Misogyny, Patriarchy & Imperialism

Guest blog by Abira Ashfaq posted via the Peoples’ Resistance Mailing List


flogging-in-swatI reacted with horror, and resisted seeing the flogging video on youtube, only to be bombarded with it later on television. I got angry with my mother who recounted the scene with full emotionalism, saying it brought tears to her eyes. I said it was upsetting me too much. By evening I was a bit more objective. But not really. The violent and ferocious messaging in the video was clear. Wars are carved on the bodies of women. Women are raped, tortured, and beaten to further military objectives. Only months ago, news surfaced about Zarina Marri’s torture in a military prison in Baluchistan. And now this whipping. The trauma of the girl is fathomable as the video’s purpose is to make you fathom what fate awaits the women of Pakistan: A naked and public display of fanatical male rage, backed by an authoritative and brutal ‘Islamic’ state.

Is the fear real?

Is this what will happen to Karachi? Our beloved Karachi — the city of lights, tambolas, musical evenings, film festivals, and dharnas? The reality is that Karachi is a schizophrenic city which contains class apartheid, and a gender one too. Most women of our city are in “closed doors” economic apartheid. There is rampant Islamization– the liberal kind that does not conflict with privatization, and the offensive kind that seeks to seclude women further in Hijab and the home.

This offensive kind is still the palatable extremism, one grown familiar on us since the 80s; the overt and militant kind displayed in the video is what we really dread. Is the fear real? Saqib is just back from Mithi in Thar, and reports of a new phenomenon of fresh madrassas with foreign students walking all over the place. A tidbit, sure. But perhaps the fear of it reaching Karachi is not a remote one.

Why then does the MQM’s hate campaign portray working class Pashtuns as Talibans? Many of these Pashtuns have no links with the Taliban and have been settled in Karachi for decades. Why are they manufacturing a fear against them? You should not need a mythical fear if the fear is genuine. Perhaps, the ethnic tensions find root in other turfs, and they are simply free riding the fear of militancy.

What acts of violence do we allow people to see?

Zarina Marri’s case was never verified after the initial article. There was no video footage and no statement on the record. Similarly, there are daily acts of violence committed by our military, our government officials, and our American friends, which are invisible in the media. Why are we protected from their horror? Where are the images of the bodies they burned? 12 lost just yesterday in a US drone attack. The hundred million cries of the disappeared, many of them refugees of Bajour, locked away in military prisons.

Our reaction to the video

We are offered glimpses of the devastation of suicide bombing, and now this. The reaction to the flogging video is rightfully one of anguish and outrage. It is just that our conscience is shocked, and we are moved into action. But who is the culprit here and against whom are we protesting? Which enemy are we condoning, and which one are we villainizing? Can it be that we are being asked to villanize the enemy of the United States? — The need for which is dreadfully personalized by the ugly image of a woman being beaten in broad daylight – the imagery of a rogue state sanctioning a gang rape.

Our demands vary – some demand that the floggers be tried, that our administration renege on the Swat deal, the court stamp it as unconstitutional, and some that the military take stiff and expedient action. Many of us question the legality of US drone attacks on our sovereign nation, but are not angered enough to rally against them. Many of us regret the plight of refugees from FATA, and the civilian losses in the war in FATA. We sympathize with the disappeared persons DHR (Amina Janjua’s group) advocates for, but we are not joining in the cause. Many of us get turned off because reactionary forces also support the missing persons. But does that make an illegal detention any less illegal?

Very few of us are asking for a heavier bombing campaign in FATA. Is this video supposed to sway heart and minds to that — a genocide of the people there? Are we supposed to be enraged by the suicide bombers flouting our powerlessness with daily attacks on police and other state apparatus? Nine para military officers were killed in a SB in Islamabad today. We are already adrift a river of war. Which current will we ride after the flogging?

The United States has an interest in the region, and in Pakistan. How does militancy service or disservice U.S.’s geo-political economic interests? (Say even the innocuous one like coal in Thar). Who is funding and politically backing the militants? If we are truly fighting the militants, then why are we not working to cut off their funding and their radio signals? We know a portion of the funding is from crime and weapons trade, but who is interested in a contorted Sharia rule in FATA, and how does it serve their ideological or economic purposes? What news are we being distracted from? What news are we being shown and is it to build consensus on the war?

Endless joining of dots. Endless.

What rights then are we fighting for?

Shouldn’t we then just identify with the oppressed? The Pashtuns who are targeted for ethnic violence, the missing persons, the Zarina Marris, the Moazzam Begs, the Afia Siddiquis,the women of Swat, the women of Baluchistan (12,000 disappeared Baluchis), Bajour, Waziristan — the hundreds of women who walked miles to refugee camps last fall to escape shelling in their villages in Bajaur — the potential victims of this neo vice and virtue committee emerging in Swat and elsewhere. The women of Karachi, the cities, the villages…

Asma Jahangir is right that this is a flogging on all of us. We need to ultimately build a feminist movement, which is strongly anti imperialist, anti military, and pro independent judiciary. George’s wife, Kiran, was present at the flogging protest at KPC today a friend tells me. It is not surprising that she was upset with the anti American sloganeering, and that issues should not be conflated. Its time we conflated issues. The analysis does not stop at the flogging.



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69 responses to “Misogyny, Patriarchy & Imperialism”

  1. dr.jawwadkhan Avatar

    @amir mughal!

    i am unable to believe that you are such a simpleton,that you do not know why allama iqbal promoted astruggle for the separate islamic country?

    Allama iqbal have two phases of life like any other great leader in the world.his poetry also reflected the two phases of his life. just simple is that

  2. Aamir Mughal Avatar

    i am unable to believe that you are such a simpleton,that you do not know why allama iqbal promoted astruggle for the separate islamic country? Allama iqbal have two phases of life like any other great leader in the world.his poetry also reflected the two phases of his life. just simple is that [Dr Jawwad Khan]


    Dear Jawwad Sahab,

    Why I am being condemned for being simpleton when as per our Khadim Hussain Sahab in another thread of teethmaestro was saying that Jinnah was guided by two Rafizis like Isphahani and Raja Sahab Mehmoodabad???? We had quite a collection of Quaideen – Leaders who were easily duped up, living in phases, First Quadiyani Foreign Minister, Rafizi Mover of Pakistan Resolution in Sindh Assembly.

    And last but not the least we have a Poet Iqbal [as a Pakistan's National Poet] who denies Correct and authentic not Shia but Sunni Hadith that Prophet Jesus [Peace be Upon him] will not appear before Judgement day [but Sunni and Pakistani Muslim reject Iqbal on this] Allama Iqbal also reject verified, authentic and correct Sunni Hadith not

    Shia Hadith, that Mehdi will not arrive before Judgement Day whereas Pakistani Sunni Muslims [who say that Taliban are correct and true Pakistanis] reject Allama Iqbal's False Belief [Allama Iqbal was Fasidul Aqeeda]


    Second Coming of Prophet Jesus [PBUH] and Hazrat Imam Mahdi is proven through detailed and repeated Hadiths and Iqbal deny both. I wonder if you would still call a Childish Debate when I quote Quran and Hadith???

    Allama Iqbal has a very saying about Mehdi’s Image.

    thay tu woh aa’ba tumharay tum kya ho

    haath per haath dharay muntazir-e-farda ho


    howi jis key khudi pehlay baidar, hay wohi mehdi


    He wrote in a poem in Armaghan-e-Hijaz

    “Is the son of Mary dead, or does he live?

    Are Divine attributes separate from God, or one with His Person?

    Is the Coming one the Nazarene Jesus, or a Mujaddid having the son of Mary’s qualities?

    Are the Divine words created, or pre-existing from eternity, In which belief does lie the salvation of the Ummah?

    Are not sufficient for the Muslims today, These Lat and Manat [idols] carved out by theology.”

    One of the letter of Allama Iqbal from Iqbal Nama has this text:

    “I can only tell you what I believe. I consider the Hadith reports about the Mahdi, the coming Messiah, and mujaddidiyya, to be derived from Persian and non-Arab conceptions. They have no connection with Arab concepts or the true spirit of the Quran.”

    In Baqiyat Iqbal, p. 451

    “Look for the descent of God upon the minaret of your own heart,

    And give up waiting even for the Mahdi or Jesus.”

    In Khutba-e-Madras

    “As far as I understand the meaning of this movement, the Ahmadis believe that Jesus died the death of a mortal human being, and the return of the Messiah refers to a person who bears spiritual similarity to him. This belief gives this movement a rational appearance.”

    Dear Jawwad Sahab,

    SWAT flogging was a right thing to do as per Quran and Hadith. I love that Genuine Flogging Video

    I will just quote Quran and Hadith on Poets and both of them condemned Poets and Iqbal was a Poet:

    Since you are very fond of Islam and also of poetry so lets see how the ultimate source of Islam i.e. Quran views Poetry and Poets and please include Poet Iqbal in this category as well as mentioned in Quran:

    “Shall I inform you upon whom the devils descend? They descend on every sinful, false one. They listen eagerly, but most of them are liars.As for poets, the erring follow them. Hast thou not seen how they stray in every valley, And how they say that which they do not? “[Verse 221-222-223- 224-225-226 Chapter 026 AL-SHUARA (THE POETS)]

    And We have not taught him (Muhammad) poetry, nor is it meet for him. This is naught else than a Reminder and a Lecture making plain, To warn whosoever liveth, and that the word may be fulfilled against the disbelievers. [Chapter 36 Verses 69-70 YA-SEEN (YA-SEEN)]

    That it is indeed the speech of an illustrious messenger. It is not poet’s speech – little is it that ye believe! Nor diviner’s speech – little is it that ye remember! It is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. [Chapter 69 Verse 40-41-42-43 AL-HAAQQA (THE REALITY)]

    Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

    The Prophet said, “It is better for a man to fill the inside of his body with pus than to fill it with poetry.” [Muslim]

  3. dr.jawwadkhan Avatar

    The Prophet said, “It is better for a man to fill the inside of his body with pus than to fill it with poetry.” [Muslim]

    more than half century ago when telephone first installed in saudia.mufti aazam of saudia gave the fatwa that it is haram and evil because only a devil can bring the voice from the box.

    this case was presented to late king abdul aziz.

    he called him for meeting with the telephone set in the room.as planned after few minutes of arrival of mufti azam, phone rang.king abdul aziz picked the phone and ask mufi e azam to listen.mufti was reluctant to listen as he believed that only devil can speak on the phone.but king was in no mood to listen him.he pushed him and make him to listen.as he put mouth piece on his ears than some one spoke:

    "la ilaha illal la ho muhammed ur rusool ullah"

    this incident made him convinced that a devil can not say those words and took back his fatwa

    the poetry which Quran and hadith referred is quite different from the poetry after "baasat" like "naat" and "hamd" which is also liked by Nabi e kareem(saww).

    naat was started in his(saww) life.

    really i couldn't understand you.on one side you persistantly give us the refrence and names of the books which according to you, are in your library on the other hand you start the discussions like this.i am really confused

  4. Aamir Mughal Avatar

    the poetry which Quran and hadith referred is quite different from the poetry after “baasat” like “naat” and “hamd” which is also liked by Nabi e kareem(saww).

    naat was started in his(saww) life. really i couldn’t understand you.on one side you persistantly give us the refrence and names of the books which according to you, are in your library on the other hand you start the discussions like this.i am really confused [Dr Jawwad Khan]


    Dear Jawwad Sahab,

    Reference please

    Sir, Allama Iqbal had rejected Hadith of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] regarding Prophet Jesus [PBUH] and Mahdi's arrival.??

  5. Chris Hayes Avatar
    Chris Hayes

    I must say after viewing many peoples comments on many threads it seems Islams biggest enemy is Muslims.

  6. dr.jawwadkhan Avatar

    "I must say after viewing many peoples comments on many threads it seems Islams biggest enemy is Muslims"

    right.completely agreed

    but if you read the history of 20th century you shall realize that america is the biggest enemy of the humanity.

    millions of people were slaughtered to maintain the status of super power.

  7. Chris Hayes Avatar
    Chris Hayes

    Certainly there is a strong arguement for America dooming the world (climate change is one), but I don't think you can support it through deaths. China currently leads the 20th century tally with a bare minimum of 50 million in the civil war in the 1930's. Deaths from Mao are harder to calcualate. But I guess if you look at who killed the most number of different nationalities America is hard to beat, tending to act in multiple countries rather than concentrating on one.

    Still do Muslims really beleive America – lets be honest the most religious western country and one of the 'people of the book' religions at that – can destroy Islam? Certainly its hard for people in the West to see why America is hated more than say the Chinese who are godless communists (okay, no longer communists now straight authoritarians) when both sides prop up regimes persecuting muslims around the world? Indeed I would hazard a guess that supporting the Sudanese government has pushed the tally in China's favour, not to mention of course the differing treatment for Muslims in each country.

  8. Haider Avatar

    The full article can be viewed at


    Here are a few extracts.

    When the Soviet Union finally collapsed, the chessboard was passed to the Clinton administration. The latest mutation of the mojahedin, the Taliban, now ruled Afghanistan. In 1997, US state department officials and executives of the Union Oil Company of California (Unocal) discreetly entertained Taliban leaders in Washington and Houston, Texas. They were entertained lavishly, with dinner parties at luxurious homes in Houston. They asked to be taken shopping at a Walmart and flown to tourist attractions, including the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, where they gazed upon the faces of American presidents chiselled in the rockface. The Wall Street Journal, bulletin of US power, effused, “The Taliban are the players most capable of achieving peace in Afghanistan at this moment in history.”

    In January 1997, a state department official told journalists in a private briefing that it was hoped Afghanistan would become an oil protectorate, “like Saudi Arabia”. It was pointed out to him that Saudi Arabia had no democracy and persecuted women. “We can live with that,” he said.

    The American goal was now the realisation of a 60-year “dream” of building a pipeline from the former Soviet Caspian across Afghanistan to a deep-water port. The Taliban were offered 15 cents for every 1,000 cubic feet of gas that passed through Afghanistan. Although these were the Clinton years, pushing the deal were the “oil and gas junta” that was soon to dominate George W Bush’s regime. They included three former members of George Bush senior’s cabinet, such as the present vice-president, Dick Cheney, representing nine oil companies, and Condoleezza Rice, now national security adviser, then a director of Chevron-Texaco with special responsibility for Pakistan and Central Asia.

    Peel the onion of this and you find Bush senior as a paid consultant of the huge Carlyle Group, whose 164 companies specialise in oil and gas and pipelines and weapons. His clients included a super-wealthy Saudi family, the Bin Ladens. (Within days of the September 11 attacks, the Bin Laden family was allowed to leave the US in high secrecy.)

    The pipeline “dream” faded when two US embassies in east Africa were bombed and al-Qaida was blamed and the connection with Afghanistan was made. The usefulness of the Taliban was over; they had become an embarrassment and expendable. In October 2001, the Americans bombed back into power their old warlord friends, the “Northern Alliance”. Today, with Afghanistan “liberated”, the pipeline is finally going ahead, watched over by the US ambassador to Afghanistan, John J Maresca, formerly of Unocal

  9. reflection Avatar

    @ Chris Hayes,

    you did'nt mention the 20 millions killed by Stalin

    inand outside goolags ?

    How many millions Red Indians were killed by Americans ?

    Americans have killed 1.2 Iraqians

    Americans have killed 900.000 Afghanis women and children

    Vietnam how many ?

    Americans are hated because they are the worst people

    of Book for other fellow people of book,its evil.

    Well, China, Russia, were communist anti-religion, it is

    undertood, but, which part of American body is evil ?

    the balls or the f…g brains ? Have Neocons succeded ?

  10. Osama, Hounslow Avatar
    Osama, Hounslow

    Someone asked about convicted fraudtser Saifee Durbar whereabouts, my information is that he currently rents a flat somewhere near Brook Street, London. Saifee Durbar evading prison sentence in France for the second time. I hear Saifee Durbar is a rapist & has previous arrest warrant outstanding in France for sexual assault and downloading child pornography. If my friend wants any more information on this crook Saifee Durbar log on to the Diligizer Blacklist website of financial fraudsters.

    1. Francis Avatar

      SAIFEE DURBAR AKA PATEL MINISH was extradited on 2nd Dec 2009 to France, he was sentenced and jailed on 8th December 2009 for three years firm at la Sante prison in central Paris.

      More charges are pending against him in France and in the UK, if you have been his victim please send your details and inquiries to lawjustice@ymail.com

  11. readinglord Avatar


    you say:

    "you have already quoted the definition of “muslim” and every one is agreed on it.

    problem arised when we try to mark the boundries of islam.

    only because people want to cross every line meanwhile want to be known as muslim."

    Do you want to be a 'Muslim' meaning 'submitter (maghloob) without Iman'?

    For your information, Shias generally like to be called 'Momin' and others as 'Muslims' ( Submitters to Yazidi Islam, perhaps). Pakiies are today veritably submitters to sectarian Islam (deen-e-fassad) of the Mullah.

  12. dr jawwad khan Avatar
    dr jawwad khan

    muslim is a legal definition while the word momoin represents the high quality of islam which someone practices.only Allah(swt) can decide who is momin and who is not.

    submission of one's free will for the Allah(swt) is a nobel and hardest thing one can do.

    yeh shahdat gahey ulfat men qadam rakhna

    log asan samajhtey hen musalan hona

    muslim are fortunate that they have the glorious asset.but at the same time they are most unfortunate because they are not willing to be benefited by this prescious gift.

    submission of free will for the Allah(swt) is quite different from engaging in some extremist activity.

    for example Allah(swt) prohibited and warned from killing innocent person therefore a true follower always refrain himself taking innocent life. while extremist does that happily.

    best regards

  13. readinglord Avatar

    @dr jawwad khan

    Legal definition of 'Muslim': Is there any? Its news for me. Will you please let me know this as what I have come to know so far is only a negative one, i.e., who is not a Muslim.

    Again, Muslim and Momin is not a question of gradation but a qualitative difference. Iman means belief only and the 'Muslim' means submission, i.e., practice without believing – verse 14 Sura Hujrat (49).

    It is perhaps why the Mullah uses the term Muslim only.

  14. Nathanael Mcgown Avatar

    Hey I just wanted to let you know, I actually like the piece of writing on your web site. But I am using Flock on a machine running version 8.x of Crashbang Ubuntu and the look and feel aren't quite kosh er. Not a important deal, I can still fundamentally read the articles and explore for information, but just wanted to inform you about that. The navigation bar is kind of tough to apply with the config I'm running. Keep up the great work!

  15. readinglord Avatar

    @dr jawwad khan

    I will advise you to read 'Inquiry Report' by Justice Munir on the anti-qaadyaani riots of 1953. According to this Report the so called jayyad ullema failed to arrive at an agreed definition of 'Muslim'. The challenge is still open.

    There is an ineresting couplet of Josh Malihabadi about momin and muslim. He said:

    "Momin nah kare sajidah to Muslim nah rahey

    Aarif jo karey sajidah to 'kafir' ho jaaey

    1. Aamir Mughal Avatar

      Real & Filthy Face of Alleged Ummat-e-Muslimah

      Iqbal was Itching for Azan in Kaleesa and Muslims everywhere, there an alternate version of Iqbal's wish is as under:

      ایک ہی ہوں مسلم حرام کی پاسبانی کے لیہ نیل کے ساحل سے لے کر تابخا کے کاشغر تک “سب

      کافر ہیں

      فلیٹ کے سامنے ایک ترک لڑکی کھڑکی میں سے فائرنگ اور ہنگامے کا منظر دیکھ رہی تھی بلوائیوں نے اسے دیکھ لیا، اسے تشدد کر کے نیچے لائے اور بعد میں ذبح کردیا۔‘

      ڈاکٹر سمعیہ

      ڈاکٹر سمعیہ کے مطابق انہیں بچوں پر بھی رحم نہیں آرہا تھا انہوں نے ایک تین چار سالہ بچے کو ٹانگوں سے پکڑ کر دیوار پر دے مارا جبکہ ایک پندرہ سالہ بچے کو فلیٹ میں سے نیچے پھینک دیا اس میں ابھی بھی سانسیں تھیں تو اس پر دوبارہ تشدد کیا۔

      اوش: موت کا سفر کر کے واپس پہنچے

      آخری وقت اشاعت: منگل 15 جون 2010 , 08:52 GMT 13:52 PST


    2. Aamir Mughal Avatar

      You cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. PEACE FLOTILLA A CRUDE JOKE WITH DOOMED POOR PALESTINIAN: Israel and Turkey: From Covert to Overt Relations by Jacob Abadi http://www.lib.unb.ca/Texts/JCS/Fall95/abadi.pdf by the way you don’t need Rocket Science to narrate the harsh truth. But I wonder when will this Ummah’s flight to La La Land would end.