General Musharraf's Helicopters Drop Tear Gas on Islamic Women's
Woman Leader Says: We Will Resist and Give our Lives if the General
Attacks: We have the right to differ with Ulema who want Women's
Action to Stop
Exclusive Interview with New Trend
On April 18, 2007 New Trend carried out its second interview with
Sis. Umm Hasan who heads Jamia Hafsa in Islamabad which serves 6,000
young women. The Islamic young women here rose in rebellion against
the tyranny of General Musharraf when the Pakistani coup leader
started demolishing mosques in Islamabad. The young women attracted
countrywide support. The government pledged to rebuild the mosques.
The young women then "captured" a "madam" who was working a
prostitution den to supply girls to Musharraf's officials.
The "madam" confessed and gave the Islamic women the list of her
customers. As before, this interview has been translated from the
New Trend: Asalamu alaikum Sister! How is the situation now in Jamia
Umm Hasan: Walaikum asalam. Haven't you heard? General Musharraf's
helicopters raided our school and dropped gas to terrorize our girls.
New Trend: When was this?
Umm Hasan: On Monday, April 16. There were four helicopters. Three
of them were clearly Pakistani army but the marking on the fourth
was not clear.
New Trend: You could see the markings on three?
Umm Hasan: They came down very low to drop the gas. Our girls wanted
to hit them with their lathis [long bamboo sticks], but then the
blinding gas came down. Scores of the girls were almost blinded and
suffocated by the gas. I called the commissioner and protested this
attack on a peaceful Islamic university.
NT: What was the government's response?
UH: The commissioner would not believe me. While I was on the phone,
the helicopters were still there. I asked him, can't you hear the
sound of the helicopters on the phone. He claimed he couldn't!
Fortunately two Swiss journalists were visiting the school when the
raid took place. They filmed the whole episode and we have presented
it now as evidence of the regime's terrorism against Islamic women.
NT: Your movement to expose the extreme corruption in the capital
city of Pakistan has brought forth tremendous support for you from
Muslims as well as widespread resentment from the secularists. You
must have heard that in Karachi a big demonstration was staged
UH: Yes, it was organized by MQM which is led by Altaf Hussain from
London, England. This man Altaf is a hard core criminal responsible
for hundreds of murders in Karachi. The British government is
protecting him in London. His group MQM is a bunch of thugs which
have terrorized the people of Karachi. Opponents from within their
own group would turn up tortured and dead, their bodies dumped in
sacks by the roadside. When MQM was strong it created "no go" areas
in Karachi which were strongholds of murderers, drug peddlers, thugs
of many kinds. MQM is a blight on Karachi's fair name. How such low
lifes could claim that they can preach to Islamic women about law
and order defies all decency.
NT: I know that MQM is a racist-ethnic group which strikes at the
Islamic unity of Pakistan by creating hatred against non-Urdu
speaking people who have a narrow majority in Karachi but my
question is: What is Musharraf's connection with MQM and Altaf who
is in London?
UH: MQM and Musharraf are directly connected. Every now and then MQM
pushes Musharraf to take military action against Islamic movements.
Musharraf needs MQM because of MQM's constituency in Karachi. They
get "elected" by terrorizing their opponents and Musharraf says that
he has "democratic" support in Karachi because of MQM.
NT: My first interview with you has created quite a stir. It has
largely exposed the propaganda campaign which was going on, on the
Internet against Jamia Hafsa. The secularist Pakistanis on the
Internet use a lot of conspiracy theories against you but they are
in a difficult position now. One of these persons in Canada is
disturbed by the open remarks you made against two top women
supporters of Musharraf, Nilofar Bakhtiar and Zubaida Jalal.
UH: That information was provided by the procuress "auntie" Shamim.
Nilofar and Zubaidah have not denied the charges. Note that when
charges were made against me by BBC about our girls threatening to
throw acid on the faces of westernized women, I immediately
NT: Yes, that was in our first interview.
UH: I pointed out that the BBC has told a blatant lie. We can never
think of disfiguring anyone because it would be a violation of the
Islamic Law [Shariah] which we stand for. Then the secularists
spread a rumor that we in Jamia Hafsa are not permitted to go out
and we are not permitted to drive cars. Again I responded and
pointed out in detail that we go out for all our needs and we drive
cars. There is nothing in Islam against it. Similarly, if what we
got from the "madam" about Nilofar and Zubaidah is incorrect, they
NT: What about the Islamic people? I have read that some of
the 'ulema are also criticizing you. They are very conservative
about the role of women in Islam. They say that you are too outgoing
in your activities. What is your response?
UH: Honest differences in interpretation of Islamic texts are quite
valid. Remember that 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, r.a., differed with the
Prophet, pbuh, himself on three momentous occasions and each time
the Qur'an came down in support of Umar, r.a. The three occasions
1. The issue of the captives taken by Muslims at the battle of Badr.
2. The Salatul Janaza for the hypocrite ibn Ubay.
3. The hijab for the household of the Prophet, pbuh.
At this time, we have neither the Prophet, pbuh, here nor the
sahaba, r.a. None of the 'Ulema can dare to claim equality with
either of these. So difference of interpretation is quite valid.
Jihad is central to Islam. We do not agree with those who consider
NT: What will happen if Musharraf's army actually attacks Jamia
UH: We will give our lives. We will defend ourselves to the best of
NT: May Allah keep you safe! May Allah keep you strong!
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