Mumbai: 10th May 2011 DNA News
Al Qaeda terrorists had used the services of Delhi-based missionary group Tablighi Jamaat to get visas and finances to travel to Pakistan in the mid-80s, a Wikileaks document recently revealed. In Mumbai, the group is active at Chunabhatti and Noor Masjids on Mohammad Ali Road, besides mosques in Rabodi, Thane and Kausa, Mumbra. They also have a markaz or centre in Jogeshwari.
The Chunabhatti mosque holds a weekly ijtema or religious meet on Thursday evenings where functionaries say, the ‘doors are open to everyone’. But the group claims that it stays away from politics, does not solicit membership and does not proselytise.
Members said that they only visit mosques to encourage piety.
“Our Jamaat tells people to do namaaz regularly and become ideal Muslims,” said Ulema Council member Maulana Mahmood Daryabadi who is part of the group. “We talk only about what is below the soil (answers to god after death) and the heavens (instructions of god to be followed during life). We are not bothered about political parties and are not involved in riots.”
The statements by Guantanamo detainees are not the first time when the group’s name has figured in terror plots. Even earlier, the organisation’s name had popped up in investigations of terror cases, including the 7/7 bombings (in 2005) in London. “It is possible because since we have no membership, people come and sit at the masjid. The Nizamuddin mosque is open to everyone. We have no way of knowing if the wrong kind of people come to the mosque. The Jamaat is not responsible for this,” said a Tablighi who asked not to be named.
The news has led to demands by other Muslim groups for a ban on the Tablighis. “The Tablighi Jamaat helped Al Qaeda. We will ask the home ministry to suggest a ban on the group,” Maulana Saeed Noori of Raza Academy said.