More on this story. There is no way to be sure of what “Aunty Shamim” was involved with (she told the BBC she had only rented a room to a woman). In any event, her case highlights the lack of due process under Islamic clerical rule. There was certainly no presumption of innocence, and an angry, stick-wielding mob doesn’t exactly count as a trial by jury. Sharia Alert. “Islamist vigilantes coerce Pakistanis,” from the Washington Times:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A group of female seminary students in the Pakistani capital yesterday freed a woman they had accused of running a brothel after forcing her to wear a burqa and repent in public.
Students in black burqas seized the woman and several of her relatives from her home late Tuesday during an anti-vice campaign in the capital, taking the law into their own hands and embarrassing Gen. Musharraf’s military-dominated government.
The students are disciples of Abdul Rashid Ghazi, vice principal of the Jamia Hafsa seminary and a cleric at the adjoining Lal Masjid mosque. The mosque has a reputation for preaching hard-line Islam as well as links to an outlawed militant group accused in
sectarian attacks on Shi’ite Muslims.
With no sign of police intervention to force her release, the woman, known as Aunty Shamim, was presented to reporters at the Jamia Hafsa seminary in Islamabad to meet Sheik Ghazi’s demand that she stop “spreading obscenity” in return for her freedom.
“I apologize for my past wrongdoing, and I promise in the name of God that in the future I will live like a pious person,” said the woman, with only her eyes and part of her nose visible beneath an all-enveloping burqa.
However, she said she had “threatened to become a Christian” over her treatment by the students.
“I don’t think Islam allows anyone to beat a woman and drag her through the streets like a dog,” she said, shortly before she was driven home in a car along with her daughter, daughter-in-law and 6-month-old granddaughter.
All of whom, according to the BBC story linked above, were abducted with her.