Jamaat’s immoderate worldview
The Islami Jamiat-e Tulaba (IJT) is the powerful ‘student wing’ of the Jamaat-e-Islami. It held its ‘mammoth’ international march in Lahore last Monday, from its seat of power at the Punjab University New Campus to the headquarters of the JI at Ichchra. The chief of the Jama’at-e-Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, delivered the keynote address. He said that his party wanted a Pakistan with a ‘sovereign’ parliament out of the stranglehold of the generals. He also wanted a united country to confront India as the next door enemy and the United States as the global imperialist enemy. The biggest challenge, he admitted, was unemployment in the country, which was exacerbated by terrorism. He said that Pakistan was under attack from terrorism like other Islamic states and its ulema were being killed. He condemned the trend of blaming Islamic movements for such terrorism.
Despite the fact that he's one of the bigger supporters of terrorism...
The firebrand secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Munawwar Hassan, then went on to announce that America and Europe were scared of Islam as a global power. He believed that America was particularly frightened after seeing the jihad in Afghanistan from close quarters. He concluded that the Islamic world was clearly divided into two parts: the rulers were all slaves of the West and the masses who were angry because their dreams had been smashed to pieces. A representative of Turkey’s Saadat Party repeated the charge that the entire world was under threat from the Zionists, and the Muslims were bearing the brunt of their secret plans. He said the leadership of the Islamic world against this evil had fallen to Pakistan, the only state capable of accomplishing the job.
Pakistan, of course, being the light of the Islamic world...
Fiery anti-West speeches were also delivered by representatives of religious parties from Bangladesh, Bosnia, Uganda, South Africa, Malawi, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Zambia, etc. The third three-day grand congregation of IJT was held at the Punjab University New Campus, proving once again that the university was completely controlled by the ‘student wing’ while its ‘general’ vice chancellor looked on. Clearly, the message delivered by the ‘international’ congregation of religionists was extremely isolationist. It sought to inculcate alienation from the rest of the world because it was dominated by the West. The youth that had gathered at the IJT rally was regaled to a frightening vista: the West-dominated world was against the ‘umma’ and the ‘umma’ was helpless because it was ruled by ‘slaves of the West’. The agenda was set somewhat like this: by next year let us give a heave-ho to the government in Islamabad, then call India to account through some more jihad and, after that, somehow wage war against the evil of the United States and the Jews.
That's pretty much Qazi's plan of action in a nutshell. JI, along with JUI and JUP and a few other grups of lesser importance, make Pakistan unique in the world, in that the country's effective rulers are now the leaders of these religious parties and their (deniable) militia arms. Perv and the military "control" them only to the extent of keeping them out of formal power, where they could actually try to put their plans for khilafa into effect, instead indulging an incremental approach that they hope isn't going to result in open warfare with the West before the Islamic world is ready for it. Qazi, Fazl, Sami, Noorani, and their creations — Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar, Syed Salahuddin, and all the other jihadi leaders — make their money (and they make a good living, indeed) by being indignant, by being "fire-breathing", by delivering stem-winders and over-the-top rhetoric, rather than by thinking. To me, they represent even more of a threat than the Soddies, because they're exporting Pakistanis all over the world, carrying with them the seeds of that unreasoning hatred and desire for confrontation.

Posted by: Paul Moloney 2003-10-22