In Issue Two Of Its Urdu-Language Magazine 'Banat-e-Khadijah,' Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Criticizes Pakistani Women's Participation In 'Miss Pakistan' Beauty Pageant: 'Dear Pakistani Sisters! Stay Vigilant And Play A Role In Protecting Your Future Generations From These Evils'

October 2, 2023

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In the latest issue of its Urdu-language magazine for women "Banat-e-Khadijah," the Pakistani jihadi group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) strongly criticized the influence of Western ideas on Pakistani society. It emphasizes the importance of preserving Islamic values, highlighting the duty of jihad in Islam as a crucial obligation for both men and women. Simultaneously, it criticizes the portrayal of women in Pakistani TV dramas and the influence of the military on their narratives. 

The magazine's current edition – Issue Two, titled "Banat-e-Khadijah" (Daughters of Khadijah) – was released on September 24, 2023, by Umar Media, the official media arm of TTP. Khadijah was the first wife of Prophet Muhammad. The magazine is dated Rabi-ul-Awwal 1445, in the Hijri calendar, which corresponds with the lunar month from September 16, 2023, to October 15, 2023.

The editorial's magazine raises concerns about five female representatives from Pakistan who took part in the "Miss Pakistan" beauty pageant organized in the Maldives in September 2023. Erica Robin, a Christian woman from Karachi, won the title of "Miss Universe Pakistan." In this capacity she will represent Pakistan at the upcoming "Miss Universe" beauty pageant in El Salvador.

The editorial questions the direction the country seems to be taking and calls for immediate government action to address this issue. It emphasizes Pakistan's identity as an Islamic state and expresses concerns about its adoption of practices from non-Muslim nations while striving to maintain its unique Islamic values. It says: "We claim that our country is not moving toward obscenity and nudity, sexual harassment, nakedness, and other misdeeds. But, it is being promoted with careful consideration in this direction."

"Dear Pakistani sisters! Stay vigilant and play a role in protecting your future generations from these evils so that on the Day of Judgment, you do not end up in hellfire because of the wrong upbringing of your children," it further says.

One of the key articles titled "Mother's Role In Personality Development" emphasizes the vital role mothers play in shaping their children's character and values. The article says that it is like saying that a mother's love and teachings are the first and most important school for a child. What kids learn from their mothers at an early age stays with them for life, so it is crucial for mothers to teach their children about important values, like believing in Tawheed ("Islamic monotheism"), it says.

The article also mentions the duty of jihad in Islam, which it says means striving for the cause of Allah, and encourages women to be strong and committed in preserving Islamic culture, even in challenging times. It says: "Jihad is also an important duty of Islam which Allah has imposed on every Muslim like prayer, almsgiving, Hajj and fasting during Ramadan. It is obligatory, whether the Muslim is a man or a woman, therefore on every Muslim."

One of the articles titled "Women's Participation In Jihad In the Path of Allah" mentions the story of Hazrat Nusaybah, known as Umme Amarah. She was among those who helped the Muslims during the prophet's lifetime. Her family, the Banu Najjar, held a prominent position in Yathrib, which was later called Medina even before the advent of Islam, and their status was further elevated due to their close ties to the prophet, the article says.

It further states that Umme Amarah's unwavering love for Muhammad and her dedication to Islam were legendary. She sacrificed her life, wealth, and even her children for the sake of Islam in battles, setting an inspiring example of dedication and sacrifice in Islamic history.

One of the major articles, titled "Mothers Desired By Islam" addresses Muslim women, encouraging them to find inspiration in the lives of exemplary women from Islamic history like Umme Akasha, Khansa, and Khawla. The article emphasizes the pivotal role that mothers play in nurturing the values of honor, commitment, and sacrifice in their children. It calls upon women to prepare their sons for participation in the struggle for Islam, particularly highlighting the obligation of jihad.

It says: "Oh, Muslim women! The story of women in Islam is full of important sacrifices. Sadly, today we, as women, are greatly influenced by Western ideas. We are completely focused on enjoying worldly pleasures and getting caught up in materialistic desires. We do not pay much attention to the struggles of our fellow brothers and sisters. Our lives are mostly about chasing after worldly things. We do not motivate our husbands to follow the right path, and we do not teach our children to care about the Muslim community and those who are suffering."

One of the lead articles titled "Pakistani Dramas – Negative Role Of Women" criticizes Pakistani TV dramas for their negative portrayal of women and the influence of the military in shaping their narratives.

It highlights "Sinf-e-Aahan," a controversial drama promoting female empowerment. Other dramas like "Mere Paas Tum Ho" normalize extramarital affairs, while "Sang-e-Maar" misrepresents tribal customs, and "Sirf Tum" depicts Western-style drinking at weddings, the article observes. The article laments the decline in strong female characters and meaningful storytelling.

Despite efforts for female empowerment, these dramas often depict women as helpless, the article says and quotes the writer Urooj Jafari as reminiscing about the powerful dramas of the past, contrasting them with Western-centric content prevalent now in Pakistani dramas.

It says: "We as Muslims and Pakistanis have fallen to such an extent that we have to see and show what contains indecency, obscenity, and Western culture. We are concerned about women's education and work issues in Afghanistan, but we are oblivious to the on-screen injustice against these girls in our own country. It is the same thing that everything is dirty, but it is a matter of business."

The articles in the magazine include an editorial and the following: "Mother's Role In Personality Development" by Umme Abdullah; "Women's Participation In Jihad Fi Sabeelillah" by Bint Meraj-ul-Deen; "For Distressed Sisters" by Fatima Mehran; "Mothers desired by Islam" by Umme Akasha; "Pakistani Dramas, Negative Role Of Women" by Halima Kamran; "Women's Education In Islam And The Current Mixed System Of Education – Second And Last Part – A Masterpiece Written By Maulana Nayab Hasan Qasmi" by Darul Uloom Deoband; "Purposes Of Marriage And Its Importance" by Maulana Muhammad Shafiq Alvi; "The Cruel Army, Young Ammar, And Helpless Mother" by Umme Tariq.

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