Tablighi Jamaat is once again in discussion. Earlier it was in discussion when the corona epidemic knocked in India in 2020. Then there were allegations that the members of Tablighi Jamaat unknowingly or unknowingly carried the infection to different parts of the country. Now it is in discussion again and this time also due to negative reasons. Saudi Arabia, which claims to be the leader of radical Sunni Islam, has banned the Tablighi Jamaat, which is called the largest international organization of Sunni Muslims.
Saudi has told Tablighi Jamaat till the entry gate of terrorism. Not only this, after Friday prayers from mosques, people have been announced not to join the Tablighi Jamaat and also to tell the dangers arising from this group. Why did the Tablighi Jamaat see a threat to Saudi Arabia, which is backing terror funding? Is this a sudden change of heart or is the Tablighi Jamaat really such a big threat that even the ‘Badshah of Terror Funding’ got scared of him? After all, why Saudi banning Tablighi Jamaat is not a minor incident, let us understand.
Why is it important to ban Saudi Arabia?
Imagine if not Saudi on Tablighi Jamaat, any other country would have announced a ban? What if America had done this? If India had done this? Had this been the case, there would have been an uproar over the alleged Islamophobia. But this ban has been imposed by the country which has been describing itself as the champion of Islam especially Sunni Islam, hence there is silence. Banning Saudi Arabia is also important because it has been accused of terror funding, promoting jihadi terrorism in the world.
Saudi Arabia’s own stain on terror
Saudi Arabia has been accused of terror funding in the name of propagating Islam. From the late 90s to the first decade of the twenty-first century, Saudi Arabia fueled terror in the name of charity. According to a report in Wion News, during that time a charity organization named Saudi Arabia-based Muslim World League continued to support terrorist organizations around the world. Later it was revealed from all the documents that this charity was run by the members of the royal family of Saudi. Later America declared this charity organization as a terrorist organization.
Saudi has been the ‘center’ of terror funding for Al Qaeda
In 2003, a senior US Treasury official described Saudi Arabia as the “center” of Al Qaeda’s terror funding. According to a report submitted to the United Nations, the notorious terrorist organization Al Qaeda received funding of 300 to 500 million dollars during the 10 years between 1992 and 2002. Saudi Arabia has even been accused of being involved in terrorist activities even at its High Commission. In 2008, a terrorist named Ali Ahmed Ali Hamad of Al Qaeda made the sensational disclosure that the Saudi High Commission in Bosnia had recruited him and other Al Qaeda members!
Saudi Arabia has supported not only Al Qaeda but also the Taliban. In 1998, Turki al-Faisal, the former Saudi intelligence chief, sent a check to a top Taliban official through a person for 1 billion riyals, or more than 20 billion rupees as of today. Saudi Arabia’s charity organizations have been providing financial aid to terrorist organizations for over 4 decades. Saudi has been abusing the status of a powerful Muslim country and prosperous and has given shelter to many terrorists. In 2017, US President Donald Trump strongly raised this issue during his visit to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia’s ‘Center of Terror Funding’ Sudden Change of Heart?
It is very important in itself to ban the Tablighi Jamaat, infamous for providing financial aid to terrorist organizations around the world, calling it the ‘gate of terror’. How did Saudi Arabia suddenly have a change of heart? For this, the vocal voice for terrorism at the international level is also a reason. Saudi Arabia is slowly realizing that spreading panic in the world cannot do any good to Islam. This change is also clearly visible in the era of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Salman is slowly trying to liberalize the radical Islamic image of Saudi Arabia. Now women can be seen driving there. In 2015, Saudi women also cast their vote in municipal elections for the first time. Cinema halls are opening. Music concerts are happening. These are things that could not even be imagined in Saudi Arabia until a few years ago. Looking at these reforms of Crown Prince Salman, it can be believed that Saudi is slowly changing his heart on terrorism. It can be said that its ban on Tablighi Jamaat is not a measured step taken under any compulsion but shows its seriousness regarding the threat of terrorism.
Tablighi Jamaat born in India, spread across the world
Saudi Arabia’s ban on Tablighi Jamaat (literally meaning – a society that spreads faith) is also important in the sense that this organization was born in India itself. In 1926, Deobandi Maulana Muhammad Ilyas had laid the foundation of Tablighi Jamaat. Its headquarter is in Nizamuddin, Delhi. It is a kind of Sunni Islamic missionary movement whose aim is to return Muslims to the pure form of Sunni Islam. Later Tablighi Jamaat spread outside India to South Asia and all the countries of the world. According to an estimate, Tablighi Jamaat has 35 to 400 million members worldwide. It calls itself a spiritual and religious organization which is completely away from political activities.
Tablighi Jamaat’s ‘Terror Connection’
Tablighi Jamaat has a long history of association with banned terrorist organizations based in Pakistan. According to a report published in the Times of India last year, the original founder of the terrorist organization Harkat-ul-Mujahideen involved in the hijacking of Indian Airlines in 1999 was a member of Tablighi Jamaat. This is the conclusion of several Pakistani security analysts and Indian investigators.
Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, which came into existence in 1985, participated in Pakistan-backed jihad against the then Soviet Russia in Afghanistan. According to intelligence reports, more than 6 thousand Tablighi members had taken training in the terrorist camps of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen in Pakistan. After the withdrawal of Russia from Afghanistan, these terrorist organizations became active in Kashmir. Later, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen terrorists joined Jaish-e-Mohammed, whose leader is Masood Azhar.
According to WikiLeaks documents, some of the suspects arrested by the US in Guantanamo Bay after the 9/11 terror attack had stayed for several years at the Nizamuddin Markaz of Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi.