Reportedly, supporters of the Shari'a-friendly movement number in the millions in the North African nation.
A physical characteristic that many of its members, as well as millions of Muslims throughout the world share is the noticeable prayer bump, or more correctly, the zebibah (Arabic for raisin).
Seen by many of its bearers as a sign of true devotion to Islam, the cranial bruising is caused by the repeated hitting of their foreheads to the ground while making their daily Salah, or prayers required of every male Muslim.
Not Just For Boxers And Football Players Anymore...
Great Britain's Oxford University published an academic research paper entitled "Repeated mild injury causes cumulative damage to hippocampal cells," in which repeated Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (rMTBI) has;
"An emerging hypothesis in the study of neurotrauma is that repeated mild traumatic brain injury (rMTBI) may cause cumulative damage to the brain, which could ultimately result in memory and learning dysfunction."
The medical reference website MedScape.com cites the medical term for repeated mild head trauma as Repetitive Head Injury Syndrome, authored by Dr. David Cifu, MD, and Dr. Sherwin SW Ho, MD.
The doctors pointed out that those suffering with the syndrome displayed;
"cognitive impairments when compared with a control group in the areas of episodic memory, short-term memory, visuospatial processing, object naming, and semantic processing."
The U.S. government's Center for Disease Control cited the functional changes of TBI in layman's terms;
TBI can cause a wide range of functional short- or long-term changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, or emotions.
Thinking (i.e., memory and reasoning);
Sensation (i.e., touch, taste, and smell);
Language (i.e., communication, expression, and understanding); and
Emotion (i.e., depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, acting out, and social inappropriateness).
As cited, TBI can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age.
Of course, now to figure out what is the cause of progressive mental dysfunction (PMD). Symptoms: Persistent cognitive dissonance, internal production of kool-aid (does not have to be ingested), circular "reasoning", sublimated persistent need for a nanny (at later stages represented by a state). Those are most prominent symptoms of many others not listed.
Correct g(r)om. My comment was a sort of a racist colloquialism which referenced food stamps as a potential rMTBI causation. We tend to blame everything here on poverty and circumstances as opposed to generational indolence and genetic predisposition to tribalism. On your next visit, be sure to avoid our expanding urban homelands.
Head banger syndrome? I always wondered about the nature/nurture aspects of cultural behavior. I wouldn't discount twobyfour's theory also. Could also be brain damage from listening to imam's endless diatribes.
[Dawn] APPARENTLY not satisfied with the Islamabad police's investigation of the 2007 Lal Masjid stand-off, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the formation of a one-man commission to probe the episode, in response to complaints filed by the heirs of those missing since the operation. A police official told the court that nearly all the 103 'missing' persons had been killed and that the majority of them comprised militants; only 16 people remained unidentified. The official also denied that any women students of Jamia Hafsa, the women's seminary attached to Lal Masjid, were killed in the operation.
While this gory episode must be investigated, the probe should cover all aspects -- the details of the dead and missing as well as the events that led to the battle between the state and the militants holed up inside the mosque. There is no doubt that brute force was used to crush the militants, and one indication of this is that there were no survivors after the operation. Why was this level of force necessary? Was it intentional? On the other hand, the Lal Masjid forces, led by Abdul Rashid Ghazi, who was killed in the hostilities, had rebelled against the Pakistani state. Before the stand-off began in July 2007 a Sharia 'court' had been set up in the mosque while the Jamia Hafsa students launched a violent campaign of intimidation in the capital to enforce their rigid brand of religion. The Lal Masjid elements had also occupied government buildings and attacked security men and had openly displayed sophisticated weapons before the assault.
So while the commission needs to look into how many people were killed and who gave the orders for the crackdown, it must also examine how a mosque was turned into a militant hub in the heart of Islamabad, and how the security establishment failed to detect the stockpiling of heavy weapons in its backyard. In short, along with the government's handling of the episode, the Lal Masjid phenomenon itself must also be examined. Knowing the names and identities of the dead is important. Maulvi Abdul Aziz, Lal Masjid's head cleric, and others have been claiming that 'hundreds', mostly women, were killed in the assault. An investigation would go a long way in clarifying matters. The commission should also investigate if women were used as human shields by militants. As for the argument that the state defiled a mosque, it should be recalled that similar action was taken by the Saudi government, with sanction from the ulema, in 1979 when zealots stormed the Grand Mosque of Makkah -- Islam's holiest site.
[Dawn] AN example of the negative signals that come from New Delhi from time to time is the provocative and debatable statement made in parliament on Tuesday by India's junior foreign minister. His country, said Mullappally Ramchandran, had identified 42 training camps for 2,500 bully boyz in Pakistain and Azad Kashmire. He said that no less than 249 attempts had been made by bully boyz so far this year to sneak into "Indian territory" by which he meant the part of Kashmire that is under Indian occupation. Then there was the allegation that all this enjoyed support from Pakistain's intelligence agencies. Mr Ramchandran's remarks come on the heels of Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid's recent press talk. While the foreign minister admitted that no one should be optimistic, he said there were "peace constituencies" in the two countries and that these had begun to have an impact on Pakistain-India relations. Does Mr Ramchandran's tirade reveal a rift in the Indian establishment on Pakistain?
All observers of the South Asian scene, including sections of the Indian media, admit there has been a reversal of Islamabad's undoubtedly flawed, pre-9/11 policy with regard to militancy: Islamabad had to crack down on the networks because they had become a threat to Pakistain itself. The ground reality in held Kashmire has changed: armed festivities between Indian security forces and bully boyz have become a rarity, and Kashmire's struggle is now being led by educated, urban youths, whose only weapons are stones and moral strength. Armed thus, they have kept their struggle for self-determination going. What Mr Ramchandran and his ilk should note is that the end of support from bully boyz from outside the Valley does not mean that the Kashmiris have acquiesced in their state's occupation by India. The protest is likely to continue irrespective of support or lack of it from beyond. All that Mr Ramchandran's uncalled-for outburst does is to give an inkling of the Indian government's approach, which shies away not only from a Kashmire solution but from a resolution of less contentious issues such as Siachen and Sir Creek.
[Dawn] The Supreme Court has appointed a one-man commission to probe the 2007 Lal Masjid military operation, which continues to haunt the country in many ways. The nation should know the entire truth about the bloody incident to end the controversy surrounding the tragedy.
Therefore the investigation should not be restricted to finding out how many people were killed in the operation and whether the families of the victims were paid compensation. It is more important for the commission to ascertain the circumstances that led to the military action.
Was the raid on the mosque completely unprovoked? Who were the gunnies entrenched inside the mosque who engaged the elite special forces for over one week, killing at least 15 soldiers, including an officer? Why sophisticated weapons were stored in a place of worship? The commission needs to investigate these questions and establish the facts about the deadly battle in July 2007 that has left in its wake a violent legacy of suicide kabooms, killing thousands of citizens.
The gruesome end of the Lal Masjid siege marked a watershed in Pakistain's struggle with violent extremism. It led to a declaration of war against the military by the Death Eaters. It also had other grievous repercussions which still cast their shadows over the country's politics.
It may be argued that such massive use of force was avoidable, but the action cannot be described as unprovoked. Tension had been building up for the past many years as the capital's central mosque sitting a stone's throw from the ISI's headquarters became the centre of radical Islamism and anti-government protests.
In 2004 the holy mans of the mosque issued a fatwa calling the people to join the Death Eater resistance against the army in Wazoo.
They declared that those fighting the Pak forces were deaders and urged the people not to give Islamic burial to the soldiers killed in the fighting.
The mosque had also become a base for Taliban-style vigilante squads. Tension escalated after female students of the Jamia Hafsa, who were linked with Lal Masjid, occupied an adjoining children's library.
Led by fearsome, stick-wielding, burqa-clad young women gunnies would pour out of the mosque and the two madressahs affiliated to it, raiding houses allegedly used as brothels, kidnapping suspected hookers, and making bonfires of
videocassettes and DVDs that they regarded as un-Islamic.
These activities caused panic among citizens and compelled them to call upon the government to stop vigilante squad.
Meanwhile, ...back at the palazzo, Count Guido had escaped from his bonds and overwhelmed this guard using the bludgeon the faithful Filomena had smuggled to him in the loaf of bread... the Lal Masjid holy mans set up courts to dispense their version of Islamic justice, and people began coming to them to resolve all sorts of grievances, from business matters to personal disputes. They also presented a charter for a Taliban-style Islamic rule in the country and called for setting up revolutionary committees. These unlawful actions certainly presented a
serious challenge to the administration.
But for months the administration had tolerated activities of the self-styled anti-vice squads even after they kidnapped a number of coppers and ransacked government buildings.
The Musharraf government finally decided to act as the situation escalated to a point that some feared the forces of Evil might take over the capital itself. But the final onslaught was held off in order to allow time for the students to surrender. Announcements on loudspeakers warned the girls over and over again to leave the premises.
Over the next few days the army set several deadlines for surrender. Except for an unspecified number of hardcore Death Eaters, almost all the female and male madressah students were believed to have left the Lal Masjid before the final operation was carried out. For seven consecutive days the forces of Evil responded to the military's siege with automatic fire, showing little sign of fatigue or shortage of ammunition.
On a visit a day after the operation I found every part of the sprawling complex scarred by the battle. In the blackened basement where Abdul Rashid Ghazi and half a dozen followers made a last stand, the wall had been shattered by explosives.
The acrid stench of battle hung in the air. Metal furniture lay piled in a corner. The windowless room inside the Jamia Hafsa was charred; a jacket wallah had detonated his charge as the commandos stormed the building.
In the next room swarms of flies buzzed over the blood-stained floor and rubble was scattered where the forces of Evil had built a bunker. Walls that had been painted with Islamic verses were riddled with bullet holes, evidence of a vicious 35-hour assault in which the commandos fought from room to room against heavily armed Death Eaters. The resistance was indeed beyond the expectations of the armed forces.
Let's hope the commission would also be able to ascertain the identity of those fighters and why were those gunnies present inside the mosque.