Islamabad, Pakistan (TFC) – Inflation is on the rise, there are earthquakes, wars, and rumors of wars. Who is responsible? Slutty women, of course. A religious leader named Maulana Fazlur Rehman has asked the armed forces to abandon their fight against the Taliban so they can launch full scale military operations against the immodest women. That was the story offered in The Khabaristan Times. Picture that as Pakistan’s version of The Onion. This statement was not actually given.
However, the virility of the article and the fact that dozens of outlets (including US outlets) cited it betrays something frightening about the popularity of the idea. Let’s take a look at the statement:
“From earthquakes to inflation all kinds of disasters are caused by the immodesty of women. A woman that is not covered like a sack of flour is a walking and talking weapon of mass destruction for her state. And Pakistan has a multitude of such nuclear missiles in all its major cities.”
That was just the start:
“If you wrap up these women in sacks and keep them stored in your houses, do you think the Taliban brothers would attack Pakistan? That’s what they want, Shariah left, right and centre and women inside houses living in their sacks. And once Allah stops delivering His wrath via the Taliban the economy would automatically improve through foreign investment, which in turn would improve the energy situation. Every problem’s solution lies in taking care of the women.”
“The Taliban are our brothers and their angst against the state is justified, and so there is a need to earmark and eliminate the real enemy of Pakistan: every woman who wears jeans.”
Maulana Fazlur Rehman is not an obscure cleric from the mountains. Rehman is the son of Maulana Mufti Mahmud an influential cleric who led the Assembly of Islamic Clergy during the 1970s. He’s been in public life since 1988. He was the leader of the opposition party for five years. He still leads the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islami Fazl (JUI-F) party.
The idea that people would believe such a prominent figure would publicly state such an absurdity reveals that Pakistan is probably much closer to the edge of radicalization than we see in the west. Apparently, there’s a latent desire on the part of many Pakistanis to abide bide Talibanesque regulation. Luckily, there seems to be an equal number of people that were sharing the article in outrage.