Some weeks after the tragedy of the Lal Masjid in Islamabad, there remains widespread anger with the government of Pervez Musharraf, and disappointment with the failure of Islamic groups to offer effective opposition to it. ZAFAR BANGASH, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) considers some of the lessons of the episode for the country’s Islamic movement.1
After years of precariously trying to balance the conflicting political demands of his American masters and Pakistan’s Muslim people, events in the last month appear to have pushed Pakistani dictator General Perwez Musharraf (pic) to the verge of being toppled. On July 26, news emerged that fellow generals had advised Musharraf to make a “graceful exit” from power.
The siege at the Lal Masjid in Islamabad, which ended with a massacre of its occupants on July 10-11, has been widely portrayed as part of a global war between pro-Western moderation and extremist terrorism. Here, DR PERWEZ SHAFI of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) locates it more accurately in the context of a different historical trajectory.