A springboard for all kinds of jihadists
By Manish Rai
Tablighi Jamaat (TIJ) is currently making headlines for being banned by Saudi Arabia. The official Saudi government statement called the Jamaat a danger to society and one of the gateways to terrorism.
In a December 6 tweet, the country’s Islamic Affairs Ministry said Islamic Affairs Minister Dr Abdullatif Al Alsheikh ordered mosque preachers and mosques who held Friday prayers to award the sermon next Friday to warn against the Tablighi and Da ‘group wah
The statement released by the ministry mentioned that the minister ordered the sermon given in mosques to cover topics such as declaring delusion, deviation and that it is one of the doors to terrorism, even if they claim opposite. And to mention their big mistakes and how dangerous they are for society. Islamic scholars delivering religious sermons have been instructed to mention that membership in partisan groups, including the Tablighi Jamaat, is prohibited in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is not the only country to ban the TIJ. In 2013, Kazakhstan banned the Tablighi Jamaat and designated it as an extremist group. The movement is also banned in countries like Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
It should be noted that the Saudis, who themselves follow Wahhabism, an ultra-conservative form of Islam, and which is also the official form of state-sponsored Sunni Islam in the kingdom, were forced to ‘ban the TIJ.
The Jamaat is a Sunni Islamic missionary movement that was started in the Mewat region of northern India in 1927 by Islamic scholar and teacher Maulana Muhammad Ilyas, who coined the slogan “Oh Muslims! Become Muslims ”. The roots of this movement, which is said to be active in more than 150 countries and which is today the largest Islamic missionary movement, go back to the Deobandi tradition, which emerged from Darul Uloom Deoband, a famous Islamic seminary in Uttar. State of Pradesh in India. TIJ claims their only goal is to focus on other Muslims, who have been distracted by world affairs. And they are a peaceful, non-political, egalitarian and devotional movement that emphasizes individual faith and the overall spiritual development of Muslims. This could be the case if we see the move at face value.
The US government has been monitoring the Tablighi Jamaat closely since September 11. According to US officials, the teachings and beliefs of the TIJ were a starting point for their members to join radical Muslim organizations. In addition, the Russian authorities have also warned of the dangers of the Tablighi Jamaat. In February last year, he cracked down on centers run by Jamaat.
TIJ is an offshoot of the fundamentalist and uncompromising Islamic sect Deobandi. Deobandis teach and practice a form of fundamentalist and exclusivist Islam, which is easily mixed with extremism and terror. Thus, laying a fertile ground for the propagation of radical ideology. In the West, TIJ has been closely watched by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Jamaat’s vague recruitment processes and secret and questionable financial practices make it particularly difficult for agencies and financial watchdogs to monitor its activities. But there is also no doubt that, even without direct terrorist links, TIJ has radicalized entire communities around the world.
In addition, many Western jihadists are involved in the Tablighi Jamaat at some point in their radicalization. For example, “shoe bomber” Richard Reid, who attempted to detonate a bomb on a commercial aircraft in 2001, and John Walker Lindh, the US citizen captured by US forces with Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan in 2001, and Jose Padilla, an American Citizens convicted in 2007 of conspiracy to commit murder and finance terrorism, have all been members of TIJ. In Europe and North Africa, a large number of terrorists arrested for the Casablanca attacks in 2003 were also found to have links with the local sections of the Tabligh.
TIJ claims that their only goal is to guide other Muslims to be steadfast good believers and to refrain from political activity. But the movement has offered a place where jihadist observers can search for potential recruits. These facilitators often offer enthusiastic, new or renewed Muslims or who have shown interest in political Islam and also jihad in their private conversation a more active way to live and develop their faith.
Once a facilitator identifies these candidates, they will be separated from the main congregation in the mosque or community center and placed in small prayer circles or study groups where they can be more easily exposed to ideology. jihadist. In addition, it is reported that members of terrorist groups like – Lashkar-e-Toeiba (LET) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) regularly attend the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Raiwind, which is the headquarters of TIJ in Pakistan where they distribute recruiting brochures.
In addition, TIJ members themselves have taken the initiative to form or actively facilitate jihadist groups. Like Harakatul-Mujahideen (HUM), a Kashmir-based terrorist organization best known for the hijacking of an Air India airliner in 1998 and the murder of a bus full of French engineers in Karachi in 2002. It is believed that it is the exclusive creation of the members of TIJ with the help of the Pakistani intelligence services. Also when the Taliban made their way through Afghanistan in the 1990s. The support of the Deobandi madrassas in Pakistan was invaluable, and a large number of Tablighi students were likely among the volunteers sent across the country. border to aid Mullah Omar’s jihad against the Afghan warlords.
In addition to this, it is easy for jihadist groups to infiltrate the Tablighi Jamaat in order to obtain cover for obtaining visas and traveling abroad as TIJ does not keep any records of its members and does not perform any checks on their members. antecedents. In addition, latent networks like TIJ allow terrorist organizations to outsource key aspects of their operations, allowing the group to use the network only when needed and without having to spend time and resources to maintain it, or participate in activities likely to increase the risk of its detection. Tabligh propagates a very exclusive and conservative form of Islam which, by its very idea, suggests intolerance for other religions.
While the Jamaat cannot be categorized as a terrorist group per se, it functions as a catalyst, gateway, stepping stone, or anteroom for an extreme and militant interpretation of Islam that indoctrinates Muslims into jihadists. (IPA Service)
(By arrangement with the Arab post office)