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July 11, 2007

'Peaceful' Group Linked To Radical Muslims

tablighi_jamaat_2.jpgChristians are accustomed to associating the word "missionary" with a "peaceful" person or group proselytizing their faith through word, deed, literature, and other media. But Christians are not the only ones who have missionaries and missionary groups; take for example the global Islamic missionary group, Tablighi Jamaat, a powerful, grass-roots religious organization based in South Asia.

Although Christian missionary groups and Islamist missionary groups like Tablighi Jamaat both exhibit an image for "peaceful" missionary work, Tablighi Jamaat apparently has a different use for the word "peace": For them it's teaching young Muslims how to send non-jihadists to their "peace" - as in death, because it turns out that Tablighi Jamaat has emerged as a key influence on terrorists targeting Britain and is increasingly being associated with radicalising young Muslims (Al Qaeda operatives have confessed in the US that they had earlier attended the Jamaat's camp held in Pakistan. ).

Alarmingly, the group is a common link to a string of attacks and conspiracies, and it plans to build a "supermosque" next to the site of the 2012 Olympics in east London which would provide it the opportunity to spread its deadly venom to a wider audience:

One of the four men convicted this week of attempting to carry out suicide bombings on the London transport system attended a mosque run by Tablighi.

The group has been linked to two of the suspects, both from India, arrested for last week's failed car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow.

Tablighi has its European headquarters in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, where Shehzad Tanweer, one of the July 7 suicide bombers, attended classes after dropping out of university. Mohammed Sidique Khan, the leader of the July 7 cell, went to the Tablighi mosque in Dewsbury. A number of those suspected of involvement in last summer's alleged airline plot are believed to have been regular attendees at Tablighi meetings.

Richard Reid, the "shoe bomber", and John Walker Lindh, who became known as the "American Taliban" after being discovered during the US-led military action in Afghanistan in 2001, are also said to have had connections.

The group has a reputation for peaceful missionary work, going out to mosques to emphasise a reliance on the basic teachings of the Koran.

But it is increasingly being associated with radicalising young Muslims.

... Tablighi was founded in India in 1927 by a cleric from the Deobandi sect of Sunni Islam from which the Taliban regime emerged 70 years later. Its followers, estimated to number between 70 and 80 million, are asked to give up their free time to encourage Muslims to return to their "true faith" as it was practised in the era of the Prophet.

Adherents follow a narrow interpretation of Islam that believes non-Muslims are destined for perdition in hell and enforces the seclusion of women behind the veil.

The Tablighi has always resisted interpretation by outsiders, refusing to speak to the press and producing little written literature.

Some see them as the Islamic equivalent of the Jehovah's Witnesses, a faintly cultish but ultimately harmless group. Others see a more sinister side to the organization, whose teachings have become a plain-clothes recruiting sergeant for jihad.

Hat tip - Maggie O

Cross posted from Hyscience

Posted by Richard at July 11, 2007 10:12 AM

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