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Dancing girl ‘murdered by Taliban after refusing to give up traditional performances despite death threats’

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2012 at 06:30

The Taliban has reportedly killed a traditional dancing girl in Pakistan, underlining its growing power in the the North-West Frontier Province.

Shabana’s bullet-riden body was found slumped on the ground in the centre of Mingora’s Green Square, strewn with money, CD recordings of her performances and photographs from her albums.

A Taliban leader later appeared on FM radio to admit the killing and warn the militant organisation would not tolerate any ‘un-Islamic vices’.

He said any other girls found performing in the city’s Banr Bazaar would be killed ‘one by one’.

The last of the bazaar’s celebrated dancing girls – once a 1000 strong industry – have reportedly packed up and fled to Karachi and Lahore, where their talents remain in great demand.

A resident of Banr Bazaar, Fayaz, said dance performances had earned participants about 50,000 rupees (£415) a night until the Taliban denounced them as prostitution.

The narrow street where the performers plied their trade until last week now closes at 8pm and only residents can enter, while signs state:’We have stopped dancing, please do not knock on the door.’

Shabana reportedly paid the price for publicly defying the Taliban’s radio mullahs, ignoring personal warnings to stop performing and training young dancers.

‘On the eve of January 2, some men knocked at the door and asked for a dance party,’ Shabana’s father Qamar Gul reportedly said.

‘She instantly agreed and opened the room and asked the men to wait while she prepared herself.

‘When she returned the four men said: “Let us start.” They seized her at gunpoint and told her they were going to slit her throat’

The dancer reportedly cried for help and begged for her life, but she was dragged out of her house to Green Square and shot.

The Taliban and the Pakistan Army have been fighting for control of the Swat Valley, where the millitant organisation recently ordered girls’ schools and music shops to close and forced barbers to stop shaving beards.

But with the woman’s death and the dancers’ banishment the Islamic extremist group has once again tightened its hold.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1112128/Dancing-girl-murdered-Taliban-refusing-traditional-performances-despite-death-threats.html#ixzz24ot0GrFw

also here http://www.freemuse.org/sw33489.asp

Seventeen beheaded by Taliban for mixed-sex dancing

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2012 at 06:27

Afghans say mixed-sex party ended in killings by fundamental Islamist group

LAST UPDATED AT 11:45 ON Mon 27 Aug 2012

FIFTEEN men and two women found beheaded in Helmand province, Afghanistan, were executed by the Taliban as punishment for attending a mixed-sex party with music and dancing.

The bodies were discovered this morning near where the had been held on Sunday night, district governor Nimatullah, who goes by one name, told the Reuters news agency. The governor of Helmand, Daud Ahmadi, said a team had been sent to the site of the beheadings to investigate.

Mixed-sex parties are unusual in Afghanistan and usually held in secret. Men and women do not normally mix with each other, claimed the agency, unless they are related or married.

During the fundamentalist group’s five years in power before it was ousted by the US in 2002, women lost the right to vote, to do many paid jobs or to leave home without a male relative or husband to accompany them.

In June this year, the Taliban stormed a lakeside hotel near Kabul which they said was used for “wild parties”, demanding to know where the “pimps and prostitutes” were. They killed 20 people, says Reuters.

Read more: http://www.theweek.co.uk/world-news/48678/seventeen-beheaded-taliban-mixed-sex-dancing#ixzz24orxUlvH

Destroying World’s heritage again…

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2012 at 15:30

Max Fisher – Max Fisher is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where he edits the International channel.

These 600-Year Old World Heritage Sites Might Be Rubble by August

The West African city of Timbuktu used to be one of Africa’s richest and most important, a nexus of trade across the Sahara and a center of religious and scientific learning as far back as the 1400s. The relics of that history still stand in the form of such world heritage sites as the University of Sankore. More recently, this city in the sprawling West African country of Mali has been a tourism draw. But, on April 2, it came under new ownership: rebels from an ethnic minority known as Tuareg, who’d sought independence for years. Five days later they got it, declaring northern Mali as the independent country of Azawad. Then, on June 1, breakaway rebels with the extremist Islamist group Ansar Dine (translation: “Defenders of Faith”) took control of Timbuktu.

In their first month of rule, Ansar Dine has shut down the tourism industry (“We are against tourism. They foster debauchery,” a representative said), sent locals fleeing, and, over the past four days, destroyed half of the shrines that mark Timbuktu’s ancient and remarkable history. The United Nations condemned the destruction and the International Criminal Court suggested it could be a war crime, but Ansar Dine insisted they won’t slow down, later pulling a beautiful Gothic door off the Sidi Yahya mosque that became one of the world’s great centers of learning during the 1400s. They follow an extreme form of Islam (though a relatively modern one; it emerged in late-1700s Saudi Arabia) that sees Timbuktu’s shrines and mosque-universities as sacrilegious; a form of idol-worship. Their campaign is still going — it’s been compared to the Taliban’s early-2001 destruction of ancient Buddha statues — and some observers worry that many of Timbuktu’s historical treasures, which have survived countless invasions and empires, won’t live out the month. more: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/under-attack-timbuktus-beautiful-historic-sites/259360/

Islamist militants kill again

In Uncategorized on October 5, 2011 at 21:12

Despite the recent setbacks Somalia’s militant Islamist group al-Shabab has suffered on the battlefield, it has shown that it still has the capacity to strike in the heart of the capital, Mogadishu.

A suicide bomber killed more than 75 people after detonating a truck laden with explosives outside government buildings in Kilometre Four (K4) – a busy crossroads in central Mogadishu.

Among the dead and injured were many students waiting to see if they had gained a scholarship to study in Turkey.

“The scale of the attack has been a surprise to everybody,” says Matt Bryden, a UN investigator on al-Shabab.

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