Much better to leave it to a Tiny Minority of Extremists to wield all legislative, executive, and judicial power, eh? This story appears to precede Bhutto’s assassination yesterday, but is nonetheless highly relevant to yesterday’s events.
“Taliban leader warns against using religion for electoral gains,” by Iqbal Khattak for the Daily Times:
BANNU: A senior Taliban leader warned parties on Thursday against “using religion for electoral gains”, saying they would join parties urging boycott of January 8 polls.
“In Shariah, democracy is un-Islamic. Our movement is completely against what you call democracy in which a small majority can decide irrespective of the fact whether what they have done was good or bad,” the Taliban leader, asking not to be named, told Daily Times in an interview here.
He said the Taliban were “against elements who are using Islam for electoral gains”.
This un-named Taliban leader doesn’t appear to take into account the fact that democracy might be used to bring about more Sharia law; after all, the success or failure of a democracy depends on the values that inform its participants– both candidates and voters. But perhaps Sharia-by-democracy isn’t fast enough, and those gains won’t guarantee the abolition of the present system. And at any rate, this election won’t hand the Taliban the absolute power to which they believe they are divinely entitled.
The warning comes at a time when Maulana Fazlur Rehman, contesting the National Assembly seat NA-26 in Bannu besides NA-24 (Dera Ismail Khan), is rallying for party candidates to win as many National and provincial assembly seats amidst stiff challenges from rival candidates in southern districts of the Frontier province, the JUI-F heartland.
Severe punishment: “Our members in Bannu district are strictly barred from taking part in the elections and anyone found guilty of violating the directive will be severely punished,” said the senior Taliban leader who did not wish to be identified.
He said there were around 500 Taliban members in Bannu city. “We will join forces trying to convince the people that people’s solution of problems does not rest with democracy,” he said.