Saturday, April 21, 2007

Oh my beloved Pakistan...

As you all have undoubtedly heard, in response to the MQM-PPP rally against Islamisation, the Great and Good Maulana Abdul Aziz, Khatib of the Lal Masjid has said,

"We will not wait more. It will now be Sharia (law) or shahadat (martyrdom),"

This follows close on the heels of two events, the rocket attack on Maulana Fazl ur Rehman's house and the decision of the Tanzeem e Wifaq ul Madaris Arbia. It may be recalled that the Wifaq ul Madaris under the leadership of Maulana Hanif Jallandhari withdrew the recognition of the Jamia Fareedia and the Jamia Hafsa. This effectively cuts off the Jamia Hafsa and the Jamia Fareedia from private aid channels (Saudi and ME based money flow) that that Wifaq board controls. Bearing in mind that Maulana Jallandhari is now the most influential mullah in Pakistan after Mufti-e-Azam Maulana Rafi Usmani, this act of cancelling recognition is a very powerful signal to Maulana Abdul Aziz to dial his efforts down a notch - right now.

It is unclear if the Wifaq board has done this under the influence of Pervez Musharraf's people or perhaps under the influence of the emissaries of the Saudi King or if there is a growing concern about Maulana Abdul Aziz's conduct among leading Deobandi Ulema. The absence of any statement from Maulana Jallandhari or the others on the board is very curious. However it is known that Maulana Taqi Usmani (brother of Maulana Rafi Usmani, Mufti-e-Azam Pakistan) has disowned his former mureed Maulana Abdul Aziz, and one also notes that MMA leaders like Maulana Fazl ur Rehman and others were seen at a peculiar conference opposing Maulana Abdul Aziz's moves to impose sharia in Pakistan.

While observers in the rest of the world are busy turning a deeper shade of purple, most seasoned Pakistan watchers in India are merely shaking their heads and repeating the famous chants

Pakistan sey rishta kya?

La illaha Il Allah...

Yahan kya chalega?

Nizam - e - Mustafa...

Pakistan ka matlab kya?

La illaha Il Allah...





Allah Ho Akbar

Syed Saleem Shahzad speaks of a possible khurooj, a mass mobilization that delegitimizes Pervez Musharraf and establishes the moral supremacy of the Mullahs over the Army. It remains to be seen if this indeed in the works, for that to happen the Mufti-e-Azam would have to withdraw the virtual declaration of Sultan-e-Adil that was conferred on Musharraf the day he assumed power in 1999.

Delhi ... hanuz dur ast

But in the mean time, the people at the desk on the disreputable forum will do well to keep their beards to the stipulated length and greet each only in ways befitting a pious person.


At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would it be accurate to say that the Lal-Masjid drama is nothing more than an attempt to garner more baksheesh?

At 2:20 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Anonymous,

On the face of it, it does appear to be something akin to that. Clearly a lot of the RAPE are saying Musharraf has himself created this racket to make his indispensibility obvious to those of short attention spans.

Ofcourse the respected voices in the Deobandi establishment are increasingly distancing themselves from Maulana Abdul Aziz, however note the ease with which they are positioning themselves to exploit the situation should it go farther south of the Indus.

To a man, the Deobandi chatterati are speaking from both ends of their mouths. The only ones making statements that aren't completely ambigious are the JI and my guess is that when they stop and think for about 5 seconds they too will change their tune.

I was a little taken aback to see the people surrounding Maulana Abdul Aziz, in a recent photo, they looked like JeM/HuM regulars from propaganda shots in the late 90s.

The MMA must have realized the value of playing a double game. Surely that is the first thing one can learn from Musharraf?

At 1:17 PM, Blogger maverick said...


I feel there is a need to be careful when looking at this situation.

It is likely that the lower ranks of HuM/JeM regulars are sufficiently upset with the situation to seek a direct voice. It may be that Maulana Abdul Aziz has offered himself up as that voice of those who cannot be heard.

However if this is the case then then the normal channels, i.e. the deobandi dominated MMA and HuM affiliates within the deobandi clerical orders (such as the leading ulema at Jamia Binoria and Jamia Ashrafia) are likely to view such actions as a deviance.

It is plausible then that their opposition to this move by Maulana Abdul Aziz is part of a desire to keep the HuM people under control.

It is anyone's guess what will happen if the SSP zealots become unresponsive to any form of control. Such an event could happen if the HuM/JeM regulars are not given a voice. They may simply air their discontent by feeding sectarian fires.

It seems sensible therefore that the HuM/JeM should be given a platform to voice their opinions, however should this platform be at the cost to the current icons of the Pakistani Deobandi establishment?


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