Ordinary Muslims’ Views on Taliban

Taliban under fire from Pakistan’s faithful

(From Dawn Online) RAIWIND: Inayatullah Khan sits on a dusty rug and prepares to pray at Pakistan’s biggest religious gathering of 400,000 Muslims, cursing the Taliban for their ‘unholy crusade’ against humanity.

Khan travelled all the way from the tribal region of South Waziristan to take part in the four-day event, one of the world’s largest Islamic meetings, in Raiwind on the outskirts of Pakistan’s cultural capital Lahore.

A resident of Kanigurram, a former Taliban hub that the military says it has captured during its ongoing five-week offensive in the northwest, Khan, 50, accused the Taliban of straying from the path of God and butchering Muslims.

‘They call those who refuse to follow their brand of Islam infidels, not knowing they are inviting the wrath of Allah the almighty by killing Muslims, which I call an unholy crusade,’ Khan said.

A Muslim whose faith is important enough to make an arduous three-day journey and sleep in a tent for four days, Khan invited the Taliban ‘to join us in spreading Islam’s eternal message of love, affection and peace.’

The Tablighi Ijtema is an annual feature, founded by religious scholars more than five decades ago and focused exclusively on preaching Islam.

The Thursday-Sunday gathering in Raiwind, near the estate of opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, is being held under tight security due to the campaign of attacks that have swept the country killing more than 2,500 people in two years.

Contingents of police guard the single-carriage road, lined by eucalyptus trees, that links Raiwind with downtown Lahore.

Spread over 150 acres of land with a huge parking space made available for thousands of buses and vehicles, the venue looks like a big tented village where pilgrims sleep, say prayers and eat together.

‘Despite having to sleep under tents in cold and inhospitable weather, there is no let-up in our resolve to make this country a cradle of peace, a country free of suicide attacks and explosions,’ Khan said.

Hundreds of camps and sub-camps set up on the dusty ground accommodate people from cities across Pakistan.

Stalls sell cooked food, raw chicken and meat, vegetables and fruit, even electrical appliances and batteries for mobile phones at a subsidised rate.

A mixture of aromatic Pakistani dishes ranging from as little as 10 to 20 rupees gives the religious gathering a festival feel.

Faced with near-daily attacks, concentrated most heavily in the northwest, many mourn the mounting civilian toll from bombings, often targeting market places, but lace their comments with pervasive anti-American fears.

‘Our hearts bleed for the hundreds of innocent people who have lost their lives… and our security officials who are being killed by the Taliban,’ said Mohammad Farooq, from northwest town Tank, where some of the tens of thousands displaced by fighting in South Waziristan have sought shelter.

‘The Taliban are enemies of Islam and humanity and advance only an American and Indian agenda — to destabilise Pakistan,’ said Farhan Hamad Khan, who had come from Dera Ismail Khan, where many other refugees are also living.

When the prayer leader gave the call to prayer, people rushed towards hundreds of temporary washrooms to make their ablutions.

As Mohammad Azhar, an Islamabad-based chartered accountant waited his turn, he remembered how Pakistan’s ‘icon of democracy,’ former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated in a gun and suicide attack in 2007.

‘Her killers still roam around scot-free,’ said the bearded Azhar. ‘No religion, including Islam, allows the killing of humans.’

‘We need to hold gatherings like this one and inculcate in our people a true spirit of Islam, which is a code of life for all of us and not the kind of Islam that Taliban want to introduce.’

The prayer leader in his Friday sermon addressed the same issue.

‘A stern punishment awaits all those who refuse to follow commandments of Allah the almighty,’ he said into a pin-drop silence among the avid masses.

13 Comments

Filed under FATA, Islam, Pakistan, Religion, Terrorism

13 responses to “Ordinary Muslims’ Views on Taliban

  1. Tableeghee Jamaat has suffered a lot in the ongoing insurgency and victimization from the Monsters….Talibaan
    Especially in Swat where there markaz at Takhta Band was captured by them and used by them for Taliban for their activities….Shah Dauran, the deputy of Mullah Radio once came with suiciders and insisted to give a sermon on jehad to the gathering whom he has given the title of “Our Tablighee Sisters” for their refusal to support them in arm movement.
    A fellow Tablighee from Tehsil Kabal, Khair Rehman has once criticized them and Taliban’s spies among the people has reported it to Taliban….His son though An Aalim(molvi) was killed and his sons in Law were kidnapped and his family was asked to hand over khair Rehman to him…He himself surrendered and a day after his body was found in Ali grama, a village nearby….

  2. Molana Ahmad Bahawalpoori from Tablighee Jamaat in every speech of him at their gatherings opposes present form of Jehad and is disliked and disapproved by the hardline deobandi elements for his anti Jihad stance….A Molvi from Jamia Binori Town then in the peak times of state owned Jehad has several time challeng him for a Munaziraa….to gain cheap fame
    But Maulana Ahmed refused….

  3. But above all this….Tablighee Jamaat is serving as a raw material provider for all the hardliner deobandi Organisations….As the slow phase and limited scope do not provide for the emotional youth…and being diverted to these alls

  4. neel123

    Ordinary muslims in Pakistan do not understand how its own Military and the ISI operates.

    The ordinary muslims do not know that the Pakistani Army and the ISI collaborated with the Americans in creating this monster of Taliban, and has been using them against India and Afghanistan, as a tool of Foreign policy.

    Majority of these ordinary muslims do not believe that it was indeed Pakistani gummen, that killed close to two hundred innocent civilians in the neighbouring country, in Mumbai.

  5. mohammad

    At this juncture of history public opinion is not that important. We have to support army action unreservedly. How the business of agencies works should be left on professionals . With due respect I am not sure if most pakistani are missionary of certain school of thought. Anyway good insight into evangical gathering.

  6. Milind Kher

    There is very often a reference to India’s designs to destabilize Pakistan. Logically, India would not do that because an unstable Pakistan would easily be overrun by the Taliban, which India would never want.

    This is especially so as the Taliban had vowed to carry out a jihad against India if India ever invaded.

  7. mohammad

    There is no doubt that indians helped extremists likes of LeJ in the past. With the help of such groups indians managed to divide muslims in india to such an extent that kashmiry shia population started enrolling in indian security apparatus to quell kashmiry militancy, very aggressively. SSP/LJ killed kashmiry cause for sure. Both these groups got enormous monetary help from israel as well as some gulf countries,for reasons not known.

  8. Hayyer

    The Kashmiri Shia set up their own militant group which did a bit of askariat occasionally. It was set up to protect the Shia religious leadership from the Hizb ul Mujahideen operating as a militant wing of the Jamaat e Islami. Remember HM under Gilani’s orders was responsible for the killing of eminent Kashmiris such as Maulana Maudoodi, Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq and Abdul Ghani Lone.

  9. Milind Kher

    @Mohammad, considering that the single point agenda of LeJ and SeS is the elimination of Shias, help from either Israel or the gulf countries is not surprising.

    Bear in mind that in the entire Muslim world, only Hezbollah and Iran stand up to Israel, and these are both Shia entities.

  10. Bloody Civilian

    This is especially so as the Taliban had vowed to carry out a jihad against India if India ever invaded

    the taliban were addressing pakistanis. the intention was to confuse them. their supporters and those with vested interests went on about it for a while. they didn’t care whether india was listening or not. in any case, given the formulation above, india only need fear the taliban if it plans to invade.

  11. usman

    reading all the comments made by diffent people on the site i am shocked that how naive we simple pakistanis are we blame taliban as terrorsits but has some one ever thought that why simple men turned into the monsters we think they are.
    Under taliban afghanistan had the most stable and peaceful period in the recent history.
    but after the refused to handover a guest to americans i.e osama bin laden (as any gairatmand pakistanji would have done) American without any justification invaded a country then does the people have the right to fight against the aggressor. and we sit here contemplating ways in which we could justify hating our brothers only because we are weak and cannot stand upto american pressure.
    and what to talk about the kashmiri cause if it exists it is only due to the same mehsud tribemen today the military is fighting against. (they liberated AJK not pak army)

  12. Milind Kher

    The Taliban are extremists who will, if they come to power, bully and terrorise the populace as they did in Afghanistan before they were defeated.

    It is extremely doubtful whether the average urban and educated person in Karachi or Lahore would like to live in a regime like that.

    Views on this would certainly give me a greater insight, but this is my thought.

  13. This is a very welcome development. Killing in the name of Islam has gone too far. This trend can only be reversed within Pakistani society and by ordinary Pakistanis. I hope the Taliban in Pakistan are isolated and peace once again returns to your troubled country.