“We teach the students complete Islam…Jihad is a big pillar of Islam.” And while putative Muslim reformers in the West self-righteously remind us that Islam is not a monolith and jihad is a spiritual struggle, these clerics and students in Islamabad teach jihad is warfare and peaceful Muslims have mounted no effective theological response to them.
From DPA, :
The hostage-taking of three police officers by students attached to Islamabad’s notorious Red Mosque Wednesday again highlighted the rising strain of religious militancy in the very heart of the Pakistani capital.
If the police did not to release several of his students and teachers they would face a jihad, or holy war, warned cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi, deputy head of the Lal Masjid, or red mosque, and adjacent madrassa religious school where Osama bin Laden is regarded as “our hero”.
But their arrest and the seizure of the officers and an alleged manager of a local brothel during a morality dispute is a sideshow to more sinister activity inside the giant complex with 11,000 students.
“We encourage our people to go and fight (foreign troops in Afghanistan),” Ghazi told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa during a recent visit.
Any means of stopping the “aggressors” was justified, including suicide bombings, and it was just a matter of time before the international contingents are forced to leave, he said.
Pakistan is a key ally of the United States in the war against terrorism, yet hatred towards the western “occupiers” in Afghanistan is openly preached a short distance from the offices of the prime minister, parliament and the Supreme Court.
Earlier attempts to take action against the complex were dropped amid fears of a broad backlash, leaving Ghazi free to impress the call to arms upon the 6,500 females and 4,500 males who take classes and worship on premises he jointly administers with his brother.
While a generation of young fighters appears to be taking shape under their tutelage, the state’s authority now seems to end at the heavily guarded gates….
Foreign armies had no right to invade Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, says Ghazi, who in 1998 met al-Qaeda leader bin Laden in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.
“They will never succeed, they will go, defeated like the Russians,” he pronounces, before rhetorically asking how many of the 50,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan would be willing to carry out a suicide attack on the Taliban.
Hearing the answer “none”, Ghazi says opposition among the masses to western intervention can produce “hundreds of thousands of suicide bombers” eager to sacrifice themselves….
“We teach the students complete Islam,” Ghazi explains, but noting that, “Jihad is a big pillar of Islam.”
“We teach them the concept of jihad, not how to fight,” he clarifies, confident of the superior determination of those waging the armed struggle.
“For us this life does not matter,” says Ghazi. “(The fighting) will continue for some time, there will be a lot of casualties on our side, no doubt, but finally (the foreign troops) will retreat.”
A return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan is the only solution for the country, he believes, while claiming that his men have contacts with the militant resistance and al-Qaeda.
Bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar are alive and actively continuing the fight and neither their death or capture would not significantly weaken the effort, according to Ghazi.
“In our jihad a person is not important – another would just take over,” he says.
As we have often noted here.