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Al Taqwa Imam Mediating Talks with Taliban?

Yousef al-Qaradawi of Bank al-Taqwa and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood

COMMENT: The Indi­an media report that Youssef al-Qaradawi is medi­at­ing talks with the Tal­iban. Close­ly linked to the Bank al-Taqwa, Qaradawi may well be the most impor­tant of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s reli­gious the­olo­gians.

In part, this devel­op­ment (if true) may well be an out­growth of the State Depart­men­t’s alliance with the Broth­er­hood, delin­eat­ed in the For The Record series about the Arab Spring.

Cer­tain­ly, it is impor­tant for the U.S. to extri­cate itself from the mess in Afghanistan, but the amer­i­can embrace of the Broth­er­hood is not like­ly to ben­e­fit the U.S. in the long run.

It is not, how­ev­er,  a sur­prise.

“Indi­an Media Report Qaradawi Key Medi­a­tor in Secret U.S.–Taliban Talks”; The Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Dai­ly Report; 12/29/2011.

EXCERPT: . . . . Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Doha-based Islamist schol­ar who once called on his fol­low­ers to back jihadist groups in Jam­mu and Kash­mir, has emerged as a key medi­a­tor in secret talks between the U.S. and the Tal­iban, gov­ern­ment sources have told The Hin­du.

In 2009, Mr. al-Qaradawi had issued a fat­wa, or reli­gious edict, assert­ing that “the Kash­miris were prop­er­ly fight­ing jihad against the Indi­an army.” The jihad was legit­i­mate, he argued, since mujahideen groups sought to cre­ate an Islam­ic state. There­fore, the edict con­clud­ed, it was incum­bent on all Mus­lims to help Kash­miris gain their “free­dom from Indi­an aggres­sion.” New Del­hi, Indi­an diplo­mat­ic sources said, has been war­i­ly watch­ing Mr. al-Qaradawi’s emer­gence as peace bro­ker — fear­ful that his grow­ing influ­ence could help region­al jihadist groups like the Lashkar-e-Tai­ba and Jaish-e-Muham­mad find new sanc­tu­ar­ies in a rapid­ly chang­ing West Asia or a future Afghan regime which includes the Tal­iban.
Ear­li­er this month, the sources said, Mr. al-Qaradawi helped draw a road map for a deal between the Tal­iban and the Unit­ed States, aimed at giv­ing the super­pow­er a face-sav­ing polit­i­cal set­tle­ment ahead of its planned with­draw­al from Afghanistan which is due to begin in 2014. . . .

Discussion

2 comments for “Al Taqwa Imam Mediating Talks with Taliban?”

  1. It looks like Pak­istani author­i­ties are clos­ing in on the sad gun­men that shot Malala Yousufzai in the head and neck. And Malala — the hero­ic 14-yr-old girl that became the pub­lic face of the closed girls schools in the 2009 after the Tal­iban swept into the Swat Val­ley and closed them — was­n’t the only one shot in the attack. When the gun­men stopped the bus car­ry­ing Malala and request­ed for her by name, the girls on the bus told them she was­n’t there. When the gun­men spot­ted Malala they opened fire and hit two oth­er girls. One remains in crit­i­cal con­di­tion. So now we learn that this attack was sanc­tioned by a unan­i­mous vote by the Swat Tal­iban elders and this info is com­ing from the Swat Tal­iban’s spoke­man.

    The arti­cle below is real­ly worth a read because — while it appears that the Swat Val­ley is pop­u­lat­ed by incred­i­bly badass teenage girls — the Tal­iban men it’s kind of stun­ning to hear the Swat Tal­iban dis­cuss their inner motives and ratio­nals so open­ly: She would­n’t stop talk­ing out against them so they were “forced” to shoot her and that they will be tar­get­ed Malala father for assas­si­na­tion now that she lived through the ini­tial attack. It’s like a remake of Lord of the Flies, but with man-child actors. And real. So it’s like an extra depress­ing remake of Lord of the Flies with espe­cial­ly sad vil­lains...and some incred­i­ble girls:

    Taliban’s “Radio Mul­lah” sent hit squad after Pak­istani school­girl

    By Jibran Ahmad

    Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:33pm EDT

    PESHAWAR, Pak­istan (Reuters) – One of the Taliban’s most feared com­man­ders, Maulana Fazlul­lah, care­ful­ly briefed two killers from his spe­cial hit squad on their next tar­get.

    The gun­men weren’t going after any army offi­cer, politi­cian or West­ern diplo­mat. Their tar­get was a 14-year-old Pak­istani school­girl who had angered the Tal­iban by speak­ing out for “Western”-style girls’ edu­ca­tion.

    Tuesday’s shoot­ing of Malala Yousufzai was the cul­mi­na­tion of years of cam­paign­ing that had pit­ted the fear­less, smil­ing young girl against one of Pakistan’s most ruth­less Tal­iban com­man­ders.

    Their sto­ry began in 2009, when Fazlul­lah, known as Radio Mul­lah for his fiery radio broad­casts, took over Swat Val­ley, and ordered the clo­sure of girls’ schools, includ­ing Yousufzai’s.

    Out­raged, the then-11-year-old kept a blog for the BBC under a pen name and lat­er launched a cam­paign for girls’ edu­ca­tion. It won her Pakistan’s high­est civil­ian hon­our and death threats from the Tal­iban.

    ...

    A mil­i­tary offen­sive pushed Fazlul­lah out of Swat in 2009, but his men sim­ply melt­ed away across the bor­der to Afghanistan. Ear­li­er this year, they kid­napped and behead­ed 17 Pak­istani sol­diers in one of sev­er­al cross bor­der raids.

    Yousufzai con­tin­ued speak­ing out despite the dan­ger. As her fame grew, Fazlul­lah tried every­thing he could to silence her. The Tal­iban pub­lished death threats in the news­pa­pers and slipped them under her door. But she ignored them.

    The Tal­iban say that’s why they sent assas­sins, despite a trib­al code for­bid­ding the killing of women.

    “We had no inten­tions to kill her but were forced when she would not stop (speak­ing against us),” said Sir­a­jud­din Ahmad, a spokesman of Swat Tal­iban now based in Afghanistan’s Kunar province.

    He said the Tal­iban held a meet­ing a few months ago at which they unan­i­mous­ly agreed to kill her. The task was then giv­en to mil­i­tary com­man­ders to car­ry out.

    The mili­tia has a force of around 100 men spe­cialised in tar­get­ed killing, fight­ers said. They chose two men, aged between 20–30, who were locals from Swat Val­ley.

    The gun­men had proved their worth in pre­vi­ous assas­si­na­tions, killing an oppo­si­tion politi­cian and attack­ing a lead­ing hote­lier for “obscen­i­ty” in pro­mot­ing tourism.

    Their trade­mark is to kill by shots to the head.

    Such hits, although dan­ger­ous, are also a badge of hon­our among the Tal­iban. The fight­ers who car­ry them out often receive per­son­al calls of con­grat­u­la­tions from senior lead­ers and may also get cash or guns.

    ...

    On Tues­day, the two men stopped the bus she was rid­ing home in. They asked for Yousufzai by name. Although the fright­ened girls said she wasn’t there, the men fired at her and also hit two oth­er girls in the van. One of them remains in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

    Shot in the head and the neck, Yousufzai still lies uncon­scious in hos­pi­tal, unaware that world lead­ers from U.N. Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al Ban Ki-moon to U.S. Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma have pledged sup­port. School­child­ren in Swat prayed for her recov­ery.

    ...

    Her would-be killers said they had no idea their attack would pro­pel their vic­tim, already a nation­al hero, into a glob­al icon.

    “Actu­al­ly the media gave it so much impor­tance and now even Ban Ki-moon used dirty lan­guage against us,” Ahmad said. The inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty stayed silent when the Pak­istani secu­ri­ty forces killed women dur­ing a crack­down, he com­plained.

    Now that they had failed to kill Yousufzai, they would tar­get her father, Ahmad said.

    Ziaud­din Yousufzai, the head­mas­ter of a girls’ school, is on their hit list for speak­ing against them, his activ­i­ties to pro­mote peace in the region and for encour­ag­ing his daugh­ter.

    We have a clear-cut stance. Any­one who takes side with the gov­ern­ment against us will have to die at our hands,” Ahmad warned. “You will see. Oth­er impor­tant peo­ple will soon become vic­tims.”

    (Writ­ing by Katharine Houreld)

    You kind of have to won­der of these hyper-vio­lent respons­es to a girl sim­ply speak­ing out against Tal­iban are par­tial­ly a sign of inner sub­con­scious aware­ness on the part of the Tal­iban that they’ve kind of been brain­washed. Who knows, but that’s still a crit­i­cal to remem­ber for these guys...most of them did­n’t have a choice about Tal­iban rule either. It’s like that phe­nom­e­na when peo­ple get most upset over being accused of some­thing they know to be true. Is it pos­si­ble that the words of some­one like Malala trig­gers some of these folks to real­ize that they’ve been pret­ty seri­ous­ly used and abused too and it’s dri­ving them even more insane? There’s just some­thing about the idea of a group of Tal­iban elders meet­ing and unan­i­mous­ly vot­ing to mur­der a 14-yr old girl that con­veys a sense of deep, deep inse­cu­ri­ty. And not drone-strikes-from-the-sky inse­cu­ri­ty but more like a “the locals are start­ing to think we’re crazed zealots that are ruin­ing their lives and maybe they have a point” kind of inse­cu­ri­ty. Wish­ful think­ing? Prob­a­bly. But it’s top­i­cal wish­ful think­ing. The Tal­iban aren’t the only cra­zies that seem deter­mined to oblit­er­ate the Enlight­en­ment.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 12, 2012, 11:45 am
  2. Earth to the Tal­iban: Stop. Just stop:

    BBC
    Senior Pak­istani Tal­iban leader ‘shocked’ by Malala attack
    17 July 2013 Last updat­ed at 14:33 ET

    A Pak­istani Tal­iban leader has sent a let­ter to school­girl Malala Yousafzai, express­ing shock that she was shot by Tal­iban gun­men last year.

    The Tal­iban was uni­ver­sal­ly con­demned after gun­men shot Malala in the head.

    In his let­ter to Malala, Adnan Rasheed stops short of apol­o­gis­ing but says he wished the attack “had nev­er hap­pened”.

    He also claims the shoot­ing was not in response to Malala’s cam­paign for girls’ edu­ca­tion, but because she ran an anti-Tal­iban “smear cam­paign”.

    Malala — who is con­sid­ered a con­tender for the Nobel Peace Prize — is cred­it­ed with bring­ing the edu­ca­tion issue to glob­al atten­tion.

    Speak­ing at UN head­quar­ters in New York last Fri­day, she said that books and pens scared extrem­ists. She also urged edu­ca­tion for all, includ­ing “for the sons and daugh­ters of the Tal­iban and all the ter­ror­ists”.

    Cor­re­spon­dents say Rasheed’s let­ter was an appar­ent attempt to attract media atten­tion with a view to counter the impact of Malala’s speech at the UN.

    ‘Broth­er­ly’ emo­tions

    A copy of the let­ter was obtained by Chan­nel 4 News and oth­er news organ­i­sa­tions.

    Writ­ing in his “per­son­al capac­i­ty”, Rasheed said he felt “broth­er­ly” emo­tions towards Malala because they belong to the “same Yousufzai tribe”.

    How­ev­er, he refus­es to con­demn the attack, say­ing the judge­ment on whether it was cor­rect or not should be left to God.

    Rasheed says he first heard of Malala’s work when he was in prison, when the BBC Urdu ser­vice broad­cast a diary that she wrote.

    He says he wished he had been able to “advise” her before the attack, which he describes as an “acci­dent”.

    The Tal­iban leader also says that his group is not “against edu­ca­tion of any men or women or girls”. Instead he claims Malala was tar­get­ed because she cam­paigned to “malign [the Tal­iban’s] efforts to estab­lish the Islam­ic sys­tem”.

    “You have said in your speech that the pen is might­i­er than the sword, so they attacked you for your sword, not for your books or school,” he writes.

    Rasheed fin­ish­es by telling Malala to “come back home, adopt the Islam­ic and Pash­tun cul­ture and join any female Islam­ic madras­sa [school], use your pen... and reveal the con­spir­a­cy of the tiny elite who want to enslave the whole of human­i­ty”.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 17, 2013, 1:16 pm

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