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Talibanization of the NWFP?
One of the problems inherent with democracy is that there is an exceeding likelihood of an agenda of oppression under the guise of traditional, cultural or religious legitimacy being imposed by groups of people who have sufficient finesse or appeal to grab power. The increasing anti-American sentiment in Iraq bodes well for Islamic extremists that intend to impose a rather strict, Talibanistic version of the religion on the people of Iraq, and this concerns me. These ill winds of the state defining virtue, determining what's vice and interpreting the vast body of Sharia to fit their visions of how Islam is meant to be followed, are blowing rather strongly in the North West Frontier Province in Pakistan, where the ruling alliance, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal or MMA, is proposing what it calls the Hisbah Bill, that is intended purportedly to curb corruption and root out social evil. Obviously, the problem with legislation of this kind is that it reflects, merely, one point of view, a filtered interpretation, that ultimately stifles a social structure, it kills the child instead of disciplining it, so to speak. By focussing on trufles like ads showing partially clad women, and thus diverting scant resources, legislators would much better serve their constituents by addressing the broader issues, like education, emancipation of women, better healthcare and infrastructure development. Admittedly, I don't have much knowledge of Pakistan's internal political organization and structure but they have suffered from a rather wobbly democracy in their fifty seven years of independence and it would only serve the Pakistanis better if their governments spent more time on governing and less on infusing the laws of the country with narrow definitions of virtue.

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