… a polytheistic people who claim descent from Alexander the Great and who have maintained separate cultural traditions to the predominantly Muslim country.
In a 50-minute video released earlier this month, the Pakistani Taliban are vowing action against the Kalash — for having the wrong religion. The filmed statement
… opens with a scenic view of the mountainous valley that is popular among domestic tourists and famed for its annual polo festival.
The narrator warns the Kalash, who are thought to number only 3,500, to convert to Islam or face death.
“By the grace of Allah, an increasing number of people from the Kalash tribe are embracing Islam and we want to make it clear to the Kalash tribe that they will be eliminated along with their protectors, the Western agents if they don’t embrace Islam,” he says.
The video also accuses international NGOs of creating an “Israel” like state in Chitral by attempting to protect the Kalash culture and take people away from Islam.
Further death threats are heaped upon those who let apples, mulberries, and grapes ferment into a regionally popular wine. The Pakistani fundies promise they’ll turn wine into blood, so to speak.
“Western NGOs are promoting Kalash wine and we warn all those individuals and hotels selling it, they should stop production and selling of wine otherwise they will be sent to hell by the will of God.”
Interestingly, the Taliban Islamists profess an unquestioning belief in the Qur’an, whose verse 256 of the second chapter, the Al-Baqara, says “There is no compulsion in religion.”
Guess those uppity Kalash will just see about that.