frandroid: Pirate ghostship, moored in a lava creek, underground. (ghostship)
Very interesting BBC article on the implementation of Sharia in the Swat valley of Pakistan.

This follows Chapati Mystery's Reading Swat from February, which compiled a bunch of articles on the topic, from both the U.S. and Pakistan.

If you haven't really followed this topic on the news, the Pakistani government in February agreed to let the Swat valley be governed by Sharia law, after Pakistani Taliban elements where basically chasing the government out of there and were becoming more threatening to the rule of law elsewhere. At first this might sound like a heretic proposition, but as the first article demonstrates, it's not all bad, although there's no coverage of rape/adultery cases, which is where things often get ugly. (They also are ugly under non-sharia Pakistani law, though.)

I'm posting about these things because Pakistan is shaping up to become the most important area of Obama's foreign policy as it relates to Afghanistan, the Taliban, and in some smaller (but not unimportant) measure Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and the future of Islamic terrorism and militancy against the United States and its allied regimes. The implications for global security are quite important.

I have found Chapati Mystery, in particular, to be a rich source of information: Sepoy (Manan Ahmed) holds South Asia history PhD from the University of Chicago, has a progressive take on things and has quite a depth of historical and political knowledge.

I need to read Tariq Ali again, although the value of his writing works at a different level...

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