During his visit to India, the US Secretary of State John Kerry pledged to work with India to destroy the terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which he equated with the al Qaeda. India had recently protested to Pakistan over yet another delay in the trial of the LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and others who are charged with November 2008 Mumbai attacks. The latest book by the former New York Times contributor and author Arif Jamal meticulously describes why there should be little expectation of a trial and due punishment. It notes that the moment international pressure on Pakistan to try the LeT men relented, the Advocate General of Punjab told the Supreme Court that “the Punjab government wanted to withdraw the appeal because the Punjab government did not have enough evidence against Hafiz Muhammad Saeed” of the LeT’s parent outfit Jama’t-ud-Dawa (JuD). Saeed was subsequently released from an ostensible house arrest. Jamal notes that the LeT operatives have lived large under custody, enjoyed conjugal visit privileges and while in jail “Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi even fathered a son who is being raised as an LeT jihadist”. Jamal writes that the jihadists have nicknamed the boy Maulana Adialavi apparently after the Adiala prison where he was conceived.
Arif Jamal has produced one of the most detailed accounts of the doctrine(s), strategy, tactics and goals of the LeT, which he expounds is just the India-oriented head of the jihadist hydra JuD that aims to launch not a regional but a transnational " holy war". The author traces the ideological and organizational origins of the JuD to the November 1979 rebellion and takeover of the Holy Ka’aba by the Salafi millenarian group led by Juhayman al-Utaybi and patronized, among others, by the former Saudi chief cleric Abdul Aziz bin Baz. The Saudis quelled the rebellion with help from France and later executed al-Utaybi and dozens of his cohorts including the self-professed Mahdi (messiah) Muhammad al-Qahtani. But the radical Salafist legions called the Juhayman’s Ikhwan (brothers) survived including a Pakistani cleric Maulana Badiuddin Rashdi of the Ahle Hadith sect and the Saudi siblings of Indian descent: Ahmed and Mahmood Bahaziq. Jamal chronicles the founding of the original Pakistani Salafi jihadist enterprise Markaz Dawa’-wal-Irshad (MDI) in Lahore in 1987 by Rashdi, Bahaziq brothers, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Zafar Iqbal, Amir Hamza and Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. Saeed was a rather low ranking figure in the Pakistani Salafi hierarchy and was appointed merely the mudeer (manager) of the MDI. He would later elbow out his ailing mentor Allama Rashdi to take over as the emir of the MDI, which later on changed its name to JuD in the aftermath of the December 2001 attack on the Indian parliament. The JuD has retained Juhayman’s creed minus any overt longing for a messiah. Jamal debunks the myth that Osama bin Laden’s mentor Abdullah Azzam, who created the al Qaeda predecessor Markaz-al-Khidmat, was among the MDI’s founders.
While the book uses the LeT— the most vicious and well-known brand of the Pakistan-based Salafist franchise— in the title, the author has made every effort to highlight that JuD remains the overarching jihadist umbrella that sees Kashmir as only a jumping board to rest of the India and, in turn, India as a prelude to its transnational " holy war". Arif Jamal notes that being born out of the Juhayman’s Ikhwan, which had cells in several countries, gave MDI/JuD a head start in its world jihadist campaign. He writes that the 1990s Bosnian war was truly an MDI/JuD jihadist campaign for which scholars and policy makers gave the al-Qaeda an erroneous and undue credit. Jamal archives that the first battlefield exposure of LeT men like Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi was in Urgun, Paktika, which is the city where the Jalaluddin Haqqani network had once started its reign of terror. The MDI/JuD were closely allied with the Afghan Salafis like Abur-Rab Rasul Sayyaf and Jamil-ur-Rehman’s groups in Nuristan and Kunar—they used and later took over their training camps (muaskar). Hafiz Saeed did his militant training in one of Sayyaf’s camps near Sadda in the Lower Kurram Agency while JuD’s men were one of the first outsiders waging " holy war" in Chechnya. Jamal is spot on that despite collaborating and/or competing with the al-Qaeda and its allies intermittently, the JuD arrived on the transitional jihadist scene long before it, and will outlive it as well. Leaders like John Kerry will be well advised to pay attention to the minute detail furnished by Arif Jamal. Pakistani security establishment has a vested interest in sending the US and others on a wild goose chase to hunt al Qaeda and underemphasize the JuD’s global ambitions. Jamal notes in detail the overlap and connections between the ISI, the drug baron and terrorist Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company and JuD/LeT.
Arif Jamal’s gripping account of the ideological and numerical monstrosity which the JuD has become, with roughly half a million men having graduated through its militancy programs, is anchored firmly in primary source information, personal interviews with the JuD leaders, including Hafiz Saeed, and visits to their training facilities. Jamal’s strength is however not just as a chronicler but also as scholar of the jihadist doctrine and its nuances in which he outshines his peers. He cuts through the mishmash of fundamentalist Islamism to show that similar strains of Wahhabism and Salafism also compete and the latter’s scholars like Nasiruddin al-Albani look at the former with a certain scorn. The author hits the notion out of the ball park, defining accurately that the JuD and its ilk do not consider Saudi Wahhabists true Salafists in that the Wahhabi Fiqh (religious jurisprudence) is derived from the orthodox Hanbali Sunni school. The JuD is actually at loggerheads with the Deobandis of South Asia and Afghanistan and aims to convert them to the Salafi creed, which in the sub-continent carries the brand name Ahle Hadith.
The author has called the JuD a “wholly owned subsidiary of the ISI” but has successfully resisted the temptation to view it through the ISI lens. He is of the view that while the ISI, which to him is merely a euphemism for Pakistan army, preserves and manipulates the JuD marionette for projecting power in both India and Afghanistan, the jihadists consciously underplay both their local and transnational agenda as they do not want a premature fight on their hands. While the ISI has pitched the Salafis against the Deobandi jihadists that it can no longer control, the Salafis intend to convert or subdue all other jihadist shades for doctrinal reasons as well. The author cites the cardinal JuD treatise “Jihad in the Present Times” that lists eight reasons to wage " holy war" to describe the global ambition of the JuD for which it already has proactive cells in all Muslim countries, Philippines, Thailand, Europe, the United Kingdom and the USA.
The book spans 12 chapters and is literally a treasure trove of information on the JuD organization structure, manpower, training and recruiting methods, operations, including Mumbai attacks, and indeed the Salafist creed. It is a marvellous database of names of organizations and individuals that anyone dealing with the JuD will miss at their peril. Including an abbreviation list, glossary of Arabic terms and an expanded index in the next print run would be highly desirable as would be a searchable electronic edition. Arif Jamal stops short of making any policy recommendations but it would be extremely imprudent for politicians and counterterrorism experts to ignore this profoundly well-documented and timely warning in the face of the MDI/JuD/LeT’s call for a transnational jihad.
Dr. Mohammad Taqi is a regular columnist for Daily Times, Pakistan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @mazdaki
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
Of course the Pak army and ISI will try tooth and nail to not let this happen as they think that MDI/LeT/JuD allows them to project their proxy power, but then the army will not risk its everything with a war, to salvage a decaying MDI/LeT/JuD.
Now, it is left to the countries in the direct line-of-sight of JuD, to destroy it and the sooner the better.
WORLD IS FACING real Terror problem not limited to Arabs,Pak and Afghanistan .
China has banned Beards and Burqoas in Buses and other Public places fearing hidden Bombs.China imposes Birth control measure on Muslims.CHINA IS ONE SUCH NATION AND IT HAS POPULATION OF 2.2 Crores Muslims.
Terrorists have killed 100 innocents so far and Police has killed 59 terrorists .
' Terror fear? China city bans beards, veils in buses
BEIJING: In perhaps first such instance in China, a city in the country's restive Xinjiang region has banned beards and burka or veils worn by Muslim women within days of a major terrorist attack and subsequent police action that killed nearly 100 people in the bordering Kashgar area of the same province.
Authorities in Karamay banned "five groups of people" — those who wear burka, headscarves, veils or hijab, any clothing bearing the crescent moon and star, as well as long beards, state-controlled media reported on Wednesday. All of these symbols are associated with Islam.
The ban disallows people in this group from using facilities like buses and other means of public transport and has been effective since Monday. This is in view of a local sports competition on August 20, the newspaper said, and may be extended beyond that.
Even more controversially, state leaders in Xinjiang are working on a proposal to amend existing rules on family planning, which allows Muslims to have more than two children. So far, Muslims are exempt from the country's one-child policy, which has now been relaxed to allow up to two children.
Southern Xinjiang will "implement family planning policy equally on all ethnic groups, to lower and stabilize an appropriate birth rate", a Communist Party leader, Zhang Chunxian, wrote in the August edition of Qiushi, an official magazine of the Communist party. More than 45% of Xinjiang's 22 million people are Uighur Muslims who speak Turkic language.'''
Terrorists have killed 100 innocents so far and Police has killed 59 terrorists !!!
On other hand USA has Listed 7 million people as Terror suspects.
2. " The second-highest concentration of people designated as "known or suspected terrorists" by the government is in Dearborn, Michigan, a city of 96,000 that has the largest percentage of Muslims in the country''
" The numbers are just staggering. According to the latest disclosures, there are around 7 LAC people caught up in the US government's Terrorist Screening Database (TSD) — a watchlist of "known or suspected terrorists" that is shared with local law enforcement agencies, private contractors, and foreign governments. Of them, more than 40 percent — 280,000 — are described by the government as having "no recognized terrorist group affiliation," dwarfing the number of watchlisted people suspected of ties to al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah combined.
According to the documents, the Obama administration has also boosted the number of people on the no-fly list more than ten-fold, to an all-time high of 47,000 — surpassing the number of people barred from flying under George Bush. The government also adds names to its databases, or adds information on existing subjects, at a rate of 900 records each day
The second-highest concentration of people designated as "known or suspected terrorists" by the government is in Dearborn, Michigan, a city of 96,000 that has the largest percentage of Muslims in the country.'''
The hooligans of MDI/JuD/LeT need to be destroyed, but who is going to do it? The Pakistani Army seems to be in cahouts with them. The Americans have had enough after 13 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan and want out. India has no option but to maintain its preparedness against terrorism at the maximum level however costly it may be.
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