The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is reporting on a particularly disturbing string of events throughout Pakistan that neither the Pakistani government nor the international community seem in a hurry to condemn.
Not content with terrorizing women with the threat of honor killings, it seems, a Pakistani cleric in the Baluchistan province has issued a fatwa declaring that any woman using a cell phone can justifiably be attacked with acid, while former Pakistani lawmaker and prominent cleric Maulana Abdul Haleem announced that secular women working with NGO’s can be captured and forcibly “married” to local men if they dare work on women’s education, health, or welfare projects in the district of Kohistan.
Whether the women would be trapped there indefinitely in the conventional meaning of “marriage,“ or if it would be a ”temporary marriage” that sometimes enables affairs, prostitution, or worse, is unclear.
And according to MEMRI, Maulana Abdul Haleem is not just any cleric and former lawmaker.
“A member of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) party, [he] is known to have nurtured a generation of Islamic clerics in Pakistan. In 2002 he was elected a Member of the National Assembly, the lower house of the parliament, from the platform of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), an alliance of religious-political parties cobbled together at the behest of then-Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf.”
The cleric’s other accomplishments, according to a Pakistani daily, include declaring poppy cultivation in Kohistan to be “in accordance with Islam.”