In an otherwise halfway decent study on the central role of Deobandi madrassas promoting extremism and sectarian bigotry, Victor Mallet still made at least one serious boo boo. Tell me whats wrong (or right) with this quote:
“These days, Ashrafi is a rare voice for moderation and interfaith tolerance in Pakistan….”
Really Victor Mallet
This is the same guy who regularly uses his social media perch on twitter for vile anti-Ahmadi, Anti-Shia and Anti-Sunni invective.
This is the same Tahir Ashrafi whose anti-Ahmadi invective and incitement to violence against the late Shahbaz Bhatti was released days before Bhatti was murdered by the Deobandi Taliban. This video is easily available on social media and in this video, Ashrafi is clearly threatening violence against the former Minorities minister of Pakistan days before the latter was murdered.
Tahir Ashrafi played a key role in negotiating and facilitating the release of ISIS and Al Qaeda -affiliated ASWJ-LeJ vice president, Malik Ishaq. The radical Deobandi militant group ASWJ-LeJ and its various avatars (Jundullah, Ahrar) is responsible for the massacres of tens of thousands of Pakistan Sunni, Shia, Christian and Ahmadis. Ashrafi was also there to greet Malik Ishaq when the latter was released. Malik Ishaq’s ASWJ-LeJ went on to murder thousands of more Shias all over Pakistan.
Tahir Ashrafi also played a key role in the media debate to argue for Pakistan’s increased involvement in Saudi Arabia horrific aggression against Yemen.
Calling him “moderate” is the most Orwellian use of the term. AFP has also (unsuccessfully) attempted to white wash bigots like Ashrafi whose bullying and loud mouth tactics are filled with sectarian invective against Sunni (Barelvis), Shias and Ahmadis – muslim groups which are routinely targeted by Ashrafi’s friends from ASWJ-LeJ.
Who are the local people who keep promoting bigots like Tahir Ashrafi so that he can be “mainstreamed” as “moderate” for an naive international audience?
Aamir Hussaini : Victor Mallet is the FT’s south Asia bureau chief who recently wrote a feature under titled ” Madrasahs : Behind the closed doors ” in which he visited only Deobandi religious seminaries in India , Bangladesh and Pakistan but totally ignored Sufi Sunni religious seminaries and did not contacted even a single Sufi Sunni religious scholar or administrator during his visit to three countries .
I am surprised that even he did not visit Darul-uloom Nidwa-ut-Ulama , Darul-uloom Farangi Mahal in India which also have hundreds of branches all over India and they have also historic importance .He choose in Pakistan just Muhammad Tahir Ashrafi Chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council representing mostly clerics from Sipah Sahaba Pakistan aka ASWJ .He called Tahir Ashrafi a moderate religious cleric who has converted himself from a (so called ) Jihadist into moderate and peace lover scholar .
Is it not surprising that Victor Mallet adopted the same way which we have seen in writings of our some liberal and moderate journalists and analysts like Najam sethi , Raza Rumi , Hamid Mir , Talat Hussain and others who not only called Tahir Ashrafi a liberal face of Deobandism but they played a significant role in promoting him in mainstream media as great liberal , moderate and peace promoting scholar despite his bigotry against Shia , Ahmadis , Christians , his support for Osama bin Laden , Mullah Omar , Al-Qaeda , Tehreek Taliban Afghanistan .Our top liberal journalist (name of those i mentioned above ) knew well his links with SSP aka ASWJ and its leadership including Malik Ishaq who was close friend of Mr Tahir Ashrafi .
American investigative journalist Carlotta Gall revealed some hidden aspects of personality of so called liberal , moderate Tahir Ashrafi in her exclusive book ” The Wrong Enemy ” and not only Carlotta Gall revealed Ashrafi links with former Army Chief Kayani but with Malik Ishaq and pointed out his role in release of Malik Ishaq founder of Lashkar Jhangvi killing machine of SSP aka ASWJ . Carlotta Gall had revealed that when Deobandi Takfiri terrorists Aqeel aka dr Usman and others attacked GHQ and they managed to enter in compund of GHQ then COAS had called three Deobandi leaders Muhammad Ahmad Ludhyanvi Chief of ASWJ , Tahir Ashrafi and Malik Ishaque who was in kotlakhpat jail at that time and sought their help .How can Mr Tahir Ashrafi be moderate and liberal Deobandi scholar when he made provoking speeches against Shahbaz Bhatti a Christian Senator of Pakistan Peoples Party and was Chairman of parliamentary committee for reforms in Balsphemy Act in last PPP’s tenure .
After that provoking speech made by Ashrafi poor senator was killed and same provoking role played Mr Tahir Ashrafi against former governor Salman Taseer who was also killed by commando of Punjab Elite force Malik Mumtaz .His provoking speech against Shahbaz Bhatti can be heard.
In that speech Mr Tahir Ashrafi says ,
“”English translation of the video: If you think that you can amend this law (the anti-blasphemy law introduced by Islamist military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq) which is about Qadianis (i.e., Ahmadis), and I want to say this to that pimp of the U.S. senators, Asif Ali Zardari, and (to his Minority Affairs Minister) Shahbaz Bhatti, you should not even dream of changing the Islamic clauses (of the national constitution and laws) in this country. We will break that hand, I am saying with full responsibility, if you moved your hand towards (amending) Islamic clauses, we will break that hand, if you used your tongue against Islamic clauses, we will cut that tongue, if you directed your eyes towards Islamic clauses, we will take your eyes out. Do whatever you can. The way Mullah Umar has forced your daddy U.S.A. to lick its feet, if you acted as bastard children of the U.S.A. in Pakistan, then God willing, we will make sure that you too are forced to lick the feet of students of (Deobandi) madrassas and clerics. (applause from the crowd comprising Deobandi clerics and madrassa students)
(Provoked and tipped by such hate speech, Deobandi militants of banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ-ASWJ) killed Pakistan’s Federal Minister Shahbaz Bhatt on 2 March )
Mr Tahir Ashrafi is included in those Deobandi religious bigots who tried to provoke Deobandi youth on behalf of Saudi Arabia against Shia community while calling them agent of Iranian government and openly supported pro Saudi and Turky so called Islamic Jihadist organizations active in Syria and Iraq and propagated false and manufactured stories of suppression of Sunni population in both countries by Shia militant organizations and when Saudi led coalition forces invaded Yemen then he ran a solidarity movement in support of Saudi Arabia and commemorated ” Saudi Arabia Day ” .
This clearly proved that Mullah Tahir Ashrafi is not but just stooge of Saudi Arabia and their ruler family Al-Saud .But all these fact did not helped Gru of some liberal journalists and analysts Najam Sethi and his true follower Raza Rumi & Co not to project him a moderate and liberal scholar but i think our this type of journalists actually referred Tahir Ashrafi to Victor Mallet who conducted an interview with Tahir Ashrafi and he used data provided by Najam and Raza Rumi etc while making an intro of Tahir Ashrafi .
Victor should made an interview of Raghib Naeemi Sufi Sunni cleric whose father Dr Sarfraz Naeemi was killed in a suicide attack in 2009 in Jamia Naeemia Lahore and also should go to those shrines including Shrine of Hazrat Ali Usman Hajveri Data Sahib Lahore , Shrine of Baba Frid Ganj Shakar Pakpattan district , Shah Abdullah Ghazi in Karachi and meet Sajada Nasheens of those shrine where Deobandi Takfiri terrorists blew themselves and ask them about radicalization of Deobandi seminaries and their role in proliferating terrorism in Pakistan.
Victor although pointed out lightly some connections between radicalization of Deobandi seminaries and Saudi aid and import of so called Salafi -Wahhabi extremist Ideology but he could not reach those experts who had made exclusive research on this like great Indian Sunni Sufi scholar and journalist Ghulam Rasool dehlvi , Yaseen Misbahi , President of All India Sunni Ulema Board in India and Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri , Hamid Raza , Mufti Gulzar Naeemi and other Sufi Sunni scholars in Pakistan .It is fact that 99 % terrorists involved in attack on shrines , Mosques , processions of Ashora of Muharrum and day of birth of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) , Sufi Sunni genocide , Shia genocide belong to Deobandi school of thought and 95% of total leadership of so called Jihadi sectarian terrorists organization came from Deobandi religious seminaries and rest from some Salafi and Jamat Islami seminaries .
It is true that in begining majority of Deobandi prominent leadership opposed Wahhabi movement and their leadership but with passage of time majority of Deobandi clergy became strategi partner of Saudi Arabian Salafi Wahhabi clergy and now this clergy is very hostile toward Sufi-ism and Shia-ism in south Asia .
Mr Arshad Madni President of Jamiat Ulema Hind (JUH ) Principle of Dar-ul-loom Deoband Numani Sahib have firm relations with Saudi Salafi clergy and regular visits of Dar-ul-loom at Deoband have been made by official of Saudi Embassy in India and officials of Saudi Arabia and this seminary is getting huge funds from Gulf states . Un-fortunately like Pakistani mainstream media western media is also marginalizing Sufi Sunni face of Islam which have majority school of thought in South Asia .Radical exteremist anti Sufi Sunni , anti Shia Takfiri Salafi ideology is being proliferating in the name of Deobandi Sunni Islam in South Asia with the help of Deobandi clergy with huge funding from Saudi Arabia .
Current Deobandization of Pakistan , India and Bangladesh is not like earlier effort of earlier Deobandization made by founders of this school of thought like Qasim Nanutvi and others who were close to Sufi Sunni Islam although with litter reformist way . Current process of Deobandization of South Asia is another name of hegemony of Saudi Salafi radical sectarian anti Sufi Sunni , Shia provoking ideology which was being rejected in past by Deobandi clerics and leaders like Mufti Mahmud Hassan founder of JUH , Hussain Ahmad Madni father of Arshad Madni and they wrote books against founder of Wahhabi movement Muhammad bin Abdulwahhab .Transformation of Deobandism from moderation to radicalism is evident and clear but alas ! Mr Victor has ignored or obfuscated this transformation in his article fully .
“You are cunning, liar and hypocrite. Aren’t Deobandis and Barelvis being killed in Pakistan too? It’s a part of your Shia faith to lie. Your father was a liar. What’s your family background? You are a product of a temporary marriage (polite word for ‘bastard Shia’ in Deobandi discourse). You appear to be a descendant of Abdullah bin Sabah (a hypocrite in Prophet Muhammad’s era). How dare you criticize Deobandi scholars?”