City of Brass

City of Brass


the improbable reach of Pakistan’s Taliban extends to Binghamton, NY?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Taliban’s Pakistani franchise apparently suffers delusions of grandeur:

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistani Taliban militant leader Baituallah Mehsud claimed on Saturday responsibility for an attack on a U.S. immigration centre in New York state in which 13 people were killed.

“I accept responsibility. They were my men. I gave them orders in reaction to U.S. drone attacks,” Mehsud told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Apparently, Jiverly Voong, an immigrant from Vietnam who barely spoke english, was a loyal soldier of the Pashtun and Urdu speaking mullahs in Peshawar. The FBI is treating the Taliban’s claim with the respect it deserves (namely, very little).

Why would the Taliban make such a puerile, transparent attempt to claim credit for the shooting? To strike fear into our American hearts? If so, perhaps the campaign in Afghanistan has succeeded more than we know, for it seems the clever leaders have long ago been weeded out via attrition and only the dim bulbs like Baitullah Mehsud are left to run the operation.

I think it’s likely that part of their motivation for their desperate claim to relevance was to draw attention away from another little PR disaster – the public video of the flogging of a 12-year old girl in Swat. The video, captured on mobile phone has been distributed widely in Pakistan and has led to international outrage, enough so that the Taliban have actually gone into damage-control mode:

“This was an old incident which happened before the Islamic Sharia
courts were constituted in the Swat Valley and even before the
ceasefire was announced.

“It was not officially done by the Taliban but some Taliban did that
in their private capacity,” Taliban spokesperson Haji Muslim Khan told
Adnkronos International (AKI).

Khan said the girl’s flogging took place while the Taliban was
fighting the Pakistani army. “We were not in a position to control each
and every event and therefore some lapses happened,” he said.

I find it remarkable that they would go to such pains to disassociate themselves from the flogging – note that they even claim it occurred before the transition to Shari’a rule in Swat, which suggests that they see the flogging video as a threat to the legitimacy they are trying to build for themselves there. Of course they still claim the girl was guilty of an illicit relationship and that the punishment was deserved (the names of the four witnesses to her crime that the Qur’an mandates exist prior to conviction of adultery were, of course, not made public).
 
This video is significant, I believe. The Taliban initially claimed that they “encouraged” the video’s distribution so as to “send a message” to anyone who dares oppose them. Well, the numbers of those who dare will grow, especially in Pakistan and in Swat.



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.



Previous Posts

Vote now in the (delayed slightly) Brass Crescent Awards!
Voting in this year's Brass Crescent Awards is now underway, after a few months' delay. Here's the explanation from the official site: We would like to sincerely apologize for the delay in this year's voting. The reason for the delay was that we did not have sufficient blogsphere nominations as w

posted 10:30:42pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Midamar halal beef - charged with fraud
This is disturbing news - the company Midamar, well known for its halal meat products, has been charged with fraud for falsely advertising its beef as halal to Muslims: The indictment said the companies told customers its cattle were slaughtered by hand by specially trained Muslim slaughtermen w

posted 10:45:40pm Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

men should accept blame; women should assert agency
The following rant was posted on Facebook by a friend of mine, and I have her permission to reproduce it in its entirety. Systems of patriarchy are sometimes so entrenched, we just accept them as part of normal daily interactions. Popular discourse often maintains that it's men who do such and s

posted 10:56:12pm Dec. 01, 2014 | read full post »

My first day of wearing rida to school
Zainab Jamali is a teenaged Muslim American girl in Los Angeles. As a member of the Dawoodi Bohra community, she recently took her misaq (an oath marking the symbolic pas

posted 10:08:13am Nov. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Muslims en masse for Modi at Madison Square
Newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to a huge crowd of Indian expats in New York City on Monday night, outlining his vision of India's future and mak

posted 4:29:29pm Oct. 01, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.