|Sazid Mir||Sazid Mir||Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith||India-Pakistan||20011008|
|Afghan Defense Council calls for jihad|
After Sunday's attacks, the influential Afghan Defense Council, based in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, issued a call for holy war. ``It is the duty of every Muslim to support their brothers in this critical hour,'' council leader Riaz Durana said. ``We will support the Taliban physically and morally against the aggression of America.''
Munawar Hassan, deputy chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan's most powerful religious political party, called the strikes ``an attack against Islam.''
Condemnation also came from the militant group Harakat ul-Mujahedeen, one of several organizations whose assets were frozen by the United States, Pakistan and other countries as part of a campaign against movements linked to Osama bin Laden. ``Americans have used their might to kill innocent people in Afghanistan instead of targeting training camps,'' said Amar Mehdi, spokesman for the group, which advocates the independence of Indian-ruled Kashmir.
In downtown Peshawar, near the Afghan border, knots of men gathered shouting ``Osama! Osama!'' and ``America is a terrorist.''
In Lahore, an organization of Muslim clerics issued a condemnation and said Americans now face a ``highly critical situation'' in the Muslim world. ``We appeal to all Muslims living anywhere in the world to extend full support to their Afghan brothers in this critical time,'' said Sazid Mir, president of Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith. Hundreds of emotional Islamic clerics and students studying in pro-Taliban religious institutions staged demonstrations in Lahore condemning America. Youths belonging to the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami also protested.