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Women's Participation in Marathons

07 April, 2005

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Dismissing MMA's protest over mix marathons, the government has directed the cabinet members and its legislators to organize women marathons in every district. While, the religious alliance terming the mix marathons unislamic, has vowed to stop them by force. The MMA says it is not against women sports, or any other healthy activity, but that must be in accordance with Islamic values and local culture. The government says that women's participation in marathons will promote the country's soft image in the world.

The Punjab Assembly adopted a resolution with majority on April 5 condemning the alleged attack on the participants of mix marathon in Gujranwala and recommended that anti terrorists act should be imposed against the people involved in the incident and dubbing it as a conspiracy to tarnish the country's image, while the opposition said the government should first bring its own families into such events before indulging the general public into it.

Following the strong reaction of MMA in Gujranwala, the district governments of Multan, Sargodha and Bahawalpur dropped the idea of mix marathons in respective districts, but the Punjab government has ordered the district officials to organize mix marathons as per schedule.

Q-1 Can mix marathons promote Pakistan's soft image?

Q-2 Was MMA's protest over women marathon in Gujranwala a right step?

Q-3 what other steps, besides women marathons, should be taken to promote Pakistan's soft image?

Reader Comments:

mixed marathans

a stupid idea it makes a mokery of pakistan as a muslim state. Shame on you all.

ali chawdhry, Pakistan - 07 April, 2005

Soft Image !!!!

This is the biggeset weakness in all muslim nations not just in Pakistan.. they try to please the west by imitating them but the west still does not have a soft image of them no matter what. As muslims we should never comprimise our religious obligations just to please someone in washington or London.. Allh s.w.t is the only one to give respect(izzath) to us.. it is him Alone we should work to please.. May Allah s.w.t guide us all..ameen

Amjad, United Arab Emirates - 08 April, 2005

What is being Muslim?

Why government needs to promote a soft image of Pakistan? very simple, it depends on western countries through aid and not just aid but also need to safeguard country by going against west, most precisely America.
MMA is simply exploiting every occasion and trying to link everything to Islam, better say their interpretation of Islam. Marathom may be unislamic or let us think seriously: what is Islamic in Pakistan, just our names! A simple going through daily newspapers shows the level of Pakistani society as being Muslim. We are a country and of course individuals without any personal and national dignity. Looking around in Pakistan and the Pakistani living outside, it is very difficult to understand if we are a Nation. Marathon or not, there are people who want to exploit every situation for their political gain.

anwar, Ireland - 09 April, 2005

It's just a race

I think if women can walk shoulder to shoulder on streets with Men, then they can run as well provided they are properly dressed in accordance with Islam's modest dress code.

MMA, is a collection of bunch of Bigots. They have a right to protest, but they have no right to get into a violence act against these women, which they have done.

This bigots in MMA are worse than animals who have attacked women on streets.
MMA folks know nothing but to create violence and live by violence.

The have dead brains and all their blood circulates around violence. We must prescribed medicines for these MMA bigots to control their Blood pressure.

Down with these MMA Bigots!

AG, Pakistan - 09 April, 2005

Women should Participate in Marathons

We are constantly reminded of Islamic values – but what are these? Can the Muslims of the world ever agree!

I think it's a bit rich that the MMA are trying to dictate to the nation on what is Islamic and what is not. I wish they should spend more time to work out as to how to unite the different sects in Islam and especially in Pakistan where sectarianism killings and murders are rife.

I agree with AG “shoulder to shoulder on streets with men” we must emancipate our women, the sooner we do this the better.

Please stop using religion to exploited women,

Saleem Chaudhry

Saleem Chaudhry, United Arab Emirates - 09 April, 2005

women taking part in marathons

there is no harm in women taking part in marathons because women have equal rights as men though they have to listen to their husband,(this is necessary in ISLAM.)

zoya, Pakistan - 09 April, 2005

Giving into USA

Like a majority of Pakistanis, i consider the idea of holding mix marathons a stupid act to please those who can never be pleased by us no matter whatever we do for them.Don't test the calibre of our so-called elite class led by Musharraf and company by asking them to bring their women in the marathopns first then ask the other's women for that. It is not a big deal for our elite class bigots to see their daughters, and wives running on the streets while wearing shorts.

alimian, Pakistan - 09 April, 2005


Even though i am a very open minded person person and totally for Women Liberty in every sense of the way, but this WOMEN MARATHON is something that i am unable to understand. Come on people, we are talking about holding a marathon in a country like Pakistan where a female standing alone on a bus stop at night can be an endangered species. What soft image in the weat are we talking about?....How does sight of women running in the streets will promote it?....i totally fail to understand it!!!

ayesha, United Kingdom - 10 April, 2005


Why religious parties make everything such a big deal,Qazi Hussian son is in America and chilling at night clubs but his dad is ordering poor pakistani sons to go for JIHAD.

M WAQAR, United Kingdom - 10 April, 2005

Women's Participation in Marathons

The women marathons can be successful if our ruling class bring out their wives and daughters first and set an example for the nation. Why doesn't Mushi ask her wife to participate in the Marathon? Best would be if the wives and daughters of all the cabinet members participate in a marathon lead by Sebha Musharaf. If we need to create an image of being a liberal society, our rulers should take the lead as they are the preachers of such modernization. If they are sincere in what they are saying, its time that they should some personal examples.
I am sure that MMA would not oppose the marathon lead by the women of ruling class? Please give it a try.

Amir, Pakistan - 11 April, 2005

Grow up!!!

You people should grow up!!! That's all I have to say

John Doe, United Kingdom - 12 April, 2005

Women's Marathon...

I think women have the right to do the marathon, but in a modest and proper dress. And if MMA wants to agitate, they can do it without violance... it is their right to protest, but in limits... without harming anyone... They should know that not everyone is agree with them...

Shahid Mahmud, San Marino - 13 April, 2005

Way of Thinking

We should look at this problem in differnt angle. This issue is related to sports not to relegion. So, if we can keep the issue in the domain of relegion and activate , I don't think it is wrong.

Keerthi Wijesinghe, Somalia - 14 April, 2005

Women's Participation in Marathons

It's a good idea and the MMA are all taliban supporters. women should be allowed to take part in any sport they wish.

mohammad, Pakistan - 14 April, 2005


I think u guys are still backward and can't grow yourself. Treat equally whatever u are. If religion is to supress people, that's wrong!! Look at India, they are ahead-ahead of you because people of India have freedom in all aspects, u can't compete with this country.

sehyr, Pakistan - 14 April, 2005

Pakistan is not a truy Islamic state. An imposed sharia will not stand. The nation has to choose and define itslef. Look at Saudi Arabia or Iran. If majority of the people had a choice, they would favour a separation of religion and state.

Shaheen, Pakistan - 15 April, 2005


It is time that the Fudamentalists who just believe in 1400 years old Saria laws give way to pularism and liberate progressive Pakistani women from supperations that they have experienced until now. Let us train our women to represent our great country & win gold medals during the next Olympics.

Adam, Canada - 15 April, 2005

I just wanna say something about the MMA agitation about the women race. I agree with the point of view that women should not be running with the men but why does not the leadership of MMA with "Divine powers" understand that there are other tasks important than the opposition of women race. Why hasn't MMA ever persuade the 145M people of Pakistan to quit smoking? Why hasn't MMA ever launched a campaign against the dirty streets and health conditions in our streets? Why hasn't MMA ever called upon the people say prayers five times a day and give their required taxes? Please MMA mullahs, do not invite the anger of Allah upon you and this poor country by making fool to its inhabitants.
Allah Hafiz

A shaikh, Pakistan - 16 April, 2005

Women Marathons

From past experiances form both in Canada and in Pakistan, people who dictate strict parda on their women are the worst kind of ogglers. I have observed this first hand and have been told of this by many female colleagues and friends. They will have their wives (or sisters) nicely wrapped in drapes but observe their wandering eyes (some of them don't even feel ashamed for checking out girls from head to toe). Any MMA supporter reading this message, read about Allah order to men 'lower thy gaze' (and that does not mean, to start from the head and slowly progress to their toes).

Women marathons are ok, if they are dressed modestly (even guys dressed handsomely evoke passions among some of the male MMA all women woh have to dress modestly, don't take it personally ). Women thinking to participate in a mix race, you should be mentally and physically prepared be felt up, pinched and touched by horny, desperate men. At the same time, this is abuse and you should not tolerate this. Any woman who accepts abuse, puts another at risk!

M Ahmad, Canada - 16 April, 2005

women participation in marathans

Great if women can run in Marathan. Healthy women healthy nation. When same women goes abroad n work with men openly what is the harm to run for helth in your own country. See time has changed please try to adjust yourself too. Its a great thing hapeening and every one should come forward to welcome this move. My best wishes.

Rajiv Sharma, Hungary - 17 April, 2005

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