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Pakistan’s Swat Gets 7 Sharia ‘Courts’

From an elated Al Jazeera:

A delegation from pro-Taliban leader Soofi Mohammad leave after an agreement with government officials in Peshawar February 16 on enforcing Sharia law in the northwestern Swat valley.

Pakistan’s Swat gets sharia courts

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Seven sharia (Islamic law) courts have opened in Pakistan’s northwest Swat valley region as part of a peace agreement signed between tribal leaders and the government last month.

Authorities said two qazis, or judges trained in Islamic law, reviewed around 30 minor cases in Mingora, the largest city in Swat, on Tuesday.

The provincial government of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) had agreed to introduce sharia as part of a ceasefire deal with the so-called Pakistani Taliban in Swat in February, but had faced criticism in recent weeks for foot-dragging…

Mullah Sufi Muhammad, the local religious leader who negotiated the deal, had threatened to relaunch regional protests if Islamic courts were not established quickly.

Sufi Muhammad, who leads Tehrik-e-Nifaz Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM), or movement for the introduction of sharia, has called on all non-sharia judges in Swat valley to stand down from their posts.

At least 16 government-appointed judges were reported to have not turned up for work in Swat following the edict.

Al Jazeera’s Hamidullah Khan said the move puts Sufi Muhammad at odds with the NWFP provincial assembly, which had earlier decided that judges appointed by the government should continue on in their roles.

However, Moulana Rizwanullah, Sufi Muhammad’s son and deputy, said the TNSM would not allow any other law systems to contradict sharia.

He reiterated Sufi Muhammad’s statements that there are no non-sharia judges in Islam, adding that there is also no concept of a lawyer.

Sufi Muhammad’s group also said it would open a Dar ul-Qaza, or Islamic supreme court, where people could appeal against the decisions of qazis.

The decision of the Dar ul-Qaza would be final, the TSNM said, and cannot be challenged in any other Pakistani court, religious or otherwise.

Sufi Muhammad further said he would oversee the Swat valley legal system, and upon finding any perceived flaws with any of the qazis, he would not hesitate to replace them.

The provincial government has not yet responded to Sufi Muhammad’s statements…

But you see, this isn’t a complete and utter victory for the Taliban.

It’s not that at all.

Meanwhile, where are all of those famously ‘courageous’ Pakistan lawyers we see protesting all of the time?

Somehow they never seem to stand up to the Taliban, even when their way of life is on the line.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, March 18th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Pakistan’s Swat Gets 7 Sharia ‘Courts’”

  1. Right of the People says:

    I guess everyone in Swat is going to have to hide their Madonna records and big screen TVs now.

  2. MinnesotaRush says:

    Are those guys in the picture “famously ‘courageous’ Pakistan lawyers” .. or try outs for the Pakistani filming of the Blues Brothers sans hat & glasses???

  3. brad says:

    Actually, there are some places in the United States I would love to see Sharia law:

    San Francisco
    New York City
    And every inner-city in America

    There would be so many heads and hands cut off, you could feed all those on welfare, in prison, and homeless, for life.

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