It’s our friend Abdul Rashid Ghazi again, waging low-grade jihad within visual distance of the Pakistani parliament building in Islamabad. I know most of you guys are bored stiff by the posts about him, but this stuff is important either as sterling example of the symbiotic relationship between secular Muslim dictators and the Islamist nutbags with whom they coexist or it’s the first stirrings of a fundamentalist movement that’s going to destabilize the world’s only nuclear Islamic state. Worth paying attention to either way.

They had themselves a big bonfire today, which always tickles me insofar as it makes the Nazi analogy nice and neat.

“If the government says it will launch an operation against us as a last resort, our last resort will be suicide bombings,” Aziz told the crowd. Bearded young men from a seminary associated with the Red Mosque punched the air in response…

“I give a deadline of one month to the government to close brothels and video shops. If the government fails we will take action,” Aziz said.

Students then set fire to a pile of hundreds of DVDs, video cassettes and some broken video players on a road outside the mosque — stock from an Islamabad shop whose owner had agreed to close his business, said Aziz’s brother, Abdul Rashid Ghazi.

“This is porno material and blue films. This is destroying our society,” Ghazi said. Crowds shouted, “God is Great!” when the pile of movies, doused in petrol, caught fire with a whoosh.

The DVDs included films from neighboring India and some Western titles, including a romantic comedy called “Dirty, Filthy Love,” but also children’s movies such as “Home Alone 4” and “Free Willy,” which is about a boy befriending a whale.

They did a call and response, too: “What is our way?” “Jihad! Jihad!”

The question is, who really benefits from this freak show?

Pakistanis have been astonished as the usually sterile purpose-built capital has also seemingly fallen prey to the radical tendency…

Politicak [sic] analysts are not sure whether the Lal Masjid debacle is a circus laid on to exhibit the power of militants in Pakistan – and therefore to reinforce Gen Musharraf’s usefulness as a balwark against radicalism – or just a plain cock-up.

It’s worth revisiting this post, especially the third blockquote (from WaPo), for more about the maneuvering here.

Exit question: Is that Islamic Rage Boy in the second photo here??