“These Taliban-looking people”

The lady reporter of The Asian Age (9 May) has reported the presence of a group in Lakhimpur district of Eastern U.P. that associated itself with the Taliban and like them issues its dictates. According to these dictates, “marriage functions should be organised during daytime, not in the night; marriages should be solemnised with simplicity, extravagance and trivialities must be avoided.” According to the report, those violating this “dictate” will be punished with one hundred lashes. The lady reporter says that “this mission has caused great fear in the people of Palia and adjoining places. This place in Lakhimpur district is situated at the border of Nepal. There are certain influential persons behind the mission; so no one dares to speak against them. The police also know this but do not have courage to take any action.” The report says that the fearful families are either organising marriage functions during the day or leaving the place for other towns. The reporter has also mentioned the names of some such persons.

These are social reform measures
There is not much detail in the report. This report has been prepared in Lucknow. It can be imagined what the reality would have been. It is true that at such places in U.P. Muslims have taken such measures with a view to reform the society so that the society may be saved from extravagance and un-Islamic acts. The purpose of organising functions during daylight hours is that people gather in the day with simplicity and depart after performing necessary acts and customs. In case of marriage functions at night many wrong things happen; participants get involved in trivialities for the whole night; men and women get the opportunity of free mixing as a result of which unpleasant incidents often take place. – This social reform measure is taken not only by responsible Muslims but in other societies as well. In the marriages solemnised in non-Muslim societies the use of pap janani is inevitable part of the function – without which marriage cannot be imagined. This process goes on for the whole night as a result of which sometimes the situation takes a very serious turn. Pro-reform persons in the non-Muslims society are perturbed about it.

Double-sidedness of society
This must have been the reality of the report of Lakhimpur. But here what is worth considering is that the lady reporter has presented this social reform measure in wrong colour by dubbing it a “Talibani” move and in this regard made coercion its basis. If there is really force and coercion being used, it is condemnable. But, believe it, if the entire Muslim society of that place would have done this work with total consent and pleasure of all and no coercion would have been there, even then the media would have presented it as an evil. And this is a big proof of the double-sidedness of society including media. On the one hand, these people raise voice against sexual brutality and other moral crimes but on the other hand when a community or a section of citizens tries to bring the causes and promptings of crimes to an end, they oppose it in the name of freedom, enlightenment and likes and dislikes. – And this is a very easy way to defame Taliban. First they launched an international campaign to defame Taliban by dubbing their (Taliban’s) highly ethical acts as those of dark and middle ages. Then they ascribed to the Taliban those incidents of violence and terrorism for which in fact their enemies are responsible and now they are using the word Taliban as name-calling. 
22/05/2013 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf 

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