» 10/23/2007, 00.00
Talibans attack Catholic schools in Swat Valley
Schools are under threat from suicide bombers. Students, forced to follow Islamic precepts, are leaving the valley. A long report by Minorities Concern of Pakistan points the finger at the unchallenged advance of Taliban groups in the country, which have reached the Swat Valley, an area also known as the ‘Switzerland of the Orient.’
Swat Valley: two million refugees on the run, as Caritas Pakistan provides assistance
The Catholic NGO is providing essential items, planning a sustained effort with the assistance of international partners. Bishop Coutts stresses the need for caution to avoid offending the sensibilities of people of various religions but slams the victimisation of minorities. Christian families are forced out of refugee camps.
Female Muslim students want fatwa against moderate Islam, cause of obscenities
In a letter to the Religious Affairs minister, female students from the capital’s notorious Jamia Hafsa or ‘red’ madrassa want a fatwa against the ‘enlightened moderation’ of some Muslims. In North-West Frontier Province bombs target music stores.
Another attack on the giant Buddha of Swat
In the valley of Swat, north western Pakistan, Islamic militants have launched a second attack in less than a month on the gigantic sacred statue. The head, shoulders and feet have been destroyed while the militants threaten a third and final attack.
Sharia is still the law of reference in the districts of North-West Frontier
Peshawar High Court reiterates that Islamic law remains operational in the districts of Malakand, Chitral, Upper Dir and Shangla in accordance with the agreement between the government and the Taliban. Meanwhile, on July 26 police arrested the head of the integralist movement Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammad.
Archbishop of Lahore: Sharia in the Swat Valley is contrary to Pakistan's founding principles
Archbishop Saldanha denounces the violation of minority and women's rights. The archbishop expresses his concern "in matters concerning criminal justice," and denounces abuses and violence by the Taliban toward Christian, Sikh, and Hindu places of worship and schools. The Catholic Church supports the Muttahida Quami Movement, the only party that has opposed the "forces of darkness."
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