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Monday, October 2, 2023


Ceding to extremists unacceptable

Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was shot and killed in December 2007. Tuesday, her countrymen ceded part of their territory to Muslim extremists, who may have been linked to her assassination.

Tehreek-e-Nifaaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi, or Movement for the Establishment of Islamic Law, is led by cleric Maulana Fazlullah, who has been part of the insurgency in Pakistan’s Swat Valley since 2007. The group is responsible for violence in Afghanistan, and Fazlullah is known for his threats against Pakistani schoolgirls seeking education and his affiliation with the Taliban.

Ceding territory to this group grants legitimacy and a home base to their agenda.’ It also presages a likely expansion of the Sharia, or Islamic law, and likely further violence into Pakistan, again spilling over into Afghanistan and India.

Benazir Bhutto was a complex, difficult woman with an extensive education, family background in politics and a clear vision for her country.’ She did not cave to bullying or intimidation and was killed for it.’

Her assassination was difficult enough for her countrymen, but ceding Pakistani land to Taliban rule is inviting more radicals to commit atrocities in the name of Islam, which is unacceptable.

Although the vast majority of media coverage of the Muslim world has focused on strife and violence, most Muslims are peaceful people who seek to practice their religion as freely as any other group.’ The majority of Muslims both here and abroad tend to disagree with the imposition of sharia, and share a near universal abhorrence of murder, whether politically or religiously motivated.

Capitulation to bullies is never a good idea, and when it happens on a scale that leads to the breakdown of rule of law, it should draw international censure.

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