Pakistani Politician Blames Earthquakes On Women Wearing Jeans, But Is He Sincere?

Fazlur Rehman

Pakistani politician Fazlur Rehman has found the solution to many of his country’s problems – women wearing jeans. The fundamentalist political leader believes that if women would just stay covered like a “sack of flour,” earthquakes would end and Pakistan’s economy would soar. Despite the pro-Taliban fundamentalist’s rhetoric, there are signs he doesn’t really believe women need to be kept in sacks.

The Indian Express reported on Rehman’s policy ideas; he was speaking to the press at a hotel in Islamabad. Not only did Fazlur Rehman say that women immodestly wearing jeans causes earthquakes, global inflation, and many other natural disasters – he described them as mobile weapons of mass destruction.

He added that Pakistan had many of these nukes in their own cities.

So, who is Fazlur Rehman?

One might think that the bizarre comments came from an isolated rural cleric, someone never exposed to the benign nature of (most) women in jeans. But, he’s actually an influential voice in Pakistani politics, and has been for many years.

Fazlur Rehman has been elected to Pakistan’s lower house, the National Assembly, multiple times.

He is currently the leader of the Assembly of Islamic Clergy (Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F)), a political party that is currently part of the ruling coalition led by the Pakistan Muslim League.

In a strange twist, Fazlur Rehman was also the former ally of Benazir Bhutto, the now deceased female Prime Minister of Pakistan. He even campaigned for Bhutto in her elections, earning him the chairmanship of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee.

All this despite the very real possibility that she might one day wear jeans and bring disaster upon Pakistan.

Then again, Bhutto generally wore traditional clothes.

Considering his support for the late female leader, it might seem strange that he’s now rallying against immodestly dressed women, begging some important questions.

Is Rehman being sincere when he equates jeans-wearing women with nuclear weapons? Is this pandering?

In case anyone has any doubts, Rehman is calling for extreme action. He openly called on the army chief and the Prime Minister to deploy troops to prevent women across Pakistan from wearing jeans.

The politician also believes that once the women are covered, the Taliban will stop attacking and the economy will instantly get better.

Nevertheless, there’s still a possibility Rehman is just playing the immodest women card for political gain, and has no real intention of ending the jeans epidemic.

According to the Guardian, he has criticized the United States a number of times, yet invited U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson (also a potential jeans-wearing woman) to a jovial dinner in the capital, Islamabad.

What do you think? Is Fazlur Rehman sincere in his desire to forcibly cover up Pakistan’s jeans-wearing, immodesty women through military action, or is he just another FINO (fundamentalist in name only)?

[Image via FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP]