Honest Ibe Hooper, call your office. You’re needed to explain to the Taliban that Islam and democracy are completely compatible, and Muslims who prefer secular government to Sharia are not abandoning Islam. Can you get the next flight to Islamabad? “Taliban: Pakistani Politicians Not Backing Swat Deal Are Abandoning Islam,” from FoxNews, April 13 (thanks to Lori):
ISLAMABAD “” Pakistani lawmakers who do not support a peace deal with the Taliban that imposes Islamic law in a northwestern valley will be considered to have abandoned Islam, a spokesman for the extremists warned Monday.
Muslim Khan did not say whether the Taliban would punish legislators opposing the deal other than to say a militant council would discuss the matter. The charge of apostasy, or abandoning Islam, carries the death penalty in some quarters.
The provincial government in northwestern Pakistan agreed in February to impose Islamic law in the Swat Valley and surrounding areas in exchange for a cease-fire with Taliban fighters who have terrorized the area for some 18 months, killing hundreds.
But amid criticism from human rights activists and Western allies worried that Swat will become a militant sanctuary, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has delayed signing the agreement. […]
The ANP says an Islamic legal system meets the demands of Swat residents for a more efficient legal system and is the best hope for ending the bloodshed in Swat.
“We are not against taking up the issue in Parliament, but this is not constitutionally needed,” Zahid Khan said. “The president has the power to do it on his own, and he must do it to avoid any worsening of situation in Swat.” […]
Muslim Khan, the Taliban spokesman, said the militants would not oppose a parliamentary debate as a way “to relieve the foreign external pressure,” but “if there is any opposition in the assembly to this regulation, then we will know who are the true Muslims and who are the apostates.”
He said it. It is up to those Muslims that he would consider to be apostates to explain why he is wrong. Ibe? Mr. Schwartz? Khaleel Mohammed? Sheikh Palazzi? Anyone? Anyone?