Pakistani Minister: Video of Flogging of Teen Girl a “Jewish Conspiracy”

defaultAccording to Pakistani Federal Minister Senator Azam Khan Swati of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam the flogging of the 17-year-old girl in Swat was a Jewish conspiracy. He explained that it is the work of Jews aimed at destroying peace in Swat and distorting the image of those Islamists who sport beards and wear turbans.

The video has angered the world. I am not sure, however, which is more plausible. The theory of a Jewish conspiracy or the Pakistani government’s expression of surprise that Sharia law can be applied with a vengeance. The government (reportedly after this video was taken) turned over the entire Swat Valley to Sharia law and Taliban justice.

For the full story, click here.

28 thoughts on “Pakistani Minister: Video of Flogging of Teen Girl a “Jewish Conspiracy””

  1. In NYC for Passover and without my laptop, i still have found the dialogue with Omar quite fascinating. I think there is much in the perspective he relates. The Western World has for too long
    viewed people in the ME, Afghanistan, Pakistan and even India as backward. The West (now the US) abuses/disparages cultures that are older than Europe by hundreds and thousands of years. It is this sensibility that has created the fertile ground for the rise of the militancy of Muslim religious extremists.

    This in no way justifies the ill-treatment of women in the name of religion and culture, but makes it hard for moderate Muslims
    to provide a counter-balance.

  2. Bron, I think we have to respectfully agree to disagree on this point. When I see a few marginalized extremists with signs saying “Democracy is a cancer Islam is the answer” online or in a newspaper, I look at it with the full knowledge that the vast majority of Pakistanis don’t share those feelings.

    Pakistan is an Islamic country certainly, but it was founded on democratic principles and its people have fought consistently and repeatedly for their democratic rights throughout the short history of the nation. Unfortunately the media has a tendency to focus on the negatives, to the extent that it would describe a diverse population of 1.2 billion Muslims as a monolithic group; this defies logic and the facts on the ground.

  3. Omar:

    Thank you for the reply. From my western perspecctive I look at all these issues as interelated with Iran and Saudi Arabia as the iniating force. Granted their are other issues that are playing into this but it seems that a certain portion of the Islamic world reacts/thinks as a single entity.

    I also dont think there is a sustainable solution, too much water under the bridges for both sides. And there is much unwillingness on the part of Islamic leaders to embrace a more liberal society in most of the countries in question. Totalitarianism seems to appeal to many Muslims and I can only think it stems from Islamic religious philosophy as that is the only constant among Islamic countries. When a westerner sees young people holding signs that says “Democracy is a cancer Islam is the answer” we tend to take the sentiment seriously.

    I do know there is a vocal minority of Muslims trying to liberalize Islamic countries and I hope they succeed. But it appears to be an uphill battle.

  4. Bron, you have raised a lot of issues that aren’t as inter-related as they might seem at first blush. For starters, it’s very hard to ascribe a uniform purpose or intention to the Taliban. Certainly they began as local actors attempting to restore order to lawless Afghanistan, but with the increasing influence of Al Qaeda elements, particularly post 9/11, they have expanded their territorial goals to include the tribal areas of Pakistan. I don’t know for sure whether they want a caliphate, but I think that’s not as important a point as understanding how to combat them, which requires a comprehensive look at the conditions that allowed them to flourish. As for the Iran/Nuclear issue, I’m not sure if this as much an “Islamic” issue as it is a political one.

    Muslims in Europe certainly have more of a propensity to fall prey to extremist tendencies, but I feel this has more to do with the social conditions they are living under than anything else. For example, Turks in Germany are sort of a permanent second class citizenry because of Germany’s rigid immigration requirements, despite the fact many have lived and worked there for generations.

    One area that I can speak to with some confidence is the status of moderate Muslims in Pakistan. As a starting point, I think it’s extremely short-sighted to write Pakistan off as a failed state on the brink of being overrun by these barbarians. Pakistanis and more specifically the Muslims of South Asia have a very strong tradition of practicing a moderate form of Islam since its introduction to the region. The people of Pakistan have demonstrated as recently as last week that they want, and will protest for, a democratic government and a strong independent judiciary (with the reinstatement of the Chief Justice after he was illegally removed from power under the Musharaff dictatorship).

    The advent of extremism in the region can be linked directly to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the ensuing conflict that resulted. Keep in mind that the Islamist/Afghan insurgent forces were trained – and at least indirectly funded – by US money, which is a sore point with the people of Pakistan. After the war concluded and Afghanistan descended into chaos many of the radicalized insurgents trained their guns on Western interests, India, and other targets. What we are seeing in Pakistan today is blowback from the failed policies of using these ex-insurgents in its proxy war against India. The list of factors goes on but I would direct you to an author by the name of Ahmed Rashid for a comprehensive look at Islamic militancy in South Asia. I can see this response is getting too long, but I would ask you to look at these various problems independently of one another if you want to contribute to finding a sustainable solution to them.

  5. Omar K:

    isnt the Taliban just a local actor, and isnt all of this for the sake of creating the caliphate across the entire middle east at least as far as the Indian border (they will certainly oppose any incursions).

    I dont think, at least from my perspective, moderate Muslims will be able to stop this from happening. And now with Israel ready to go after Iran and America pretty much on the ropes from 7 years of fighting it has become a pretty messy situtation. The Swat Valley and the Taliban are the least of our worries. Pakistan has probably all but capitulated to Sharia law and Europe is in big trouble because of their large Muslim populations.

    I dont see the current admisnistration as being able or willing to control radical Islamic clerics in the near term and Iran is certainly not going to stand idely by as Israel tries to destroy their nuclear capability, especially with Obama in the White House. I think the entire area is about ready to go and we only need a spark to set the tinder ablaze.

    Your thoughts?

  6. Omar Khawaja
    1, April 6, 2009 at 5:54 pm
    I feel the only long term solution to this problem is strengthening Pakistan’s Judiciary to the extent that people don’t feel they have to find alternative means for recourse.


  7. Mike, I don’t disagree with anything you said, but I think emphasis must be placed on your conclusion. Ultimately if the people of Pakistan – or this region of Pakistan in this instance – want to head down the slippery slope of mixing religion and law, it is their decision. I feel the only long term solution to this problem is strengthening Pakistan’s Judiciary to the extent that people don’t feel they have to find alternative means for recourse.

  8. The Nizam-e-Adl is a religious Trojan Horse. Although its proponents claim that it will not contain all of the elements of pure Sharia law, that is nonsense. The Taliban have already closed hundreds of schools for girls and have destroyed hundreds more. The adoption of the new regulation simply formalizes existing fact. No one should doubt that the judges selected to dispense justice under the new regulation will have to be approved by Taliban officials. The goal of the Taliban in Pakistan is identical to its goal in Afghanistan, to create a fundamentalist Islamic state. Having said that, this decision is Pakistan’s business. The people of that country ultimately have to decide the direction their society will take.

  9. Mr. Khawaja,

    In the name of clarity and perspective, thank you for your service.

  10. Mr. Khawaja, thank you for the benefit of your perspective. What is disconcerting to many of us, especially those of us who are lawyers, is the continuing effort on the part of religious conservatives (including Christian conservatives here in the U.S.) to import religious doctrine into secular legal systems. In the long term, this can only lead to the legal balkanization of heterogeneous societies, hardly a happy prospect to those of us interested in promoting tolerance of diversity.

  11. Folks, this is somewhat of a complicated matter that may have been lost in translation. I’ll try to break it down from my persepective as a Pakistani-American who is quite familiar with the laws and customs of Pakistan’s Northern areas – including Swat – where this video was allegedly shot.

    First of all, let me say I vehemently disagree with Mr. Swati’s statement on its face. However, I’m stating as an objective observation that the common refrain by many critics of the West’s policies in Muslim countries is to “blame the Jews” which is sort of synonymous with the West in their eyes.

    In this particular situation, the debate in Pakistan is centered around the timing of the release of the video, not its authenticity. Critics like Mr. Swati are saying that video itself is around 6 months old and was taken before the Swat peace agreement was reached with the Taliban militants in the area. The agreement essentially allowed for replacement of the current legal system – which is corrupt and broken for all intents and purposes – with a system called Nizam-e-Adl (“NeA”). The NeA is an alternate legal system which allows for quick dispensation of justice on civil and criminal matters. It isn’t “Shari’ah” per se although some aspects of the remedies or punishments may incorporate aspects of Shari’ah. The critics like Mr. Swati are saying that this video’s release was “timed” to scuttle the NeA therefore allowing the Pakistani army to return to the area and resume military operations at the behest of the West, thereby perpetuating the misery of the people of Swat. Again, I’m just trying to shed some light on the issue, not justifying his comments in any way.

  12. Rcampbell:

    it will only be a coup with hard liners taking control of Pakistans Nuclear arsenal. I dont think you need to worry about civil war most of them are pretty much on the same page.

  13. Michael Spindell:

    Loved your post. It made me laugh.

    Mike Appleton:

    The very real potential for your observations to become reality did NOT make me laugh, but shutter instead.

  14. The government of Pakistan is only beginning to experience the consequences of ceding part of the country to Taliban rule. I fully expect to see a steady deterioration of an already weak government and either civil war or another military coup.

  15. Mike S,

    I’m glad someone from the inner circle has the courage to speak out about Jews. Some people think all you can do is run Hollywood!

  16. What a coincidence? Here I spent all day Sunday, Sunday for obvious reasons, attending my local Chapter of The World Jewish Conspiracy Monthly Meeting. Because we’re Jews and you know so rich, we had a worldwide video feed of each chapter Meeting around the World. Our Supreme Rabbi was there in our Capital of Zurich (You think we’d use Jerusalem, how obvious, we’re Jews and we go where the money is)and guess what he discussed our Pakistani Disinformation Program, which he announced was going well.Minister Swati’s exposure of the truth means little to us, since we control all media and actually he is on our payroll. The Supreme Rabbi also talked of our success in keeping the ME pot boiling and mentioned the great work being done for us by our Vassals the Iranians and the Saudi’s. We even had a live feed of our guy Osama Bin Laden, from his Villa in Tuscany. Our guy is one hell of a speaker and when he stood up and gave the Jewish World salute, middle finger of fist raised proudly, we were all in tears as he then knelt down as if to kiss the Supreme Rabbi’s Feet. Oh it’s great to be a Jew, sorry for you out there whose Mother’s weren’t, we may say so but we really don’t accept converts.

  17. Wow, them Jews sure is a powerful lot. They made an Sharia court follow a Sharia court’s order–and in Pakistan no less.

  18. Yeah, it’s a conspiracy to make barbaric behavior look exactly like barbaric behavior, but the Jews don’t have squat to do with it. It’s called “reporting” and “video evidence”, Pakistan. What did you expect when you started capitulating to zealots? An award? Virgins upon death? International ridicule when their 12th Century barbarism was laid bare before the world?

    Psst. Here’s a hint. The answer isn’t virgins or awards.

    Hey, Great Britain! This is what happens when you truck with Sharia law. Enjoy seeing this replayed in Brighton, morons.

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