For years I have been exposing the dangerous face of Tablighi Jamaat, which is known around the world as a stepping stone toward terrorism. While recently Saudi Arabia imposed a ban on the activities of this infamous organization, activities of Tablighi Jamaat continue apace in most Muslim nations, as well as India, the United States, Britain and other European countries.
Tablighi Jamaat means “society of propagators/preachers” in Arabic. The organization is notably active in Asian nations including Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and the former Soviet republics.
US authorities have been reluctant in taking action against the activities of Tablighi Jamaat. However, last week’s Texas synagogue hostage-taker, Malik Faisal Akram, was found to be a member of Tablighi Jamaat. Akram is a Pakistani-born British national. Akram’s family hails from the Jhelum district in the Punjab province in Pakistan. His family emigrated to the United Kingdom nearly five decades ago.
Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostages in the Texas synagogue, in what was termed an act of terror by US President Joe Biden. In light of this incident, a counterterrorism expert affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute said Pakistan has once again emerged as a terror-sponsoring country that poses serious threats to the national security of many nations, including the United States.
According to the Hindustan Times, Akram had travelled abroad for activities related to Tablighi Jamaat. His father is a well-known member of the Muslim community in London, and his family has political links through Malik Irfan, an appointed official linked to the British Labour Party.
According to media reports, Akram had previously served as the head of the Rondell Street Islamic Centre in London, also known as Reza Masjid [Reza Mosque]. The mosque attracts mainly Muslims of Pakistani origin. He also prayed at the Eldorado Mosque, where largely the congregation is Gujarati Muslims.
A vocal supporter of radical Islam, sharia and jihad, Akram had also participated in demonstrations supporting the pro-Palestine agenda and Guantanamo Bay prisoner rallies. He was a diehard supporter of Palestinian terrorist activities as well as heinous activities of Hamas.
Members of his family as well as the Pakistani Muslim community in Britain are actively participating in antisemitic propaganda and Jew-hatred. Members of the Pakistani Muslim community as well as Tablighi Jamaat portray Israel as an “evil nation” and brand Jews and Zionists as “apes, pigs and enemies of Allah.”
According to media reports, Akram sought the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist also known as ‘Lady Al Qaeda’ serving an 80-year prison sentence in the United States. The conviction of Siddiqui in 2010 sparked outrage in Pakistan. The Pakistani Senate passed a resolution in 2018 calling her “Daughter of the Nation” and urged the government to take “concrete steps” for her repatriation.
While the news of Siddiqui’s arrest passed with little notice in the US, her conviction led to widespread demonstrations in Pakistan and to demands that Pakistani authorities suspend the delivery of supplies for the war effort in Afghanistan.
“Siddiqui isn’t well known in the US, but in Pakistan, she’s a big name – many view her as an innocent victim. Also, at one point, Islamic State (ISIS) had demanded that she be released in exchange for captives held by ISIS”, Michael Kugelman, the deputy director of the Asia program at Washington’s Wilson Center, wrote on Twitter.
Following the Texas synagogue attack by Malik Faisal Akram and his connections with Tablighi Jamaat, counterterrorism experts are demanding an immediate ban on the activities of this dangerous jihadist vessel. They also are calling upon the Indian authorities to immediately impose a ban on activities of Tablighi Jamaat and close the headquarters of this dangerous group in New Delhi.
About the author: Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counterterrorism specialist and editor of the online anti-jihadist newspaper WeeklyBlitz.net based in the Asian Muslim nation of Bangladesh
Follow him on Twitter @salah_shoaib