|In June 2007 alone, there were more than 20 bomb attacks on music shops in north-west Pakistan. On 4 July, five more music shops were set ablaze with petrol for “promoting obscenity and destroying religious values”
By Pakistan Press Foundation, PPF, in Karachi
The incident on 4 July 2007 happened in the bazaar of Miramshah, the main town in the restive Pakistan’s Federally Administrated Tribal Areas that border Afghanistan. Fundamentalists had earlier warned shop owners in the city to stop the business of selling music and video tapes and discs or be ready to face the consequences.
The Taliban and other religious extremists in Pakistan have been waging a campaign of threats, intimidation and violent attacks against video and music shops because they believe that movies and pop music promote obscenity and are aimed at destroying the religious values of the people.
Three CD shops destroyed in Peshawar
Threatening letters had been sent anonymously through postal system to Shabana Videos and Bilal CD Shop in Nishtarabad. Terming video centres ‘dens of obscenity and vulgarity’, the letters stated: “You should learn a lesson from the treatment meted out to ‘dens of vulgarity’ in Mardan and Charssada. We give you two months’ time for winding up this business, failing which you will be responsible for all the consequences.”
12 music shops attacked in Charsadda
On the same day, Mishal Khan, president of the Muttahida Shopkeepers Association of Charsadda, received a threatening letter from a previously unknown organisation, Tanzim Taliban, that set a seven day deadline for those involved in “adultery, running net cafés and newspaper owners publishing editions on women” to stop their “un-Islamic” activities or they would be subjected to suicide attacks.
Also on 24 June, another music shop in Bilitang town in the North West Frontier Province was bombed. Traders in Biltang held a strike to protest against the blast and demanded the administration provide security to businessmen. Press reports said the police had asked the merchants to arrange for their own security and to “try to switch over to other businesses”. Police blamed the local Taliban for the blast and said they were trying to track down the perpetrators.
Around 35 music shops have been bombed in recent months in Charsadda alone, forcing more than half of the 100 such shops in the area to close down.
Ban on music in North Waziristan
Private radio for radical religious teachings
Following the mosque confrontation in Islamabad a private Islamist FM radio station launched a jihad against the government. The religious leader Maulana Fazlullah asked, in broadcasts on his FM channel on July 3 and 4, his supporters to take up arms against the government to avenge the action taken against Lal Masjid and carry out suicide attacks.
The information contained in this update is the responsibility of PPF. In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit PPF.
Pakistan Press Foundation – 4 July 2007:
|South Asia Terrorism Portal – countinously updated:
‘North West Frontier Province Timeline – 2007’