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The Salafi Wave in South Asia - 3rd Episode


By Khama Bagosh Madzallah, New Age Islam

April 17, 2013

Jamaat-ud-Dawa, or ex Dawat-ul-Arshad, the standard bearer of Salafi Islam in Pakistan had been publishing in its magazines “Mujalla Dawa” and “Mujalla Hermain” since 1993, nearly one thousand biographies, amazing narratives of bravery, sacrifice and fight on the battle front of the young martyrs, which include surprising revelations and upsetting accounts of killings.  Also, there are such statements by the martyrs and their families which may leave you stunned. More than half of the martyrs are aged between sixteen and eighteen and they earnestly desire to slaughter Hindu soldiers and civilians. They believe that the atrocities over Kashmiri Muslims can be revenged only by slaughtering pagan and Idol worshipping Hindus.

In 1996 congregation of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, a boy from Indian occupied Kashmir was brought on the stage, he raised the slogan of “Allah-o-Akbar” and told that by the grace of Allah he had accepted Islam and had beheaded his Hindu parents and one brother. This just Muslim whose Jihadist alias was Abu-Qatada very emotionally narrated in front of hundreds of thousands of people among them ex-ISI chief Hameed Gul, how he had preached Islam to his whole family, then upon being ridiculed by them, how calmly he killed them all at night. After this a never ending rising of the slogan “Allah-o-Akbar” started. In December 1996 addition of Mujalla Dawa the writer claimed that the brother Abu-Qatada is the apple of every one’s eye and is in Azad Kashmir. He treats his fellow Jihadists so politely that everyone becomes a fan of him.

Nowadays no one knows where exactly brother Abu-Qatada is, either fighting in India, Pakistan or sleeping with his seventy two wives in paradise, enjoying the eternal pleasures of martyrdom.

On page 22 of the January 1995 addition of Mujalla Dawa the following is printed in a rectangle. “Father! You want me to marry? Is there a suitable girl for me? Father my standard is the fairy of paradise (huri) and I would marry her after my martyrdom”.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa has influenced and enrolled hundreds of thousands of youth in last two decades to their institutes. In the latest edition of Mujjalla Hermain Jamaat has claimed that more than fifty thousand students have joined Al-Dawa schools, colleges and seminaries network all over the country. Along with this disclosure, it is also written that “by the grace of Allah the numbers of Islamic Mujahideen are increasing rapidly. These Mujahedeen will not only fight against un-Islamic practices and vulgarity in the beloved land but against the pagans as well. Although exact statistics are not available but it can be estimated from the publications of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa how many people can call themselves extremist at the end of the endeavour spanning over two decades. But it is not very difficult to observe growing Salafism in Pakistan, whether it be in the Urdu media, in government offices or educational institutes, Salafism is quite visible everywhere.

It is quite normal in Pakistan, not worth much attention, to accuse someone of blasphemy and kill ruthlessly. Countless such incidents have happened where innocent people were killed. Not only religious minorities but Muslims too were targeted with full force. The militant wing of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Lashkar-e-Tayyeba actively participated in all these acts. From organized attacks on minorities to the killing of common people accused of blasphemy Lashkar-e-Tayyeba had a role in it.

The latest example is the abduction of a mentally challenged man from the police station in Bahawalpur who was then hit with bricks by the mob in the bazaar and was burnt to death as they found him about to expire. The helpless man died while the mob of thousands raised the slogan of Takbeer. After his death it became known that he was a mental patient who had been just discharged from a mental hospital but still had not fully recovered. One fine day he was just accused of disrespecting holy Quran. The police arrested him. But the Salafi youth made announcements on the loud speakers of the mosques calling for a gathering of Salafis and as they gathered they attacked the police station. They torched the building of the police station. An adjacent residential quarter used by a constable was also burnt along with the dowry of his two young daughters. He told the media later that there were copies of holy Quran in the dowry as well which were also burnt to ashes by the very committed Muslim mob that accused the mentally challenged person of disrespecting the holy Quran and killed him for that.

Similarly in Punjab, extremist Salafists attacked and burnt down even whole townships just on the basis of accusations of blasphemy as it happened in Gojra, Shanti Nagar and Badami Bagh Even some lives were lost in these attacks.

The emotionalized angry mob over accusation of blasphemy even burnt churches where many copies of holy Bible faced the same fate of disrespect as the holy Quran had reportedly faced. Despite being just accusations, the aroused Salafists deliberately disrespected the churches and holy Bible. The disturbing fact is that those people who deliberately disrespected the holy Bible, faced the weak and difficult to prove charges (due to lack of evidence and high number of accused) of looting and burning only, and the people who had unproven, reported accusation of disrespect of the Quran against them were charged with the stringent law of blasphemy. The reason behind the lack of evidence and testimonies is the fear of extremist Salafists, because the feeble minority might be at risk again if it testified.

The example of the ineffectiveness of the trial of those accused of blasphemy can be imagined by the fact that no lawyer dares to defend the accused as he/she may be targeted too for being an ally of the blasphemer.

The judges of the courts pray that may there not be a case of blasphemy for them to hear. The fear of extremist Salafists is the reason behind this, as a judge of LHC Arif Iqbal Bhatti had already been killed by them for setting free Manzoor Masih and Rehmat Masih, both from Gujranwala, on the basis of insufficient evidence. One of the accused was killed just outside the court room and the other saved his life by escaping from Pakistan.

It has become impossible to stop the prevailing tide Salafism in Pakistan as the powerful institutes have been backing Jihadists to advance their expansionist agendas in Kashmir and at the same time they have been hiring their Jihadist services in Afghanistan.


In thirty-six jails of Punjab dispensaries, book shops and training centres of Jamaat-ud-Dawa have been set up. This provides the eagles of JuD access to the thousands of certified criminals through this network. Socially the traditional centre of power has shifted towards extremists from the politicians and now even community level settlements of disputes are done by the extremists. Any resistance to the decision would result in a certain gruesome death of that party.

Political parties are dependent on Salafi extremist’s help who provide armed support and protection, either to run political campaign or in other matters. Today many politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen, agriculturists and even journalists and intellectuals pay protection money to these extremists. One of the highest ranking officials of Punjab also pays protection money to a Salafi organization to save his life. The situation is going to be much worse in coming days as Pakistan is losing control over internal affairs very quickly. Deteriorating economic condition is another problem which raises the morale of such organizations as many jobless youths are trapped by such organizations, the best example being that of Ajmal Qassab, the lone survivor of Mumbai attack who joined Salafi camp due to unemployment.

About Khama Bagosh Madzallah: A confused Muslim, unable to understand the real definition of Muslimhood. Is a Muslim the standard bearer of Islam in reality? Or just an enemy of fellow Muslims? What is the Islamic ideology about rest of the world? What is its culture and history? Why the Muslims are in a conflict not just with other religions but other cultures as well?

URL of Episode 2: