The other day a 60-year old bearded Pakistani Muslim was raving and ranting about why female Pakistani TV anchors and actors don't cover their heads. Suddenly he saw me smiling at him and saw that I was twenty years older than him and the only beardless person in the room. He was about to say something about people like me being responsible for the tragic state of Muslims when dinner was announced and he rushed out of the room as if he'd been fasting for a week.

I was reminded of the late Jamat-e-Islami leader from Indian-occupied Kashmir (Gilani) who complained to two presidents (Musharraf and Leghari) that Pakistan would collapse because TV ads in the country showed bare-armed and uncovered women.

This is the real tragedy. Almost every Pakistani Muslim believes that the earth is flat, that men have never gone to the moon and earthquakes are caused by women wearing jeans. The mullah at every sermon asks those in the mosque to make sure that their ankles are uncovered, but he will say nothing about educating their sons and daughters. If you ask him whether it's okay for a woman to sometimes refuse to submit to her husband, he will yell, "A woman who says no to her husband will burn in hell!"

Such people fervently believe that the problems of the Islamic world will be solved if all Muslim women are locked up.