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Pakistani play parodying burkas is banned.
April 28, 2007 12:25 PM   Subscribe

Pakistani play parodying burkas is banned A play called Burkavaganza, a satire on the burka, staged this month by the Ajoka Theatre Group in the city of Lahore has been banned by Musharraf's regime. The director of the Ajoka is vowing to challenge the ban on constitutional grounds.
posted by Azaadistani (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
A country filled with Islamic extremists cracked down on a parody something which is sometimes considered part of Islamic culture? The hell you say!

To be honest, I'm amazed anyone was brave enough to try this down there in the first place, and that nothing worse has happened.
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:40 PM on April 28, 2007


Actually, Mitrovarr, maybe it's not that clearcut. I recall a talkshow posted on mefi with the host in drag. i think that was in Pakistan.
And he was interviewing a cleric or a traditional politician.

Made me recalibrate my idea of Pakistan.
posted by jouke at 12:59 PM on April 28, 2007


cue our resident legal scholar to defend the power and beauty of "majority-rules" governance.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:07 PM on April 28, 2007


Well, technically the dictatorship of Pakistan grants freedom of speech. The relevant section with emphisis on the caviats:
Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be freedom of the press, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof...
The consiquences of living in a dictatorship with semi-theocratic overtones I guess. I'd say that the guy's constitutional appeal will fail due to the "glory of Islam" section there. It should be noted that *every* freedom "guaranteed" by Pakistan's constitution has the "subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law" bit appended, which means, of course, that the freedoms don't really exist since anything Musharrif wants can be a "reasonable restriction".

My question is: why does the Bush government continue to pretend that Musharrif is anything other than a dictator and a thug?
posted by sotonohito at 1:12 PM on April 28, 2007


why does the Bush government continue to pretend that Musharrif is anything other than a dictator and a thug?

Because he's a marginally usefull dictator and thug. Also, blithely supporting tyrants is easier than diplomacy, what with all that bothersome tact, and don't get me started with the hassle of gaining a sophisticated understanding of foreign nations. Plus ca change...
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:37 PM on April 28, 2007


sotonohito: because US foreign policy has always embraced dictators and thugs so long as they pay lip service to DC. it's only when they don't or cease doing so that they become problematic, and saddam is a good example. the US seems to think that Musharraf is keeping the Islamists at bay, while he is in reality supporting them and this ban is a good example. the Islamists are a small minority in the parliament and in the opposition, yet Musharraf is banning this kind of speech rather than cracking down on them when they take the law into their own hands. instead, he cracks down on pro-secular theater groups and the legal comunity, with whom he in a constitutional struggle.

also, ajoka's director and moving spirit is a woman, so it would be her constitutional appeal.
posted by Azaadistani at 1:47 PM on April 28, 2007


*with whom he is involved in a constitutional struggle.
posted by Azaadistani at 1:48 PM on April 28, 2007


In retrospect, casting Richard Gere in the lead role may have been a poor choice.
posted by uosuaq at 2:39 PM on April 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


sotonohito: I'm no Asia expert, but it's my general impression that Musharrif is the moderating influence for Pakistan; in the mold of Saddam, Mubarak, etc.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:22 PM on April 28, 2007


Everybody: My question re: Bush and Musharrif was more rhetorical cromplaing than a real question. I'm aware of the history the USA has of dancing with dictators.

Haywood Mogroot: I'm not an expert on the region, but I'll concede that it is possible that Musharrif is a moderating influence. Not *very* moderating, as one of his atomic scientists was busy selling nuke plans to anybody and everybody, but at least moderating in Pakistan.

And there's the nukes of course, there's a certain inevitable and (IMO) not at all bad pussyfooting involved when dealing with any atomic power.

Still, moderating or not, and nukes or not, I don't like to see my country playing nicey nicey with dictatorial thugs. I think that some people just really get off by playing with dictators, and they also like to say "realpolitik" to justify it whether or not realpolitik has anything to do with their decisions at all.
posted by sotonohito at 3:51 AM on April 29, 2007


It should be noted that *every* freedom "guaranteed" by Pakistan's constitution has the "subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law" bit appended, which means, of course, that the freedoms don't really exist since anything Musharrif wants can be a "reasonable restriction".

My question is: why does the Bush government continue to pretend that Musharrif is anything other than a dictator and a thug?


Maybe he just envies him 'cause in the US we still have a few pesky actual freedoms. But there's still a couple of years....
posted by umberto at 3:15 PM on April 29, 2007


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