Taliban Are Enemies of Humanity,’ ‘Jihad Should Be Declared Against Them


In a conference held April 19, 2009 in Karachi,

Pakistan, Islamic clerics and political leaders called the Taliban “enemies of humanity,” and denounced the Pakistani government for signing the Shari’a for Peace deal, which permits the Taliban to enforce the Shari’a in Pakistan’s Swat Valley district and broader Malakand Division. The deal was recently signed into law by Pakistani President Asif Zardari as “Nizam-e-Adl Regulation 2009.” [1]

Following are details, and excerpts from statements by the conference participants, as published in Pakistani papers and websites. 

Unite “Against the Scourge That Is the Taliban… to Save Pakistan from Utter Destruction”

The conference was organized by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the third largest political party in Pakistan, and led by Altaf Hussain, who resides in London. [2] It was attended by a large number of religious leaders, Islamic scholars, political activists and Sufis, representing various schools of Islamic thought, both Sunni and Shi’ite. [3]

Addressing the conference from London by phone, MQM leader Altaf Hussain expressed regret that no political party in Pakistan was voicing concern over the Taliban’s takeover of the country, and urged both the people and the religious leaders of Pakistan to unite against the enforcement of the Taliban’s version of the Shari’a. He also urged Pakistan’s religious scholars, intellectuals, journalists, human rights activists and “all peace-loving citizens who believe in humanity” to come out against the Taliban’s “pseudo-ulema,” and “to fulfill their religious obligations by uniting against the scourge that is the Taliban, in order to save Pakistan from utter destruction.” [4]

 

“The Ulema and Mystics Must Declare Publicly that Suicide Bombings Against Shi’ite Mosques… Are Not Right”

Accusing Taliban militants of bombing the 300-year-old shrine of Pashtu poet and mystic Rehman Baba in Peshawar on March 8, 2009, Hussain warned that the Taliban “are bent on bombing the shrines of famous saints in the Sindh and Punjab [provinces], just as they did in the North West Frontier Province [NWFP]. Thus, the shrines of eminent mystics – such as Bullhay Shah, Sheikh Ali Hajveri, Hazrat Data Gunj Buksh, Sheikh Rukn-e-Alam, Hazrat Mian Meer, Hazrat Bahauddin Zakria, Shah Jamal in Punjab, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Sachal Sarmast, Hazrat Shah Aqeeq, Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ashabi and Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi – are in grave danger [of being harmed] at the hands of the Taliban.” [5]Hussain also stated: “The ulema and mystics must declare publicly that suicide bombings against Shi’ite mosques, and the killing of Shi’ites, Barelvis, Sunnis or Muslims of any [other] sect, are not right.” [6] He stated that the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation (which ratified the Shari’a for Peace deal) was “the beginning of [Pakistan’s] Talibanization.” [7]

sunni agaisnt TalibanAccording to the Urdu daily Roznama Jang, the conference participants described the Taliban as promoting fitna [civil strife], and said: “It is necessary to expose those who are backing the Taliban. It is time to save Islam and Pakistan, instead of [furthering the interests of particular] sects and schools of thoughtThe Taliban are the enemies of humanity, not just of the Shi’ite and Sunni [Muslims]. Jihad should be declared against them.” The paper praised MQM leader Altaf Hussain as “the first person who has raised his voice against the fitna [generated by the Taliban].” [8]

 

“We Reject The Imposing of the Shari’a [By Force]”

The conference participants were especially critical of Islamist leader Maulana Sufi Muhammad, head of the outlawed group Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Shari’a), who, along with his son-in-law, Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah, has forced the Shari’a deal on the Pakistani government. Sirajul Haq Qadri, leader of Pakistan’s Sunni Movement, said: “We reject the imposing of the Shari’a [by force]. In this country, we will have only the Shari’a of the Prophet Muhammad, not the Shari’a of Sufi Muhammad.”

Eminent Islamic scholar Syed Aun Naqvi said: “Maulana Sufi Muhammad’s statement that ‘Anyone who rejects our Shari’a will be excommunicated from the faith of Islam’ is the biggest [conceivable] act of terrorism and sectarian [incitement]. We are not against peace agreements, but [the Shari’a for Peace agreement] is a religious agreement, [and] we do not accept it.” [9]

Senior Shi’ite leader and former Pakistani senator Allama Abbas Kumaili said at the conference: “The Taliban want to establish a system of jahiliyya [ignorance]. They want to generate conflict in the name of reform. They are bandits in the name of Islam and they are enemies of Islam. If they are not stopped today, neither imambargahs [Shi’ite places of worship] nor shrines will remain safe.” [10]

A number of conference participants criticized Sufi Muhammad for describing democracy as a “system of the infidels,” and reminded him that, if this is indeed the case, many eminent religious leaders who participated in Pakistan’s parliamentary elections – such as Maulana Fazlur Rahman of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and former Jamaat-e-Islami leader Qazi Hussain Ahmed – are all infidels. [11]

Allama Khazr Al-Islam of the Sunni Tehreek Movement accused the Taliban militants of killing religious scholars belonging to the Barelvi school of thought.” [12]

Alluding to the Taliban’s systematic attacks on Shi’ites in the tribal districts, the conference’s closing resolution stated that such attacks were forbidden by the Shari’a: “Suicide attacks and murder on the basis of sectarian [i.e., Sunni-Shi’ite] differences are forbidden in Islam.” [13]

A resolution adopted by the conference, read out by MQM leader Dr. Farooq Sattar, declared that suicide attacks on mosques, imambargahs, security checkpoints, government facilities, and private property are all haram, i.e., forbidden according to Islam, [14] and that “even attacking non-Muslim places of worship is haram…” [15]

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