Date: 4/12/2002


Britain-A Convenient Hideout for the Islamic Fundamentalists

It seems Pakistan is rapidly earning credits for being internationally recognized as the motherland of the vilest of Islamic terrorism. This time its Britain where officials have caught a 'pious' Paki Mullah sleeping with soldiers of Allah for the 'cause' of Kashmir.

Shafiq-ur-Rehman, 28, a Pakistani Muslim cleric has been charged with collection of funds and recruitment of British Muslims for the Islamic terrorist group Lashkar- e-Tayyaba currently active in the Kashmir region. Lawyers for the British government have said that the activities of militant groups, such as the Lashkar-e- Tayyaba, pose a threat to national security. The British Government gave an official comment on that saying it could "rationally and lawfully regard terrorist activities carried out by Lashkar-e-Tayyaba as activities of a type which constitute a threat to national security."

This case is a clear indication of Britain's changing attitude towards the Kashmiri Muslim groups, who openly raise funds and preach the cause of jehad in mosques across the country. Until now, the Government has said that as long as British laws were not infringed upon, it was not in a position to take any action against the activities of the various Kashmiri groups. It is also likely to cause anger among the many Pakistani immigrants in Britain, who form the backbone of support for Kashmiri terrorism in this country.

Mr. Shafiq-ur-Rehman, the maulvi of a mosque in Oldham, near Manchester, was found raising funds for the Lashkar and recruiting young British Muslims for training in Pakistan. The Britsh Home Office has said that even though he had not breached any British law, he should be expelled from the country for supporting terrorism in Kashmir by collecting funds and recruiting people for the cause.

Ms. Ellen Sharpeston, Counsel for the British Government, appealed that such activities where the ulterior motive is to help terrorist groups can pose a threat to Britain's national security. She referred to the training that the British Muslims receive in Pakistan and other Islamic countries for 'Jehad' and said that those who were sent for training came back "highly motivated to their cause, committed to beliefs that could be described as extreme". She also added that they were also trained in the use of weapons, and "could at some stage turn on other groups, or against UK's interests generally." She also said that it was in Britain's national interest to cooperate against international terrorism.

A senior official of the British secret service, M16, dealing with the sub-continent, gave evidence on the first day of the hearing that terrorism was a global phenomenon, and terrorism in one part of the world could affect another. "It is our judgment that we see terrorism as a collective responsibility and terrorism in other parts of the world can affect other countries." The official added that, "We don't accept that a threat to national security has to be directed at a U.K. person. It is broader than that."

Mr. Rehman's counsel, Mr. Sibghat Kadri, dismissed the charges as "Islamaphobia", and said his client had done nothing illegal. Mr. Rehman's statements however contradict his counsel's opinion. Shafiq Rehman has accepted that he was a member of the Markaz Dawa-al-Irshad (MDI), an organization that is closely linked to the terrorist organization Lashkar-i-Tayyaba, but has denied collecting money to support militancy or recruiting for the Lashkar. He admitted to sending seven people from Britain to Pakistan for training, but said this was primarily "religious training."

A special three-man tribunal headed by a High Court Judge, Sir Humphrey Potts is in charge of hearing this case. The verdict is supposed to be declared in few weeks.

In India too, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba's gangsters are getting busted. Ten operatives of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba including a Pakistani have been sent to jail by the district court in Jammu over the past two days. They were rounded up in various parts of the country, taken to New Delhi for interrogation, and brought here under tight security. It has been reported that this is the biggest crackdown on the terrorist organization on Lashkar-e-Tayyaba which has set up several "modules" in India to spread terrorism.

The last group, which was busted by Indian officials, is believed to be set up by an Indian Muslim criminal Islamuddin. The police learnt about him from the disclosures made by Ilyas, a Pakistani held in Jammu about 10 days ago. A series of raids conducted by the police in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh under the co-ordination of Intelligence Bureau led to eight more arrests.

Another Pakistani criminal named Aamir was also found as an active member of this group. Aamir was operating from Bhiwandi near Mumbai. Aamir managed to have a false birth certificate and a driving license in Maharashtra by claiming to be a resident of Mominpura.

The main operative of this group was Islamuddin, who is a 'respected teacher' in a Madrassa (Islamic school) located at Punhana, Gurgaon. Pakistani officials hired him when he went to Pakistan to raise funds for his school, which is a den for preaching fundamentalist Islamic ideals. He confessed having received Rs 50,000 against the assurance of providing a safe hideout to the Muslim terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Tayyaba organization.

Another Madrassa raided by the police during this operation is the Ahle Hadis sect's centre in Okhla, New Delhi. Abdul Adal, a resident of Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh, was arrested. Adal is believed to be a key Lashkar functionary in the Capital. His confessions led to at least two arrests in Andhra Pradesh.

This entire group was also active in Western Uttar Pradesh. At least two operatives have been caught there. Mohammed Mustafa of Kerana in Muzaffarnagar was an arms harbourer. A larger haul was from the house of Raisuddin, a quack in Doghat village.

Over last few years, the roadmap and the grand plan of the Islamic terrorist organizations like Lashkar-e-Tayyaba have changed remarkably. In stead of engaging in localized terrorism in places like Jammu and Kashmir, they have decided to spread the disease of Islamic terrorism all over India slowly and gradually. The Madrasas (Islamic schools) have become centers of preaching the fundamentalist Islamic ideals where even Muslim kids are brainwashed to kill non-Muslims for the cause of Islam. The supporters of Jehad have started employing various methods and means for achieving their goal. The mosques have become convenient hideout places for the vilest of Muslim terrorists. Islamic terrorists are on their way to form an international network where pious Muslims and hardcore criminals from all over the world so that they can support and take part for the 'just' cause of killing innocent 'kafirs' (non-believers in Islam) in India and elsewhere.

The list of these helpers of the 'soldiers of Allah' is long enough to keep the Islamic machine of terrorism alive for many years to come. Unfortunately many of India's own Muslim citizens are proud members of this list and would not think twice before stabbing their motherland for the cause of 'Jehad' and for achieving young virgins and pearl-like boys in paradise as promised by Prophet Mohammed.