LUBP’s main contribution as a human rights advocacy and alternative media web presence has been to alter mainstream discourses and shift perceptions. This it has managed to do by taking a bold and relentless approach and striving for intellectual honesty.
This approach is based on:
1. A non-selective approach to human rights that is inspired by multiple sources including the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
2. A critical approach to the discourse provided by mainstream media based on an analytic lens as opposed a politically driven ideological lens
One of our most significant endeavors has been to highlight the primary causes of extremism and violence in not just Pakistan but also globally. Through this approach we have been able to identify and isolate the actors who are the chief abusers of human rights in Pakistan and increasingly worldwide.
By identifying and highlighting the Deobandi mutation of Sunni Islam, an offshoot of Wahhabism in South Asia, as the statistical denominator behind nearly all acts of terrorism and extremism in Pakistan, we have identified the perpetrators. Identifying the core extremists by their specific extremist variant – like Deobandis causes them the greatest consternation. It is the first step to confronting extremism at the ideological level. No matter how many tax dollars we use and in many cases waste, we will eventually have to confront this at the ideological level or risk the perversion of the very values of life and liberty that we hold dear in this country.
Furthermore, by identifying the extremist variants (Deobandis in South Asia, Salafis and Wahhabis in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere) of those terrorists who attacked us on 9/11, on 7/7, in Madrid, in Fort Hood and in the Boston Marathon, we are attacking them at the ideological level. We are taking away their tactic of using a Sunni Muslim cover on the one hand while also empowering moderate Sunnis and Shias, who have suffered at their hands, to start raising their voices.
The menace of extremism cannot be described away in vague, wishy washy terms like “Islamists” or “radical Sunnis”. All sects, including Shias and Sunni Sufis, have Islamists – those who use religion for political ends. But all Islamists are not the same. The practice of equating them and creating False Neutral positions (as is currently being done by fringe groups and individuals self-anointed as “progressive” is only exacerbating this problem further.
LUBP has played a major and significant role in shifting the perceptions and our assertions are being borne out in Pakistan where a moderate Sunni Sufi / Hanafi cleric, Dr. Tahir ul Qadri has aligned himself with Sunni Sufis, Shias and Christians against the Deobandi terrorist menace.
We have achieved this with no support and just a group of dedicated part time social media activists and volunteers. We have achieved this in spite of facing constant threats, blackmail and intimidation from both Deobandi extremists as well as their pseudo liberal allies.
The Unholy nexus of Saudi financing of Deobandi and Salafi mosques worldwide has caused a situation where ISIS is parading freely on the streets of Europe and knocking hard against the doors of liberty and free speech in the US.
The United States and other Western democracies can no longer afford to ignore this phenomena. As per studies, Deobandis and Salafis control the overwhelming majority of mosques with Deobandis alone in control of nearly 85% of all mosques and madrassas in Pakistan. In the United States, this number may be slightly lower but not by that much.
Between the mosque network and the internet, the radicalization of Muslim youths in the United States by Deobandis and Salafis is a growing epidemic. This has remained unchecked in Europe and has resulted in violent anti-Jewish, anti-Sufi Sunni, anti-Christian and anti-Shia rallies by ISIS affiliated violent fanatics.
Can we afford to have a similar situation in the United States?
Fortunately, we can replicate the efforts of LUBP in the United States and elsewhere, to stem the tide of violent Deobandi takfiri extremists.
Our formula is to empower Sunni Barelvis/Sufis and align them on one Interfaith Unity platform with not just Shias but Christians, Jews and Hindus as well whose formal and clear goal is to peacefully and intellectual oppose the violent strains of Deobandi and Salafi Takfirism.
Here’s our global call for support as the world can no longer afford to tackle the global Deobandi and Wahhabi terrorism at the part time level. Governments in South Asia, Middle East and the West need to dedicate resources to challenge and undermined the Deobandi and Salafi ideologies and propaganda to effect a major shift in this struggle against extremism. Our goals to expand the efforts to LUBP to digital media including an online TV channel. Similar efforts are needed in most other societies and countries. It is important to identify and encourage individuals who have the capability to expand on such efforts.