After video clips of a 17-year-old girl being flogged in public by Taliban fighters in Pakistan's Swat valley were shown on TV, India's Islamic scholars denounced it as "un-Islamic" and "satanic" and condemned it as "gross violation" of Quranic codes.Renowned Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan spoke out strongly against the incident and added that if anything, the act was absolutely "un-Islamic - even satanic"."This kind of treatment is neither Islamic nor human. In fact, not only is it un-Islamic and inhuman, but also satanic," Khan, who has authored over 200 books on Islam, told IANS."The first thing that should be done is to educate people, develop ethical values, sensitivity towards women and treat them equally. Society can be reformed through education - punishment (of the perpetrators) can never be the starting point for any kind of reform or change," he added.
Similarly, Mushirul Hasan, vice chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia university, condemned the incident saying that it was a wrong portrayal of Islam, which preaches exactly opposite of what the Taliban were seen doing to the hapless young girl."I am horrified. This (incident) is a gross violation of Islamic and Quranic injunctions which teaches humanity, love, peace and magnanimity," Hasan told IANS.The dangers of imposing Sharia laws in Pakistan's restive Swat Valley were brought into sharp focus Friday with the airing of a two-minute video showing a 17-year-old screaming, burqa-clad girl being whipped by Taliban fighters for coming "out of her house with another man who was not her husband".The grainy video, shot on a mobile phone, showed the girl face down on the ground. Two men held her arms and feet while a third, a black-turbaned man with a flowing beard, whipped her repeatedly.
Salima Khan, a student doing her PhD in Delhi University, said that she literally boiled in anger after seeing the video clip on YouTube, the popular video sharing website and then again on TV."I can't believe how anybody can humiliate and beat up an innocent young girl in the name of religion. And what was her fault - that she was seen with a man who was not her husband! Who in their right state of mind would ever dare to do such a dastardly act?"Such acts just show how Islam has been grossly misinterpreted by a handful of people who are using it as a tool to serve their own cause," Salima said angrily.
On YouTube, the video received thousands of hits overnight and a barrage of comments.
One of the comments read: "These people (Taliban) should be given a taste of their own medicine. They should be whipped in public for maligning the name of Islam and inflicting torture on poor, helpless women".Another comment from an Indian woman read: "Thank God I was born in India and not there (Swat valley). There they treat women like animals - no, even worse. To live a life like that seems like sheer hell."However, the authorities of Darul Uloom, one of the most renowned seminaries in the Deoband town of western Uttar Pradesh, chose to keep mum.
Maulana Abdul Khaleeq Madrasi, pro vice chancellor of the seminary, told IANS: "We cannot give any statement on the matter from the institution as we don't know the details at the moment".India has an estimated 140 million Muslims, the third largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan.