A Death Fatwah has been issued by the insane mullah of Lal Masjid against the staff of Octane. What’s Octane? It’s a progressive, modern fashion magazine in Pakistan. The only issue I could find online is the December ’06 one, which was a special issue on Women’s Rights. It’s no wonder that the miscreant, medieval, mullah from Lal Masjid would want to repress this magazine. It represents the modern world, carrying as it does slick ads for DSL, Bollywood movie ads, and mobile phone ads. What was their great Sin?
They carried an advertisement with clothed models holding an apple titled “Adam and Eve, the bone of contention” which in the dim mind of the Taliban inspired madrassah is certain blasphemy. So now everyone who works for the magazine is under death-threat, just like Salman Rushdie, just like Theo Van Gogh was, just like Hirsi Ali.
Because of the charge of blasphemy, the government had to confiscate all issues and launch an investigation, as the law declares. Story at The International News:
ISLAMABAD: The Khateeb of Lal Masjid, Maulana Abdul Aziz, has issued a death decree against staff at a magazine for publishing a fashion-shoot advertisement entitled “Adam and Eve”.
The fatwa against the chief editor, publisher and other staffers of an English-language magazine called Octane is the latest challenge by the Lal Masjid clerics to President Pervez Musharraf’s government.
“In the magazine’s June edition blasphemy was committed against Hazrat Adam (AS) and Eve… Those responsible for the magazine are liable to death,” Maulana Aziz said in a statement.
The offending photographs were titled “Adam and Eve — Apple the Bone of Contention”, and showed two models in scanty designer-wear costumes holding an apple.
Octane’s editor, Zubair Kasuri, said it was just a commercial advertisement and contained nothing blasphemous, and had been published before by other magazines.
“But even then if it creates any misunderstanding or conveys any wrong perception, we are ready to apologise.”
The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration, meanwhile, confiscated the June 2007 edition of the Octane magazine for publishing “obscene pictures” and all the shopkeepers have been prohibited from selling it.
The staffers of the magazine do not deserve this, they are doing a pretty good job of presenting thoughtful articles about the state of women in Pakistan, and extending the dialogue. More at Gulf Times More at AAJ News.