Disobedience of edicts has deadly consequences

– I’m as much a environmentalist liberal as the next fellow.  But sometimes, I think, “Enough is enough”.   The planet’s small enough as it is and we’ve got to work out how to get along with the biosphere that we’re all dependent on without destroying ourselves during the learning process. 

– We just don’t need or have time for fundamentalist idiocy like this. 

– Sorry, if that’s not PC enough.  But, we’re 10 folks in a boat built to hold six.   And I can think of a few who should go over the side now.   Sorry.

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Militants who have seized control of swaths of Pakistan’s Swat Valley have set today as a deadline for men to grow beards or face retribution.

In the latest edict issued by Taleban forces seeking to impose Islamic law on an area once celebrated as a tourist destination, men have been told to begin growing beards and to wear caps. Barbers in the Matta area, a militant stronghold, have been ordered to stop offering shaves, and have posted signs in their shops asking customers not to request them.

The Swat Valley, just five hours from Islamabad, has gradually fallen under the control of militants headed by the cleric Maulana Fazlullah. Despite claims by the Pakistani Army that they are successfully confronting the extremists, local residents say up to 80 per cent of the valley is outside Government control.

In recent weeks the militants’ tactics have become increasingly extreme. Corpses of people who have fallen foul of the Taleban have been strung up in trees and markets have been ruled off-limits to women.


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