Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
enforcing and security agencies in the United Kingdom are thinking of being
able to stop Anjem Choudary from spreading radical Islamic indoctrination and
jihad, Muslim Londoners are becoming radicalized and even taking preparations
of waging jihad against Britain and other Western nations. For the past few
years, an ISIS funder in Britain namely Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and members of
his family are regularly providing donations to Tablighi Jamaat and jihadist
activities. Khan’s organization named ‘Astha’ [faith] has reportedly earned an
endorsement from Anjem Choudary for its ideology of establishing Sharia rule by
ousting democracy throughout the world.
Pakistani Anjem Choudary is not a new name either in Britain or to the counterterrorism
experts around the world. He headed a notorious organization named Al
Mujajiroun (ALM) network, a leading group in the United Kingdom that supports
an extreme interpretation of Islam that advocated Sharia law for Muslim lands
and, ultimately, an inevitable conflict with the Western democracy and
secularism. Choudary and his followers denounce democracy as well are dreaming
of bring Britain and other western nations under the flag of Sharia rule and
had various guises, franchises and what amounted to brand names, was
progressively banned under Britain’s terrorism legislation in the wake of the
2005 London attacks. When its founder, a Syrian Islamist cleric named Omar
Bakri Mohammed fled Britain following those jihadist attacks, his key disciple
Choudary took the helm.
Anjem Choudary is not directly involved in militancy or terrorism, he poses a
grave threat due to his role in radicalizing Muslim. Once his followers start
believing that the West was victimizing Muslims, it actually opened the way to
them in choosing radical Islamic militancy.
known terrorism researcher Hannah Stuart, who has studied British jihadists
since 1999, discovered that ALM was a factor in the lives of at least a quarter
of those who have carried out attacks, gone to fight overseas or ended up in
Choudary was basically found active with East London and Luton areas, where the
Muslim population, especially those immigrant Muslims are very high.
had actively supported Islamic State and had applauded the killing of
non-Muslims – especially Jews and Christians and Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi’s
notorious agenda of establishing Caliphate. He also praised those responsible
for the September 11, 2001, and July 7, 2005, jihadist attacks.
September 2016, Choudary was sentenced to five years and six months following a
conviction for inviting others to support the proscribed ISIS. He was released
automatically on license in October 2018.
Recruitment and Training
November 1999, the Sunday Telegraph reported that Muslims were receiving
weapons training at secret locations in Britain. Most of those who
these centres would then fight for Osama Bin Laden’s International Islamic
Front in Chechnya, while others would fight in such places as Kosovo, Sudan,
Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kashmir. The report identified Anjem
Choudary as a key figure in recruiting for these training centres.
On 30 March
2017 Choudary was declared a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the
United States Department of State. The designation blocks his assets and
prohibits him from engaging in trade or financial transactions with US persons.
Radical Islam and Jihad
last few years, followers of Anjem Choudary have started using Tablighi Jamaat
as the most suitable vessel for radicalizing Muslims as well as attracting them
towards jihad. Tablighi Jamaat [Conveying Group] is a Muslim missionary and
revival movement. Their activities are not limited to the Deobandi community.
Jamaat seeks to revitalize Muslims around the world. It is claimed that their
ideology and practices are in strict accordance with the Quran and Sunnah. It
maintains an international headquarters, the Markaz, in Nizamuddin, Delhi in
India and several national headquarters to coordinate its activities in over 80
countries. Tablighi Jamaat was founded in the late 1920s by Maulana Ilyas
[Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Kandhelvi] in the Mewat province of India.
its history it has sent its members to travel the world, preaching a message of
peace and tolerance. It organizes preachers in groups [called Jamaats, meaning
Assembly]. Each group, on average, consists of 10 to 12 Muslims who fund
themselves in this preaching mission.
Jamaat in Britain
construction of the Tablighi mosque in Dewsbury, England commenced.
Subsequently, the mosque became the European headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat.
Jamaat in the West
the movement first established itself in the United States, it established a
large presence in Europe during the 1970s and 1980s. It was especially
prominent in France during the 1980s. The members of Tablighi Jamaat are also
represented in the French Council of the Muslim Faith.
influence has grown, though, in the increasing Pakistani community in France,
which has doubled in the decade before 2008 to 50,000-60,000. However, Britain
is the current focus of the movement in the West, primarily due to the large
South Asian population that began to arrive there in the 1960s and 1970s. By
2007, Tablighi members were situated at 600 of Britain’s 1350 mosques.
inroads into Central Asia
collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the movement made inroads into Central
Asia. As of 2007, it was estimated 10,000 Tablighi members could be found in
By 2008 it
had a presence in nearly 80 countries and had become a leading revivalist
movement. However, it maintains a presence in India, where at least 100 of its
Jamaats go out from Markaz, the international headquarters, to different parts
of India and overseas.
Tablighis Around The World
There are a
large number of prominent individuals around the world, who had affiliated
themselves with Tablighi Jamaat and had extended patronization. These include
the former Presidents of Pakistan, Muhammad Rafiq Tarar and Farooq Leghari
[Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari], and former President of India, Dr. Zakir
Hussain who was also associated with this movement. Major General Ziaur Rahman,
former military dictator and Chief of Army Staff of the Bangladesh Army, was a
strong supporter and member of Tablighi Jamaat, and popularized it in
General [R] Javed Nasir of the Pakistan Army and former head of Pakistani spy
agency Inter-Services Intelligence [ISI] along with former Prime Minister of
Pakistan, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq have also been linked with the movement.
Other well-known politicians such as Dr. Arbab Ghulam Rahim the former chief
minister of Sindh, and Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq, former Pakistani Federal Minister
for Religious Affairs have strong ties with the Tablighi activities.
well-recognized writers and scholars, such as Dr. Nadir Ali Khan [famous Indian
writer] and others are deeply related with it.
Pakistani cricket professionals, Shahid Afridi, Saqlain Mushtaq,
Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed; and the former Pakistani cricketers Saeed Anwar,
Saleem Malik are active members. It is also widely believed that Pakistani
middle order batsman Mohammad Yousuf embraced Islam with the help of the
Tablighi Jamaat. Others include South African batsman Hashim Amla.
Jamaat Terror Connection
analysts and Islamist scholars are fiercely divided in their assessments of
Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic revivalist organization that has spread from its
origins in India in the 1920s to the broader Muslim world.
communities, for their part, have depicted the Tablighi Jamaat as a “gateway to
terrorism” and contend that the organization poses numerous, underestimated
security risks. The group appeared peripherally in such high-profile cases as
those of Jose Padilla, Richard Reid, and John Walker Lindh, all of whom
allegedly used the group as their steppingstone to radicalism.
the Islamic studies community tends to depict Tablighi Jamaat, which roughly
translates to “group to deliver the message of Islam,” as a revivalist
organization that eschews politics in its quest to reform society. What
accounts for these starkly different accounts, and how can one resolve some of
the deeply perplexing questions surrounding this important and secretive
Jamaat: Gateway to Terrorism
France, and the United States, the Tablighi Jamaat has appeared on the fringes
of several terrorism investigations, leading some to speculate that its
apolitical stance simply masks “fertile ground for breeding terrorism.” While
acknowledging the involvement of the movement’s individuals, Eva Borreguero,
Fulbright Scholar at Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian
Understanding discounted the claims made against the organization itself.
Borreguero began her assessment by providing a historical overview of this
complex movement. Maulana Muhammad Ilyas founded the Tablighi Jamaat in 1925,
against the backdrop of the British Empire and a waning Muslim identity in
South Asia. Believing that social, political, and economic hardships beset
Muslims in India, Ilyas sought a return to a pristine form of Islam from the
heterodox variants flourishing in South Asia.
two decades, the Tablighi Jamaat operated mainly within South Asia. With the
ascent of Maulana Yusuf, Ilyas´ son, as its second emir (leader), the group
began to expand activities in 1946, and within two decades the group reached
Southwest and Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Initially, it
expanded its reach to South Asian diaspora communities, first in Arab countries
then in Southeast Asia. Once established, the Tablighi Jamaat began engaging
local populations as well. Although the group first established itself in the
United States, Britain is the current focus of the group in the West, primarily
due to the large South Asian population that began to arrive there in the 1960s
Jamaat: Breeding Ground of Tomorrow’s Jihadists
misreading of Tablighi Jamaat actions and motives have serious implications for
the war on terrorism. Tablighi Jamaat has always adopted an extreme
interpretation of Sunni Islam, but in the past few 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.
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.” 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”.
methods for young jihadists are almost identical. After joining Tablighi Jamaat
groups at a local mosque or Islamic centre and doing a few local Dawa
[proselytism] missions, Tablighi officials invite star recruits to the Tablighi
centre in Raiwind, Pakistan, for four months of additional missionary training.
Representatives of terrorist organizations approach the students at the Raiwind
centre and invite them to undertake military training. Most agree to do so.
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 Harkat ul-Mujahideen.
Raiwind in 1980, almost all of the Harkat ul-Mujahideen’s original members were
Tablighis. Known 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, Harkat
members make no secret of their ties.
organizations together make up a truly international network of genuine jihadi
Muslims,” one senior Harkat ul-Mujahideen official said. More than 6,000
Tablighis have trained in Harkat ul-Mujahideen camps. Many fought in
Afghanistan in the 1980s and readily joined Al-Qaeda after the Taliban defeated
Afghanistan’s anti-Soviet Mujahideen.
Violent Tablighi Jamaat Spin-Off Is The Harkat Ul-Jihad-I Islami.
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. 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.
authorities have prosecuted sixty members of the Moroccan Tablighi offshoot
Dawa wa Tabligh in connection with the May 16, 2003, terrorist attack on a
Casablanca synagogue. Dutch police were investigating links between the
Moroccan cells and the November 2, 2004 murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van
many other cases of individual Tablighis committing acts of terrorism.
Tablighi members, for example, have helped organize and execute attacks not
only in Paris but also at the Hotel Asni in Marrakech in 1994.
authorities expelled a number of Tablighi missionaries because they had been
organizing networks advancing “extremist propaganda and recruitment”.
investigators suspect influential Tablighi leader, Maulana Umarji, and a group
of his followers in the February 27, 2002 firebombing of a train carrying Hindu
nationalists in Gujarat, India. The incident sparked a wave of pogroms
victimizing both Muslims and Hindus.
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
Jamaat has also facilitated other terrorists’ missions. The group has provided
logistical support and helped procure travel documents. Many take advantages of
Tablighi Jamaat’s benign reputation.
Hide under Tablighi Disguise
authorities said 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.” In a similar
vein, a Pakistani jihadist website commented that Tablighi Jamaat
organizational structures can be easily adapted to jihad activities. 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.
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. 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.
Jamaat Spreading Hast In Britain
Britain’s East London and Luton area, Muslims are regularly encouraged to join
Tablighi Jamaat. Members of this group approach each of the Muslim households
targeting younger men. Currently, more than 60 percent of the Muslims in
Britain, especially those who had migrated from the Asian and African nations
are enthusiastically joining Tablighi Jamaat and participating in their mission
in “inviting” non-Muslims towards Islam.
Of Jihadist Propaganda Materials
It is also
learnt, members of Tablighi Jamaat, especially the followers of Anjem Choudary
are distributing leaflets, propaganda materials and even videos of Islamic
State and other jihadist outfits amongst the Muslim community in Britain.
between Tablighi, Anjem, Astha and ISIS
a secret affiliation has already taken place between Tablighi Jamaat, Anjem
Choudary and his followers, Astha and Islamic State. It is even learnt that
members of Hamas in Britain also have joined this nexus. The key target of this
nexus is to radicalize Muslims in Britain as well lure non-Muslims in embracing
Islam and joining jihad with the final goal of establishing Caliphate.
A Trojan Horse For Terror In America
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, all involve Tablighi missionaries.
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.
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.
Pakistani intelligence sources report that 400 American Tablighi recruits
received training in Pakistani or Afghan terrorist camps since 1989.
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
Tablighi headquarters in the United States for the past decades appears to be
in the Al-Falah mosque in Queens, New York. Its missionaries—predominantly from
South Asia—regularly visit Sunni mosques and Islamic centres across the
country. 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.
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.
featured speaker at Islamic conferences and events in the United States, Ahmed
engaged 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 and Christians”.
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 United States 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
advocated the demise of American democracy.
Jamaat Has Appealed To African American Muslims For Other Reasons.
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
Tablighi sympathizer explained, the Muslim 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
outside Muslim states like Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, 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
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 US foreign
policy pro-Islamic and Muslim friendly”.
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.
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
Jamaat: The Future of American Islam
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.
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, 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. 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”.
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. 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, 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.
estimated 15,000 Tablighi missionaries reportedly active in the United States
present a serious national security problem. 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.
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.
Tablighi Role in the Global Jihadism
there are indeed significant links between Tablighis and the world of Jihadism.
First, there is evidence of indirect connections between the group and the
wider radical/extremist Deobandi nexus composed of anti-Shiite sectarian
groups, Kashmiri militants and the Taliban. This link provides a medium through
which Tablighis who are disgruntled with the group´s apolitical program could
break orbit and join militant organizations.
apparent manifestation of this nexus was a purported militant offshoot of
Tablighi Jamaat (TJ), Jihad bi al-Saif [Jihad through the Sword], which was
established in Taxila, Pakistan. Members of this group were accused of plotting
a coup against former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1995. Yet,
because of the organization´s extreme secrecy, little is known about it other
than that it is believed to have developed in reaction to the TJ´s apolitical,
organization also serves as a de facto conduit for Islamist extremists and for
groups such as al Qaeda to recruit new members. Significantly, the Tablighi
recruits do intersect with the world of radical Islamism when they travel to
Pakistan to receive their initial training. We have received reports that once
the recruits are in Pakistan, representatives of various radical Islamist
groups, such as Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, the Taliban and al Qaeda, are said to woo
them actively — to the point of offering them military training. And some of
them accept the offer. For example, John Walker Lindh — an American who is
serving a prison sentence for aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan — travelled
with Tablighi preachers to Pakistan in 1998 to further his Islamic studies
before joining the Taliban.
the piety and strict belief system of the Tablighis and their focus on calling
wayward Muslims back to an austere and orthodox Muslim faith, the movement has
offered a place where jihadist spotters can look for potential recruits. These
facilitators often offer enthusiastic new or rededicated Muslims a more active
way to live and develop their faith. Although the TJ promotes a benign message,
the same conservative Islamic values espoused by the Tablighis also are part of
jihadist ideology, and so some Muslims attracted to the Tablighi movement are
enticed into becoming involved with jihadists.
because of its apolitical belief system, TJ seems to leave a gap in the
ideological indoctrination of the individual Tablighi because it essentially
asks the novice to shun politics and public affairs. The problem in taking this
belief system from theory to practice, however, is that some people find they
cannot ignore what is happening in the world around them, especially when that
world includes wars. This is when some Tablighis become disillusioned with TJ
and start turning to jihadist groups that offer religiously sanctioned
prescriptions as to how “good Muslims” should deal with life´s injustices.
facilitator identifies such candidates, he often will segregate them from the
main congregation in the mosque or community centre and put them into small
prayer circles or study groups where they can be more easily exposed to
jihadist ideology. [Of course, it also has been shown that a person with
friends or relatives who ascribe to radical ideology can more easily be
people making the jump from TJ to radical Islam are the two leading members of
the cell responsible for the July 7, 2005, London bombings — Mohammed Siddique
Khan and Shahzad Tanweer. Both had life-changing experiences through their
exposure to TJ, though by 2001 the men had left the Tablighi mosque they had
been attending in the British city of Beeston, because they found it to be too
apolitical. They apparently were frustrated by the mosque’s elders, who forbid
the discussion of politics in the mosque.
and Tanweer left the Tablighi mosque, they began attending the smaller Iqra
Learning Centre bookstore in Beeston, where they reportedly were exposed to
frequent political discussions about places such as Iraq, Kashmir, and
Chechnya. The store’s proprietors reportedly even produced jihad videos
depicting crimes by the West against the Muslim world. Exposed to this
environment, the two men eventually became radicalized to the point of
traveling to Pakistan to attend a terrorist training camp and then returning to
the United Kingdom to plan and execute a suicide attack that resulted in the
death of them both.
TJ also is
used by jihadists as cover both for recruiting activities, as discussed above,
and for travel. Like Khan and Tanweer, many jihadists desire to travel to
Pakistan for training, while others want to get to Afghanistan, Kashmir or
other places to fight jihad. However, the travel environment is far different
today than it was in the early 1980s when 747 jetliners packed with jihadists
from Saudi Arabia and other places flew into Pakistan en route to fight the
Soviets in Afghanistan.
Battle, who reportedly once served as a bodyguard for Black Panther leader
Quanell X, later attempted to obtain a visa to Pakistan by saying he was
affiliated with TJ. The Pakistanis, probably recognizing him from his prior
[and apparently somewhat vocal] visa attempts, denied him, though he was able
to get a visa to travel to Bangladesh using the feigned connection to TJ.
Unable to make his way from Bangladesh to Pakistan or Afghanistan, however,
Battle returned to the United States, where he was later arrested. He was
sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of seditious
conspiracy and waging war against the United States.
in the spring of 2001, the members of the so-called Lackawanna Six-cell
travelled to Pakistan under the pretext of studying the Islamic religion and
culture at the TJ training centre. In reality, the men travelled through
Pakistan to Afghanistan, where they attended training at the al-Farooq camp, a
training site being run by al Qaeda. Again, the men used TJ as cover for
travel, though there is no indication that TJ played any real part in their
on Terror Connection Of Tabligh Jamaat In Pakistan
amongst the Wahhabi-Deobandi organizations active in the CARs, Chechnya and
Dagestan are the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen [HUM–formerly known as the
Harkat-ul-Ansar], the Markaz Dawa Al Irshad and its militant wing, the
Lashkar-e-Toiba. A detailed paper on the HUM was disseminated on March 20,
1999, and on the Markaz and its Lashkar on July 26, 1998.
deals with the Tablighi Jamaat [TJ], which is the mother of all the
Pakistan-based jihadist organizations active not only in the CARs, Chechnya and
Dagestan but also in other parts of the world.
investigative report carried by the “News” [February 13, 1995], Kamran Khan,
the well-known Pakistani journalist, brought to light for the first time the
nexus between the TJ and the HUM and their role in supporting Islamic extremist
movements in different countries.
unidentified office-bearers of the HUM as saying as follows: “Ours is basically
a Sunni organization close to the Deobandi school of thought. Our people are
mostly impressed by TJ. Most of our workers do come from TJ. We regularly go to
its annual meeting at Raiwind. Ours is a truly international network of genuine
jihadist Muslims. We believe frontiers can never divide Muslims. They are one
nation. They will remain a single entity.
“We try to
go wherever our Muslim brothers are terrorized, without any monetary
consideration. Our colleagues went and fought against oppressors in Bosnia,
Chechnya, Tajikistan, Burma, the Philippines and, of course, India.
Pakistani members are not participating directly in anti-government armed
resistance in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, and Jordan, many of the fighters in
those Arab States had remained our colleagues during the Afghan war and we know
one another very well. We are doing whatever we can to help them install
Islamic governments in those States”.
also quoted the office-bearers as claiming that among foreign volunteers
trained by them in their training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan were 16
African-American Muslims from various cities of the US and that funds for their
activities mostly came from Muslim businessmen of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia,
Egypt, and the UK.
February 1998, issue of the “Newsline”, a monthly of Pakistan, quoted workers
of the TJ as saying that the TJ had many offices in the US, Russia, the Central
Asian Republics, South Africa, Australia and France and that many members of
the Chechen Cabinet, including the Deputy Prime Minister of Chechnya, were
workers of the TJ and participated in its proselytizing activities. . One of
them, merely identified as Khalil, said: ” It is possible that France may
become a Muslim state within my lifetime, due to the great momentum of Tablighi
to the “Newsline”, the TJ was started in the 1880s to revive and spread Islam.
Its annual convention held at Raiwind in Pakistani Punjab in November every
year is attended by over one million Muslims from all over the world. This is
described by the “Newsline” as the second largest gathering of the Muslims anywhere
in the world after the Haj in Saudi Arabia.
Taqui, an Islamic scholar, wrote in the “Frontier Post” of Peshawar of January
15, 1999, as follows:
TJ has been
able to establish contacts and centers throughout the Muslim world. [Comment:
By “Muslim world” he does not only mean Islamic countries but all countries
where there is a sizable Muslim community].
thousands of dedicated and disciplined workers who never question any order
from the high-ups. What has helped the TJ to expand [without creating alarm in
the security agencies] is its policy of a deliberate black-out of its
activities. It does not interact with the media and does not issue any
statements or communiqués. It believes in human communication through word of
mouth. [Comment: It does not bring out any journals or other propaganda organs
to explain its policies and objectives. All explanations to its workers and
potential recruits are given orally].
training classes, it claims to have frustrated the efforts of the US Central
Intelligence Agency [CIA] to penetrate it and succeeded in converting the CIA
agents to Islam.
claims that it never accepts money from anybody and that all its workers who
volunteer to go on preaching mission have to spend their own money.
TJ claims to be apolitical and disinterested in political or administrative
influence, many of its active members have come to occupy important positions.
Examples are Lt. Gen. [Retired] Javed Nasir, who was the DG of the ISI during
Nawaz Sharif’s first tenure as the Prime Minister, and Mohammad Rafique Tarar,
the President of Pakistan, who has been an active worker of the TJ for many
Paying Real Attention to The TJ Monster
Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) poses a grave threat to the world, particularly the
Western nations, Western policymakers, and the security agencies,
unfortunately, are either failing in realizing the gravity of such threats or
simply ignoring the activities of TJ thinking it to be a peaceful entity. Such
tendencies may ultimately invite unimaginable catastrophe to those societies.
sake of ensuring security and stopping Tablighi Jamaat and jihadist from
growing further, patrons, funders and participants of Tablighi Jamaat should
come under strict surveillance forthwith.
Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is the editor of Blitz.
Source: The Weekly Blitz
URL: h http://www.newageislam.com/the-war-within-islam/salah-uddin-shoaib-choudhury/tablighi-jamaat-and-the-world-of-jihadism--tablighi-jamaat-claims,-their-ideology-and-practices-are-in-strict-accordance-with-the-quran-and-sunnah/d/119205
Narrated Asma' bint Abu Bakr:
My mother came to me, hoping (for my favor) during the lifetime of the Prophet. I asked the Prophet, "May I treat her kindly?" He replied, "Yes." Ibn 'Uyaina said, "Then Allah revealed: 'Allah forbids you not with regards to those who fought not against you because of religion, and drove you not out from your homes, that you should show them kindness and deal justly with them.'.......(60.8)