Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Something's not quite kosher at bakery in sweet comedy 'Dough'

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Iraq: Who is Moqtada al-Sadr?

Read more

FACE-OFF

New labour reform bill: A major gamble for Hollande

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It’s Donald Trump’s Party Now'

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Fast fashion: Wearing the world out

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Candidate Hollande hits the campaign trail

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Google signs self-driving car deal with Chrysler

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Cameroon's president heads to Nigeria

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande unofficially kicks off his re-election campaign

Read more

Amidst the Red Mosque Islamists

Latest update : 2008-07-08

Franck Berruyer, FRANCE 24's special correspondent in Islamabad, met with Islamists who have been fighting for Islamic law since the raid on the Red Mosque.

 

In Pakistan's capital Islamabad, the Red Mosque is now white. A stone's throw away from its freshly painted walls, a suicide bomber killed 18 police officers on Monday.

 

After the army stormed this Islamist stronghold just one year ago, the buildings that used to house the madrasa, the Koranic school, were demolished.

 

But the members of the Red Mosque have not given up. These days, they teach their children the Koran in the open air, on the ruins of the madrasa.

 

And their teaching is a very radical one. "Around 2000 students were killed in the raid", a militant explains. "But we're proud of their sacrifice. Their spilled blood will usher in the revolution."

 

Women, too, are taking part. "Musharraf and the Americans are responsible for the destruction of the Red Mosque. The Americans have called us a threat for a long time. But we believe in God; and God will be kinder to us", Ume Hassan, the wife of the mosque's former sheikh, said through a black veil that only showed her eyes.

 

"Smoke will continue to rise"

 

Since the raid on the mosque, Islamist militants have become more active in a number of regions in Pakistan.

 

"(Monday’s) suicide attack was a response to the raid on the Red Mosque,” said the radical South Waziristan Senator Maulana Saleh Shah, suggesting the government’s “brutality” would prompt further attacks. Indeed, "smoke will continue to rise in the future", he added.

 

The members of the Red Mosque are specifically asking for the application of Sharia law in the entire country. Their leaders encourage a Jihad against President Musharraf and his American allies.

 

To obtain the grace of God, they are ready to do anything.

 

Date created : 2008-07-08

COMMENT(S)