Dr. Israr Ahmed gave two lectures on the incidence of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa. Here are the excerpts from his speech.
Historical background of Jihadi movements
When the Colonial rule was coming to an end, Muslims around the world started waking up like a sleeping giant from a deep slumber. They remembered that they once had a Deen, their own socio-political system, a glorious past an independent identity. This self awareness gave rise to a number of movements that wanted to re-establish Islamic values and systems. These movements were all contemporaries and had the same driving force. Their motive was to re-establish Islam.
There were movements in Indonesia, Turkey, Iran. The Indo-Pak sub-continent also had its share of such Tehreeks, namely: Hizbullah of Maulana Abu Kalam Azad (1913-1920), Tablegi Jamat of Maulana Ilyas, Jamat ul Muslimeen of the Khairi Brothers, Tahreek-e-Mujahideen in Aligarh, etc. All these movements had good intentions, Khuloos and Ikhlaas, zeal and passion. They even had very clear objectives and target. However, they had no workable methodology for establishing Deen and that was the reason, why none of these Jamaats was successful. These groups tried the prevailing systems of democracy, electoral system but they failed.
However, the USA could see their force, zeal and passion. It realized that if harnessed, these people can move mountains and are not afraid to die. Dying for the cause of Deen is a big honour. At that time, communist Soviet Union was a threat to the American capitalist ideology. The USA decided to use the Muslim world, and the result was the Afghan war. Muslims from all over the world came with sincerity and for the establishment of Deen. Their intensions are not at all questionable but the hands behind them were.
The USA distributed millions of copies of the Glorious Quran and fueled the spirit of Jihad for its own cause. It also supplied arms and ammunition. At the same time, Pakistan also decided to use these Jihadis to serve their own purpose to liberate occupied Kashmir. Thus started a culture of Jihadis – people with good intentions, great motivation and clear target, but no effective methodology.
Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa
Lal Masjid was one of the first mosques built in Islamabad. The clergy of Lal Masjid became an off-shoot of the Jihadi culture promoted by America and Pakistani government. The students at the Jamia Hafsa, under Lal Masjid, were taught the Quran and the spirit of Jihad, all with good intentions and right objectives.
However, the attitude of the USA and Pakistan towards the Jihadis changed after the Afghan war, as they foresaw a threat that might harm them. Hence, they withdrew their support of these Jihadis.
Now, the same Jihadis couldn’t alter their ideologies based on a mission. When they saw Pakistan marching on the road to secularism, they decided to take the law into their own hands, committing a mistake.
At that time, general Pervaiz Musharraf was treading on disturbed waters. His standing and support inside the country was falling. The mayhem involving Supreme court Chief Justice Chaudry was gaining momentum. Then, there was the APC in London.
Now, the taking over of children’s library by the Lal Masjid brigade provided the right kind of distraction. Here was a group of religious extremist militants, and he was the knight in shining armour. He let the small pimple grow into a big infected tumor and then did a major operation. An operation that took many lives of women and children. This military operation could have been easily avoided by using antibiotics of timely negotiations.
Hamid Mir wrote in this article for “Jang” (July 12) that Abdur Rasheed Ghazi said that if their gas, electricity and water supplies were cut off immediately, they could not have stayed locked up for too long in the children’s library. The government kept delaying taking action on the grounds that there were women and children involved. Actually, they could have easily sent women police officers from all over the country for the raid, but no such efforts were made.
However, the leader of Pakistan received a lot of praise and applause from Britain, China and the USA for his stand on fight against terrorism and extremism. Now, his position is better – he has gained support of foreign countries at the cost of his own people’s lives.
This unfortunate showdown of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa will have very serious consequences. On one hand, the militant Jihadi groups will become more aggressive because of the martyrdom of Sheikh Abdur Rasheed Ghazi, and on the other – the secular movements will also strengthen their efforts. More and more Masajids and Madrassahs will be brought down. The polarization has become very clear.
May Allah (swt) help, guide and protect us all. Ameen.