Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Nilofar Bakhtiar, a Pakistani government minister in France at the time, has had a fatwa issued against her by some Islamic clerics back home, reports The Australian's South Asia correspondent, Bruce Loudon. She had just jumped out of an aeroplane at a tourist resort when she hugged a Frenchman "even older than my father", she said.

But that cuts no ice with the mullahs at Islamabad's Red Mosque, who have said that she must be sacked and punished. They also want her family to "force her to ask for forgiveness". Bad girl.

If I had just jumped out of a plane, I'd be feeling pretty peppy, too. It's natural for a neophyte to express their emotions in an unmediated way. I'm just guessing, but paragliding is probably quite a buzz for a cloistered Pakistani girl.

Reuters also reports the story.

Loudon says that the clerics' move is "the latest chapter in a Taliban-style anti-vice campaign" by the Red Mosque's bearded ones. I'm sure they know better than me what's acceptable practice in Pakistan, but as they say: when in France...

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