sad to see that this is what the world has come to view as the face of islam. these people might be muslims in names and appearence but they have degarded the true message of islam and what a true muslim is supposed to be. i have many muslim friends and they are some of the peaceful and kind human beings i have ever met. these people “posing” as muslims need to be taken out.I hope a real coalition is formed, between the U.S, india, china, Pakistan,Iran, and Afghanistan to help resolve this issue once and for all. not only will u see this cancer of islamic militancy be wiped out, but sworn enemies like india and pakistan and iran and the U.S will see that cooperating and working together to solve problems that affect them all is a good way to mend ties and try and move on from past historic events.

Posted by sidney | Report as abusive

There is absolutely no religion in anything islamist do, there are no moderate muslims and all islamists are jihadist, ‘alott of them are too cowardly to act until they have the population majority’ whereby they feel safe enough to join in the rioting, maiming, murdering, robbing and pillaging of their neighbor unbelievers.islamists are mandated by the koran, hadith and examples of mohammed to perform jihad, it’s only fully placed into affect when there is enough people, power and weapons to feel they can be successful, that neighbor you have right now, is saying one thing when you are there, but when he/she is with other believers says something completely different. Example, oh, I’m so sorry to hear of the lives lost on 9/11, but with the followers, it’s “allah akbar, god is great we have had a great victory.” “All those offspring of apes and pigs deserve to die.” Truth hurts but even you multicultural left wingers will one day see, lets’s just hope they aren’t cutting you childrens heads off in front of you before you wake up and fight and fight to have all islamist kicked out of your countries before that happens to you. The koran teaches them to lie in front of you and praise allah for your death when they are with believers. Sorry, but if you study, you’ll know and beware.

Posted by wileysnakeskins | Report as abusive

Islam is obviously the biggest threat to western civilization that we have ever faced. The muslim ideas of Sharia run contray to the norms of freedom that we have fought so hard to achieve. Muslims hate freedom and they hate women which they demonstrate by subjugating all women and vaginally mutilating young girls. The Netherlands may be waking up now since the muslims have been assassinating journalists but Great Britain and the United States are still far behind. Let me say it plainly: the Islamic world wants all jews and all westerners DEAD. When are we going to wake up to this threat? Hopefully Israel will attack Iran’s 3 nuclear sites before they can create enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb. Then they can decapitate Hamas and finish off Hezbollah. Death to Islam. Mark Montgomery boboberg@nyc.rr.com

Posted by Mark Montgomery | Report as abusive

Sidney,
…but sworn enemies like india and pakistan and iran and the U.S will see that cooperating …
–Agree, however the essence will still remain. Complete eradication is not possible unless every linked roots, branches are removed.

Posted by Blogger | Report as abusive

“The one who does wrong is a sinner…. but the one who puts up with the wrong is an even bigger sinner…..”
Think about it…. and ACT.
– Bhagwad Gita

Posted by Blogger | Report as abusive

So there will be no more

“Challi Hawa, do Anaar hil gaye”
or
“Kundi na Kharka soneya sidda Ander Aa”

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive

All radicalism, and extremist are dangerous to all of us because those attitudes anulate our natural way of thinking and living and preserve life and order .

One thing is instincts to live and to preserve that life some call it EROS-LIFE-VIDA, VS the other instinct TANATOS-DEATH-MUERTE.
these are extreme instincts part of us.
What we choose to follow and support in name of religion, social needs, war, politics, etc, etc, etc defined the real tendency of those groups.
Any one who justifies extreme actions are choosing in between those instinstc, the good new is that we can controled by our mind and our condition of Human Beings.
Lets try…maybe each os us can purt a seed of hope in the middle of violence.

Posted by Maria | Report as abusive

I feel sorry for the moderate and normal Pakistanis. Your leaders have failed you miserably. Out of short sighted and closed minded attitudes, your leaders have sowed the seeds of fundamentalism and fanaticism that has sprouted in the form of Taliban. I pray for the sensible people in Pakistan so that this monster is put to bed for good as soon as possible. Otherwise, Pakistan is going to be gobbled up by Taliban and Al Qaeda. Now that they are being driven out of Afghanistan, their strategy would be to take over Pakistan and use it as a base to round up Afghanistan. The Pakistani establishment under the ISI/military/Zardari nexus will try to deflect this onslaught by spanking India to draw it into a conflict. That is the only way they can keep this monster’s attention diverted. And the Americans are not going to be sitting there counting the stars. They are going to jump into this quagmire and add more to the agony of the region. The sub-continent is on the throes of a disastrous time.

“Kundi na Kharka soneya sidda Ander Aa”
- Posted by punjabiyaar
—-This is good one; I saw it. :-) Dusra nahi milya.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

I believe that lots of people in Pakistan are sympathizing with so called militants (The word “terrorists” only used by outside Islam world). I also noticed many Pakistani media do not call them terrorists even if they kill thousands of innocent people. This action clearly shows that there is lot sympathy towards them. Keep it up guys.

Now Pakistan is caught up in cross fire, they wish to stand against US and NATO if they have guts and power, but unfortunately they don’t have that much power and guts. Pakistan is a thief in the international cop’s network. Aid and sympathy towards Pakistan must not save you and your land from terrorists attacks. Realize the threats and act immediately before it becomes unmanageable

India is suffering from this menace for last 30 years. We have been trying to bring international attention and put an end. Many turned their ears after facing direct attack in their home land. The whole world is slowly started realizing the real threat from terrorists and their safe heaven inside Pakistan.

As everyday passes, these terrorists are becoming more and more techno savvy. In the recent Mumbai attacks they have successfully used GPS, Google maps, and high firing power AK 47 guns. We should be prepared to face big challenges like dirty bombs or nuclear attack from terrorists.

Any further attack emenating from Pakistan is going to cost lot to Pakistan.

Posted by Murugan | Report as abusive

What is the difference between people saying “death to Islam” and people saying “death to west”. Both are fascists.

Posted by Julius | Report as abusive

What is the difference killing inncoent with drones in FATA, Afghnistan to beheading by the taliban?

What is the diffference if you are killing inncoent children in UN buildings clearly marked in GAZA with F16′s provided by the biggest terrorist Nation on the planet USA to what Hamas is doing?

What is the difference betwen the West and the Tlibans when they both use terror, murder to enhance there intrest?

Why do we see from a differenet angle we allow these so called modern countries who have and are trespassing every UN resoultions I mean Israel is perfect example. They are NOT scared of any Arab country its just a justification to oppress the Palestinisn and to grab more land kill more babies and keep control of the Gaza for longer the biggest prison on the planet?

To me or to any right minded person Talibans are bad but the Isralei n Americans are worser and they both feed of each other to enhance their evil ideas.

Go to HELL Taliban, USA, Israel, India and all those who have no value for life. But want to portray theirselfe as civilised go to hell!!! as you will!!!!

Posted by Hussain | Report as abusive

“”Go to HELL Taliban, USA, Israel, India and all those who have no value for life. But want to portray theirselfe as civilised go to hell!!! as you will!!!!”"
- Posted by Hussain
—It appears you have mistakenly added India in your statement and also mistakenly left out “Pakistan” from the list. Please rectify.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Before Pakistan becomes a 100% failed state, there are a number of precursor stages it probably will pass through. The most immediate stage would entail the fall of most of the North-West Frontier Province to the Jihadists, something that could happen this year.

Given the number of plots linked to Pakistan in recent years, including the November 26th Mumbai attack and almost every significant plot since 9/11, Pakistan probelm is likely to get worse in the coming months.

i was unaware of any difference between islam and the politics of power, as i am unaware of any islamic distinction between mosque and state. it’s easier to erase a category or crush an insect than it is to kill a human being; harbis and dhimmis are categories and de facto subhumans, whilst non-muslims are people – hence the campaign of villifying and declassing similar to the nazis’ nuernberg laws. militant zionists and hindus, and ethnic cleansers of all nations and peoples, take note

Posted by jd | Report as abusive

Pakistan is in a civil war. Its a hotbed of terrorists with islamic insurgents and close minded people. The moderates do not have a voice; with a fear for their life. Its not a civil society anymore. Will Pakistan become another Sudan? I dont think so… I think it already is!

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive

Rajeev,
..It appears you have mistakenly added India in your statement and also mistakenly left out “Pakistan” from the list… good one but …

– mistakenly—>deliberately added

Posted by Blogger | Report as abusive

The trouble is Islam, Pakistan and Taliban are just mere symptoms of something much more evil and sinister. We have become too weak and liberal to have frank, open discussions.

Posted by Say it as it is | Report as abusive

“You reap what you sow” – A very wise Indian

thIs Taliban were a product of CIA and ISI….

CIA wanted to use them to throw out the Russians from afghan and ISI wanted to use them to fight a proxy war with the Indians.

And now you have US doing the same thing exactly 10 years after the soviet left.

Believe me this is what that needs to be/has done
Seize all nuclear missiles and bombs from Pakistan.
Because there will be only three targets

India
Israel
US (Afghan)

The sooner we understand this the better for the world

The trouble is Islam, Pakistan and Taliban are just mere symptoms of something much more evil and sinister. We have become too weak and liberal to have frank, open discussions.
- Posted by Say it as it is

Saf: Sorry to see you very disappointed here.:-(
Liberal?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

– mistakenly—>deliberately added
- Posted by Blogger
–Blogger, that sounds much better. Also thanks for the link about Kargil/Mushy/transcript the other day.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Saf: The last comment was meant for “Say it as it is”

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Pakistan should first stop its terrorists LeT (exclusively for India), Take full control of army, everything will be alright by then.

Posted by Rakumar | Report as abusive

Hussain,

You have some nerve to bitch and whine about USA, Israel. This Taliban lot in your home is a BIG wake up call. I am sure at your Pakistan Tourist Board the phones are ringing and ringing with potential tourists wanting to pay Swat a 2 week visit.

Don’t try to deviate from the subject by bringing in Israel and Gaza. You Pakistanis will protest about something that does not affect you AT ALL, but you sit on your arses when one of the areas is atacked.

It seems just like Zaire was synonymous with corruption, Pakistan is becoming synonymous with terrorism.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

Welcome to Pakistan…
…for a short time only a once in a lifetime experience…YES, a once in a lifetime experience that will guarantee to make you lose your head!!! Visit Swat!!! You will not (want to) return home.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

Here is a ‘de’composer of the music…
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/02/1 3/60minutes/main4800926.shtml

Posted by Blogger | Report as abusive

I am a red-blooded Indian (third generation post-independence). I have had relatives in all walks of life in India. I even had an uncle who fought against China and Pakistan in the 1960s.

Every NEWS channel and websites I go to have really negative news about Pakistan:
BBC: Pakistan in fight for survival
Urban Battle (against Taliban in Karachi).

Even on the Gulf Times website there are plenty of negative stories about Pakistan.

Is there any good news?

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

bulletfish,
Is there any good news?
- Ali, Umair, Qasim, et al are a good correspondents to give good news about Pakistan. :P

Posted by Blogger | Report as abusive

Guys:
Good news: “Taleban release Chinese engineer:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/78 91030.stm

But it said:
“It was not immediately clear if a ransom was paid or militants were freed in exchange for Long Xiaowei’s freedom, although a militant spokesman claimed the government had agreed to demands for the enforcement of Islamic law in parts of Pakistan’s northwest. Long’s release came days before a planned visit to China by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.”

So a bad news in fact.
Ceasefire in SWAT is a news that also cannot be considered good.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/78 91410.stm
—–”Many people in Swat now would favour an early exit by the army as the they have failed to roll back the Taleban or protect the Taleban’s opponents, says our correspondent.”

So people in swat are feeling the same as Afghansitan people were feeling before Taliban formed govt.

Are both news linked to Zardari visit to China?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

rajeev,

These kidnapping of SKILLED, Chinese workers. Particularly those that are in Pakistan to help in its development does not look too good for Pakistan. They did not even bother to rescue the Polish engineer who was beheaded.

China has asked Pakistan before to protect its citizens:

Wang Ende and Wang Peng (engineers) had been working on a water dam and a canal in the region for the China National Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Group Corporation.

China had urged Pakistan to take all necessary measures to beef up the protection of other Chinese expatriates there.

On Sunday, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing urged the Pakistani government to take “all necessary measures” to rescue the two hostages and ensure their safety.

Li told his Pakistani counterpart, Khurshid Kasuri, on the phone that the Chinese government and people were deeply concerned with the hostages’ situation.

(the above is an extract from People’s Daily Online, October 14, 2004)

It looks like “All Weather Friendship” is not going to last. Now, they are being held ransom to provide the Taliban with money. What is Zardari going to tell Hu Jintao?

I read (but I am not sure whether its true) that in Islamabad the Chinese built a cultural centre. At this place Pakistanis can come and learn Chinese and study Chinese culture. However, when Zardari went to China and gave his praises (arse kissing) about its advancement in the world. I read that there were no Pakistani translators with his entourage. So, Pakistan and Chnia have been “All Weather Friends” but do not learn each others language.

I had an uncle who was in China when the Imperial Japanese forces attacked in the 1940s. He could speak the Chinese languages even though he never went to school.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

Pakistan surrenders to Taliban in Swat (CNN)

I have read from MANY Pakistani blogs that this is what the people of Swat wanted. So, if they want Sharia Law, let them have it:

If the Pakistani legal system isn’t preferable to Islamic law that tells these Taliban to burn down girl’s schools, behead people, shoot up local dancers and hanging dissenters.

Looks like the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

All I have to say to all Pakistanis is:
“May you live in interesting times.” (an old Chinese saying).

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

our world peace friends should look and digest the photos that accompany this article.the suggestion that president obama just needs to have a chat with the likes of these, and they will have an immediate change of heart is nonsensical, these people have been conditioned with hatred since they were children,any fragment of any compassion is not even an ember.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive