For the last few days I have tried to follow the major story in Pakistan. Today's news flow contains words attributed to the leader of the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) that shocked me. In the article, Abdul Rashid Ghazi is quoted as saying:"The boys are the first line of defence, then the girls," he said. "They have all sworn an oath on the Koran that they will fight to the death."

So this so-called religious scholar and leader, is teaching young children that death is preferable to life. The leaders of the mosque are using these innocent children as human shields. Ghazi's older brother attempted to escape a couple of days ago by leaving with 60 women who were surrendering. Of course, he wore a burqa and veil to try to hide himself from the Pakistani army who were waiting outside, but inevitably was caught.

The bravery, courage, and moral authority of such leaders leaves me in dismay and fear for the future of a country where illiteracy and poverty are often reasons to send young children to schools administered by unregulated religious authorities. 


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