Pakistan’s contradictory crackdown on ‘Red Mosque’ extremism

SHARE

ISLAMABAD: Regardless of public humiliation and durations of home arrest, the previous chief of Pakistan’s infamous Purple Mosque is inspiring a brand new era of extremists along with his outdated rhetoric — highlighting Islamabad’s ambivalent makes an attempt to convey spiritual hard-liners to heel.
Ten years after the army raid on his mosque made worldwide headlines and shocked his nation, Abdul Aziz stays influential, overseeing a community of seminaries as he requires a “caliphate” to be established in Pakistan.
Throughout his time on the helm of the Purple Mosque, Aziz shot to prominence for his inflammatory sermons, advocating jihad towards the West and a hard-line interpretation of Islam.
He unfold this message amongst his 1000’s of scholars, principally poor youngsters from rural areas who’re educated free of charge at madrassas affiliated with the mosque, sparking accusations of brainwashing from critics.
By 2007 issues had reached a tipping level.
His armed followers had begun taking his message to the streets of the capital, vandalising CD and DVD stalls and kidnapping Chinese language masseuses, with tensions rapidly degenerating into murderous clashes.
When the regime of then-President Pervez Musharraf launched an assault on the mosque on July 10, 2007, the military discovered itself dealing with closely armed jihadists.
The controversial operation was adopted minute-by-minute on dwell tv, with greater than 100 folks killed within the week-long effort to pacify the mosque and arrest its leaders.
The assault on the spiritual web site sparked ferocious blowback from extremists throughout the nation, marking the emergence of the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) — an umbrella group for homegrown militant teams concentrating on the Pakistani state.
Within the following years Islamist violence elevated dramatically, with 1000’s of Pakistanis killed, maimed, or compelled to flee their houses as safety deteriorated.
Aziz himself was arrested as he tried to flee the besieged mosque in a burqa, taken straight to a tv studio and paraded within the garment — incomes the nickname “Mullah Burqa.”
He confronted two dozen indictments, together with incitement to hatred, homicide and kidnapping. However Aziz was launched on bail in 2009.
“He was acquitted in all these instances, and the federal government has chosen to not file appeals,” stated lawyer and civil rights activist Jibran Nasir.
“There isn’t any willingness for prosecution towards him.”
Regardless of transient stints beneath home arrest, Aziz now seems to be galvanizing the following era along with his fiery preaching — apparently with out worry of repercussions.
“The curious factor is that the military has gone after the TTP however not Aziz,” stated Pervez Hoodbhoy, a number one anti-extremist activist.
“There’s sympathy for his trigger that’s better than the worry of being attacked once more.”
Aziz is thought to boast of his relations with well-known jihadists like Osama Bin Laden and has spoken sympathetically concerning the Daesh group. He has additionally condoned high-profile extremist assaults, just like the bloodbath on the Charlie Hebdo places of work in Paris.
“The impunity loved by Abdul Aziz and different radical clerics raises worry of the capital returning to a 2007-like scenario,” stated political commentator Zahid Hussain.
In 2014, a video of scholars from his madrassa voicing their assist for Daesh didn’t earn him any condemnation.
“There needs to be a caliphate on the planet together with in Pakistan,” stated Aziz in a televised interview round that point.
Aziz “is tolerated… as a result of it might be like touching a hornet’s nest,” explains former common Talat Masood.
Given the sensitivity of the inhabitants to non secular questions, intervening “would danger attracting sympathies.”
Authorities, nonetheless, look like retaining him on a good leash for now.
Aziz is now not welcome on the Purple Mosque, which theoretically belongs to the state, and he has been positioned on the Pakistan’s anti-terrorist listing.
A rally deliberate by his supporters to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Purple Mosque siege was banned by the courts.
In latest months, the authorities have blocked roads surrounding the mosque to forestall Aziz from holding rallies and have taken measures to cease him from preaching on Friday, even remotely by telephone.
The Purple Mosque’s new imam Maulana Aamir Sadeeq, an affable 30-year-old, stated it was time to “overlook the previous” and “the acute positions” of a decade in the past.
“We should put a distance between terrorism and us,” stated Sadeeq — who occurs to be Aziz’s nephew.

ISLAMABAD: Regardless of public humiliation and durations of home arrest, the previous chief of Pakistan’s infamous Purple Mosque is inspiring a brand new era of extremists along with his outdated rhetoric — highlighting Islamabad’s ambivalent makes an attempt to convey spiritual hard-liners to heel.
Ten years after the army raid on his mosque made worldwide headlines and shocked his nation, Abdul Aziz stays influential, overseeing a community of seminaries as he requires a “caliphate” to be established in Pakistan.
Throughout his time on the helm of the Purple Mosque, Aziz shot to prominence for his inflammatory sermons, advocating jihad towards the West and a hard-line interpretation of Islam.
He unfold this message amongst his 1000’s of scholars, principally poor youngsters from rural areas who’re educated free of charge at madrassas affiliated with the mosque, sparking accusations of brainwashing from critics.
By 2007 issues had reached a tipping level.
His armed followers had begun taking his message to the streets of the capital, vandalising CD and DVD stalls and kidnapping Chinese language masseuses, with tensions rapidly degenerating into murderous clashes.
When the regime of then-President Pervez Musharraf launched an assault on the mosque on July 10, 2007, the military discovered itself dealing with closely armed jihadists.
The controversial operation was adopted minute-by-minute on dwell tv, with greater than 100 folks killed within the week-long effort to pacify the mosque and arrest its leaders.
The assault on the spiritual web site sparked ferocious blowback from extremists throughout the nation, marking the emergence of the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) — an umbrella group for homegrown militant teams concentrating on the Pakistani state.
Within the following years Islamist violence elevated dramatically, with 1000’s of Pakistanis killed, maimed, or compelled to flee their houses as safety deteriorated.
Aziz himself was arrested as he tried to flee the besieged mosque in a burqa, taken straight to a tv studio and paraded within the garment — incomes the nickname “Mullah Burqa.”
He confronted two dozen indictments, together with incitement to hatred, homicide and kidnapping. However Aziz was launched on bail in 2009.
“He was acquitted in all these instances, and the federal government has chosen to not file appeals,” stated lawyer and civil rights activist Jibran Nasir.
“There isn’t any willingness for prosecution towards him.”
Regardless of transient stints beneath home arrest, Aziz now seems to be galvanizing the following era along with his fiery preaching — apparently with out worry of repercussions.
“The curious factor is that the military has gone after the TTP however not Aziz,” stated Pervez Hoodbhoy, a number one anti-extremist activist.
“There’s sympathy for his trigger that’s better than the worry of being attacked once more.”
Aziz is thought to boast of his relations with well-known jihadists like Osama Bin Laden and has spoken sympathetically concerning the Daesh group. He has additionally condoned high-profile extremist assaults, just like the bloodbath on the Charlie Hebdo places of work in Paris.
“The impunity loved by Abdul Aziz and different radical clerics raises worry of the capital returning to a 2007-like scenario,” stated political commentator Zahid Hussain.
In 2014, a video of scholars from his madrassa voicing their assist for Daesh didn’t earn him any condemnation.
“There needs to be a caliphate on the planet together with in Pakistan,” stated Aziz in a televised interview round that point.
Aziz “is tolerated… as a result of it might be like touching a hornet’s nest,” explains former common Talat Masood.
Given the sensitivity of the inhabitants to non secular questions, intervening “would danger attracting sympathies.”
Authorities, nonetheless, look like retaining him on a good leash for now.
Aziz is now not welcome on the Purple Mosque, which theoretically belongs to the state, and he has been positioned on the Pakistan’s anti-terrorist listing.
A rally deliberate by his supporters to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Purple Mosque siege was banned by the courts.
In latest months, the authorities have blocked roads surrounding the mosque to forestall Aziz from holding rallies and have taken measures to cease him from preaching on Friday, even remotely by telephone.
The Purple Mosque’s new imam Maulana Aamir Sadeeq, an affable 30-year-old, stated it was time to “overlook the previous” and “the acute positions” of a decade in the past.
“We should put a distance between terrorism and us,” stated Sadeeq — who occurs to be Aziz’s nephew.

Leave a Reply