In the November 22nd news story about the indictment of Jose Padilla, the following excerpt caught my eye:
|“The defendants, along with other individuals, operated and participated in a North American support cell that sent money, physical assets and mujahedeen recruits to overseas conflicts for the purpose of fighting violent jihad.”|
I did a web search on “Jose Padilla”+“Jamaat ul-Fuqra” and found the following material in the Bharat Rakshak Monitor:
|Stern also describes how Al Qaeda-affiliated groups may have sprung up in the US prison system, where converts to Islam offer a promising pool of recruits… The Pakistan-based Jamaat-ul-Fuqra, a “terrorist group committed to purifying Islam through violence”, is said to be active in US prisons. Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was abducted and killed while attempting to interview Jamaat leader Sheikh Gilani about his links to the alleged “shoe bomber” Richard Reid. Perhaps more disturbingly for Indians, Stern describes the strengthening connections between violent radicals and the Tablighi Jamaat. The Tablighi Jamaat, started out as a social revivalist organization like the Hindu Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Some of the better known Western jihadis such as Jose Padilla, Richard Reid and John Walker Lindh were indoctrinated by the Tablighi Jamaat before they moved on to military training organized by other groups in Afghanistan. The Jamaat is influential in Pakistan, and army officers affiliated with it were arrested in 1995 for plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. As many Indians know, the Tablighi Jamaat has also been involved in competitive mobilization with its Hindu counterparts in communally sensitive areas of India (such as Gujarat) which makes its apparent radicalization particularly worrisome for Indian social stability. [emphasis added]|
Tablighi Jamaat was in the news recently when the plans were announced for the new mosque to be associated with the London Olympics:
|An Islamic group is proposing to build Western Europe’s biggest mosque in East London in time for the 2012 Olympic Games...|
|Tablighi Jamaat - a worldwide Islamic missionary group - is proposing the mosque as its new UK headquarters.|
|The group envisions a futuristic design for the three-storey mosque, with wind turbines taking the place of minarets and an overall capacity of 70,000 when surrounding buildings are taken into account.|
Tablighi Jamaat isn’t a high-profile Islamist group like Al-Qaeda, Hamas, or the Muslim Brotherhood. What do we know about it?
Well, not a whole lot, and there’s a good reason why. According to the South Asia Analysis Group,
“Tablighi Jamaat” means “Proselytizing Group.” A more comprehensive translation might be “International Association for the Propagation of the Faith.” It was founded, depending on which source you use, either in the late 19th century or in the 1920s in Pakistan. Its goal is to purify and renew Islam throughout the world, without recognizing any borders to the Ummah.
Within the Islamic world TJ draws its greatest success from the marginally Muslim communities, those isolated and neglected corners of the Ummah such as the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. Islam has languished there; its traditions have fallen into disuse, and the poor and ill-educated people there are often only nominally Muslim. They have proved fertile ground for TJ’s proselytizing, and the group has had an impressive rate of success there.
In the lands of the infidel, TJ seeks out the Western analogue of the same people: the underclass. In the United States their preferred strategy is to convert African-American felons in the prison system.
When the Tablighi Jamaat recruits emerge from the Big House, energized by their new-found faith, where do they go? And what do they do when they get there?
We will be examining Tablighi Jamaat in depth in future posts.
To be continued…