Deobandi is a sub-sect of Sunni Islam under the Hanafi School, found primarily in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and has recently spread to the United Kingdom, United States and has a presence in South Africa. The name derives from Deoband, India, where the religious school (madrassah) Darul Uloom Deoband is situated. The Deobandi sub-sect started to revive a puritanical Islamic Sunni identity and violent Jihad in reaction against British rulers of India. By virtue of its intolerant and violent approach not only against Christians and Jews but also against fellow Muslims (Sunni Sufis or Barelvis, Shias), the Deobandi sect became largely co-opted by Saudi-inspired Wahhabi Salafi movement. Hard-line Deobandi clerics consider Sunni Sufi Muslims as polytheists and Shias as infidels. Deobandi and Wahhabi are much close to each other in their approach towards violent Jihad against Jews, Christians, Sunni Sufi Muslims and Shia Muslims. The Deobandi political and militant groups in Pakistan and other countries are a major recipient of funding from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and other Arab countries.
In the UK, according to The Times, about 600 of Britain’s nearly 1,500 mosques are run by Deobandi affiliated clerics, and 17 of the country’s 26 Islamic seminaries follow Sunni Deobandi teachings, producing 80% of all domestically trained Muslim clerics. In addition, up to 100 mosques are run by Salafi Wahhabi affiliated clerics. Most Deobandi and Salafi Wahhabi mosques in the UK (as well in the US and other countries) receive regular funding from Saudi Arabia and other pro-Wahhabi Arab countries. Muslims praying in these mosques and children being educated in their seminaries are often brainwashed with puritanical and sectarian interpretation of Islam, leading to increasing hatred of Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sunni Sufis, Shias, Ahmadis etc.
While not all Deobandis are violent, those who actively participate in violent Jihad against the West or fellow Sunni Barelvi Sufi or Shia Muslims or those who are their apologist are described as Takfiri Deobandis. A Takfiri Deobandi is one who declares followers of all other faiths infidel or Kafir. Such stringent and dogmatic is this Takfiri (apostatizing) ideology that it does not spare event the moderate Deobandis themselves. It is associated with the groups that the state of Pakistan has long declared terrorist organizations; i.e, Sipah-e Sahaba Pakistan (now known as Ahl-e Sunnat Wal Jamahat ASWJ, also operating as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Jundullah) and Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP). All these banned organizations are Deobandi, and practice Takfiriat, i.e., treat Shia Muslims, Sunni Barelvis and other Islamic sects as non-Muslims. Moreover, they promote the concept of violent Jihad against secular governments in the West and even in Muslim majority countries.
In theory, a Takfiri is a Muslim who accuses another Muslim of apostasy because of ideological or political reasons, and then resorts to violence to implement his faith or political agedan. In principle the only group authorised to declare a Muslim a kafir is the ulema, and this only once all the prescribed legal precautions have been taken. However a growing number of splinter (Jihadist) Salafist/Wahhabi and Deobandi groups have split from the orthodox method of establishing takfir through the processes of the law, and have reserved the right to declare apostasy themselves. The labeling of fellow Muslims as kafir and the practice of declaring takfir upon them is a legacy from the medieval Islamic Salafist writer, Ibn Taymiyyah. This belief allows Takfiris to justify the use of violence against fellow Muslims; a contemporary example being the anti-Sunni Sufi violence perpetrated Libya, Syria and Mali and anti-Shia violence in Pakistan and Iraq. Takfiris also reject the traditional Muslim duty to obey one’s legitimate rulers in all manners that do not contradict Sharia, as sedition is viewed as a great danger to a nation. However Takfiris consider all political authority that does not abide by their interpretation of Islam as illegitimate and apostate; a view which closely mirrors Sayyid Qutb’s views on jahiliyyah. Takfiris are known for violently killing fellow Muslims by beheading or suicide bombing.
An interesting fact which the Pakistani media has either wittingly or unconsciously overlooked or kept obscure is that in all major acts of terrorism, be it bombing of Marriott Hotel Islamabad or attack on GHQ Rawalpindi, attack on Sunni Barelvi /Sufi and even Deobandi mosques around Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, attacks on Ahmadis or Christians, it was all #TakfriDeobandi groups that were involved in it. But they only named the organizations, that too quite fearfully. Deliberately kept hidden was the fact that all these groups subscribe to Takfiri ideology, and incidentally, all of them are #TakfiriDeobandi.
What media does is to use ambiguous terms like ‘Sunni extremists’ to describe these #TakfiriDeobandis; when, in fact, these #TakfiriDeobandis have killed even the moderate Deobandis (e.g., Maulana Hasan Jan, Mufti Nizamuddin Shamezai, Dr. Farooq), Sunni Barelvis (e.g., Sarfraz Naeemi, Abbas Qadri, Saleem Qadri etc), let alone Shias, Ahmadis and Christians. This ambiguous ‘Sunni Extremist’ term is further coloured by ‘sectarian violence’ so as to present it as war between Sunni and Shia which it actually is not. It is rather a radical Takfiri Deobandi against the rest.
Majority of Sunni Barelvi and moderate Deobandi groups in Pakistan have dissociated from Takfiri Deobandi terrorists of the Sipah-e-Sahaba and Tailban. Here’s an example: http://criticalppp.com/archives/71673
Takfiri Deobandis are followers of Yazid who killed the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Therefore, no surprise that Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a fatwa in support of Yazid. http://criticalppp.com/archives/231807
According to academic research by Professor Dr Murtaza Haider, “As of late, the followers of majority Sunni sects, such as Barelvis, have increasingly become targets of militants who are followers of radicalised Sunni sects. The attack on Data Darbar, the mausoleum of Lahore’s patron saint, in July 2010 left almost 50 moderate Sunni Muslims dead. In an earlier post, I reported police statistics which showed that almost 90 per cent of arrested terrorists in Pakistan were followers of the Deobandi sect.” (Pakistan imploding under sectarian violence http://dawn.com/2012/04/18/pakistan-imploding-under-sectarian-violence/ please read it to understand how #TakiriDeobandi thought has led to persecution of moderate Muslims, and other minorities). Also read this article on Dawn.com providing statistical details of violence by Takfiri Deobandi terrorists of Sipah-e-Sahabas and Taliban. http://dawn.com/2011/10/05/an-incurable-disease/
The network of sectarian violence in Pakistan has its roots in the Deobandi sect. Syed Ejaz Hussain, who is a deputy inspector general of police, for his doctoral thesis in criminology at the University of Pennsylvania analysed the demographic and religious characteristics of the 2,344 terrorists arrested between 1990 and 2009 in Pakistan*. These terrorists were the ones whose cases were forwarded to the courts after the police were satisfied of their guilt based on their preliminary investigation. The sectarian breakdown of the arrested terrorists revealed that more than 90 per cent were of the Deobandi sect. An ethnic breakdown revealed that 35 per cent arrested terrorists were Pashtuns who in fact make up only 15 per cent of Pakistan’s population. While there is indeed a tiny percentage of Shia and Sunni Barelvi militants (e.g., Sipah-e-Muhammad, Sunni Tehreek), none of Shia and Barelvi militants have indiscriminately attacked ordinary Shia or Sunni population, markets, army, police, mosques etc. Instead, Shia and Barelvi’s reprisal attacks have been limited to violence against known militants and terrorists of Sipah-e-Sahaba and Taliban, and are consistent with the discourse that resistance to genocide is basic human right, in fact a moral duty! In a way, the very few attacks on Takfiri Deobandi terrorists are not much different from US/NATO’s strikes on Takfiri Deobandi terrorists hideouts in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
At a time when Shia genocide has taken a violent turn, with numerous bomb and suicide attacks on Muharram processions and Majalis around country, it is ever more important to highlight it. Dishonesty or silence on it further enables Shia genocide, persecution of targeting of other moderate and peaceful Muslim sects, and minorities like Christians and Hindus.
Summary in Urdu
کیا آپ نے کبھی غور کیا کہ پاکستان میں ہونے والی اکثر دہشت گردانہ کاروائیوں کا ذمہ دار کون ہے؟
کیا آپ نے غور کیا کہ سنی بریلوی مزاروں ، شیعہ امام بارگاہوں ، محرم کے جلوسوں، سنی و شیعہ مساجد، احمدی برادری، مسیحی برادری اور دوسرے بے گناہ پاکستانیوں کے خوں سے کس گروہ کے ہاتھ رنگے ہوۓ ہیں؟
کیا آپ نے غور کیا کہ کراچی میں سنی بریلوی سنی تحریک کی پوری قیادت کو نشتر پارک میں کس نے شہید کیا، عباس قادری، سلیم قادری ، لاہور میں مولانا سرفراز نعیمی کا خون کس نے کیا، ملتان کے سنی بریلوی عالم دین حامد سعید کاظمی کو قتل کرنے کی کوشش کس نے کی؟ دیوبندی علما میں مولانا حسن جان، مولانا نظام الدین شامزئی ، اہلحدیث عالم ڈاکٹر فاروق کو کس نے شہید کیا؟
کیا آپ نے غور کیا کہ لاہور میں احمدی مساجد پر نماز جمعہ کے دوران حملہ کر کے سو سے زیادہ بے گناہ احمدیوں کا خون کس نے بہایا؟
کیا آپ جانتے ہیں کہ لاہور میں داتا دربار ، کراچی میں عبداللہ شاہ غازی، پاکپتن میں بابا فرید اسلام آباد میں بری امام، پختونخواہ میں رحمان بابا اور دیگر اولیا الله کے مزاروں پر بے گناہ سنی بریلوی اور شیعہ مسلمانوں کو کس نے شہید کیا؟
کیا آپ جانتے ہیں کہ راولپنڈی میں آرمی ہیڈ کوارٹرز پر حلمہ کس گروہ نے کیا؟ لال مسجد اسلام آباد کو کس گروہ نے اسلحے اور دہشت گردی کا اڈہ بنایا وہ کونسا گروپ ہے جو بازاروں، دفاتر ، مساجد میں عام پاکستانیوں کا خوں بہانے میں مسرت محسوس کرتا ہے؟
کیا آپ جانتے ہیں کہ وہ کون سا گروہ ہے جو پاکستان کے دشمنوں کے ہاتھوں میں کھیل رہا ہے، پاکستان کے اندر اس کا کردار منافقوں، غداروں اور اندرونی دشمنوں جیسا ہے،
یقینی طور پر آپ جانتے ہیں کی ان تمام دہشت گردی کی کاروائیوں کی ذمہ داری نہایت بے شرمی سے طالبان، لشکر جھنگوی اور سپاہ صحابہ نے قبول کی ہے
یقینی طور پر آپ جانتے ہیں کہ طالبان اور سپاہ صحابہ تکفیری دیوبندی مسلمانوں کے گروہ ہیں جن میں ایک بھی سنی بریلوی، شیعہ، مسیحی یا احمدی شامل نہیں