Media discourse on Deobandi terrorism – 15 Jul to 15 Aug 2014


Meet this young doctor who joined ISIS and killed 30 people in a suicide attack

Daily Bhaskar

Jul 16, 2014,
This is not the first time that Salafi Wahhabi and Deobandi have transformed into suicide bombers. The Saudi-funded Salafi and Deobandi mosques and hate preachers are slowly converting many peaceful Sunni Muslims into radical Salafi killing machines.


Religious extremism: our biggest challenge

Akbar Jan Marwat

Daily Times

July 17, 2014

Saudi Arabia has no doubt been a good friend to Pakistan in its time of need but it has played a very dangerous role in radicalising our society and in financing Wahabi and Deobandi projects. Saudi largess was lavishly used to set up rabidly anti-Shia militant outfits like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which have been involved in a full-scale genocide of Shias. Our army and its intelligence agencies were involved in setting up an alliance of right-wing parties — the IJI, against a more secular PPP. The right-wing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) it seems also has a share of its sympathisers in the defence establishment of Pakistan.


Pakistan and the Haqqani network: past is the prologue

Dr Mohammad Taqi

Daily times

July 24, 2014

It is safe to say that the past clearly is the prologue as far as Pakistan’s relationship with the Haqqani network goes. These ties date back to the mid-1970s, flourished over the past decade, and seem to have weathered the Zarb-e-Azb tempest. Pakistan originally harboured Jalaluddin Haqqani long before the Soviet arrival in Afghanistan to use him against the late Sardar Daud Khan’s government, which it claimed was supporting the Pashtun and Baloch nationalists east of the Durand Line. Jalaluddin Haqqani had graduated from the Deobandi seminary Darul Uloom Haqqaniyah in 1970 and even campaigned in its founder Maulana Abdul Haq’s election campaign that year. When the ISI enlisted over 1,000 Afghan Islamists against President Daud Khan in 1973, he made the cut. He had moved his terrorist shop to NW roughly by 1975 and launched his first jihadist uprising against Daud Khan in August that year from the same unfortunate town of Urgun, Paktika that has just buried scores of its citizens slaughtered by a suicide sent, in all probability, by the Haqqani network.


New semantics of sharia

A. Faizur Rahman

The Hindu

July 27, 2014

The court’s decision to legitimise Darul Qazas and fatwas would appear to be based on its acceptance in good faith of the pleadings of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Darul uloom Deoband, that Darul Qazas were akin to arbitration centres, and fatwas non-binding opinions. Some Muslim lawyers too have expressed similar opinions. Do these assertions stand the test of theological scrutiny? In the context of law, the word qaza denotes a final decision, a binding decree. The Quranic phrase wa qaza Rabbuka alla ta’budu illa iyyahu wabil waalidaini ihsaanan (17:23), translates as “And your Sustainer has firmly decreed that you obey none but Him, and show utmost kindness to parents.” This makes Darul Qaza is a House of decisions (that is, a court), and a qazi, the pronouncer of decisions (a judge). Through Muslim history, Sharia courts adjudicated both civil and criminal cases, and had the powers to pass ex parte orders against parties who failed to appear before them

Many translators of the Quran have rendered the word fatwa in this verse as “a decree” or “a ruling”, including Deobandi scholar Ashraf Ali Thanwi whose commentary Bayaanul Quran describes fatwa as a hukm or command, thus ruling out the possibility of it being an opinion — unless one treats God’s fatwa as just an opinion.

Therefore, it is unclear on what hermeneutic basis the AIMPLB and Deoband insist on their definition of Darul Qaza and fatwa. Islamic seminaries give the impression that their pronouncements are de facto orders with divine sanction. Of course, they do not have policing powers to enforce their rulings, as the AIMPLB argued. But the threat of divine retribution, excommunication or social boycott invoked by some clerics is more than enough to make even a non-seeker of the fatwa abide by it.

An example is Deoband’s avouchment to the Supreme Court that God-fearing Muslims being answerable to God obey fatwas. Others may defy them. The insinuation here is that Muslims who defy fatwas in effect defy God and therefore, will face the consequences. Does this not amount to an oblique attempt to enforce fatwas?

Indeed, the Supreme Court suspects this was how the Imrana fatwa was imposed. Expressing shock at the manner in which “a declaratory decree for the dissolution of marriage and decree for perpetual injunction were passed” by Deoband against Ms. Imrana, the court said: “A country governed by law cannot fathom it.”

This would be in consonance with the stated positions of the AIMPLB and the Darul uloom Deoband as made known to the Supreme Court. It would also bring clarity to the true character of Muslim legal establishments in India and save the ulama the trouble of explaining the incongruousness in the names and functions of some institutions.


Will the Islamic State Spread Its Tentacles to Pakistan?

Arif Rafiq

The Diplomat

July 28, 2014

The Pakistani state has tried to damage the TTP’s credibility by claiming that it is backed by foreign intelligence agencies. In turn, the TTP has emphasized that it is loyal to Mullah Omar, whose war the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment has sought to portray as legitimate. Should it reject Mullah Omar, the TTP risks the loss of a key factor contributing to its legitimacy within Pakistani jihadist ranks, making it alien in their ecosystem. The Afghan Taliban, the TTP, and most other Pakistani jihadist groups are fruit from the same tree. They belong to the Deobandi subsect of Sunni Islam, which means they often attend the same seminaries and, in Pakistan, can hop from one Deobandi group to another. And the tendency within both pro-state and anti-state Deobandi jihadists is to hold Mullah Omar’s tenure in Afghanistan as an ideal.


The Demolition Of Iraq
The Nation
July 28, 2014

There are rumours that ISIS’s leader Abu Bakar al-Salafi al-Baghdadi and his comrades want to destroy the shrine of Ghaus-ul-Azam Abdul Qadir Gilani before marching on to Najaf and Karbala. If this is the Salafi-Deobandi ideology, it is very important for Sunnis to distance themselves from it. Already, ISIS propaganda proclaims that it wants to destroy Shia shrines only and the situation is given the spin of a Sunni-Shia battle. If this perception gains any more popularity things could be far more dangerous; instead, the circumstances must be re-analyzed as the political construction of an ISIS ideology exported from Wahabism.


Two Muslim schools at loggerheads in HP

Gaurav Bisht ,

Hindustan Times

 July 30, 2014

The two schools of Muslims – Deoband and Barelvi — are once again at loggerheads over “forceful” conversions of rural folks residing in the interior regions of Chamba district.The Barelvi adherents have sought intervention of the district administration to restrict Tablighi Jammat of Deobandi School of Muslims from disseminating Islamic education amongst the rural people. The Barelvis move came in the wake of reports of the Tablighi Jammat propagating conversions amongst the local population. The prominent leaders of the Barelivi Muslims headed by Farooq Ahmad Bhatt along with his supporters have complained against the activities of the Tablighi Jamaat.

The Tablighi Jammat is the offshoot of the radical Deoband movement of intellectuals that was founded in 1866. The Darul Uloom Deoband is reputed to be the second largest madrasa (religious school) in the Sunni Muslim world, next to Al-Ahzar in Cairo. However, the Barelvi Muslims significantly outnumber the Deobandis.

The Barelvis and the Deobandis from time to time have been locking horns over the local issues in Chamba to increase their sphere of influence among the local Muslims.

Two groups clashed with each other and about ten persons were injured. The building is said to have been constructed 20 years ago. The Deobandis and the Barelvis have been struggling to gain control over the local chapter of the Anjuman Islamia. However, the Muslims supporting the Deobandi School managed to gain control over the Anjuman Islamia.This is not for the first time that the Deobandis (radicals) and the Barelvis (moderate) have clashed with each other. Both groups had recently fought over a mosque property in Sirmour.


The essential guide to Muslim Britain

Robert Fox

London Evening Standard

31 July 2014

Bowen starts by pointing out that the culture of most British Muslims is South Asian and not Arabic. Some 40 per cent of the 1,700 acknowledged mosques in Britain follow the Deobandi movement, which began in India at the time of the Mutiny or Great Uprising of 1857, as the Deobandi sought to purify Islam and resist imperial rule. Of these mosques, some 40 per cent do not admit women for worship.


Islamic State Flag Confuses Government and Separatists in India

1 Aug 2014

There is an insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir between the Kashmiri separatists (known as “ultras”) and the state of India. The ultras desire this area of India to be absorbed by Pakistan, but an IS infiltration could cause problems.

“We are unable to control the youth who are drifting towards the Deobandi school of thought, which is more or less aligned to Wahabi sect,” said one leader. “This is a disturbing trend in the Kashmir Valley, which is predominately of Barelvi thought. The trend in the coming future may disturb the social fabric and trigger sectarian clashes.”


Three sources of extremism in Pakistan

Pakistan Today

August 2, 2014

Another report, prepared jointly by the special branches of Islamabad and Rawalpindi police suggested that TTP got support from some of the religious seminaries and worship places of the Deobandi school of thought. The report identified 20 seminaries, all located in Rawalpindi, which were used by Taliban for terrorist attacks in the city. No action was taken by the Interior Ministry on the reports.


In the canon of high literature

August 3, 2014

The main thrust seems to be to exclude or suppress the local and privilege the ‘imported’, to create an illusion that we, the North-Indian Muslims, are somehow immigrants from a foreign land and not converted locals which we in fact are. The political need to make Urdu look like a special language specially manufactured by and for a few influential Muslim communities of the land forced its elite to make some foolish and dangerous choices as a result of which Urdu has been all but reduced to not just a Muslim but a Deobandi/Salafi language.


Blasphemy and Religious Intolerance in Pakistan

Akhilesh Pillalamarri

The Diplomat

August 07, 2014

The problem lies in the fact that many Pakistanis, especially in rural areas, support an interpretation of Islam that allows blasphemers to be executed. Due to the perception among many that Ahmadis or Shias are blasphemers, many individual Pakistanis believe that they deserve death. This view is fueled by the influence of the conservative Deobandi interpretation of Islam and Saudi Arabia. It serves both the religious and political purposes of both groups, as well as many in the Pakistani government who fear non-Sunnis as a potential fifth column. According to a Pew Research Center study, 64 percent of Pakistanis support the death penalty for people who leave Islam. The Pakistani Penal Code declares that “whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by an imputation, innuendo, or insulation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”


Dinner With Saba

Andrew E. Harrod

FrontPage Mag

August 8, 2014

Literature for Guidance Residential, the “Leader in Islamic home financing” for American interest-free “Home Ownership the Sharia Way,” filled a table near the entrance.  A postcard featuring Justice Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Guidance Residential’s Sharia Board Chairman, caught the eye.  A member of Pakistan’s Supreme Court since 1982, Usami played a key role in introducing sharia laws on blasphemy, corporal punishments, and other matters during Zia al-Haq’s dictatorship.  The Muslim 500:  The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims 2013-2014 edition ranks Usami 25th, a “leading scholar of Islamic jurisprudence” and “intellectual leader” of the Deobandi movement that gave rise to the Taliban.




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