10 April, 2007

Be careful who you hug.

One of most curious aspects of Islam is the ease with which almost anybody can set themselves up as a religious leader, establish a Sharia court and issue fatwas against whomsoever they disagree with. Often, a fatwa serves as an open invitation to any homicidal maniacs to kill somebody. The fatwa against Salman Rushdie is a famous example.

According to Forbes, the most recent high profile subject of a fatwa is Nilofer Bakhtiar, Pakistani Tourism minister. Her crime was to hug her male instructors after surviving a charity parachute jump in France.

The Times of India has no doubts what is happening:

The fatwa, combined with threats by the mosque’s leader to unleash a wave of suicide bombers if the government tries to shut down the court, have fuelled concern over the creeping "Talibanisation" of Pakistan.
In the Pak Tribune, however, the mosque authorities are retreating at full speed. Could this possibly have anything to do with electioneering. If he lives that long, Musharraf's term of office expires in October.

Noblesse Oblige has a more detailed account of events.

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