How did all these madrassa students and memorizers of the Qur’an misunderstand Islam so spectacularly as to think that jihad had something to do with a hot war against infidels?
“An Uzbek struggle in name only,” by J Z Adams for Asia Times, January 25:
The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in November released on its website, alfurqon.com, a list of its “martyrs” of 2011. The most striking aspect of the list, with its biographies and profile photographs written in the Cyrillic alphabet of the Uzbek language, is that only four of the 87 martyrs were from Uzbekistan.
The list shows how the IMU has evolved from being a group focused on overthrowing the “apostate” regime of Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan in the late 1990s and early 2000s into the global jihadi movement that it is now. Neither the biographies nor the preface to the list focus on Uzbekistan, and while 64 martyrs come from Afghanistan, 10 were from Tajikistan, six from Kyrgyzstan, with one each from Tatarstan (Russia), Germany and Pakistan.
Since the IMU left its bases in northern Afghanistan and took refuge with the Taliban in South Waziristan, Pakistan, after the US invasion of Afghanistan in October 2011, the composition of IMU fighters has become so “indigenized” in Afghanistan-Pakistan that the IMU is “Uzbek” in name only.
The IMU’s priorities are now one and the same with the Taliban. As shown by the biographies, the IMU is focused on expelling the US from Afghanistan and fighting the Pakistani and Afghan armies.
Only after the US and its allies are defeated in Afghanistan can the IMU return to its bases in northern Afghanistan and fulfill the goals of its leader from 2002 to 2009, Tohir Yuldashev, who envisioned the IMU overthrowing the Karimov regime in Uzbekistan and other Central Asian governments in order to establish an Islamic State in all of “Turkistan”….
The following are some excerpts from the list of martyrs about the IMU’s focus on fighting international forces; its continued respect for Yuldashev despite the group’s current Afghanistan-oriented strategy; the use of madrassas (seminaries) for recruitment; the challenges of pulling jihadis from their families; the role of revenge against the US in motivating IMU fighters; and the IMU’s pride for multi-ethnicism within its ranks….
Qori Mirojiddin “Muoz” (Baghlan, Afghanistan): He was studying the Koran in the madrassas in Khoja District of Takhor Province. When the battle against the hypocrites and the apostates flourished in his region, he considered it a shame not to help his Muslim brothers. He immediately joined the mujahideen. When the hypocritical Afghan army troops became stronger, and the region was taken over by a pro-American government, together with mujahideen Mirojiddin moved to Baghlan province. His sacrifice was destined to be in the Burka district of Baghlan province. May Allah bless this martyr friend of ours.
Ammor (Afghanistan, Saripul): Ammor comes from the Arab population living in Afghanistan. Although he was born in Saripul, he received his education in a madrassa located in Kunduz. This is where he became interested in jihad. He took part in jihad activities and received military training at an IMU base. After completing his training he was sent to Saripul where soon after he was killed in a fight against infidels. His death had a huge impact on his relatives and friends and many of them decided to join the jihad. During the next fights they succeeded in destroying an American “Chinook” helicopter.
Qori Bashir “Mus’ab” (Afghanistan, Baghlan): Qori Bashir was born in 1987 in Burka. During his childhood years he went through an orphan’s school lifestyle. In 2004, at the age 17 he was accepted to “dorul huffoz” (a madrassa meaning “Abode of Recitation”). He started learning Sharia. Despite his weak physical state and proneness to illness he joined the jihad movement. Few months afterwards he sacrificed himself to Allah.
Shoh Masud “Talha” (Afghanistan, Baghlan): Shoh Masud also comes from Burka. He was a regular student at a madrassa. With his love and dedication to jihad he joined the Movement. However due to his young age he was not accepted for a while. At the end he achieved his goal. He joined the Movement, participated in jihad, and became a martyr.
Mullo Fayzulloh “Muttaqiy” (Afghanistan, Baghan): Mullo Fayzullo from Burka was famous for his name “Muttaqiy” and spent most of his life in madrassas. It was a short time before he was about to finish the required studies and start wearing a white turban, but it did not happen …. He sacrificed himself in the name of the war against Islam’s enemies.
Qori Abdul Hamid(Uzbekistan, Mingbulak): Abdul Hamid also was raised in our madrassa. At 17 he became a Koran hofiz [reciter]. Before that he learned to use weapons and took part in jihad because in our Movement young men start when they are 15-16 years old …
Shamsur Rahmon “Yusuf” (Afghanistan, Tahor): Shamsur Rahmon was born in Tahor. He joined the Movement in the winter. As usually happens, his parents tried to convince him to go back home, however they did not succeed. Soon after he gave his soul to Allah.…
Najmon “Muhojir sohib” (Afghanistan, Baghlan): Najmon comes from Kunduz province’s Khanabad area. His father was a well-educated person and during the invasion by the Soviets he served as a doctor. He also was a mentor to Najmon. He had a family and children … However, he had a strong desire to serve Islam and Muslims. This led to his decision to join the Movement. He regularly supplied the movement with weapons. His hotel (guesthouse) was always full of jihad fellows. At 30 he sacrificed himself to the Allah, Inshallah….