Thursday, June 22, 2006

The wrath of the beards

The country's beards have fiercely guarded the misogynistic and antediluvian hudood ordinance ever since its introduction by the dictator Zia and now a new campaign is afoot to beat back any discussion of reform. The beards ire has been stoked by the tepid Zara Sochieye (Think) campaign of Geo TV and Islamabad is now being lobbied to rein in private media channels. Of course this lobbying effort is backed up by an implicit threat of mob violence.

One hopes that the government will for once do the right thing and stand up for its own declared agenda of 'enlightened moderation' and media freedom. But with an election year on the horizon and with the government's record of yielding to the beards, the country may need to brace itself for another lurch towards extremism.

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