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When Hugging Is a Crime

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Posted on May 21, 2007

Taking the plunge:  In this “before” shot, Nilofar Bakhtiar prepares to skydive for a charity—an unlikely setting for a career-busting faux pas.

Nilofar Bakhtiar, Pakistan’s federal minister for tourism, is in hot water with clerics in her home country for hugging a skydiving instructor who guided her through a tandem parachute jump for charity last month.  Now, after striking such an “obscene” pose, she’s had to resign from Pakistan’s Cabinet.

A religious court set up by the clerics at a radical mosque in Islamabad issued a fatwa, or religious edict, against Bakhtiar when the photographs first appeared in local newspapers last month.

They urged the government to punish her and fire her from the Cabinet. Bakhtiar failed to win the support of Cabinet colleagues and the government appeared to cave in to the demands of the militants.

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By Trevor, August 19, 2007 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Alright, this is a long time ago but I ahve to ask ONE more question of JANE…

Why is it WOMEN have to be the ones to stay covered to keep bad thoughts out of the MENS minds?  Why are the men not the ones who are locked up and have blinders on their eyes.

If Muslim Men have a religion which is so superior others that it brings them such “peace,” their women should be able to run around naked and none of the other fellows of the superior religion would have a single incorrect thought.

When I see a woman and get an impure thought it is my fault, not hers, no matter what her apparel. Thats called personal responsibility.

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By Trevor, July 17, 2007 at 12:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You said a couple things I can react to.

The first seemed to be that the people who caused the uproar did not care too much, they just cynically used the conservative religion of their supporters get a political advantage.  OK, that happens in the USA too, and it is not even much disguised either.

But I don’t understand something about that “Islam is a religion of Peace” line.  Are you saying Islam is another one of the many religions whose true nature and message is peace, even if a few of its followers don’t live up to that. Or are you saying that Islam is the ONLY religion which brings peace and other religions are by nature LESS peaceful than Muslims. Well, I work with some Muslims, they are fine people. But, to put it mildly, the part of the world run by Islam, today and in past centuries, is no more peaceful and just than the rest of the world.  And in there seem to be even more problems developing BETWEEN muslims themselves than any groups of people.

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By Jane, July 14, 2007 at 10:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Mr. Trevor’s question about Islam’s beliefs, Islam is a very peaceful and calm religion.

Yes, it has said to women to keep “parda” cover from men other than in your own family because it causes negative thinking to arouse in the other men’s minds.

To know more about Islam and its sayings you can go to an Islamic website and read the “ahadis” the sayings of our Holy Prophet(peace be upon him).

They will be good for your understanding as I am no preacher, merely a true follower of Islam and I cannot tell you all the details correctly.

I hope that you will get to know more about the positive side of Islam (there is no negative side).

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By Jane, July 14, 2007 at 10:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am just saying, Mr. Trevor, that this is just the drama which some of the people in Pakistan politics like Peoples Party have made a big issue out of such a small thing. And I was also saying that this was bad on their part but this doesn’t mean that the complete Pakistan is corrupted?? I was just posting my comments there is no need to fight abt it…

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By TREVOR, July 8, 2007 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment
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To the person not happy with the bad news reports about Pakistan—So are you saying this story is NOT true, or that this was a RARE overreaction… or are you just mad when proof of the backwards nature of the country is revealed. 

Now the USA has its backwards trolls too, I’d wince to know that stories of Fred Phelps or the Minutemen were getting big play in Pakistan or any other countries, but I’d have some proof that those were minority views in the States. Do you have some proof we should feel that this story is like that for Pakistan? Do YOU denounce the uproar that a single hug caused?

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By hello, July 8, 2007 at 10:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ecuse me but you are publishing such bad things abt Pakistan. It is not at all a bad country and please mind you language all of you :@

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By Javid, May 23, 2007 at 10:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m sure the minister Nilofar is not a pro on paragliding (sky diving). If this was her first or second jump, it had to be a tendam (instrutor attached to her back). Thank God nobody published the picutre her being in air and a man riding on her back side. She would have been exiled from Pakistan.

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By niloroth, May 23, 2007 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

i really would like to see an interview where someone takes these clerics to task for the batsh*t crazy things that pass for laws in their mind.  I mean seriously, is there anyone out there that really thinks that these people are not a serious threat to humanity?  Don’t get me wrong, i am scared by all religions, but i see no other belief system that is a frightening as islam.  It’s just a F’n hug for crying out loud.  And these people have nukes, mark my words, belief and a magical sky wizard will be the end of humanity.

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By Jacks, May 23, 2007 at 3:25 am Link to this comment

Hugging?!  If she had hugged a Muslim man, I guarantee you they still would’ve been after her head.  Thus, the obscenity to Pakistani officials is…being female.  I swear, people the globe over treat being female as if it was a crime against nature.  A group of people necessary for the survival of the human species is considered an offense.  Unbelievable.

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By yezbok drahcir, May 23, 2007 at 12:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obscenity?  Religion, again, is the obscenity.

Thanks to uptight clerics demonstrating their power and dominion, Pakistan does not seem very warm and inviting right now.  Great tourism flop…

This is just another example of the exploitation of ignorance circumventing a democracy that is free of intimidation.

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By Trevor, May 22, 2007 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I try to be accepting of other religious beliefs, and then something like this comes along to make a whole country and religion look like idiots. I’d assume there are smarter opinions in the region, but where are they?

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By kevin99999, May 22, 2007 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pakistan is an extremely backward country where even normal human reactions are not accepted.

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By rowdy, May 22, 2007 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

what a zany madcap country. bush just loves them. i’m surprised they didn’t stone this woman to death.

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By Lee, May 21, 2007 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes indeed, religion does bite the big weenie. But before we get in a huff over the splinter in their eye over there, we should first pay attention to the rotten 2 x 4 that’s in our own eye right here.

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By QuyTran, May 21, 2007 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

Hugging is a crime but how about a f…...?

I would like to ask clerics that do they have f….. or just have masturbation ?

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, May 21, 2007 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

This cultural/religious stuff is hilarious!

It’s almost beyond comprehension that in this age of instantaneous global communications there still exists such silly customs.

Would TruthDig please find a “cleric” and have him explain for the rest of us the thinking (if any) that goes into such a custom. I think the explanation might even have more entertainment value than the fatwa!

But perhaps I shouldn’t speak so hastily. In Canada, one of the cabinet ministers was heard making an aside to a colleague… something to the effect that George Bush was a moron… and she was required to resign over it. At least Bakhtiar got a hug out of it!

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