Tag Archives: Jamaat-i-Islami

President Arif Alvi: A New Concern for US Relations with Pakistan

On Tuesday, September 5th, Pakistan appointed a new president. Arif Alvi, a member and co-founder of the Pakistan Tereek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of which newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan is a part of, was chosen over two other candidates representing each the conservative (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz) and socialist (Pakistan People’s Party) parties.

His appointment as president comes without surprise given his political affiliation and close relationship to Imran Khan. He has held several leadership positions with PTI over the years including being a part of the party’s central executive council as well as the president of PTI in Sindh province in 1997. As such, we can presume that, like Khan, Alvi is a Sharia-supremacist and generally supports Khan’s favorable position towards blasphemy laws, the Taliban, and the Islamic Republic’s extreme religious right generally speaking.

This presumption about Pakistan’s new president is further bolstered by his well-documented affiliation with Islamist radical group Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) which has for decades served as the Muslim Brotherhood’s close affiliate in South Asia and is linked to a multitude of terror organizations. While growing up, Alvi’s father, Habib Ur Rehman Elahi Alvi, was also a close aide of Sharia supremacist  JeI founder Syed Abul A’la Maudoodi. From the late 1960s into the 1970s, Alvi was heavily involved with the Islami Jamiat Talaba, the student wing of JeI in Pakistan. In 1979, he ran for office in the Sindh as a member of JeI; however, elections were eventually cancelled.

JeI was also sure to send Alvi an official congratulations with their full confidence he will  “uphold the supremacy of the constitution”, a constitution that supports vile blasphemy laws in in near exclusive favor of the nation’s majority religion and allows for the propagation of Islamic radicalism virtually unchecked.

Pakistan’s choice for its next president presents just one more reason why the United States should sincerely re-evaluate its close relationship with the Islamic Republic. Alvi’s history of association with radical Islamist entities, and his clear support of the problematic views and affiliations of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, demonstrate legitimate concern for US security interests in the region. Alvi’s selection as president, like Khan’s election, sends an increasingly clear message from Pakistan that Islamic radicalism will continue to be tolerated and terror will be the norm for the foreseeable future.

Leader of Islamist group behind Stand With The Prophet Rally Warns of WWIII over Cartoons

The leader of Pakistani Islamist organization Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) says that cartoons of Mohammed may lead to war:

“The path that the West has chosen will take the world to a third world war,” [JI chief Sirajul Haq] said on Friday. He was addressing thousands of people at a rally, organised to protest against the insulting caricatures published in Western publications, particularly French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The JI chief demanded that the United Nations make laws to discourage blasphemy of all religious personalities. He said France must apologise for hurting sentiments of billions of Muslims across the world.

There have been several major protests in Pakistan organized by JI to protest the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, some of which have turned violent.

Jamaat-e-Islami may also have been behind the recent Stand With the Prophet Rally and fundraiser, held at the Curtis Cuwell Center in Garland Texas, January 17th. The event, which was billed as an effort to “build a movement”, and compared those who drew cartoons of the prophet with ISIS terrorists.

While most of the coverage of the event focused on the attendance of controversial imam and unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing Siraj Wahhaj, few noted Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, the founder of Soundvision, the group which organized the event, has his own troubling ties.

Mujahid is the past president of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) which was founded on the principles of ,and which is widely considered a front group, for Jamaat al-Islami (JI) in the United States. ICNA formally joined with the Muslim Brotherhood to present a united front in the 1990s, according to Holy Land Foundation Trial documents. ICNA is believed to have solicited donations for Pakistani charities known to have donated to Hamas. ICNA’s founding secretary general was convicted of war crimes for engaging in genocide against Bengalis when Jamaat al-Islami militias fought on behalf of Pakistan in Bangladesh’s war of liberation. ICNA’s showed its true nature in 2010 when it published a handbook which contained the stated goal of establishing Shariah law and Islamic rule through a worldwide Caliphate.

Given the views expressed by JI’s chief, it’s no surprise that a former ICNA president’s organization would also describe the issue of “defaming the prophet” in terms of war metaphors like describing cartoons of the prophet as “attacks, which are no accident.”

Although Mujahid hasn’t always been metaphorical,  having reportedly encouraged Muslims to fight jihad in Bosnia by telling a 1995 ICNA convention audience:

“Qital [killing] is an essential element of Islam. And sometimes you don’t like it. Qital is ordained upon you, though it is hateful to you, but it may happen that you hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that you love a thing which is bad for you…. And one example is, now we have 60 or so Muslim countries, and not a single one of them wants to go for Qital and Jihad for Bosnia. Qital is ordained upon you though it is hateful to you.

In addition to Mujahid, Stand With the Prophet speaker Sheikh Alauddin Al Bakri has also been associated with JI. In a tour of India, Al-Bakri spoke at a “Jamaat-e-Islami hind” (JeI of India) convention. Al Bakri was also the speaker at a meeting of the Student Islamic Organization of India (SIO) reportedly a JI front. At that meeting Al Bakri emphasized, “ that time of talking and time of complaining has gone; now is the time of action.” Al-Bakri is a book editor of Iqra Publications that produces Islamic texts for K-12th grade students. Included on Iqra’s site are offerings of quran translations by Jamaat-e-Islami founder and infamous Islamist scholar Abul A’la Maududi and Zaki Hammad, member of the Quranic Literacy Institute, which was connected to Hamas in civil court.

While the organizers of the Stand with the Prophet Rally may color up their support for a sharia blasphemy-based approach to make it palatable for an American audience, their Pakistani counterparts appear to have no such compunction about stating their position, or the threat they pose to the West.