Pakistan's new "Taleban Law"

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The BBC reports that Pakistan's Northwest Province (next to Afghanistan) has a new law that is

...setting up a Taleban—style department under a cleric to enforce Islamic morality.

It gives the new department the power to use the police and media for the promotion of Islamic values.

The NWFP is governed by an alliance of religious parties, the MMA, that is sympathetic to the Taleban.

It has already introduced measures such as the banning of music on public transport.

Given Musharraf's seeming inability to direct Pakistani politics, and given the popularity of the fundmantalists there, it would seem that our strategic optiojns in Afghanistan are closing, even assuming he remains alive and in office.

The unpleasant truth seems to be that much of the Muslim ummah actually approves of the sort of extreme religious strictures offered by the jihadists, and share the ambition of forcing submission to shari'a everywhere. Dean Barnett is the latest observer to point out that

...Al Qaeda and Hezbollah are not some strange, tiny and exotic minority in the Islamic world. If free elections were held in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood would win. The Muslim Brotherhood is composed of Ayman al Zawahiri's old playmates. If free elections were held in Saudi Arabia, a Salafist regime ideologically in sync with Al Qaeda would win. In Pakistan, yet again, Al Qaeda sympathizers would be major players. In the free election held in Palestine, terror group Hamas was a landslide winner. In Iran, the current regime is popular. In Jordan, free elections would see the moderate Hashemite regime toppled and replaced by a far more belligerent entity.

The oil princes and emirs may send their sons to USC and purchase the latest model 747s as personal transports, but their philo—American attitudes are explainable only as personal indulgence. Of course there may be many in the Islamic world not hostile to democracy, liberty, and female equality. But it appears that they are not the majority in most of the ummah.

The implications are profound. If, as appears likely, the arrival of James Baker and the ISG portends a radical change in our policy toward Iraq and toward jihad, we may live in a very different world. Quite soon, on any historical scale.

Hat tips: Dennis Sevakis, Larwyn

Thomas Lifson  11 14 06

The BBC reports that Pakistan's Northwest Province (next to Afghanistan) has a new law that is

...setting up a Taleban—style department under a cleric to enforce Islamic morality.

It gives the new department the power to use the police and media for the promotion of Islamic values.

The NWFP is governed by an alliance of religious parties, the MMA, that is sympathetic to the Taleban.

It has already introduced measures such as the banning of music on public transport.

Given Musharraf's seeming inability to direct Pakistani politics, and given the popularity of the fundmantalists there, it would seem that our strategic optiojns in Afghanistan are closing, even assuming he remains alive and in office.

The unpleasant truth seems to be that much of the Muslim ummah actually approves of the sort of extreme religious strictures offered by the jihadists, and share the ambition of forcing submission to shari'a everywhere. Dean Barnett is the latest observer to point out that

...Al Qaeda and Hezbollah are not some strange, tiny and exotic minority in the Islamic world. If free elections were held in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood would win. The Muslim Brotherhood is composed of Ayman al Zawahiri's old playmates. If free elections were held in Saudi Arabia, a Salafist regime ideologically in sync with Al Qaeda would win. In Pakistan, yet again, Al Qaeda sympathizers would be major players. In the free election held in Palestine, terror group Hamas was a landslide winner. In Iran, the current regime is popular. In Jordan, free elections would see the moderate Hashemite regime toppled and replaced by a far more belligerent entity.

The oil princes and emirs may send their sons to USC and purchase the latest model 747s as personal transports, but their philo—American attitudes are explainable only as personal indulgence. Of course there may be many in the Islamic world not hostile to democracy, liberty, and female equality. But it appears that they are not the majority in most of the ummah.

The implications are profound. If, as appears likely, the arrival of James Baker and the ISG portends a radical change in our policy toward Iraq and toward jihad, we may live in a very different world. Quite soon, on any historical scale.

Hat tips: Dennis Sevakis, Larwyn

Thomas Lifson  11 14 06