MQM leader Altaf Hussain is quite vocal against Taliban now days. His main goal is to defeat somehow Taliban, who already had taken ground in Swat or Malakand division, through his speeches & press statements. His guns, sometimes while delivering fires against Taliban, start aiming few agreed principles of Islam also. God knows, purposely or unknowingly!
For example, he says, "Taliban or religious forces are trying to take society towards stone-age." He has said this in a context, when a half-baked doubtful video, from Samar Minallah, a civil society activist, came out depicting a Swat girl being flogged. He also termed flogging or lashing punishment as un Islamic and barbaric, as mentioned by many newspapers. He also wanted all those Taliban "culprits" who had participated in this flogging, should be hanged till death.
Within this context, he has rejected Nizam e Adl regulation for Swat and became furious. He has asked his MQM parliamentarians to stage walk-out when it was getting voted in National Assembly, because he feels that speedy trial courts are not as per the wishes of secular & civil society members. He is further inline with other secular forces that such regulations will take away human rights from common pupil especially women. God knows how, which he didn't explain!
Lets analyse his comments systematically in the light of Islam – probably which he has also studied during his early educational period.
Flogging or lashing the culprits is quite common punishment in Islam and implemented by Holy Prophet himself. Along with, this whole process should be witnessed by a group of Muslims according to the teachings of Holy Quran. If any one who could read Holy Quran (or its Urdu translation) or Shahi Bukhari or Muslim (agreed books of Prophet sayings) then he or she will be able to find out that it is not an unknown or barbaric phenomenon coined by Taliban only today. Since last 1500 years it is an agreed principle of Islamic system of trying culprits & in action in few Islamic countries.
Little beyond flogging; stone-to-death was also practiced for those who committed adultery, if married, during Holy Prophet Days. I am not sure, what Altaf Hussain or his like minded would term this mode of punishment, however its certain that if Altaf Hussain had witnessed this mode, he will not be able to sleep for few days peacefully.
And in today's' environment such harsh punishments are needed for culprits like Hajiano (White Corolla Case, Karachi ), who has raped 62 girls so far in Karachi beside robbery and didn't feel ashamed. Because he is married to a lady doctor & having a baby girl, according to Islam he deserves to be stoned-to-death. We didn't find people like Altaf Hussain or civil society members who care about women so far in Swat, had raised their concern to ensure proper punishment for culprits like Hajiano and giving some relief to Karachi girls!
Perhaps, when Altaf Hussain says that we don't want to take society to stone-age, he means that he doesn't want to take society to the era of Holy Prophet, where the prophet had implemented these Islamic punishments forcefully, and now after so many centuries Muslims like Altaf Hussain are calling that 'golden period' as stone-age era!!!
Most unfortunate moment is that, in his next breath (within same press release) he says that, "We are Muslims; we will be as we believe in one God (Allah) and Holy Prophet & his sacred Shariat." I feel confused, the Shariat of Holy Prophet emphasises on Islamic system of punishments such as flogging whereas the Shariat defined by Altaf Hussain is calling it an act of stone-age or barbarism!
How a Muslim could term the life period of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as stone-age and within same text he feels that he is the best follower of Prophet Muhammad & celebrates Eid Milad un Nabi also with full religious zeal!!!
This is exactly the dilemma of Altaf Hussain – caught in between Islam and Westernization. Accepting few parts of Holy Quran and rejecting few for personal disliking. Because he can't denounce Holy Prophet openly for Jihad or Islamic punishments, knowing the fact that Muhajir community is quite religious since ages, and he has to maintain his secularism to gain West confidence too.
To overcome this problem, Altaf Hussain or secular forces in Pakistan have crafted a new approach – calling Taliban as root of all evils and not to follow the Shariat of Taliban because it includes flogging, stone-to death. As Taliban, because of their few mistakes such as barring female education -which now imparted in Swat after peace accord- and like others, became a symbol of fear for silent majority of Pakistan . Altaf Hussain and secular forces would like to take advantage of this 'fear' and hence targeting Taliban openly and in hidden-reality; the basic principles of Islamic system of punishing culprits are aimed.