05/04/2007, 00.00
PAKISTAN

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.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) – Female students from the Jamia Hafsa or ‘red’ madrassa in the Pakistani capital yesterday called upon the prayer leader of the Grand Mosque to issue a fatwa or religious decree against the “spread of obscenity in the name of enlightened moderation” of some Muslims.

The request was made in a letter submitted to Religious Minister Ejazul Haq. In it the young fundamentalist women ask the government to help obtain this decree and criticise a female minister in President Pervez Musharraf’s cabinet for jumping with a parachute, an action they consider “un-Islamic.”

The Jamia Hafsa madrassa has become notorious after some of its students raided an alleged house of ill repute in Islamabad, abducted its owner, her sister and young nice, and forced the closure of the building.

A few days later, the madrassa’s director, Maulana Abdul Aziz, asked the government to “enforce Sharia (Islamic) law in Pakistan. Otherwise, it will be applied by all these young people who no longer tolerate the moral decadence imported from the West.”

Although hundreds of people took to the streets to protest what some have called the ‘talebanisation’ of Pakistan and called on the government to stop these young extremists, the authorities have so far failed to take any action against the radicals. Instead, the latter have set up their own ‘morality squad’ to roam the streets of the capital enforcing Islamic precepts.

But Pakistani extremism does not stop at Islamabad. A series of explosions destroyed tens of music stores in the north-western part of the country. In making the announcement local police blamed Islamist militants for the violence.

Three stores were hit in Charsada, about 20 km north-west of Peshawar, the capital of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). They were closed at the time of the blasts and so there were not victims.

Store owners, who sell music cassettes and CDs, had recently received letters, ostensibly from local Taliban leaders, ordering them to stop selling music, which they believe is against the principles of Islam.

The NWFP is run by an alliance of six Islamic parties and includes the tribal area on the border with Afghanistan.

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