Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamat ban on US directive, says Ludhianvi

Published: March 10, 2012

Activists of members of Difa-e-Pakistan Council hold flags as they shout anti-US slogans at the rally in Islamabad on February 20, 2012. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

LAHORE: The Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamat (ASWJ) has hit back at reports of a ban imposed by the Government of Pakistan, stating that the action was being carried out on the directives of the United States.

“These attempts at banning ASWJ are on the directives of the USA,” chairperson Maulana Ahmad Ali Ludhianvi told The Express Tribune on Saturday.

Ludhianvi said, “In the last few months, we have been peacefully busy in the defence of Pakistan with the Difa-e-Pakistan rallies, so which activity of ours has been a reason for the ban.”

“Ahl-e-Sunnat is a school of thought and not an organization so we consider this as a ban on the Ahle-e-Sunnat followers.”

None of the offices of the ASWJ have been sealed by the government so far, Ludhianvi told The Express Tribune, adding that no official documentation had been sent to them and they found out about the ban via the BBC Urdu report.

The report states that a notification had been issued by the Interior Ministry two weeks ago, which said the ASWJ was suspected to have been involved in terrorism related activities. According to the notification available with the BBC, authorities in all four provinces had been alerted to the change in status.

ASWJ is a member organization of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, which has been organising rallies across the country. The Multan DPC rally was hosted by the ASWJ and was also attended by Malik Ishaq, the co-founder of banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Jamaat-e-Islami’s Information Secretary Anwar Niazi says they will condemn any attempt by the authorities to ban ASWJ. The political party is also a member of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council.

“Every time any such ban on a religious organisation occurs, it is either on the instructions of the US or given by pro-US elements in the government,” Niazi told The Express Tribune. He said the ASWJ were “all patriotic Pakistanis.”

Jamaatud Dawa spokesperson Yahya Mujahid issued a statement condemning the ban and said that it was an attempt to harass the Difa-e-Pakistan Council politically. “If there is any accusation against the ASWJ, it should be presented in the courts and this ban is without any evidence.”

Mujahid also said that the ASWJ had only been banned after the DPC began holding rallies for the defence of Pakistan and it was being done due to “external pressure.”

ASWJ is also allegedly known as the political wing of the banned militant outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba, known for its sectarian ideology and violence.

The secretariat in Lahore, Farooq-e-Azam, has also been host to addresses by several members of ASWJ and speakers affiliated with banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

During a conference on September 7, 2011, banners with the name of Sipah-e-Sahaba were put up on the walls of the secretariat and speeches inciting violence against the Shia community were given by the speakers.

Ludhianvi also went to the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore, with armed ASWJ guards to receive Malik Ishaq on his release after imprisonment of more than a decade.  Members of ASWJ had welcomed Ishaq and showered him with rose-petals at the jail’s gate.

Reader Comments (68)

  • Ansari
    Mar 10, 2012 - 4:51PM

    Hey Liberal extremists, Now what you say about “freedom of speech”? !!

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  • AHSAN RIZVI
    Mar 10, 2012 - 5:07PM

    finally a positive step taken by the government……………

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  • Minority
    Mar 10, 2012 - 5:12PM

    Sorry, the warmongering, violence promoting ASWJ doesn’t represent the peaceful Sunni majority of this country, they are represented by Tariq Jameel, Ghamdi etc.

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  • Much Amused
    Mar 10, 2012 - 5:17PM

    ASWJ can be equated to a terrorist organisation. You can ban them but they will surface with same terrorist designs under some other name/garb.

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  • FJ
    Mar 10, 2012 - 5:27PM

    What a great news on weekend! Bye bye ASWJ;)

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  • IsmailTara
    Mar 10, 2012 - 5:28PM

    @Ansari The constitutional freedom of speech that we have is subject to “public morality” – If i were to represent “liberal extremists”, I’d say yours is a nonsense argument.

    I think there is some truth in this ban being at the behest of the US. @Much Amused is correct, they’ll just re-spawn and continue their activities.

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  • Mar 10, 2012 - 5:29PM

    Using politics of hate and religious symbols to control masses, ASWJ is not a representative of majority of Sunni community in Pakistan, it is foreign funded terrorist organisation whose domain is it’s hate spreading, violent madrassas built with Saudi and other Gulf monarchy’s financial help, because these monarchies feel uncomfortable to see prosperous Shias. Does not matter if US pushed for the ban, it is for the good of Pakistan.

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  • munis sargani
    Mar 10, 2012 - 5:41PM

    good banRecommend

  • faraz
    Mar 10, 2012 - 5:42PM

    @Ansari

    Freedom of speech doesnt apply to militant organizations that openly spread hatred against other communities

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  • Pagall
    Mar 10, 2012 - 5:55PM

    So how many $ we will be getting by this action?
    How many people we will sell to US this time? and for how much?

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  • well-wisher
    Mar 10, 2012 - 5:59PM

    A ban only on paper is not good enough to control these jihadi organisation who have brought the country on the brink. There should be total ban on holding any future rallies which might bring some sort of stability and relief to people who are living in constant fear.

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  • Very I
    Mar 10, 2012 - 6:14PM

    Good job against the self appointed, violence mongering reps.

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  • Dr Khan
    Mar 10, 2012 - 6:28PM

    I oppose this ban, it is undemocratic and illegitimate. The ASWJ has been peacefully working amid demos and protests, there has been no violent incident linked to them, theyre clean as far any accusations are concerned. Banning them can only be linked to intl pressure, this is our country and it is our right as Sunnis to form a legit represntation of our in the political arena. We want proof, liberals, you call this a step in the right direction? I call this a violation of our freedom of speech and expression, a violation of our freedom of religion. because there still remains NO PROOF.

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  • Farhan
    Mar 10, 2012 - 6:40PM

    Its a section of GHQ strategic thinkers that have sympathy with this jihadi mindset, otherwise who does not know how brutal these barbarians are!

    I agree with above comments that this mindset does not represent majority peaceloving sunnis living in Pakistan peacefully. But, when will this majority stand up?

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  • MarkH
    Mar 10, 2012 - 6:46PM

    Why would the US be concentrating on ASWJ when you have other already banned groups walking around right next to them doing the same things?

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  • MUNIB
    Mar 10, 2012 - 7:40PM

    Even if that is on USA directive its GOOD
    As for some bashing on liberal extremist and freedom of speech , we are all for it but provoking hate etc is not the way

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  • Mar 10, 2012 - 7:58PM

    Yeah just keeping your name like Ahle Sunnat wal Jamm’at don’t make you guardian of all the Sunnis in Pakistan. That is much of a self proclaimed designation. I am a sunni and I am not a follower of this Jamm’at. Rest in peace, and let Pakistan and Pakistanis live in peace!

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  • zishan
    Mar 10, 2012 - 8:01PM

    @Ali Wali:
    any proof of what u said man ……..

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  • 110
    Mar 10, 2012 - 8:42PM

    Ahle-e-Sunnat..?

    As far as i remember they are from the Salafi/Deobandi sect not from the Ahl-e-Sunnat.

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  • 110
    Mar 10, 2012 - 8:50PM

    And then Jamaat-e-Islami says we are not extremists.

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  • jamal
    Mar 10, 2012 - 8:52PM

    Sipah Sahaba is playing a clever game.

    Renaming itself as ASWJ in order to appeal to regular Sunnis, SSP is now attempting to latch on to the freshly popular, independent foreign policy bandwagon in order to further the designs of its Saudi masters. This would enable SSP to garner new legitimacy in the face of rising public anger against its terrorist activities, especially with the Barelvi majority of Pakistan now waking up to the reality of this Saudi financed menace.

    Hence we see new antics such as the recent “Difah e Pakistan” travesty.

    Saudi Arabia is attempting to direct the course of the Arab Spring by injecting financial support into Wahabi groups around the world. However, as always, these nefarious efforts are bound to fail.

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  • Burning question
    Mar 10, 2012 - 8:59PM

    Protection of freedom of speech cannot be invoked when it infringes on the ‘right to life’ of someone else. These groups incite the foolish Pakistani masses to murder with false promises of heaven.

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  • h w
    Mar 10, 2012 - 9:12PM

    40 most embarrassing things US best at.
    The United States often portrays itself as a torchbearer for humanity, yet many of the categories in which it leads in the world do not always incite envy.
    America is a complete and total mess, “endoftheamericandream.com” reported, adding that the country has so degenerated that it takes more than “just tweaking a few things here and there” to set it on the path to restoration.
    It is time to realize that we will never be able to start fixing our problems until we take a really good look in the mirror and realize just how far we have fallen,” the report added.
    The report continues by enumerating 40 “embarrassing” departments in which the Unites States finds itself leading the pack, warning that, “The statistics that you are about to read below are incredibly disturbing.”

    For full text on 40 “embarrassing” deptts” visit: http://www.iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/article/267339

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  • Cautious
    Mar 10, 2012 - 9:34PM

    Big deal — just like the other banned alphabet terrorist oriented groups — once banned they just change their initials/names and Pakistan is happy.

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  • Azam Khan
    Mar 10, 2012 - 9:45PM

    Educated Sunni or Deoband sect people are not with ASWJ. So I think this move is a positive step taken by the Govt. to avoid further polarization/conflict between the Shias and Sunni people. Allah sub ko aman se rehnay ki toufeeq dayy.

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  • Hafeez
    Mar 10, 2012 - 9:50PM

    “Ludhianvi said, “In the last few months, we have been peacefully busy in the defence of Pakistan with the Difa-e-Pakistan rallies, so which activity of ours has been a reason for the ban.” Well Maulana Saab I think there is some past before the last few months you are mentioning

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  • Supressed, Opressed, Depressed
    Mar 10, 2012 - 9:54PM

    Soon, everybody will kill everybody else.

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  • Mar 10, 2012 - 10:21PM

    @Farhan:
    Ignorance is bliss

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  • Nasir
    Mar 10, 2012 - 10:35PM

    Exterminate the extremist mullah and cleanse pakistan

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  • Raj - USA
    Mar 10, 2012 - 10:38PM

    Very good step by the Government. Freedom of speech stops as soon as it affects the freedom or others. Hope this ban is followed rigorously and all such rallies banned. If left unchecked, Islamic Republic will soon become, Sunni Islamic Republic and then in the next stage, some Sunni Mosques will be called as True Sunni Mosques and other Sunni Mosques labeled as not representing True Sunnis.

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  • Hassan Jawad
    Mar 10, 2012 - 10:42PM

    This Saudi funded organization should be banned in the past, people who still have a soft corner about ASWJ need to watch their videos on youtube and they’ll observe the hatred this organization was promoting in their Jalsas.

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  • Mar 10, 2012 - 10:48PM

    @Dr Khan:
    @Ansari:
    Freedom of speech, freedom of religion and political rights don’t extend to inciting violence and murder against others. They are linked with militant terrorists such as pro-Al Qaeda L-e-J , it is documented (don’t be disingenuous claiming where’s the proof on the likes of Malik Ishaq, when you know he threatens judges in open court). They are an extension of their front organization, targeting minority Pakistani citizens, especially Shia Muslims.

    Their members sparked sectarianism early this Muharram at the end of a rally murdering 2 boy scouts, and were involved in a retaliation murder of 3 random Shia lawyers for their slain ASWJ lawyer. They are bloodier than the Klu Klux Klan could imagine. But thanks for showing us your far right conservative extreme sympathies and support lies with bigoted sectarian terrorists. I only hope there are more Sunni Muslims who would rather condemn the terrorists than condone their ideology.

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  • Noise
    Mar 10, 2012 - 10:55PM

    Banning is not enough, arrest it’s senior members, make membership in this murderous organization illegal. Make the junior members sign a legal promise to never associate with this gang again.

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  • Mirza
    Mar 10, 2012 - 11:00PM

    “Ludhianvi said, “In the last few months, we have been peacefully busy in the defence of Pakistan”

    That means no more terrorist attacks on Pakistani civilians? No more border violations? No more injustice with women and minorities? What defence of Pakistan?

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  • Sajid
    Mar 10, 2012 - 11:05PM

    @Ansari:

    Hey stupidity extremist, freedom of speech is NOT absolute, this freedom is revoked the moment speech enters a mode that may be inciting violence, hatred or discrimination based on race, color, or religion. You are so uneducated.

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  • Multan
    Mar 10, 2012 - 11:17PM

    Thanks to Allah, ASWJ, LeJ ky Chiefs ko bhi house arrest kiya jaye…

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  • American
    Mar 10, 2012 - 11:26PM

    The picture shown is the future of pak.

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  • PPPP
    Mar 10, 2012 - 11:31PM

    Banning them is not enough, just BANISH them!

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  • PPPP
    Mar 10, 2012 - 11:34PM

    Send Army packing, we have ASWJ ‘DEFENDING’ Pakistan!:D

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  • Patriot
    Mar 11, 2012 - 12:23AM

    ASWJ, SSP, LeJ are different heads of the same monster that are destroying our beloved country by promoting an extremist brand of Islam. If such bans are carried out in letter and in spirit, it will go a long way in literally rescuing this potentially great nation from these mad men. A peaceful and tolerant Pakistan free of ethnic or sectarian persecution will be a prosperous Pakistan.

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  • nako murad baloch
    Mar 11, 2012 - 12:47AM

    we r/sick and tied of those groups,they all should be ban .

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  • Fahad Raza
    Mar 11, 2012 - 12:55AM

    @faraz:
    In your dreamworld i.e… Freedom of speech is

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  • Acorn Guts
    Mar 11, 2012 - 1:40AM

    @Ansari: Freedom of speech is OK. Freedom to incite hatred and sectarian divides is not. ASWJ fails on both accounts. Besides, don’t fret. ASWJ is probably already back under a new name.

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  • Mirza
    Mar 11, 2012 - 1:55AM

    Unless the virus is stopped it would mutate and come back stronger with another name. To these rightwing extremsists everything happens because of America. Sun would not rise in Pakistan without American help, what a sick mindset?

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  • sania
    Mar 11, 2012 - 2:02AM

    @AHSAN RIZVI:
    what do u mean by positive step???

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  • Malik
    Mar 11, 2012 - 2:20AM

    @Ansari:

    Hey Liberal extremists, Now what you
    say about “freedom of speech”? !!

    You’ll have to ask Christians burnt in Gojra by the extremist organisation the answer to this.

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  • Pradeep
    Mar 11, 2012 - 3:23AM

    Will this ‘ban’ be as effective as the ban on Lashkar-e-Taiba?

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  • S.Master Baker
    Mar 11, 2012 - 3:35AM

    Great ! Thank God finally this hate mongering Group is Banned.. God Bless the USA!!

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  • Wasil Arien
    Mar 11, 2012 - 6:26AM

    It is just a hogwash as their patrons in military and civilian outfits will continue their not so coveted support to let them indulge in their nefarious activities.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Mar 11, 2012 - 6:43AM

    why our beloved pakistan govt dont banned the ethanics parties from pakisstan ???

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  • abdul
    Mar 11, 2012 - 7:11AM

    Wrong decision from Government! ASWJ is a peaceful and very strong organization. It will come back. Inshallah! I request them to challenge this ban on supreme court and clean themselves and come with a clean and more peaceful organization like Jimat-e-Dawah.. There are lot of American puppets in our country. May God save us all!

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  • Mar 11, 2012 - 9:23AM

    Yes! There is ‘freedom of speech’ in our country. What the ASWJ has been banned for is incitement of hatred and violence. Salams and have a nice day.

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  • syed baqar ahsan
    Mar 11, 2012 - 10:21AM

    Till our financial system has poor monitoring to traces clear source of funding and connections to these organisations,it is very difficult to control,sympathizers with in our system of intelligence is another serious matter to control.

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  • Ansari
    Mar 11, 2012 - 10:36AM

    @ All Liberal Extremists

    Sorry buddies, your certificate is not required to declare any organisation as militant or whatever. It’s done one American’s demand and who knows what they gonna demand next. Its not a simple “do more” list, its actually a “do more …” list with three dots have unwritten and unending demands concealed in them. You guys won’t understand it unless Pakistan is turned into Afghanistan and/or Iraq by Americans.

    Americanisation of Pakistan is a bigger threat than Talibanisation.

    Now come on Liberals comment on this statement of mine, I will love to hear :) :)

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  • Ansari
    Mar 11, 2012 - 10:39AM

    @Sajid

    Well your comment posed the most EDUCATED argument I have ever heard in my entire life, Thanks for appreciation buddy. I just love this .. muaaahhaahhahahhahahh !!!!

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  • Basit
    Mar 11, 2012 - 10:57AM

    @faraz:
    If spreading hatred against other communities is not protected under free speech, ET should be shut down for spreading hatred against sunnis.

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  • Multan
    Mar 11, 2012 - 3:37PM

    @Ansari

    Its always Freedom of Speech but you should differ it with ‘Freedom of License to kill Shia Muslims.’

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  • Dr. A.K.Tewari
    Mar 11, 2012 - 6:42PM

    Most of the readers are of the view that these organizations are incieting voilence between the communities and countries , and therefore should be delt with iron hand, is a good sign . The Pak govt. should not ignore this demand of the silent majority of the country any more …….?

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  • Mar 11, 2012 - 10:50PM

    @abdul:

    ASWJ is a peaceful and very strong organization. It will come back. Inshallah! I request them to challenge this ban on supreme court and clean themselves and come with a clean and more peaceful organization like Jimat-e-Dawah

    Disgusted by the sectarian extremist and terrorist supporters. So you admit they weren’t clean and were involved in criminality, and should clean up the militancy but continue inciting violent hate? What a dirty bigoted ideology. They both have links to terrorists and support terrorism, be it against Pakistani minorities or on foreign soil in Afghanistan or India. Should request them to either stop being militant criminals, inciting religious extremism and bigotry or be locked up.

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  • Mar 11, 2012 - 11:06PM

    @Ansari:

    Americanisation of Pakistan is a bigger threat than Talibanisation.

    That’s pretty deluded, considering how dogmatic Pak is. Right-wing anti-west derangement showing, deflecting towards denialist xenophobic paranoia and conspiracy, while probably condoning and sympathizing with local extremist Taliban and terrorists. You can troll with a useless reply with the ‘muahhahah’ at the end, but it only gives Sajid credence on your intellect, or lack of.

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  • Mar 11, 2012 - 11:28PM

    @Basit:

    ET should be shut down for spreading hatred against sunnis.

    That’s a ridiculous hyperbole biased majority victimhood claim, who clearly can’t appreciate the gravity of anti-minority terrorism, and somehow taken to believe condemning ASWJ equates to all Sunnis. No, ET doesn’t spread hate against Sunnis, nor have ever advocated for violence against an obvious majority which most of the newspaper’s own staff are part of.

    They only highlighted the existence of many right-wing militant Wahhabi/Salafi/Deoband/Sunni extremist groups in Pakistan, which are fact. Might as well be listening to a deluded white supremacist’s racist rant demanding the local newspaper not spread hate against ‘white people’, when in reality all that local paper does is mostly print stories on visible minorities’ being discriminated by such hegemonic privileged supremacist organizations and their extremist members, or claim overall societal bias, prejudice or bigotry without being specific naming the ethnicity or sect, which they respectfully try to avoid many times.

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  • Imtiaz
    Mar 12, 2012 - 12:50AM

    it should have been done earlier

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  • Mar 13, 2012 - 12:03AM

    Yeah Agree, otherwise they would have banned the organization earlier

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  • huzaifa
    Mar 13, 2012 - 5:08PM

    never rejoice if the other sect is struck by a suicide bomber, next time it might be your turn. What ever you will sow ,so shall you reap, it never happens that you sow hate and peace will come out of it, definitely a tree of hatred and violence will grow and it will over shadow your veranda. SO, WATCH OUT WHAT YOU ARE NURTURING IN YOUR ………….Recommend

  • huzaifa
    Mar 13, 2012 - 5:29PM

    @Dr Khan:
    Dear, What future you want to leave for your children, a future where all sects will be on killing spree due to their beliefs? you think that today you can kill the minority as you are majority, what happens if some person gets up from your sect , divides it further and then suddenly you find your self on the other side of the line . how would you feel for your children, when they will be open to threats of kidnap for ransom, killing and violence. Pleeeeeease ! advoctae for peace, don’t hype hate debate and preach humanity not violence.THAT WAS THE MESSAGE OF HOLY PROPHET( MAY PEACE BE UPON HIM) AT THE LAST SERMON. Atleast try to follow the commandments of the last sermon if you have studied them, if not please see them today you will be astonished. Recommend

  • Hussain
    Apr 15, 2012 - 6:59PM

    The ban is illegal and against the constitution. ASWJ is not engaged in spreading hatred speech or violence or killings of any sectarian group. They are working just like any other political or religious group. We should not forget that the political parties are spreading more violence then ASWJ. Every political party has its own militant wing engaged in killings of their opponents. all of them are engaged in the killings of their opponents. If ASWJ is banned for the killings of shia people. Then the same rule must be applied on these mainstream political parties.Recommend

  • Apr 15, 2012 - 8:08PM

    @Hussain:
    Interesting how you contradict yourself, saying they’re not involved in hatred or violence, but that it’s justified to have a militant wing to kill all opposition because everyone else is doing it. Twisted. You don’t have to be hypocritical and lie about the fact that ASWJ are very much a Wahhabi/Salafi/Deoband/Sunni supremacist group who are primarily anti-Shia bigots and are linked to L-e-J and their sectarian cleansing agenda. Unfortunate there are so many extremist sympathizers and supporters.

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  • Coma Cat
    Apr 16, 2012 - 1:17AM

    @Sajid:
    Just to be clear, I don’t condone any of these religious parties and their actions, but does your logic not apply on SIR Salman Rushdie?

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