By Ayesha Siddiqa
April 05, 2009
As the entire Pakistani nation watches video footage of a 17-years-old girl screaming on their television screens during the process of her torture at the hands of the brutal Taliban in Swat, one wonders if the mothers, sisters, daughters and the male members of this nation will ever take time out to think about this system of justice advocated by these men who are not even qualified to interpret the Quran and Sunnah.
How did these men know that she had committed adultery? Or were the men in Iran, who ran a jeep over both the arms of a young boy to punish him for stealing sure about his economic circumstances? Sadly, all this will be justified in certain quarters as upholding of Sharia. But the legal system of any land is meant to do justice which is not just the application of some legal norms, but the application of law in conjunction with sensitivity towards the economic, social and political conditions of a place.
The application of Sharia is extremely complex as it entails a stringent mechanism for evidence. For instance, a witness has to meet certain conditions. The witness has to be one: (a) who has never been punished for any crime, (b) has always said all his prayers in time, (c) never urinated standing up, (d) never eaten from a market place, (e) never committed any major sin, (f) never committed any minor sin, and (g) never failed to carry out obligations prescribed by Quran and Sunnah. These conditions are so stringent that according to Pakistan's former Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah even he would not qualify to be a witness.
Referring to the case of the girl flogged in Swat, the fact of the matter is that this is one example of the dire conditions of women in a large number of Muslim societies where there is no legal system for this particular gender to prove their innocence. In Pakistan in particular where the Hudood laws were formulated under the Zia regime, the objective was not to bring justice in the society but to throttle all forms of justice. In this respect, the Taliban in Swat and those who ruled Afghanistan for some time are Zia’s children. They use force arbitrarily and apply laws without the real context to enhance their own power.
For those, who think of General Ziaul Haq as an exemplary mard-e-momin (Man of Faith), it would be beneficial to read Tahir Wasti's seminal work --- “Application of Islamic Criminal Law in Pakistan: Sharia in Practice". The book published in January this year and authored by a man, who has experience of both Islamic law and British common law, is the first detailed research enlisting the ramifications of the application of Sharia law in Pakistan. The writer argues that Zia's decision to impose Nizam-e-Islam on February 2 1979 was not a sincere act. Wasti, in fact, argues that had the military dictator been sincere he would have also invoked the law of Qisas and Diyat as part of his Islamic regulations that mainly consisted of the five laws pertaining to: drinking, Zina (adultery), Zakat and usher, highway robbery, and theft. The punishment for some of these crimes is not even prescribed in the Quran.
The reason that Zia left out Qisas and Diyat, which finally became an ordinance in 1990 during Benazir Bhutto's government and finally passed as a law after twenty minutes of debate in parliament under Nawaz Sharif was because he was too eager to hang Bhutto. Such a law would not have allowed for the approver Masood Mehmood, which, in turn, means that Bhutto could not have been sentenced to death.
Not surprisingly, Bhutto had filed a review petition number 5-R of 1979 on 13/02/1979 in the Supreme Court asking that his case be tried under Sharia or Nizam-e-Islam through first invoking the law on Qisas and Diyat. Notwithstanding the fact that while in power Bhutto himself played to the gallery by using religion, in case of his trial his plea to use the religious law was primarily as a legal point that would technically stop the Zia government from sentencing him to death. Interestingly, as Wasti points out in his book, Zia kept returning the draft of this law until he had managed to put Bhutto to death. The Supreme Court justices gave a split decision on the Bhutto case arguing on page 29 of the decision of the said review petition that under section 302 of the PPC read with section 109 of the PPC, this was a case of unintentional murder in which there was no room for the witness of an approver. The decision including the said review petition by Bhutto is reported in PLD 1979 Supreme Court 741 and the two volumes on "Bhutto's Trial Documents" published by Justice Afzal Haider.
Zia's government also challenged other cases in which such a law needed implementation. Unfortunately, the author states, it were judges like Justices Tanzeel-ur-Rehman and Afzal Cheema who helped Zia cheat the entire country by bringing about amendments in the sharia law that suited the military dictator's interests and allowed him not to pass the law on Qisas and Diyat as long as he was alive.
What is even sadder is that such discrepancy in Nizam-e-Islam was never seriously challenged by any quarters. Even after the Qisas and Diyat law came into force, first as an ordinance, and later, as law, no one really pointed out the problem in invoking the said law. As Wasti points out in his book, since it is difficult to find a witness, the law of Qisas was never implemented and the government basically uses tazeer or diyat to pass judgments. Diyat allows for compromise in case of murder, a law which was framed not to bring peace and justice in the society according to religious principles, but to suit the interests of the more powerful. There are cases after cases reported in Wasti's book in which poor and weak people were forced to accept a compromise and forgive the murderers of their loved ones. The law even encouraged exchange of women as part of a settlement. Reportedly, since the law came into force some judges showed their magnanimity by ordering the payment of blood-money in addition to exchange of women. Interestingly, the system was never fully challenged by the legal community due to what senior lawyer and now human rights activist Iqbal Haider termed, on the floor of parliament in 1990, as greed of the legal community. This law permits lawyers to claim their fee without putting in effort that they would otherwise have to do to in defence of their clients.
The screams of the young Swati girl are the knock on the door of the entire society to wake up and not allow these men and others like them, who are at best Zia's children in terms of their sense of legal fairness, to bring violence in this country in the name of religion. This is not just about better treatment of women but also a matter of justice for all and peace and tranquillity in the society. What is being presented as Sharia is in reality a system that protects the unquestioned power of those who have monopoly over violence and resources in the society. A legal system is an ever-evolving process that needn't mimic the past without taking into account the circumstances. In the words of Maulana Amin Ahsan Aslahi, religion of the past is history of the present which can only be used as a good reference point and no more.
Source: thenews, Pakistan
Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, the author of Military Inc., is an independent security analyst and strategic affairs columnist of Pakistan. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-sharia-laws/swat-flogging--a-handiwork-of-zia-s-children-/d/1313
*ISLAM will not WITNESS the SUNRISE of NEXT CENTURY*
By Atul K Mehta "viduur"
ISLAM is based upon the concept of HATRED as against the concept of LOVE, although an spiritualistic philosophy should be based on 'Love' ideally. Moreover, Islam also promotes ‘Ego Accumulation’ as against the Hindu or Spiritualistic concept of ‘Ego Elimination’. Due to this reason it has lost many chances of making introspection & improvement in last 50 years, when it was first humiliated by a tiny nation like Israel.
However Islamists took no lessons, and there 'Ego' kept on rising due as fuelled by the continuous supply of fuel (OIL).
But now ISLAM is going to pay the maximum price for all its accumulated sins against the humanity since its inception 1400 years ago. At Present it is US & UK only, which seem to be determined on "War against Islam" (WaI) but gradually ISLAM will face a joint retaliation by the whole, united and determined world, which is currently divided into four camps now a under:
Islamic Terrorists are trying to gain control in Pakistan, which is a nuclear nation. When they will succeed in Pakistan then only the whole mankind will realise the danger/threat posed by Islamists before the survival of Humanity & future of the Globe. However, such a development will only precipitate sudden demise of Islam on the pattern of demise of Marxism during the last decade of last century.
Sins & Crimes committed by ISLAM can never go unpunished as per the divine Laws of Karma & Dharma. Humiliation of ISLAM in Afghanistan/ IRAQ etc. is no match to the gross volume of sins & crimes committed by the doctrines of Islam against the humanity in last 1400 years. Islam has sought for all kind of Sacrifices (Qurbani) from their followers & humanity so far, and now it is the turn of Islam to opt for sacrifice (Qurbani).
Terrorists can't save Islam from certain demise. Rather they are accelerating the demise of Islam through all those acts of their madness.
Islam was never a religion. It was merely a doctrine, which manipulated a large chunk of human population to opt for self-imposed slavery. Therefore I always advised my Muslim Brothers to liberate themselves from the Slavery of Koran & Islam, which has only coined two most dirty concepts (Kafir & Jehaad) without providing any genuine concept of Spiritualism.
Only way to save ISLAM lies in dropping these 'two words' from Koran altogether. If MUSLIMs will not drop the words like KAFIR & JEHAAD from their KORAN at their own, then US will erase them forcefully in the next phases of WaT( War against Terrorism). I am very sure that WaT will ultimately convert into WaI (War against Islam), if the Muslims will not revise their Koran & religion to suit the modern times & modern human beings.
I am not bothered if ISLAM can be saved or not because I am only interested in the welfare of my Muslim Brothers, who are the biggest victim of this hate philosophy, known as ISLAM in its current edition.
I can only see & say that ISLAM will not be able to witness the SUN-RISE of the next century provided it is not overhauled completely by making use of the Spiritualistic & Democratic principles and ideas of this age . They can continue to believe in Mosque, Namaz & Roza but if they will dare to believe in dangerous & dirty concepts like KAFIR & JEHAAD then I am sure they will suffer. How can one convince the advanced brains of this 21st century that it is an internal matter of ISLAM, when these concepts are solely designed & targeted against the non-believers i.e. Non-Muslims of Islam & Koran only/specifically?
Only solution lies in Liberation of Muslims from this hateful Doctrine of ISLAM or overhauling of ISLAM by scrapping the "Unholy KORAN", which contains anti-human & anti-democratic concepts like KAAFIR & JEHAAD.
If Muslims will not edit & purify Koran voluntarily by dropping all the hatred filled reference to non-believers, then US is duty bound by the divine to erase/delete dirty concepts like KAFIR & JEHAD forcibly to liberate Muslims from the slavery of this un-holy book.
OPERATION DISMANTLE ISLAM has already begun. WaT is the first phase of WaI. It is inevitable because Bin Laden has awakened the world. However, Bin Laden will be remembered as the Last Prophet of Islam & not the Mohammed Sahab.
Atul K Mehta "viduur"
Author of the book "Hindulogy & America"
from soulat pasha
to Sultan Shahin editor@NewAgeIslam.com
date 13 April 2009 13:33
subject: extremists are losing...
Yes I feel that they are losing, if not war at least battles.
I have noticed the anxiety Sufi Saheb shows for the signing and approval of agreement on swat by President Zardari, who apparently is no more interested either because of pressure from West or wants o bring in Nawaz shareef to accede to this agreement; he wants to show US that Nawaz Shareef is not the person who can fight and destroy the terrorist strongholds in Pakistani territory. Asif Zardari has sent the draft to Parliament for its consent and now everyone has to wait what other parties in Parliament, including Nawaz Shareef's party have to say about the new regulation which allows the Talibani version of Sharia in the Malakan area, particularly Swat. The vote of MQM, the most vocal group against Taliban (for own political ends in Karachi) would be very interesting, this group makes a loud noise but always votes where directed by major collation partner and establishment.
Many call Swat arrangement as peace deal, but others have reservations about it; to them it is surrender of state power before the barbaric Taliban, who after killing mercilessly hundreds of people in Swat, exploding girls schools have also flogged a 17 years old young girl publicly in some part of Swat under their control. This video, which was not denied initially, had to be rejected even by Talibans as fake, because they knew that they have lost much of the sympathy of silent majority of Pakistanis who believed that war against extremists is not their war, but has been imposed on Pakistan by US. But after release of this video many of them have started looking other side, they are now listening to those who for the last several years were telling them that extremism is destroying our whole society and if not stopped immediately it will overpower the administration in NWFP and after that it will move downwards towards mainland- Pnujab and Sindh, and eastwards to Baluchistan.
Baitullah, the monster, is visibily worried about Drone attacks in tribal area, his people are dying almost daily, finding no way out to oppose these attacks he decided to attack the security positions in Pnjab and Islamabad. A series of such suicidal attacks were witnessed live by millions of TV watchers within and outside Pakistan. To the dismay of Baitullah and his followers none of these attacks could bring the desired results, eight attackers at Manawan police training centre could kill only five trainees after losing at least four terrorists (others escaped- one is supposedly captured by local people and handed over to security agencies. His people could not capture and make hostage the Sri Lankan cricket team.
Baitullah has prize money of $5million, dead or alive, yet he invites media people from various TV channels to his abode...and he also talks freely on phone all over places. His desire is to gain as much "popularity" as Osama once had....and then die as "martyr"; he knows he has a very short time at his disposal, may be few days or a couple of months- at the most. His elimination will pave the way for death of other mafia bosses in NWFP and tribal area, Mangal Bagh, Fazal ullah, Faqir, etc etc....
I have a feeling that the captured leaders of JuD will also be handed over to India for trial on Mumbai carnage by the people trained and despatched by them. If our government can do that only once, others like them will take a serious note of that and go in hibernation till such time they are killed in some encounter with security agencies.
I have the feeling that 2009 will be a decisive year for Pakistan, in case we are able to overpower the extremists, eliminate the terrorists during the next few months we will survive as a viable nation, otherwise....we all know what Western press is predicting about our country...they feel that this country may disintegrate within next few months, and fallen to terrorists who will control the nukes held in this area....they give a very bleak picture of Pakistan....but can we prove them wrong?
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2009 20:40:50 -0700 [09:10:50 AM IST]
From: Mubashir Inayet
To Sultan Shahin Editor@NewAgeIslam.com
Subject: Re: Zia's Children
A thought provoking article in The News for those of us who love to live in denial and think the rest of the world is out to get us and it is never our fault!!!
Are we in denial about terrorism?
Friday, April 10, 2009
A fundamental debate is on among the intelligentsia of our country regarding terrorism. The way it plays itself out will determine whether we win or lose. A consensus will help put all our energies towards winning. Discord or confusion will certainly lead to defeat.
One set, perhaps a majority, believes that we have no inherent problem of terrorism. It is only a reaction to American presence in Afghanistan. The attacks on our cities are explained away and sometimes condoned as a punishment for our support to the American war effort.
When confronted with evidence regarding presence of armed and dangerous foreigners in our tribal territory, the explanation is ingenious. They came here in the eighties, we are told, because the Pakistani government, with American help, invited them to fight the Soviets. After the Afghan war was over, meaning after the Taliban victory, they were living peacefully here until the Americans invaded Afghanistan.
The first part is true as far as Arabs are concerned. They indeed came here in the eighties motivated by jihad against the infidel Soviets. And they were facilitated by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence, which was managing the Afghan war on behalf of the Americans. But it is factually incorrect that they continued to live here peacefully after the Taliban took over Afghanistan.
Al Qaeda, whose members were living in FATA, had claimed responsibility for the attack on the American navy ship Cole in Yemen and on American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Osama bin Laden later also took credit for the 9/11 attacks in the United States. One of his accomplices, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, has confessed to his role and given details of how the attack was planned and carried out.
But no heed is paid to these accepted facts. The last part, particularly, is greeted with incredulity because, does not everyone know that 9/11 was an American intelligence operation launched with the help of the Israeli Mossad!
Leaving aside whether the Americans were attacked from Pakistani territory or not, the bare fact that these Arabs, Uzbeks, Chechens, Afghans and even Chinese Turks are illegal aliens in our country is of no concern to the "all because of America" cabal. Any activity on the part of the Pakistani government to apprehend these people is thus treated with ridicule and condemned.
Little note is taken, if indeed it registers, that "our best friends in the world," the Chinese, have formally complained to the government that their dissidents have established headquarters in FATA. Other countries, including many in Europe and the Middle East, have also expressed fears that attacks on their territory may emanate from here. President Obama has actually said as much.
This almost unanimous concern in the West and the United States is brushed aside and seen through a conspiracy lens. These people are out to get us because we are a nuclear power. They are creating circumstances, we are told, to invade and defang us. Remember, Baitullah Mehsud is their agent. We gave them his coordinates, yet he was not killed. Indeed, this entire insurgency in FATA has been engineered by the Americans aided by the Indians. The Indians, particularly, have a special role in training the Taliban. This Maulvi Fazalullah is probably working for them, and so on.
Let us believe that a part of what they say is correct. The Americans, the Europeans, the Indians and sundry others are indeed fearful of our nuclear power and would, if they could, take control of our nuclear assets. And let us also assume that to achieve this nefarious end they want to destabilise the country and create so much chaos that they have grounds to intervene.
The question is, why should we make it easier for them by allowing our territory to be used for terror attacks in their countries? Would our fears not become self-fulfilling prophecies if we continue to give our adversaries a cause to get angry with us?
One reason why we fail to reach a rational conclusion is that the security fears of other countries are not acknowledged by us, at all. If the 9/11 attacks are rubbished as a CIA/Mossad operation, then it follows that the London train attacks or the Spanish bombing in which hundreds died were also internal operations carried out by the British and Spanish intelligence agencies. In a similar vein, the person who tried to blow up airplanes in the sky, the Shoe Bomber, must also be an agent, and so also everyone else who has been plotting planning or carrying out terror operations in the West.
This line of thinking is not complete if the rationality behind the conspiracy is not explained. Why would the Americans and others kill their own citizens in hundreds and thousands and create so much fear? That pet answer is that they needed an enemy because none was left to fight after the end of the Cold War.
In other words, it is being said, that they have killed their own people in large numbers, emptied their treasuries fighting wars, created massive security apparatus at great public inconvenience, curtailed their citizens' liberties through intrusive surveillances and done much else only as a decoy to create Islam as an enemy.
The absurdity of this argument is not obvious to the "we are a target" crowd. The sad part is that even others who aware of the world and have no particular prejudice against the West, get taken in. Paranoia lurks in recesses of the brain and when problems or difficulties are not easy to explain, it takes charge. Collective paranoia is particularly dangerous because it leads to irrationality and fascism. It happened in Germany and Italy and Spain. Why should we consider ourselves immune?
One way to overcome irrational fears is to look within carefully and identify what we can do to make things better. The conspiracy cabal will however take issue with everything that is proposed. To the argument that no one should be able to use our territory to launch attacks outside, and that it is our duty to prevent them, there is no logical answer. Yet, this does not deter them from diverting the topic and saying how nasty and offensive others are.
If told that if our territory is used to launch attacks outside it is just as much a breach of our sovereignty as the American drone strikes, there is outrage. How can drone assaults be put in the same category as alleged terror attacks emanating from here. The fact is there is a huge blind spot when it comes to our own culpability. And this by well-meaning people who are not extremists. Those who believe in the Taliban version of a state actually applaud such attacks.
It is time that we as a nation open our eyes and understand what is happening. District by district our territory is being taken over by the extremist. It was FATA and Swat yesterday now Buner, Dir, Hangu, Mansehra, and even Mardan and Charsadda, are under direct threat. We are being occupied and yet we cannot agree on who our enemy is.
The world is becoming increasingly concerned and is prepared to help, but only if we are ready to help ourselves. If we remain in denial, a terrible catastrophe awaits us.
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 08:22:58 +0000
From: Suryakant Joshi
To: Sultan Shahin Editor@NewAgeIslam.com
Subject: RE: Can Pakistan Be Governed? , NewAgeIslam.Com - 02 Apr, 2009
Thanks for the msg. The subject touched by you for discussion is highly appreciable. I feel that now it is high time for entire human race mankind to reform again in to one single religion i.e. Human-Religion and to worship only one and one almighty i.e. THE SUN in the sky and such reformed human-religion and the human society to come forward to award equal freedom and equal rights to women and men for building well cultured human-society for reformation of Universal United Nation without any political borders and limitations. This reformation process will surely solve present problems of so-called terrorism and threats to each other’s by several groups of various faiths etc.
Christianity and Islam were the faiths of needs in the past as per the then prevailing social situations; in the present social structure, the entire human-race has to be reformed into single faith society without any other classifications and borders etc. As no Pakistan, no Hindustan, No Afghanistan, no USA; no Iran, no Iraq, no Turkistan etc. ENTIRE Universal United Nations of entire world with one and one religion i.e. HUMAN RELIGION. Just come forward with this innovative thinking and please put up your pious efforts in this direction. == CHITTAPAWANACHARYA