Have You Seen The Video?

The BBC says:

Pakistan’s top judge has called for a court hearing into the public flogging of a teenage girl, which was captured on video and shown around the world.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has ordered police and government officials from the north-western Swat Valley to bring the girl to court next week.

The film shows apparent Taleban members holding her down and hitting her with a strap as she cries out in pain.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has condemned the incident as “shameful”.

Local sources said the girl had been accused of illicit relations with a man and that the flogging took place about a month and a half ago.

Since then, the provincial government in the North West Frontier Province agreed to implement Sharia law as part of a peace deal with militants there.

A press release quoted Chief Justice Chaudhry – who was only recently restored to office – as saying the action was a cruel violation of fundamental rights that gave Pakistan a bad name.

The language in the video is of the Swati dialect of Pashto, says the BBC’s Abdul Hai Kakar.

The burka-clad woman is heard crying throughout the two-minute flogging and at one point swears on her father that she will not do it again.

Relatives of the man involved in the incident told the BBC he had gone to the house of the girl in the village of Kala Kalay to do repairs as an electrician, but militants accused him of having a relationship with her.

They dragged him from the house and flogged him before punishing the girl, his relatives said.

The Taleban made the girl’s brother hold her down during the flogging, they said.

After the incident, the Taleban forced the couple to marry and instructed the man not to divorce his wife. His relatives say he has been left mentally scarred.

The incident happened weeks before the new Sharia courts began to be introduced in Swat.

Friends who have seen this video, have been in tears today.

The woman wears a burkha throughout her beating. The conjunction of the legal system that executed this punishment, and the mode of dress mandated for this woman, is the most powerful metaphorical argument against veiling that I can imagine. Let’s hear those argument for the burkha as a form of women’s liberation again, shall we?

Never forget: this is precisely the form of government for which Islamists yearn.