So a new women’s magazine has just surfaced, and no it’s nothing like your usual Vogue, Cosmo, Sunday Times, etc. No no. Instead of being about fashion, celebrity gossip or weddings, this one is about guns and grenades. Oh also one more thing, it’s published by the Pakistani Taliban.
The magazine is called ‘Sunnat-i-Khaula’ which basically means ‘The Way Of Khaula’
The title is a homage to a 7th-century female Muslim warrior Khawlah bint al-Azwar. Known for her leadership skills and bravery, she is well regarded in the Arab world; a lot of schools and streets in Saudia Arabia are named after her.
The first issue is 45 pages long and has a woman veiled from head to toe on the cover
Unlike anything you’d see on traditional women magazines or any magazine for that matter, Sunnat-i-Khaula aims to encourage women to join the ranks of Taliban. Quite disturbing I know. While it doesn’t exactly teach them the use of weapons, it encourages them to hold ‘secret gatherings’ with like minded people. In these secret gatherings, they should discuss jihad and educate themselves in weapons training. Among other things, it also instructs them to distribute literature.
However, the main part of the first issue is a feature article that is an interview with the wife of TTP leader Fazlullah Khorasani #celebritystatus
The woman who is unnamed discusses being married to the TTP commander at the age of 14. “I ask you why now everywhere there is a hue and cry about underage marriages … We have to understand that mature boys and girls if left unmarried for too long can become a source of moral destruction of the society,” she said. There is also an article by a Pakistani doctor titled ‘My Journey From Ignorance to Guidance‘.
Given the nature of the content, most of the commentary online has been against the magazine.
— Fahd Humayun (@fahdhumayun) August 10, 2017
How do I know that it's a woman inside the abbaya and not a man.
— harmony (@HarmonyLu46) August 9, 2017
Interesting insights!Do u see a "religious" underpinning to this or some kind of "survival strategy" by TTP?How mullahs can allow women ?
— Dr.Ahmad Raza (@DrAhmadelia) August 10, 2017
But what good is this commentary as this literature is being spread? Let us know what you think in the comments section.
On an unrelated note, check out our annual series #14days14stories where we share stories about ordinary Pakistanis doing extraordinary things.