Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Islam Bibi - 4

Foreword: why the interest?
1. The mythologization of the story - no matter who is mythologizing it - is extremely interesting in its own right.
2. The justification that is made for jihad is also interesting.
3. We have the February 1947 incident which was an attempt to raise rebellion over a similar issue - return of an abducted Sikh woman to compare with.

Here is yet another version:


Faqir Epi's real name was Mirza Ali Khan. His father's name was Arsala Khan and Muhammad Ayaz Khan was his fore father. He was born in 1897 in Kirta - a small village situated near Kajhori Fort. He belonged to the family of Mada Khel Wazir's.

In February 1937 a young Pathan tribesman kidnapped a Hindu girl from a village in Bannu District. They fled to Waziristan where the girl embraced Islam and took the name of Islam Bibi, before marrying the boy; this was duly celebrated by the tribal Jirga according to their rituals. The British Resident of Waziristan and the Brigade Commander Bannu applied strong political pressure on the Torikhel and Madda Khel Waziris for the release of the Hindu girl. Next morning two companies of Tochi Scouts surrounded the village holding Islam Bibi, and a flight of fully armed RAF Audaxes circled overhead in a show of force. The tribal elders acceded to the Political Agent's plea to allow Islam Bibi to declare her decision in front of a Jirga comprising both sides. Before such a Jirga could be arranged, however, the Deputy Commissioner of Bannu, with the concurrence of the NWFP Government, somehow managed to whisk Islam Bibi and her parents away into the interior of the Punjab.


with references:
  1. Note on the Faqir of Ipi, 24 June 1937, War Office 208/773.
  2. Ibid.; Activities in Khaisora Valley. Foreign Office 371/20313-20314;
    Activities of the Faqir of Ipi: Indian Office Records L/P&S/12/3236-3237, 3192-3193, 3249, 3217-3219;
    Waziristan 1933-1938: War Office 106/5446, Foreign Office 371/24766;
    see also ELLIOTT, op. cit., 271-289;
    A. SWINSON, North-West Frontier. People and Events 1839-1947 (London 1967), 327-332;
    G. N. MOLESWORTH, Curfew on Olympus (London 1965), 115-120.
YAV: http://www.khyber.org/people/sarfaroshan/FaqirofIpisCrossBorderNexus.shtml