Thursday, January 03, 2008

Aroosa Alam, Amrinder and the Ulema

What's so special about Aroosa Alam? The Tribune devoted three special comprehensive stories on a single page to this lady who is said to be quite close to Punjab's ex-Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh.

The coverage is surprising. But it had to happen. After all, the 'dynamic' Amir-e-Ahrar Shahi Mufti Punjab Maulana Habibur Rahman Saani Ludhianvi has issued fatwa. He issued the fatwa from Jama Masjid and termed her friendship with Amrinder as 'Najaaez and Haraam'.

Aroosa, the controversial Pak journalist, then left Chandigarh and has flown back to Pakistan but the controversy continues in India. Maulana Habibur Rahman Sani is quite active and his 'activism' was again at display when he said that 'she violated Shariat for having visited a man without any male relative as her companion'.

The Maulana has also called the Sikh clergy to ask Amarinder about his faith and check if he has changed relation. He urged CM and even PM over the issue and expressed suspicion that she could be an ISI agent.

Meanwhile, Tribune is all praise for her 'sharp wit' that floored the Indians. She said that 'daayan das ghar chhod deti hai' (even the witch leaves ten houses), while commenting on the controversy and her name being linked to Amrindar Singh. Read the extensive coverage here. The newspapers in Pakistan say that she has been gifted a huge house worth crores in Lahore by Amrinder.
It's really strange to see such uncalled for edicts. The moderate voice of Milli Council's Jamilur Rahman who has criticised the fatwa and said that the friendship is not un-Islamic, has been rubbished. Even heads of other religions have supported the fatwa.