Thursday, 5 March 2009

Sufi Shrine 'blown up by Taleban'

Suspected Taleban militants in north-west Pakistan have blown up the shrine of a 17th Century Sufi poet of the Pashtun language, police say.

No casualties are reported but the poet Rahman Baba's grave has been destroyed and the shrine building badly damaged.

Rahman Baba is considered the most widely read and poet in Pashto speaking regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Taleban had warned they would blow up the shrine if women continued to visit it and pay their respects.

Historic popularity

Literary experts say the poet's popularity is due to his message of tolerance coupled with a powerful expression of love for God in a Sufi way.

The BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says that his lasting appeal reflects the historic popularity of Sufism in South Asia. Read more
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