The above female seminary students have just released a woman brothel owner whom they kidnapped on Wednesday and locked up in their school in the Pakistani capital. She was freed when she publicly repented of running the brothel.
Authorities have arrested at least two of the seminary’s teachers in connection with the abduction of the woman and three of her relatives, including a six-month old baby. The students said they were authorized by their religion to take action against the brothel owner because prostitution is “evil.” Leaders of the mosque, located in the embassy district (where there is lots of business for brothels), say everyone knew the kidnapped woman was running a brothel but police did not act because the brothel owner was connected with powerful people.
The Lal Masjid mosque in Islamabad and associated seminaries which the kidnappers attend are reputed to preach an austere interpretation of Islam, and are known for their links to an outlawed group, Sipah-e-Sahaba, accused in sectarian attacks on Shia Muslims. Mosque students recently also occupied Islamabad’s only children’s library in protest over plans to demolish the mosque for encroachment on government land, and according to Allah Pundit, it worked, and in response, the government promised to rebuild a mosque it had already destroyed.
Allah Pundit continues:
This isn’t some nomadic tribal area out in the sticks. This is where the Pakistani seat of government resides; Lal Masjid is less than a mile away from the embassy district, according to a Guardian profile of Ghazi published eight days ago. Read it. He admits to having met Osama and practically swoons while watching jihadi snuff videos from Iraq of Juba the sniper. …
Musharraf is in a tough spot right now of his own making after he tried to remove the country’s chief justice before the upcoming presidential elections (which he’s trying to sidestep to retain power). The judiciary is in revolt and popular support is at ebb tide so he can’t crack down on the Islamists the way he might like for fear of stirring things up further. Make a mental note, though, of this cleric and this mosque because they’ve gotten bold lately and are apt to get bolder. I’m sure we’ll be hearing from them again. I just wonder which context it’ll be in.
I’ve been thinking to blog about radical fundamentalist women, like these, and like the Indonesian women protesting pornography in the photos I posted yesterday. It is tempting, and easy, for outsiders to dismiss these women as pawns and dupes of patriarchal religion, but I’ve been a radical religious woman and I know better. I am betting that some or most of these women oppose prostitution not only because their religion forbids it as evil, but because they, themselves, oppose it, as harmful to women and destructive to humanity.
I wish women all over the world would take action against brothels, maybe not exactly in the way these women have, not for religious reasons, but in visible, fierce ways, for feminist reasons. Reading about this incident, it is clear that most writers, even if they were racists and haters, respected these women, probably because they had religious reasons for resisting prostitution. I can only imagine what the response would be had it been feminists who kidnapped the brothel owner.