A camera-phone vid of the public flogging by Islamist douchebags, one of whom was her own brother, of a veiled, under-aged Pakistani girl from the Swat valley has set the international news media and blogosphere abuzz. It has, more importantly, also triggered a wave of protests in Pakistan itself, from citizens decrying the religiously sanctioned brutalization of a veiled teenage girl.
The UK Guardian received the video from Samar Minallah, a Pashtun documentary maker and anthropologist who lived in Swat for two years in the late 1990s. It has been passed between Swat residents by mobile phones. The girl, identified as 17 year old Chaand, was accused by a lone neighbor of having an illicit relationship with a married man (read: seen in public, period) and was punished without any kind of trial. According to a report in the NYT:
“Chand was singled out for the punishment after she declined a Taliban fighter’s proposal for marriage, the head of the Peshawar Bar Association, Abdul Latif Afridi, said after the hearing.
“After her refusal to marry, an electrician visited the family home, and, according to Mr. Afridi’s account, the scorned Taliban suitor saw her leave the house with the workman. She was flogged on March 7, accused of consorting with the electrician as an unmarried woman, the lawyer said.”
The Pakistani government recently signed a “peace deal” with the Swat-based Taliban, allowing it to declare Shariah law in the region and to exert such influence as it felt appropriate, like the denunciation and cruel beating of Chaand and others like her who dare to appear in public without a male family escort or to go to school.
“The Swat Valley is controlled by Maulana Fazlullah, a charismatic preacher who initially gained popularity through radio broadcasts, then seized control through gun battles, suicide attacks and intimidation of the local population.
“Fazlullah has sworn loyalty to Baitullah Mehsud, the overall Taliban leader from South Waziristan who claimed responsibility for last Monday’s eight-hour assault on a police centre in Lahore and has vowed to mount attacks in Washington.”
Of course, the “real” story is that this is all an evil construct of those machinating Elders of Zion. Yes! They took time out from wrecking/rebuilding/controlling the global economy, poisoning wells and making women infertile, to fake the lashing of a Pakistani child by backward, shit-eating Talibs. Talk about the top 10 habits of highly organized cabals!
According to Pakistan’s Daily Times:
“Federal Minister Senator Azam Khan Swati of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) said on Saturday that the flogging of the 17-year-old girl in Swat was a Jewish conspiracy aimed at destroying peace in Swat and distort the image of those Islamists who sport beards and wear turbans.”
Nope, I think we’re all getting a very clear image of Islamists who sport beards, wear turbans and brutalize the local population. The NYT went on to note:
“[Pakistani Chief Justice] Mr. Chaudhry turned his attention to the senior official in the Interior Ministry, Kemal Shah, who reached retirement age two years ago but was given an indefinite extension by Pervez Musharraf, the president at the time, to serve as secretary of the Interior Ministry.
“Why had the secretary not been to Swat, the chief justice asked, a question that was a clear challenge to the government’s impotence in an area where even the military fears to operate.
“Faced with silence, the judge ordered: “You go to Swat yourself. You must be very bright. You go yourself. We command you do it and report to us what is happening.”
Rather than actually go to the restive region to retrieve Chaand, Pakistani AG Latif Khosa cooked up a “statement“:
“The girl’s statement before a magistrate was presented in the Supreme Court through Attorney General Latif Khosa. “The girl has denied the alleged flogging incident,” Geo TV reported. The lashing footage was telecast on many TV news channels worldwide. The victim was not present during the hearing.”