‘Unreligious music’: Over two dozen militants storm wedding function

Published: December 6, 2012

“The writ of the government is limited to the daytime after which militants freely roam the area,” says former head of the Adezai Aman militia. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

PESHAWAR: 

Twenty-five heavily-armed militants stormed into a wedding function in Hamid Machine village late Tuesday night and demanded the ‘anti-religious’ celebrations to stop. 

The militants, carrying rocket launchers and machine guns, destroyed musical instruments in the hujra of a resident Younas, whose wedding was scheduled for Friday.

“Around 10 men entered the hujra where the mehndi was taking place and 15 others waited outside the building,” said a local elder, requesting anonymity. He added that militants had said that this was against religion and not allowed in ‘their’ area. Locals said it was the first time such an incident had happened.

Residents added that the militants’ hostile attitude towards Adezai villagers was well-known but it is the first time that militants had interfered with people in Hamid Mahcine on Azakhel road. The incident has sent a wave of panic across the region.

Former head of the Adezai Aman militia, Dilawar Khan criticised the police for not handling the situation. “The police is entirely responsible,” he said, “they are reluctant to take action against militants and their sympathisers in the area.”

Dilawar Khan

Dilawar said the act was alarming as it indicates the presence of militancy in the area despite his militia having been disbanded. “The writ of the government is limited to the daytime after which militants freely roam the area,” he said.

Mattani police said that they have had no information about the incident and that no one had approached them in this regard.

Militants have previously declared the people of nearby Mattani village ‘neutral’ and have pledged time and time again not to target them. Inhabitants of other nearby villages were also expecting the same, but after their call to bar playing music, locals have become fearful.

An elder from Mattani said that militants claim that their enemies are based in Adezai — where a peace militia rose against them — while the people of Mattani have been declared ‘safe’ and are not meant to be targeted.

However, after the latest event, villagers fear for their lives once again.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2012.

Reader Comments (40)

  • Dec 6, 2012 - 11:20AM

    Mehendi is a Hindu ritual, the ritual of my homeland. I totally see Taliban’s, or whoever it is, point.

    At least these guys are standing up for something they think is right!

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  • Sharjeel Jawaid Jawaid
    Dec 6, 2012 - 1:21PM

    Music at weddings is according to Islamic traditions. Hadith gives us examples of Prophet Muhammad [SAWS] suggesting it as a part of wedding celeberations. Whaile I dare quoting the basics, may I also add there would have to be some limits for the ‘music’ to remain within the domains of civility.
    Unfortunately we have reached a point, where a Mustafa Kemal is needed for putting religion to where it primarily belongs; i.e. in the person and not in street craft.

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  • Someone in the know
    Dec 6, 2012 - 1:24PM

    Despite being a non-Taliban in every aspect of my life and despite the fact that I hate they way they force themselves on others, Wedding Celebrations in Pakistan have simply come to a point where they are vulgar and extremely wasteful. Days and days of celebrations and meals and dance parties simply do not reflect the sombre event that is marriage.

    The youth of this country must stand up and stop these wasteful events. While a huge chunk of our nation goes without food or water or shelter or fuel or safety, we go about spending money on weddings as if there is no tomorrow.

    Shame on all of us.Recommend

  • Super Star
    Dec 6, 2012 - 1:25PM

    The Musicians and singers in Pak have a “bright”future dont they ? On second thoughts Islam forbids music and musical instruments. The militants are right. They are standing up for what is written in religious texts.

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  • Pak
    Dec 6, 2012 - 1:28PM

    Mehendi might be a Hindu ritual but there are so many functions that are not stated in Islam.. My point Islam is a diverse religion and has the ability to adapt, a ritual like Mehendi which is now a culture function for Pakistani (if not south asia) had been easily adapted.. It are these extremists that love to enforce their own writ on the people (not of Islam) just for their own satisfaction and power… Recommend

  • ZR
    Dec 6, 2012 - 1:33PM

    If everyone starts standing up for what they think is right, there will be civil warn and blood shed!!

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  • JJ
    Dec 6, 2012 - 1:41PM

    @Someone in the know: Who the ** are you to decide what is vulgar and extremely wasteful. It is a person’s right to do whatever he wants with the money he earns. It is the people like you who force their morality on others and provide space to these animals called Taliban. If you have a charitable heart go all out and spend every penny you have but stop judging others. There is a GOD for that

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  • Dec 6, 2012 - 1:54PM

    @Sharjeel Jawaid Jawaid:

    Do weddings in Saudi Arabia and Iran have Mehendi functions and music? Isn’t it a Hindu ritual? I don’t like Pakistanis claiming Indian rituals as their own.

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  • Dec 6, 2012 - 2:04PM

    @Pak:

    Then what is the Two Nation Theory all about if India and Pakistan share the culture? Why ban basant, for instance?Recommend

  • Pashtun Khan
    Dec 6, 2012 - 2:43PM

    arabs and their apologists are after destruction of pakhtoons culture. Pakhtoons nationlists say no to arab and their mullahs culture, we will never allow them to impose their culture over ours

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  • Tongue
    Dec 6, 2012 - 3:51PM

    @ET: What do you mean by Unreligious music? Come On !! Is there any religious music as well?

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  • Super Star
    Dec 6, 2012 - 4:50PM

    ” Sharjeel Jawaid Jawaid ”
    Music at weddings is according to Islamic traditions ? How is a Hindu ritual part of an ” Islamic tradition “. From what i know through many experts in Islam, music and musical instruments except ‘duff’on some occasions are strictly prohibited.

    Is Islam so flexible that you can include anything you ” like ” to do as Islamic tradition ? Think again what you just said . If this was really so Islamic countries and its people and its minorities would have been different from what it is today.

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  • Faraz
    Dec 6, 2012 - 4:54PM

    @BruteForce:
    Saudi Arabia doesn’t have any natural lakes and rivers. Why don’t you go ahead and lose yours?

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  • Paki
    Dec 6, 2012 - 5:08PM

    Those who are not Pakistanis, have no right to define what is Pakistani culture. And those who wants to know the culture of Pakistan, first they should try to find the meaning of culture. This is from India, that is from … and etc etc. Culture less people should live in Jungles.

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  • Anthony Permal
    Dec 6, 2012 - 5:28PM

    @BruteForce:
    What do you mean you don’t like Pakistanis claiming ‘Indian’ rituals as their own? Last I heard, there are Hindus in Pakistan too. If this is a Hindu ritual it doesn’t make it an ‘Indian’ ritual. Get your bigoted mind out of the gutter.

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  • poleturtle
    Dec 6, 2012 - 6:11PM

    The problem is not what is right and what is wrong. The problem is the right of some citizens to force others not to do what they dislike. This is called Fanaticism and is sadly now prevalent all over the world. More so in Pakistan where the Mullah thinks he has the divine right to enforce his own will.

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  • uk_muslim
    Dec 6, 2012 - 6:17PM

    i am with BruteForce.

    pakistan is the vivid example of selective perception.

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  • antony
    Dec 6, 2012 - 6:28PM

    @Anthony, I think you missed the hidden hint Bruteforce is suggesting . There is no one saying in India that this is a pakistani tradition and hate a community for following it ..But in Pakistan you have so many influential voices sounding any thing related to Hindu Ritual followed by South Asians as Indian Ritual and to term it as Anti Islamic ! . Basant festival is one example Brute Force gave…

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  • Ahmed Khan
    Dec 6, 2012 - 6:36PM

    @BruteForce:

    The little knowledge that you posses has not allowed you to know that what the event that we call ‘Mehndi’ is also observed in many arab countries and are referred to as ‘Henna’ parties or celebrations. These expressly have singing and dancing in them. Some are segregated and some are not. Just like here. I have experienced these personally.

    So have they also gotten this from our Hindu neighbours? Surely not.

    Furthermore if you want a total break with our own history? Please note that your Grandparents and perhaps one of your parents was also an ‘Indian’ at one point in time.
    You dont want to celebrate or attend Mehndi’s? Be my guest. But for heaven’s sake leave others alone.

    Recommend

  • abc
    Dec 6, 2012 - 7:05PM

    It is so pathetic to see people justifying/sweeping under the carpet the threat faced by these barbaric rabid animals called Taliban, all in the name of “morality”.

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  • Toba Alu
    Dec 6, 2012 - 7:19PM

    @Sharjeel Jawaid Jawaid:

    Can you for once stop with checking whether everything in live is in accordance with Islam traditions. I don’t think the computer you write on, the electricity you use or your Ipod, Ipad, Iphone or Icrazy is in accordance with Islamic traditions.

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  • rehman
    Dec 6, 2012 - 7:34PM

    Welcome dark age.

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  • Saleem
    Dec 6, 2012 - 8:45PM

    Plz. do not compare us with saudis and arabs. Despite abundant wealth they lack intelligence and ability for hard work and are dependent on expats to run their countries.Recommend

  • Saz
    Dec 6, 2012 - 9:20PM

    We don’t live in Saudi Arabia we live in Pakistan which used to be India , Afghanistan and Iran. Being Muslim dose not mean being Arab what ever you may think. Also yes there is song and dance in Arabic weddings though I don’t know specifically about Saudi Arabic weddings@BruteForce:

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  • Saz
    Dec 6, 2012 - 9:23PM

    If it music in weddings is not allowed then I wonder why dose it happen in most Islamic filters world wide. The autocratic laws of the kingdom of sauidi Arabia not with standing.@Super Star:

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  • Saleem
    Dec 6, 2012 - 9:35PM

    Who are these thugs to tell the people what music they should listen to or how they should dress etc etc. Isnt there a constitution or law in the land of pure. why don’t these thugs all go to saudi arabia.Recommend

  • indian
    Dec 6, 2012 - 9:40PM

    pakistan at its best :D………….. keep going this way….:)

    Recommend

  • Genesis
    Dec 6, 2012 - 10:15PM

    Remember except for the Arabs the rest of the Muslims are converts and so their cultural practices of their earlier religions becomes part of their rituals.

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  • Nanu Nane
    Dec 6, 2012 - 10:24PM

    @BruteForce;

    Mehndi is from the north of India and you are from the south. They have more of the claim on that culture than us. I think it is time we Indians stopped doing acting like fools on this forum.

    Recommend

  • Nanu Nane
    Dec 6, 2012 - 10:25PM

    @Anthony Perumal:

    Thanks for saying what was needed.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Dec 6, 2012 - 10:59PM

    And some still insist that the old temple in Karachi was not destroyed! We can destroy even our weddings if some comes up with anything “Hindu”. Welcome to Talibanistan.

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  • Wasim
    Dec 6, 2012 - 11:38PM

    It is not right that we as Muslims should continue these pagan Hindu practices. These are rituals of primitive people. The only true religion is Islam and the Arabic is the divine language We should encourage only Islamic values in our country. Our social and economic model should be those of Arab countries and not the west or Indians.

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  • s shah
    Dec 7, 2012 - 1:08AM

    @Wasim: That is not the point. The point is that no one has the right to impose their beliefs or their version of Islam on other people by force. There are many interpretations of what Islam does or does not allow and everyone has the right to live their lives in peace without being hounded by these Taliban barbarians.

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  • Misery Ghalib
    Dec 7, 2012 - 1:43AM

    @Wasim: brother – the social and economic model that arabs follow is simple – curse non-arabs and ask west for money. is this what you want ?

    Recommend

  • gp65
    Dec 7, 2012 - 2:08AM

    All piling onto @Bruteforce

    He is being saracstic and pointing to duoble standards. On one hand ban Basant because it is a Hindu festival. on the other hand continue with mehndi functions. On the one hand justify all kinds of oppression on minorities citing 2 Nation theory and on the other hand ignore Islamic injunctions when they suit the individual.

    If he right in pointing to the hypocrisy or do you think it does not exist?

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  • Dec 7, 2012 - 7:56PM

    Ufff, so many comments.

    My point is Pakistanis keep talking about their culture. But, Mehendi is India’s culture. Dancing at weddings is a common thing all over the world. But, I bet the way it is done in Pakistan is more similar to the way it is done in India, than the west or anywhere in the Arab countries.

    Where is Pakistani culture, the Second Nation of the Two Nation theory? I only see rip-offs of Indian culture paraded around as Pakistan’s.

    To the ultra-Indo-Pak-Friendship-at-all-costs kinda people, calm down. I am addressing Pakistanis, not Indian Muslims. Many of the Indian Muslims are proud of the HIndu-influenced rituals. They don’t call it Islamic. They are proud of their Indian-ness. So, no problem.

    When it comes to branding you should be strict about it. The Indian Wedding is unique, the Indian Music for weddings is unique, colourful and unlike anywhere else in the world. Why should others call it their own, especially when they proudly own theories like Two Nation Theory? Aren’t they contradicting themselves?

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  • Robert
    Dec 10, 2012 - 9:09AM

    @Genesis, Even Arabs are converts. Think about it…

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  • Nobody
    Dec 22, 2012 - 5:50AM

    @BruteForce:
    Arab weddings actually have a function called the Henna. Very similar to the Southeast Asian function Mehndi. No one has a copyright on a celebration.

    So what if a mehndi is of “Indian” origin people? The two countries have a similar culture and that’s not something to fight against. Islam never forbid celebrating your culture. So tired of this sickening holier than thou attitude. People who adopt such an attitude get no where in life. Live and let live people.

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  • Nobody
    Dec 22, 2012 - 5:53AM

    @BruteForce:
    Lol they’re not standing up for what they think is right man. They’re using brute force (what a coinky dink) on anyone and everyone to establish a position in power. They don’t give a damn about what’s right, moral, ethical, appropriate or religious. It’s a power play and will accomplish nothing but bloodshed, destruction, violence, hatred and terror. Hence the label “terrorists.”

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  • Dec 22, 2012 - 10:16AM

    @Nobody:

    I talk about the Mehendi ritual. In all honesty tell me if the Pakistani version is more similar to India or Arabia?

    What about the Music?

    Its a Hindu ritual!!! Don’t paste it as a Pakistani because it is not! Pakistan came into existence 66 years ago. Muslims were influenced by these Hindu rituals. But, that doesn’t make it Islamic, but will remain an Indian ritual.

    The Taliban want none of this. All they want is Islam and what is prescribed in the Holy Books.

    If you feel otherwise, go talk to them, not me. I am just stating things as it is.

    I am concerned about brands. I don’t like Pakistanis claiming Indian rituals as their own. You talk about Mehendi, but wasn’t Yoga too born in what is today’s Pakistan? Due its inherent and bold Hindu symbols, it cannot be attached to anything but India, so Pakistanis do not claim it.

    This is hypocrisy. You want Pakistani culture, but end up adopting Indian ones. Reject Yoga, Basant, Kite Flying, but want Mehendi, citing lame reasons.

    “Lol they’re not standing up for what they think is right man. “

    Sure they are!! What they think is right is regressive and plain wrong, but they are fighting for it. Using violent means and blackmail to get what you want, isn’t that the essence of Pakistan? Direct Action but on a grander scale..

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