Rise of Wahhabi Extremism

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by pmaitra, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Rise of Wahhabi Extremism

    This thread is about the threat posed by Wahhabi ideology, and its effects on those that do not agree and comply with them. Post news, discussions, pictures, and videos, that you think is related to Wahhabi fundamentalism, along with Salafi and Al-Qaida affiliated.

    Some of the things that one may focus on:
    1. Trends of destruction of Shia and Sufi shrines.
    2. Attacks on Shias, Sufis, and Ahmadiyas.
    3. Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East, and the consequences.
    4. Pakistan, and its anti-Shia pogroms.
    5. Role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
    6. Role of the West.
     
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Libya interior minister quits after Sufi shrine attacks

    [​IMG]
    Men with bulldozers razed a Sufi shrine in Tripoli on Saturday

    Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19386322
     
  4. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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  5. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    The 'Wahabi Republic' of Pakistan

    There are many people in Pakistan who oppose the Taliban and their militant activities; however, ironically, not all of them question the Saudi-Wahabi ideology that provides impetus to militant Muslims.

    It is not so difficult to find people in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan who despise the Taliban and their suicide bombings that have killed scores of Pakistanis over the past few years. Yet, it is not common to hear voices opposing Saudi Arabia and its Wahabi state ideology.

    The Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, which is also home to the sacred Islamic site Kaaba, is one of the most revered cities for Muslims in the world. That alone is enough to make Saudi Arabia a holy country for millions of Pakistanis. Therefore, for many Pakistani Muslims, criticizing Saudi Arabia is synonymous with criticizing Islam.

    Previous to Ayatollah Khomeini's Shiite revolution in Iran in 1979, the Pakistani state maintained good relations with both Iran and Saudi Arabia. After the revolution, it became much closer to the latter. Saudi-Pakistani ties deepened during the Afghan War against the Soviet Union during the 1908s. At that time, both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia became close allies with the US and wholeheartedly supported the mujahedeen in Afghanistan.

    What did not change after the Afghan War was Pakistan's inclination toward Saudi Arabia and militant Wahabi organizations.

    The root of extremism

    Pakistan's former law minister Iqbal Haider told DW that most jihadist and terrorist organizations operating in Pakistan were Wahabis.

    "Whether they are the Taliban or the Lashkar-e-Taiba, their ideology is Saudi-Wahabi without an iota of doubt," Haider said. "All these organizations get their backing from the Pakistani military and its security agencies."

    Haider, who served as law minister under former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (who was allegedly assassinated in 2007 by the Taliban) blamed the former military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq for making it a state policy to fund and arm Wahabi groups in the 1980s. He said that the General used these organizations against minority groups, including the Shiites, who, according to Haider had sympathies with Iran. He said there was no doubt that Saudi Arabia was supporting Wahabi groups through General Haq to kill Iran's support in Pakistan.

    But Pakistani historian Dr. Mubarak Ali said the Wahabi influence in the Indian sub-continent was as old as Wahhabism itself.

    "Abdul Wahab, the Arabian Salafi theologian and the founder of the hard-line Wahabi ideology, died in the late 18th century. Wahabi preachers started coming to British India in the 1880s. They motivated many Indian Muslims to fight against the British rule," Ali said, adding that the puritan Deobandi sect was also an offshoot of Wahhabism's influence in India.

    "In Pakistan, Wahabi groups and organizations enjoyed state patronage and flourished at the expense of other groups, which were snubbed by various Pakistani regimes. It is a bit strange because Wahhabism is a minority Sunni sect in Pakistani," Ali said.

    The historian also said that Wahhabism not only affected the polity of Pakistan but also damaged the pluralistic Indo-Pakistani culture.

    "Wahabis are against any cultural plurality so they attack shrines, music festivals and other cultural centers that are not Islamic in their view," he said.

    Wahhabism has seeped into the psyche of many Pakistanis, causing an "Arabization" of many traditions. "People now say 'Allah Hafiz' (May Allah protect you) instead of 'Khuda Hafiz' (May God protect you) and 'Ramadan' instead of 'Ramzan' in an attempt to imitate Saudis," said Ali.

    The Saudi-US alliance

    Western countries accuse Pakistan - the Pakistani military's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in particular - of backing the Taliban, who they say have safe havens in Pakistan's northwestern tribal areas, which border Afghanistan. The say the Muslim militants launch attacks on the Afghan soil from their hideouts in Pakistan, and that the Pakistani government is not doing enough to destroy the terrorists' sanctuaries.

    But Iqbal Haider said it was paradoxical that the West criticized Pakistan but said nothing against Saudi Arabia, which was the main financer of the militant Wahabi organizations in Pakistan.

    "Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest allies of the United States in the Middle East. It also serves the role of a mediator between Washington and Islamabad. During the Shah of Iran's rule, Iran was acting out this role; it is now Riyadh," Haider said.

    Haider also accused the Pakistani state of massacring Shiites in the country's northwestern Gilgit-Baltistan area.

    Last week, 22 Shiite Muslims were brutally murdered by the Taliban in Mansehra while they were travelling in a passenger bus from Rawalpindi to Gilgit. The gunmen first identified them as Shiites and then killed them at point blank range. Some Pakistani experts call it "sectarian cleansing" of the Shiites by Wahabi groups and the state.

    Haider told DW that the state wanted the Wahabi monopoly in Pakistan for its geo-political and strategic interests, so it had been systematically killing those who could be a hindrance in the implementation of its agenda.

    "These attacks are not new. Taliban launched several attacks on the Gilgit Shiites during Pervez Musharraf's (former military dictator) government too. The army never tries to stop them," said Haider, adding that he conducted his own research on this issue and found out that the Taliban militants from Afghanistan could enter Gilgit-Baltistan unhindered and unopposed by Pakistani security forces.

    The 'Wahabi Republic' of Pakistan | Asia | DW.DE | 24.08.2012
     
  6. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Deobandi, ahl-e-hadith(people of the book), salafi, wahabbi are all same/similar approaches.
     
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  7. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    This is about hizb ut tahrir, it is a sunni political organization with wahabi leanings.

    ===
    The case against Hizb ut Tehrir



    Founded in 1953, in Jerusalem by Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, Hizb ut Tehrir considers itself to be the largest political party in the Muslim world. This is in spite of the fact that they do not believe in democracy and do not contest in elections. Despite its non-violent methods, Hizb ut Tehrir today is a dangerous entity. Hizb has made inroads in the elite educational institutions of Pakistan and UK.

    The infiltration of armed forces is also a major part of their agenda. Due to involvement in subversive activities, Hizb has been banned in most countries including Pakistan. The agenda and propaganda of Hizb ut Tehrir is very alluring for an ambitious youth that form about 45 per cent of this country’s population. Based upon my reading, understanding and interactions with Hizb ut tehrir over the last 4 years, I want to point out some of the logical fallacies in the narrative of HT (Hizb ut Tehrir):

    1. They want to form a caliphate for the Muslim Ummah.
    2. They favor transfer of power through a military route.
    3. They want to implement sharia across the caliphate.
    4. According to their ‘constitution’, Arabic would be the language of the Caliphate.
    5. They believe that a global Jewish conspiracy that is obstructing the path of formation of the caliphate.
    6. They want the ‘liberation’ of Palestine.
    7. They take inspiration form Syed Qutb’s book, Milestones.

    First things first. The historical narrative, on which the ideology of Hizb ut Tehrir (and for that matter, Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, JI and similar organisations) is based, is deeply flawed. The narrative is a mixture of historical fiction and historical revisionism. According to that narrative, the reign of the pious Caliphs (Khulafa-e-Rashideen) was the brightest time in Muslim history and there was peace and prosperity all around. After those pious caliphs, the reign of Banu Umayya and Banu Abbas is also considered very superior, as Muslim scientists and scholar and philosophers reached the pinnacles of their respective fields in that duration. It is believed that till the dissolution of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924, Muslims of the world were ‘spiritually’ if not physically ruled by the Caliph and since then, there has been a downfall for the Muslim ‘Ummah’.

    While this version of history is not exactly true, it is used as a rallying call for the Muslims to ‘regain’ the former glories and ‘unite’ under one government again. A careful examination of this view reveals that

    1. The reign of four pious caliphs was not without trouble. After all, three of them were killed by other Muslims. If the golden period of our history involves assassinations of three of the most revered companions of the Prophet (PBUH), why would we want to revive those days? Secondly, as opposed to the narrative explained above, the method of selection of the Caliph and the way of ruling was different for all four caliphs. It was not a uniform ‘system of government’ as is claimed by Hizb ut Tehrir. Which ‘system of government’ do they want to impose and why?

    2. During the Banu Umayya period only, there were at least 70 different major battles among Muslims. In one instance, even the Holy Kaaba was bombarded with stones and was razed to the ground during war. Hundreds of companions (Sahaba) of Prophet (PBUH) were murdered by Muslim Rulers. The scientific advances were mostly done during the times of a sect known as Mu’tazila, and it is not surprising that they were eliminated later by being labeled heretics.

    3. Since the assassination of Hazrat Usman (R.A), the third pious Caliph, there has been no ‘central’ Muslim government. At the height of Muslim power (in 4th century A.H), there were 15 different independent Muslim states apart from the Baghdad Caliphate. Thus, the assumption that ‘all Muslims should unite once again’ is simply a utopian premise.

    4. The notion of political Islam, i.e. implementation of Islam as a political system does not find its origin in the traditional sources of Islamic Jurisprudence i.e. Quran and Hadees. This idea was not propagated by the pious Caliphs or by the leaders of the four major schools of Islamic Jurisprudence. It was initiated by two different people with similar thought. The pioneers of political Islam were Syed Qutb from Egypt and Abu al Aala Maududi from India. Tarek Fatah in his book, “Chasing a Mirage: The tragic illusion of an Islmic State” explained the different between Islam and Islamism/Political Islam,

    “What Islamists seek and what Muslims desire are two separate objectives, sometimes overlapping, but clearly distinct. While the former seek an “Islamic State,” the latter merely desires a “state of Islam.” One state requires a theocracy, the other a state of spirituality.

    The phrase “state of Islam” defines the condition of a Muslim in how he or she imbibes the values of Islam to govern personal life and uses faith as a moral compass. In contrast, the “Islamic State” is a political entity: a state, caliphate, sultanate, kingdom, or country that uses Islam as a tool to govern society and control its citizenry. At times, these two objectives overlap each other, but most often, they clash. Islamists obsessed with the establishment of the Islamic State have ridden roughshod over Quranic principles and the Prophet’s message of equality.

    However, Muslims who have striven to achieve a state of Islam have invariably stepped away from using Islam to chase political power, opting instead for intellectual and pious pursuits.

    Since the first caliphate in Medina in the 7th century, clerics have continually reminded Muslims that their mission on Earth — to spread Islam — is impossible without the establishment of an Islamic State. Such edicts by caliphs and imams have gathered near-universal acceptance despite the fact that neither the Quran nor the Prophet asked Muslims to establish such a state. In fact, the five pillars of Islam, which form a Muslim’s covenant with the Creator, do not even hint at the creation of an Islamic State.”

    I would also like to point out that there have been efforts from Muslim Intellectuals including Egypt’s Ali Abdel al-Razik and our own Allama Iqbal against the idea of ‘Political Islam’. In the last 60 years, implementation of ‘Sharia’ has been tried in several countries including Sudan, Pakistan and Afghanistan but it has never worked.

    5. Let’s have a look at an excerpt from the aforementioned book ‘Milestones’ which was banned as soon as it was published in Egypt:

    “Mankind today is on the brink of a precipice. Humanity is threatened not only by nuclear annihilation but also by the absence of values. The West has lost its vitality, and Marxism has failed. At this crucial and bewildering juncture, the turn of Islam and the Muslim community has arrived. But before Islam can lead, it must regenerate itself. The world is divided into two camps, Islam and jahiliyya, the period of ignorance and barbarity that existed before the divine message of the Prophet Mohammed.

    Jahiliyya encompasses all of modern life: manners, morals, art, literature, and law, even much of what passed as Islamic culture. Only a complete rejection of rationalism and Western values offered the slim hope of the redemption of Islam. This is the choice: pure, primitive Islam or the doom of mankind.

    The Muslim community has long ago vanished from existence. It is crushed under the weight of those false laws and teachings which are not even remotely related to the Islamic teachings. Humanity cannot be saved unless Muslims recapture the glory of their earliest and purest expression. We need to initiate the movement of Islamic revival in some Muslim country. There should be a vanguard which sets out with this determination and then keeps walking the path. The time has come for a Muslim to give his head in order to proclaim the birth of the Islamic movement”.

    6. Arabic as national language?

    The promise of making Arabic as the national language of the proposed Khilafah is not just utopian, it’s stupid as well. At least Pakistan has had problems in the past regarding the issue of imposition of a “foreign language” as the favored one and as a consequence, the country was split into two. According to census figures from 1951, Bangla was the spoken language of 54.6 per cent Pakistanis, Punjabi was spoken by 28.4 and Urdu by 7.2 per cent of the populace. This did not stop the UP/CP migrant class from asserting that Urdu be made the only official language of Pakistan. Right now, hardly 1 per cent of the Pakistani population even understands Arabic, how can HT even think about implementing it as the national language?

    7. Jewish Conspiracy

    In 1951, Syed Qutb, one of the people who inspired Hizb, wrote an essay that clearly defined his view of the Jewish world. Titled “Our Fight against the Jews”, the essay was later included in a collection published in Saudi Arabia in 1970. The Saudi booklet bore the same title as Qutb’s essay and was widely circulated in the Arab world, where it became the defining text of the Islamist view of Jews.

    The 1970 Saudi version linked Qutb’s work with the discredited Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Qutb’s essay is pockmarked with footnotes by the Saudi Editor, who used The Protocols to prove Qutb’s allegations against the Jews. For the editor, as for many contemporary Islamic authors, The Protocols were confirmation of anti-Jewish ideas rooted in Islamic tradition.

    In his essay, Qutb not only dwelled on the nature of the Jew and the supposed Jewish goal of destroying Islam, he presented a simple answer to this challenge: Muslims must defeat the Jews. He wrote, “The Jews will be satisfied only with the destruction of this religion (Islam).” He depicted the Jews as the inevitable enemies of Islam and the creation of the state of Israel as the manifestation of Jewish revenge against Muslims for their humiliation in Medina 14 centuries earlier.

    The rhetoric of Hizb ut Tehrir follows the usual anti-Semitism that runs deep through the minds of Arabs and Muslims around the world. Israel and the Jews are no angels either but there remains a certain irony that is being forgotten by Hizb ut Tehrir. The last time Jews gained a respectable position in a foreign society, it was in Andalusia (modern day Spain) under the Muslim Rulers. When they were expelled from there, they were given refuge by the Ottoman Caliphs.

    8. Palestine

    The propaganda of Hizb about Palestine starts from the atrocities committed by Israeli forces against the innocent Palestinians and finishes with the cry of formation of a Khilafah which can recapture the Palestinian territories.

    The propaganda does not hint at The Peel Commission plan of 1937 when the Arabs gave up almost 80 per cent of Palestine in rejecting the Peel Commission Report or to the response of Palestinian Arab leaders towards The UN General Assembly Partition Plan of 1947. Similarly, there is no mention of the antics of the Mufti of Palestine, Hajj al Husayni who was one of the advisors of Hitler and was pivotal in formation of a Muslim division in SS known as “East Turkestan Armed Formation”. What about the 10 per cent Muslim population of Israel?

    9. Treason

    HT is a party openly calling for a military coup, admitting that its members recruit officers in the armed forces, yet no legal action has been taken on this conspiracy. On top of that they call the armed forces to make Ata abu Rashta, a Palestinian, the Caliph of Pakistan. Thus, they are trying to stage a coup to make a person who is not a Pakistani national as the dictator of Pakistan and they justify it by saying that they are not bound by the Laws of the land. Following the arrest of Brig. Ali Khan, numerous high-ranked members of HT have been imprisoned including their spokesperson, Naveed Butt. None of the members has been tried yet according to article 6 of the constitution, which means high treason.

    Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan defines high treason as,

    “1.Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.

    2. Any person aiding or abetting [or collaborating] the acts mentioned in clause shall likewise be guilty of high treason.”

    Based on this definition and the activities of HT in Pakistan, it is strongly recommended that their leaders should be tried in courts according to the aforementioned laws. This should be accompanied by efforts to identify and debrief the active members of HT as part of their rehabilitation.

    Further readings
    1. Hamari Taareekh Fehmi by Hasan Jaafar Zaidi
    2. After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Sunni-Shia split in Islam by Lesley Hazelton
    3. Chasing the Mirage: The tragic Illusion of an Islamic State by Tarek Fatah
    4. The Jew is not my Enemy by Tarek Fatah
    5. The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright
    6. The System of Islam (Nidham ul Islam) by Taqiuddin an-Nabahani
    7. Hizbut Tahrir in Pakistan: Discourse and Impact by Muhammad Amir Rana
    8. The Hizb ut-Tahrir threat by Muhammad Amir Rana

    The case against Hizb ut Tehrir — Dawn.com — Readability
     
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  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    There was always a feeling that Muslims were not getting their due from the world community and it started building up, in modern times, after the creation of the State of Israel and the support it got from the West.

    The Arabs could make no headway to wipe out the State of Israel and with every attempt by the Arabs through wars, the State of Israel only managed to enlarge its borders.

    This further enhanced their low esteem and hence attempts to regain the older status quo, if not the glory desired, became the mission.

    Nasser, with the help of USSR and the NAM did keep the Arab prestige afloat. Then came leaders like Gaddafi, Saddam etc to ensure the same through more radical, though not fundamentalist, means.

    Even the Iran coterie were not radical in the manner that Islam has veered today, where fundamentalists of the Wahhabi ilk not only they are trying to establish their primacy through anti social means (terrorism), but the Sunnis, influenced by the Wahhabi culture, are clearing the deck of other sects of Islam, who they, the Sunnis, feel are not Muslims, be the the Shi'as, Sufis or whatever.Sunnis here means those under the influence of Wahhabis.

    Wahhabi or Salafis have taken over Islam because they have the money to fund their agenda. And money speaks! Their form of Islam also is very attractive to the new adherent since it is the most pristine, bareboned form, shorn of all influences except the the exact words of the scriptures with no interpretation as such.

    It is a psychological fact that when one is in dire straits, one seeks the purest form of religion to find one's soul and directions. In Catholicism, the Opus Dei is an example or the New Jerusalem sect of Mexico, who bans formal education, outlaws popular media, contemporary fashion and many modern luxuries. Literally walled off, the adherents live according to biblical rules in brick homes.

    Unless people have education and economic viability or have no reason to have the persecution complex overwhelming their existence, extremism of all types will prevail.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
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  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Though OT, this might help understand as to what perceptions are all about and misleading.

    I was reading Dan Brown's 'The Lost Symbol'.

    Check what he has to say about Sunday Mass

    [​IMG]

    "Don't tell anyone, but on the pagan day of the Sun God Ra, I kneel at the foot of an ancient instrument of torture and consume ritualistic symbols of blood and flesh".

    "And if anyone of you care to join me, come to the Harvard chapel on Sunday, kneel beneath the Crucifix, and take Holy Communion".


    So, it is all depends on Interpretation!

    Religion is all about Good triumphing over Evil.

    But then, it is the person's persona and mindset that interprets what is Good and what is Evil!

    It is the eternal conundrum!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
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  10. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    KSA is heavily involved in promoting wahabbist ideology.
    In Uk, and Canada they are distributing free Quran's interpreted by Wahabbis. They are funding all wahabbi, wahabbi like institutions.
    They funded Libya, Syria revolutions
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I am not being obtuse or veering the thread off, but one cannot help notice that though one may abhor the VHP and its ideology, the same people who do not subscribe to the radical VHP ways, the are votaries of the BJP!

    Why?

    That is the conundrum that afflicts the persona and mindset influencing their way to identify this eternal quest to find the reality between the Acceptable and not acceptable, survival or oblivion.

    Likewise, the Wahhabis give hope to some souls who are equally lost in what is right and what is not. Survival or Oblivion!
     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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  13. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Pakistan cricket team and a lot of their media personalities are influenced by the Tablighi, a lot of pyt's of Pak media have left their jobs and taken to preaching Islam.
     
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  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Tablighi Jamaat: Jihad's Stealthy Legions

    by Alex Alexiev
    Middle East Quarterly


    Every fall, over a million almost identically dressed, bearded Muslim men from around the world descend on the small Pakistani town of Raiwind for a three-day celebration of faith. Similar gatherings take place annually outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Bhopal, India. These pilgrims are no ordinary Muslims, though; they belong to a movement called Tablighi Jamaat ("Proselytizing Group"). They are trained missionaries who have dedicated much of their lives to spreading Islam across the globe. The largest group of religious proselytizers of any faith, they are part of the reason for the explosive growth of Islamic religious fervor and conversion.

    Despite its size, worldwide presence, and tremendous importance, Tablighi Jamaat remains largely unknown outside the Muslim community, even to many scholars of Islam. This is no coincidence. Tablighi Jamaat officials work to remain outside of both media and governmental notice. Tablighi Jamaat neither has formal organizational structure nor does it publish details about the scope of its activities, its membership, or its finances. By eschewing open discussion of politics and portraying itself only as a pietistic movement, Tablighi Jamaat works to project a non-threatening image. Because of the movement's secrecy, scholars often have no choice but to rely on explanations from Tablighi Jamaat acolytes.

    As a result, academics tend to describe the group as an apolitical devotional movement stressing individual faith, introspection, and spiritual development. The austere and egalitarian lifestyle of Tablighi missionaries and their principled stands against social ills leads many outside observers to assume that the group has a positive influence on society. Graham Fuller, a former CIA official and expert on Islam, for example, characterized Tablighi Jamaat as a "peaceful and apolitical preaching-to-the-people movement."[1] Barbara Metcalf, a University of California scholar of South Asian Islam, called Tablighi Jamaat "an apolitical, quietist movement of internal grassroots missionary renewal" and compares its activities to the efforts to reshape individual lives by Alcoholics Anonymous.[2] Olivier Roy, a prominent authority on Islam at Paris's prestigious Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, described Tablighi Jamaat as "completely apolitical and law abiding."[3] Governments normally intolerant of independent movements often make an exception for Tablighi Jamaat. The Bangladeshi prime minister and top political leadership, many of whom are Islamists, regularly attend their rallies, and Pakistani military officers, many of whom are sympathetic to militant Islam, even allow Tablighi missionaries to preach in the barracks.

    Yet, the Pakistani experience strips the patina from Tablighi Jamaat's façade. Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif (1990-93; 1997-99), whose father was a prominent Tablighi member and financier, helped Tablighi members take prominent positions.[4] For example, in 1998, Muhammad Rafique Tarar took the ceremonial presidency while, in 1990, Javed Nasir assumed the powerful director-generalship of the Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan's chief intelligence agency. When Benazir Bhutto, less sympathetic to Islamist causes, returned to the premiership in 1993, Tablighis conspired to overthrow her government. In 1995, the Pakistani army thwarted a coup attempt by several dozen high-ranking military officers and civilians, all of whom were members of the Tablighi Jamaat and some of whom also held membership in Harakat ul-Mujahideen, a U.S. State Department-defined terrorist organization.[5] Some of the confusion over Tablighi Jamaat's apolitical characterization derives from the fact that the movement does not consider individual states to be legitimate. They may not become actively involved in internal politics or disputes over local issues, but, from a philosophical and transnational perspective, the Tablighi Jamaat's millenarian philosophy is very political indeed. According to the French Tablighi expert Marc Gaborieau, its ultimate objective is nothing short of a "planned conquest of the world" in the spirit of jihad.[6]

    Origins and Ideology

    The prominent Deobandi cleric and scholar Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Kandhalawi (1885-1944) launched Tablighi Jamaat in 1927 in Mewat, India, not far from Delhi. From its inception, the extremist attitudes that characterize Deobandism permeated Tablighi philosophy. Ilyas's followers were intolerant of other Muslims and especially Shi'ites, let alone adherents of other faiths. Indeed, part of Ilyas's impetus for founding Tablighi Jamaat was to counter the inroads being made by Hindu missionaries. They rejected modernity as antithetical to Islam, excluded women, and preached that Islam must subsume all other religions.[7] The creed grew in importance after Pakistani military dictator Zia ul-Haq encouraged Deobandis to Islamize Pakistan.

    The Tablighi Jamaat canon is bare-boned. Apart from the Qu'ran, the only literature Tablighis are required to read are the Tablighi Nisab, seven essays penned by a companion of Ilyas in the 1920s. Tablighi Jamaat is not a monolith: one subsection believes they should pursue jihad through conscience (jihad bin nafs) while a more radical wing advocates jihad through the sword (jihad bin saif).[8] But, in practice, all Tablighis preach a creed that is hardly distinguishable from the radical Wahhabi-Salafi jihadist ideology that so many terrorists share.

    Part of the reason why the Tablighi Jamaat leadership can maintain such strict secrecy is its dynastic flavor. All Tablighi Jamaat leaders since Ilyas have been related to him by either blood or marriage. Upon Ilyas' 1944 death, his son, Maulana Muhammad Yusuf (1917-65), assumed leadership of the movement, dramatically expanding its reach and influence. Following the partition of India, Tablighi Jamaat spread rapidly in the new Muslim nation of Pakistan. Yusuf and his successor, Inamul Hassan (1965-95), transformed Tablighi Jamaat into a truly transnational movement with a renewed emphasis targeting conversion of non-Muslims, a mission the movement continues to the present day.

    While few details are known about the group's structure, at the top sits the emir who, according to some observers, presides over a shura (council), which plays an advisory role. Further down are individual country organizations. By the late 1960s, Tablighi Jamaat had not only established itself in Western Europe and North America but even claimed adherents in countries like Japan, which has no significant Muslim population.

    The movement's rapid penetration into non-Muslim regions began in the 1970s and coincides with the establishment of a synergistic relationship between Saudi Wahhabis and South Asian Deobandis. While Wahhabis are dismissive of other Islamic schools, they single out Tablighi Jamaat for praise, even if they disagree with some of its practices, such as willingness to pray in mosques housing graves. The late Sheikh 'Abd al 'Aziz ibn Baz, perhaps the most influential Wahhabi cleric in the late twentieth century, recognized the Tablighis good work and encouraged his Wahhabi brethren to go on missions with them so that they can "guide and advise them."[9] A practical result of this cooperation has been large-scale Saudi financing of Tablighi Jamaat. While Tablighi Jamaat in theory requires its missionaries to cover their own expenses during their trips, in practice, Saudi money subsidizes transportation costs for thousands of poor missionaries. While Tablighi Jamaat's financial activities are shrouded in secrecy, there is no doubt that some of the vast sums spent by Saudi organizations such as the World Muslim League on proselytism benefit Tablighi Jamaat. As early as 1978, the World Muslim League subsidized the building of the Tablighi mosque in Dewsbury, England, which has since become the headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat in all of Europe.[10] Wahhabi sources have paid Tablighi missionaries in Africa salaries higher than the European Union pays teachers in Zanzibar.[11] In both Western Europe and the United States, Tablighis operate interchangeably out of Deobandi and Wahhabi controlled mosques and Islamic centers.

    Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

    The West's misreading of Tablighi Jamaat actions and motives has serious implications for the war on terrorism. Tablighi Jamaat has always adopted an extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam, but in the past two decades, it has radicalized to the point where it is now a driving force of Islamic extremism and a major recruiting agency for terrorist causes worldwide. For a majority of young Muslim extremists, joining Tablighi Jamaat is the first step on the road to extremism. Perhaps 80 percent of the Islamist extremists in France come from Tablighi ranks, prompting French intelligence officers to call Tablighi Jamaat the "antechamber of fundamentalism."[12] U.S. counterterrorism officials are increasingly adopting the same attitude. "We have a significant presence of Tablighi Jamaat in the United States," the deputy chief of the FBI's international terrorism section said in 2003, "and we have found that Al-Qaeda used them for recruiting now and in the past."[13]

    Recruitment methods for young jihadists are almost identical. After joining Tablighi Jamaat groups at a local mosque or Islamic center and doing a few local dawa (proselytism) missions, Tablighi officials invite star recruits to the Tablighi center in Raiwind, Pakistan, for four months of additional missionary training. Representatives of terrorist organizations approach the students at the Raiwind center and invite them to undertake military training.[14] Most agree to do so.

    Tablighi Jamaat has long been directly involved in the sponsorship of terrorist groups. Pakistani and Indian observers believe, for instance, that Tablighi Jamaat was instrumental in founding Harakat ul-Mujahideen. Founded at Raiwind in 1980, almost all of the Harakat ul-Mujahideen's original members were Tablighis. Famous for the December 1998 hijacking of an Air India passenger jet and the May 8, 2002 murder of a busload of French engineers in Karachi, Harakat members make no secret of their ties. "The two organizations together make up a truly international network of genuine jihadi Muslims," one senior Harakat ul-Mujahideen official said.[15] More than 6,000 Tablighis have trained in Harakat ul-Mujahideen camps. Many fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s and readily joined Al-Qaeda after the Taliban defeated Afghanistan's anti-Soviet mujahideen.[16]

    Another violent Tablighi Jamaat spin-off is the Harakat ul-Jihad-i Islami.[17] Founded in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, this group has been active not only in the disputed Indian provinces of Jammu and Kashmir but also in the state of Gujarat, where Tablighi Jamaat extremists have taken over perhaps 80 percent of the mosques previously run by the moderate Barelvi Muslims.[18] The Tablighi movement is also very active in northern Africa where it became one of the four groups that founded the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria. Moroccan authorities are currently prosecuting sixty members of the Moroccan Tablighi offshoot Dawa wa Tabligh in connection with the May 16, 2003 terrorist attack on a Casablanca synagogue.[19] Dutch police are investigating links between the Moroccan cells and the November 2, 2004 murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh.[20]

    There are many other cases of individual Tablighis committing acts of terrorism. French Tablighi members, for example, have helped organize and execute attacks not only in Paris but also at the Hotel Asni in Marrakech in 1994.[21] Kazakh authorities expelled a number of Tablighi missionaries because they had been organizing networks advancing "extremist propaganda and recruitment."[22] Indian investigators suspect influential Tablighi leader, Maulana Umarji, and a group of his followers in the February 27, 2002 fire bombing of a train carrying Hindu nationalists in Gujarat, India. The incident sparked a wave of pogroms victimizing both Muslims and Hindus.[23] More recently, Moroccan authorities sentenced Yusef Fikri, a Tablighi member and leader of the Moroccan terrorist organization At-Takfir wal-Hijrah, to death for his role in masterminding the May 2003 Casablanca terrorist bombings that claimed more than forty lives.[24]

    Tablighi Jamaat has also facilitated other terrorists' missions. The group has provided logistical support and helped procure travel documents. Many take advantage of Tablighi Jamaat's benign reputation. Moroccan authorities say that leaflets circulated by the terrorist group Al-Salafiyah al-Jihadiyah urged their members to join Islamic organizations that operate openly, such as Tablighi Jamaat, in order "to hide their identity on the one hand and influence these groups and their policies on the other."[25] In a similar vein, a Pakistani jihadi website commented that Tablighi Jamaat organizational structures can be easily adopted to jihad activities.[26] The Philippine government has accused Tablighi Jamaat, which has an 11,000-member presence in the country, of serving both as a conduit of Saudi money to the Islamic terrorists in the south and as a cover for Pakistani jihad volunteers.[27]

    There is also evidence that Tablighi Jamaat directly recruits for terrorist organizations. As early as the 1980s, the movement sponsored military training for 900 recruits annually in Pakistan and Algeria while, in 1999, Uzbek authorities accused Tablighi Jamaat of sending 400 Uzbeks to terrorist training camps.[28] The West is not immune. British counterterrorism authorities estimate that at least 2,000 British nationals had gone to Pakistan for jihad training by 1998, and the French secret services report that between 80 and 100 French nationals fought for Al-Qaeda.[29]

    A Trojan Horse for Terror in America?

    Within the United States, the cases of American Taliban John Lindh, the "Lackawanna Six," and the Oregon cell that conspired to bomb a synagogue and sought to link up with Al-Qaeda,[30] all involve Tablighi missionaries.[31] Other indicted terrorists, such as "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla, and Lyman Harris, who sought to bomb the Brooklyn Bridge, were all members of Tablighi Jamaat at one time or another.[32] According to Robert Blitzer, head of the FBI's first Islamic counterterrorism unit, between 1,000 and 2,000 Americans left to join the jihad in the 1990s alone.[33] Pakistani intelligence sources report that 400 American Tablighi recruits received training in Pakistani or Afghan terrorist camps since 1989.[34]

    The Tablighi Jamaat has made inroads among two very different segments of the American Muslim population. Because many American Muslims are immigrants, and a large subsection of these are from South Asia, Deobandi influences have been able to penetrate deeply. Many Tablighi Jamaat missionaries speak Urdu as a first language and so can communicate easily with American Muslims of South Asian origin. The Tablighi headquarters in the United States for the past decade appears to be in the Al-Falah mosque in Queens, New York. Its missionaries—predominantly from South Asia—regularly visit Sunni mosques and Islamic centers across the country.[35] The willingness of Saudi-controlled front organizations and charities, such as the World Muslim League, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), the Haramain Foundation, the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) and others, to spend large amounts of money to co-opt the religious establishment has helped catalyze recruitment. As a result Wahhabi and Deobandi influence dominate American Islam.[36]

    This trend is apparent in the activities of Tanzeem-e Islami. Founded by long-term Tablighi member and passionate Taliban supporter, Israr Ahmed, Tanzeem-e Islami flooded American Muslim organizations with communications accusing Israel of complicity in the 9/11 terror attacks.[37] A frequent featured speaker at Islamic conferences and events in the United States, Ahmed engages in incendiary rhetoric urging his audiences to prepare for "the final showdown between the Muslim world and the non-Muslim world, which has been captured by the Jews."[38] Unfortunately, his conspiracy theories have begun to take hold among growing segments of the American Muslim community. For example, Siraj Wahhaj, among the best known African-American Muslim converts and the first Muslim cleric to lead prayers in the U.S. Congress, is also on record accusing the FBI and the CIA of being the "real terrorists." He has expressed his support for the convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, and advocating the demise of American democracy.[39]

    Tablighi Jamaat has appealed to African American Muslims for other reasons. Founded by Elijah Mohammed in the early 1930s, the Nation of Islam was essentially a charismatic African American separatist organization which had little to do with normative Islam. Many Nation of Islam members found attractive both the Tablighi Jamaat's anti-state separatist message and its description of American society as racist, decadent, and oppressive. Seeing such fertile ground, Tablighi and Wahhabi missionaries targeted the African American community with great success. One Tablighi sympathizer explained,

    The umma [Muslim community] must remember that winning over the black Muslims is not only a religious obligation but also a selfish necessity. The votes of the black Muslims can give the immigrant Muslims the political clout they need at every stage to protect their vital interests. Likewise, outside Muslim states like Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Pakistan need to mobilize their effort, money, and missionary skills to expand and consolidate the black Muslim community in the USA, not only for religious reasons, but also as a farsighted investment in the black Muslims' immense potential as a credible lobby for Muslim causes, such as Palestine, Bosnia, or Kashmir—offsetting, at least partially, the venal influence of the powerful India-Israel lobby.[40]

    Not only foreign Tablighis but also the movement's sympathizers within the United States enunciate this goal. The president of the Islamic Research Foundation in Louisville, Kentucky, a strong advocate of Tablighi missionary work, for instance, insists that "if all the Afro-American brothers and sisters become Muslims, we can change the political landscape of America" and "make U.S. foreign policy pro-Islamic and Muslim friendly."[41] As a result of Tablighi and Wahhabi proselytizing, African Americans comprise between 30 and 40 percent of the American Muslim community, and perhaps 85 percent of all American Muslim converts. Much of this success is due to a successful proselytizing drive in the penitentiary system. Prison officials say that by the mid-1990s, between 10 and 20 percent of the nation's 1.5 million inmates identified themselves as Muslims. Some 30,000 African Americans convert to Islam in prison every year.[42]

    The American political system tolerates all views so long as they adhere to the rule of law. Unfortunately, Tablighi Jamaat missionaries may be encouraging African American recruits to break the law. Harkat ul-Mujahideen has boasted of training dozens of African American jihadists in its military camps. There is evidence that African American jihadists have died in both Afghanistan and Kashmir.[43]

    Tablighi Jamaat: The Future of American Islam?

    Tablighi Jamaat has made unprecedented strides in recent decades. It increasingly relies on local missionaries rather than South Asian Tablighis to recruit in Western countries and often sets up groups which apparently model themselves after Tablighi Jamaat but do not acknowledge links to it.[44]

    In the United States, such a role is apparently played by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). Founded in 1968 as an offshoot of the fiercely Islamist Muslim Student Association,[45] ICNA is the only major American Muslim organization that has paid open homage to Tablighi founder Ilyas. The monthly ICNA publication, The Message, has praised Ilyas as one of the four greatest Islamic leaders of the last 100 years.[46] While the relationship between ICNA and Tablighi Jamaat is not clear, the two organizations share a number of similarities. They both embrace the extreme Deobandi and Wahhabi interpretations of Islam. ICNA demonstrates disdain for Western democratic values and opposes virtually all counterterrorism legislation, such as the Patriot Act, while providing moral and financial support to all Muslims implicated in terrorist activities. An editorial in the ICNA organ, The Message International, in September 1989 bemoaned the "uncounted number of Muslims lost to Western values" which was a "major cause for concern."[47] In 2003 and 2004, ICNA has collected money to assist detainees suspected of terrorist activities, participated in pro-terrorist rallies, and mounted campaigns on behalf of indicted Hamas functionary Sami al-Arian.[48] Like Tablighi Jamaat, ICNA initially drew its membership disproportionately from South Asians. As with Tablighi Jamaat, ICNA demands total dedication to missionary work from its members. Because many ICNA members spend at least thirty hours per week on their mission,[49] their ability to independently support themselves is unclear. Many cannot hold full-time jobs. ICNA's recruitment efforts have borne fruit, though. All ICNA members are organized in small study groups of no more than eight people, called NeighborNets. As in a cult, these cells provide support and reinforcement for new recruits, who may have sought to fill a void in their lives. Its yearly convocations, patterned on the annual Tablighi Jamaat meetings in South Asia, now attract some 15,000 people.[50]

    Conclusion

    The estimated 15,000 Tablighi missionaries reportedly active in the United States present a serious national security problem.[51] At best, they and their proxy groups form a powerful proselytizing movement that preaches extremism and disdain for religious tolerance, democracy, and separation of church and state. At worst, they represent an Islamist fifth column that aids and abets terrorism. Contrary to their benign treatment by scholars and academics, Tablighi Jamaat has more to do with political sedition than with religion.

    U.S. officials should focus on reality rather than rhetoric. Pakistani and Saudi support for Tablighi Jamaat is incompatible with their claims to be key allies in the war on terror. While law enforcement focuses attention on Osama bin Laden, the war on terrorism cannot be won unless al-Qaeda terrorists are understood to be the products of Islamist ideology preached by groups like Tablighi Jamaat. If the West chooses to turn a blind eye to the problem, Tablighi involvement in future terrorist activities at home and abroad is not a matter of conjecture; it is a certainty.

    Alex Alexiev is vice president for research at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C.

    Tablighi Jamaat: Jihad's Stealthy Legions :: Middle East Quarterly
     
  15. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Actions that upsets status quo always worries, more so if it is alien to the ways of the country and its existential philosophy!

    Therefore, what is natural in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, is not natural in the US, UK, France or even India!

    What is natural in US, UK, France or even in India is not OK in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

    When one imposes on the other, the fault lines emerge!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
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  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The Symbol of the Crescent Moon and Star is extremely Ancient and was present in every Ancient Pagan Culture of the world. It is a very powerful and important Alchemical Symbol, relating to the Third Eye and Sixth Chakra as well as to the Feminine Aspect of the Soul.

    [​IMG]
    Ancient Sumerian Crescent and Star

    [​IMG]
    Ancient Assyrian Crescent of Baal

    [​IMG]
    Ancient Hittite Crescent Moon/Sun

    [​IMG]
    Ancient Pagan Byzantium coin

    [​IMG]
    Ancient Babylonian Depiction

    We reinvent ourselves to remain relevant to the call of the times!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
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  18. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    They have Oil enough for 100 years. Wahabism may have a long life after all.
     
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  19. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Bahrain police shoot 17-year-old protester dead in new wave of Shia unrest

    Source: Bahrain police shoot 17-year-old protester dead in new wave of Shia unrest - Telegraph
     
  20. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    ^^ I would not call this wahabbi extremism. This is an example of a despotic ruling class.
     
  21. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    Protesters torch Buddhist temples, homes in Bangladesh

    Protesters torch Buddhist temples, homes in Bangladesh - The Times of India

    COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Hundreds of Muslims in Bangladesh burned at least four Buddhist temples and 15 homes of Buddhists on Sunday after complaining that a Buddhist man had insulted Islam, police and residents said.

    Members of the Buddhist minority in the Cox's Bazar area in the southeast of the country said unidentified people were bent on upsetting peaceful relations between Muslims and Buddhists.

    Muslims took to the streets in the area late on Saturday to protest against what they said was a photograph posted on Facebook that insulted Islam.

    The protesters said the picture had been posted by a Buddhist and they marched to Buddhist villages and set fire to temples and houses.

    Police said they had deployed extra security forces and banned gatherings in Buddhist-dominated areas.

    "We brought the situation under control before dawn and imposed restrictions on public gatherings," said Salim Mohammad Jahangir, Cox's Bazaar district police superintendent.

    Many people in predominantly Muslim Bangladesh have been angered in recent days by a film made in California that mocks the Prophet Mohammad.

    Muslims in Bangladesh and beyond have also been outraged by violence over the border in Myanmar where members of the majority Buddhist community clashed with minority Muslims this year.

    Police had escorted the man accused of posting the insulting photograph and his mother to safety, Jahangir said.

    Sohel Sarwar Kajal, the Muslim head of the council in the area where the arson took place, said he was trying to restore communal peace.

    "We are doing everything possible to quell tension and restore peace between the communities," he told reporters.
     
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