Friday, August 19, 2011

Muslims blame natural disasters on "Dancing Women"

Islamabad - Naming natural calamities after women is not common in Pakistan but attaching such disasters to moral degradation surrounding women is a dominant way of thinking. This is especially true in some areas hit by floods last year where women claim to know exactly why the disaster struck. “It was destined to happen because Allah was angry over a festival organised in Kalam,” most women in upper Swat unanimously say. Naseema Bibi, lost her 17-year-old son in the floods. She is convinced it was Allah’s anger over what went on at the festival. “Women danced there and you know Allah never forgives such deeds. His wrath came in the shape of floods.” Like many other women living close to River Swat in Madyyan, Naseema does not speak or understand Urdu. “I never need to speak Urdu. We step outside our homes only when we are very sick or to get married.” Her two room house is infested with flies. The gutters are choking with filth and garbage and waste of animals is stacked at the street corner. The smiles of little children are covered with dirt. In short, even the minimum standards of cleanliness, considered half faith in Islam, are being violated. The girls here are denied education that is the religion’s base. But for Naseema it were the dancing women who invited trouble. Her 10-year-old son agrees with his mum. “She is right; there was music and women danced. Everyone knows floods came because of that.” Full Story>>

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