Of tattoos and ‘foreign hands’

Published: December 26, 2012
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According to religious scholars, having tattoos on the human body is against the teachings of Islam, and so, as ‘our’ militants are so pious, it couldn’t have been them.

We frequently lend ears to a clichéd line by government representatives every few days – it starts with ‘we condemn the incident’ and ends with ‘a foreign hand’.

In a recent incident that killed at least 15 people and wounded more than 46 in Peshawar, it seemed that the only object of interest was the ‘un-Islamic’ tattoo of the Uzbek suicide bomber. A tattoo that was alien to ‘Muslim’ identity.

While every newspaper showed pictures of the attacker’s dead body bearing the Boris Vallejo sorcery character image, the government seemed strangely relieved. It was perhaps satisfied that for once it won’t be blamed for deteriorating law and order, because hey, a satanic tattoo and an Uzbek….this was clearly way out of their control.

Besides, the explanation of ‘a foreign hand’ did not seem out of place here. The incident spoke for itself.

According to religious scholars, having tattoos on the human body is against the teachings of Islam, and so, as ‘our’ militants are so pious, it couldn’t have been them. So what if Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claims responsibility, they are too generous about claiming responsibilities anyway, aren’t they?

The victims’ families will suffer of course, but the government’s ‘condemning’ of the incident will resolve that. Problem solved. Everyone can now sit back and see how ‘foreign hands’ take down the country.

What our rulers fail to understand, or are perhaps denying, is that whether it’s a ‘foreign (tattoo-clad) hand’, or a shalwar kameez wearing militant, it is our country that is suffering, our people who are dying and our economy that is deteriorating. The fact that these militants were trying to break into Peshawar’s airport is far more disturbing than what their identity.

Why were they doing it? What did they plan to do if they got in? Answers to these questions might just amount to our worst nightmare.

Follow Farah on Twitter @batool_farah

Farah Batool

Farah Batool

A sub-editor on the Peshawar desk at The Express Tribune, Farah tweets as batool_farah twitter.com/batool_farah

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://syedaabidabokhari.wordpress.com The Only Normal Person Here.

    Though well written, I think this post was too short.Recommend

  • A Y

    Wow…! Those are some pretty hard facts. Keep up the good work. Maybe, you would want to pass the story to Kamran Khan or some of the bigger players out there. The world needs to know this. It is not us. It’s them!! Who? – we don’t know!Recommend

  • http://www.terminalx.org Zaki Khalid

    Wasn’t this too short?Recommend

  • http://www.zaidzamanhamid.wordpress.com Zaid Hamid

    @Zaki Khalid:

    You are giving us too much troubles in conspiracy theory business. BTW well done for “finding out” that Israel is making Dinosaurs to capture Palestine. Recommend

  • Parvez

    What you have said is known to many, but it needs to be said, not only once but again and again……………nicely done.Recommend

  • Imran

    Dear Ms. Batool, don’t you think the true identity & background of these terrorists along with the intel on powers backing them can answer so many question? Speculating is something we Pakistanis are very good at. Your suggestion seems kooky to ignore the perpetrators’ true identity & starting to imagine what horrible mess could have been made had they been successful. Even some of the learned people of our country can’t answer the very fundamental questions abut the reality of TTP & their true agenda. All they do is pointing out Islamic Extremism. I think it is about time we say “Enough with TTP Claims Responsibility & Stuff” & begin to ask some genuine questions.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    The TTP is not part of the Taliban – it is an India-funded Uzbek rock band that is behind all these attacks in Pakistan. The Taliban have long been suffering from the negative PR that these bands create due to this regrettable misunderstanding – and everyone knows that rock stars are typically bearded, long haired, rather unfriendly, and often pose with guns and roses. In fact, they probably run the drug trade on the border as well, which makes much more sense than our pious momins who run their charitable organization on public handouts and funding from overseas for their ‘educate the girl child’ movement.Recommend

  • Kaalchakra

    Farah, good but you will get much better. Best.

    :) Recommend

  • 2Cents

    @all those complaining that the post was too short.

    The point was made. The crime and not the tattoos is the issue. Of course one should investigate the origin of every criminal, but to focus so much on the tattoos is like looking at the moon to find way to an ocean.
    ..PeaceRecommend

  • Akshay

    More Upsetting can be the fact that they did succeed in breaking the law and order which envisages more aggravating situation that can be bound to occur if in future.It also depicts that Pakistan is apparently being confronting a detrimental defiance and opponents outside the country after having more malice intentions installed in the minds of those already present in the country.Nothing but only if the corruption is demised could we hope and wish to curb these interloper attacks in our country and drift it towards serenity.Recommend

  • Mohammed Zakariya Al Razi

    Why were they doing it? What did they plan to do if they got in? Answers to these questions might just amount to our worst nightmare.

    They are going to ban tattoos so they can comb out the terrorists. If there is anything in which Pakistan has advanced their technology beyond the developed countries it’s banning things. Recommend

  • vg

    The length of the article is fine as the essential point is short and simple:

    How absurd it is that our public believes that ‘our’ militants are so pious, they couldn’t have tattoos. And that the main focus of our agencies and our people is to prove by all kinds of tattoo-based logic that it is foreigners who do this and no militants at all are Pakistanis and Muslims.Recommend

  • SYED ITRASH

    “KEEP UR FRIENDS CLOSE,BUT UR ENEMIES CLOSER.”
    V NEED TO KNW OUR ENEMIES…SO THT V CAN FIGHT WITH ‘EM IN A BETTER WAY…
    M NOT DENYING THE EXISTANCE OF TALIBAN,ITS TERRORISM AND ITS HOSTILITY TOWARDS HUMANITY BUT THERE R OTHER PREDATORS TOO, READY TO BURN US DOWN Recommend

  • Islah M

    Nice piece, have it translated into Urdu/Pashto so that those who matter the most are able to read it. Recommend

  • Elijah

    “…Do not mark your skin with tattoos….” Lev. 19:28, The Holy Bible.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Author: Great job.

    @Imran: The questions to ask are:
    – Whose job is it to keep the borders secure and prevent Uzbeks and other sundry middle eastern and central asian terrorists from killing Pakistanis?
    – if in reality TTP is RAW and CIA funded
    – Why did the Pakistan government sign Nizam-i-Adl treaty with TTP?
    – Who is advocating negotiations with TTP even today?
    – Why did Hamid Gul call Baitullah Mehsud a true mujahid?

    @BlackJack: Your post was funny and sad at the same time. Sad because there are a lot of people who actually believe what you said.Recommend

  • SoniaK

    Dear did you just start writing or are you just speaking your mind out aloud on the keyboard????
    Seriously- as though no one has thought about the precious points, you really believe the symbolism (NOT the tattoo) has anything to do with their agenda- maybe you do need to read history a bit!Recommend

  • http://www.terminalx.org Zaki Khalid

    @”Zaid Hamid”:

    You’re welcome lowlife, whoever you are hiding behind that name.Recommend

  • http://gujrat Zalim singh

    If this is the suicide bomber- his body would have been blown to pieces. It looks fairly in one piece. Not even blood stains on his dress.

    Something fishy.Recommend

  • Cynical

    @BlackJack

    Brilliant.You surely have a way with words.
    Compliments.Recommend

  • majid

    how they all evils enter in pakistan ..and where is our armed forces.. :/???????Recommend

  • http://www.tattooset.com/ Mark Alen

    Thanks for some hard facts, i love theseRecommend

  • bdhc

    I think we all knew then, when president Mushraf WAS THERE and even now, we all KNOW who thoz ppl r, PERHAPS WE R NOT YET READY TO NAME THAT BIG COUNTRY, WHICH ACCUSED GERMANS FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTION IN WORLD WARS, BUT THEY DO NOT ACCEPT WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO JAPAN, VIETNAM, IRAQ, IRAN AND PRESENTLY AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN. Recommend

  • Insaan

    According to religious scholars, having tattoos on the human body is against the teachings of Islam, and so, as ‘our’ militants are so pious, it couldn’t have been them.

    Anything is possible now a days. One can plant Hindu or Indian ID cards or have non-Muslim name tattoos.

    Ten Pakistani terrorists (trained by ISI and LeT) who attacked targets in Bombay on 11/26/08 carried ID cards with Hindu names. Some terrorists even tied threads which Hindus use. Terrorists were also trained to speak Hindi.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Cynical:
    Thank you. Although our positions may often diverge, I always read your comments with great interest and respect.Recommend

  • mkz

    good piece farah!!Recommend

  • Cynical

    @BlackJack

    You are kind. Thanks.Recommend