Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Tribal Pakistani town bans women from shopping
Ramadan ban imposed because "women spread vulgarity"
File photo: Shutterstock
- ucanews.com reporter, Peshawar
- July 22, 2013
Muslim clerics unanimously have issued a ruling in northwest Pakistan banning women from visiting bazaars and markets to shop during the ongoing month of Ramadan.
The decision was made by a committee of Islamic clerics in the Karak district of militancy-plagued Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Friday.
Maulana Ibn-e-Ameen, Maulana Mir Zakim, Maulana Abdul Rehman, Mufti Shabir Ahmed, Ghulam Rabbani and others met in Tehsil Karak mosque and decided that women could only go shopping in markets accompanied by close family members.
“It is against local Pakhtun culture and un-Islamic for women to go to bazaars and markets alone,” said Muhammad Mirza Zakim, one of the participants at the meeting. “We have made this decision as women spread vulgarity.”
Zakim added that the clerics would “use force” if women did not follow the decision. Clerics also asked traders and shopkeepers not to serve women.
Ghulam Rabbani, the general secretary of the Karak traders association, endorsed the decision.
“We … will not sell goods to women coming for shopping without an accompanying male family member,” he said.
Female lawmakers and rights campaigners expressed outrage at the decision over the weekend.
Shabina Ayaz, resident director of Aurat Foundation which campaigns for women’s rights, was quoted as saying on Dawn.com, an online news website, that the decision represented a violation of fundamental rights including the right to live according to a person’s own free will.
“The report of Karak women barred from moving without Mahram [unmarriageable kin] is most concerning, the provincial government must act against this violation of law,” Nafisa Shah, a woman legislator, tweeted.
District administration officials in Karak were not available for comment but Zakim said that the clerics received “informal support” for the decision. It comes a week after the Talban banned men and women from wearing tight clothing in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas during the holy month of Ramadan.