Religious groups find lucrative sources abroad

Published: September 7, 2011
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Members of SIC.

Members of SIC.

LAHORE: 

The leadership of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), an alliance of seven Ahle Sunnat Barelvi parties, is collecting donations in the UK for a planned campaign of protests in Pakistan, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Sources said that SIC chairman Sahibzada Haji Fazle Karim arrived in Britain in the first week of August after getting a medical check-up in the United States and was staying in Nottingham, where he also celebrated Eid.

The sources said that he was expected to return to Pakistan with “millions of rupees” in donations collected from mosques and religious centres in England during Ramazan and on Eid.

Earlier, the SIC had said that its ‘train march’ from Karachi to Rawalpindi scheduled for September 11 had been postponed because of Karim’s engagements abroad. However, SIC sources said that the march had been postponed because they didn’t have the Rs10 million budget required for such a venture. They said that the march, which is said to be a protest against terrorism attacks on Sufi shrines and several other issues, would now be held on October 24.

Pir Afzal Qadri, the vice chairman of the SIC, also recently visited Britain and attended religious congregations in various cities. Mufti Fazlur Rehman, a member of the SIC Supreme Council, joined Karim in the UK this week. The SIC leaders have been visiting mosques, charity organisations and individuals seeking donations for the train march.

A senior Barelvi cleric, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that any criticism of the group for collecting funding from abroad was unfair. He said that Deobandi, Ahle Hadith and Wahhabi groups were running organisations and seminaries with funding from foreign governments like the USA, UK, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Iran. “Our people are running their organisations and collecting charity themselves. It is not wrong. We are not getting donations for Western interests but to run our madrassas and mosques,” he said.

Other religious groups are also actively seeking funding in Britain. Abdul Mustafa Hizarvi, the acting general secretary of Tanzeemul Madaris, the examination board of Sunni madrassas, has been staying in Ilford, East London, for the last two months and gathering funds for his Jamia Nizamia in Lohari Gate, as well as a central secretariat for the Tanzeem.

Tehreek Minhajul Quran chief Prof Tahirul Qadri recently arrived in London from Canada to organise the ‘Peace for humanity conference’ on September 24, where Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars are due to speak. They include Qadri himself, Shaykh As’ad Muhammad Sagharji, Shaykh Dr Abd Al-Fadeel Al-Qawsi (Egypt), Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad (UK), Shaykh Ahmed Babikir (UK), Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ninowy (USA), Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani (USA), Qari Syed Sadaqat Ali, Noor Muhammad Jaral (USA), Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, Prof John Esposito (USA), Dr Joel Hayward (UK) and Mesut Kurtis.

The Minhajul Quran is selling tickets for the conference at 10 pounds (Rs1,395) each and 35 pounds (Rs4,883) for a VIP ticket. Qadri will return to Canada after the conference, sources said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • Rana Imran
    Sep 7, 2011 - 9:51AM

    we appriciate the efforts being done by Tehreek e Minhaj ul Quran & Prof. Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri sb for promoting Islam`s massage of Peace & humanity to the whole world. This is the way Rasool ALLAH saw spread Islam and brought worst enemies in the fold of our beautiful Deen.

    Well done Minhaj ul Quran & Dr. Tahir ul Qadri

    Recommend

  • Sep 7, 2011 - 11:05AM

    A senior Barelvi cleric, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that any criticism of the group for collecting funding from abroad was unfair.

    /////He said that Deobandi, Ahle Hadith and Wahhabi groups were running organisations and seminaries with funding from foreign governments like the USA, UK, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Iran. “Our people are running their organisations”//////

    Dude, this should be probed further. WTH! All these Madrassahs are working for the USA and UK?? Wahhabi = Saudi funding; Ahle Hadith = UK, who’s funded by USA??

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  • Amir Malik
    Sep 7, 2011 - 11:06AM

    I didnt know these religious organisations charge money for such conferences. Prof Qadri charges Pounds 10 for his Peace Conference. I am glad the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community does all its Peace conferences free for everyone to join and attend http://www.muslimsforpeace.org/

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  • faraz
    Sep 7, 2011 - 12:17PM

    I hope they arent planning to expand the activities of ST

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  • Irshad Khan
    Sep 7, 2011 - 12:18PM

    It looks that running a madarassah is a most lucrative profession in Pakistan.

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  • Saif
    Sep 7, 2011 - 12:32PM

    Useless, instead spend the funds on teaching Quran & Sunnah

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  • MUNIB
    Sep 7, 2011 - 12:43PM

    Islam is no more only a faith . . . thanks to Mullahz of 21st century its one of the best “Businesses” now , from Saudia to Iran and from Africa to Indonesia

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  • Fahad
    Sep 7, 2011 - 1:41PM

    It seems paradox that they want money from western countries by beseeching in the form of FUND, where as in Karachi they get money by extortion in form of FUND. Allah help us from these so-called religious leaders.

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  • woohoo
    Sep 7, 2011 - 1:52PM

    So busy preaching that there is no time to practice!!

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  • bashir
    Sep 7, 2011 - 1:59PM

    In Pakistan it is very easy to become ‘ulama karaam’ . Grow 6 inches beard, put a topi or a safa on your head and here you go like a scholar

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  • Jameel
    Sep 7, 2011 - 2:13PM

    Deobandis get it from Saudis and Gulf States, and Brelvis from west. Soon we’ll have a war to turn Pakistan into a Brelvi or Deobandi/Wahabi state. Bring a lot of pop-corn folks; it’ll be an interesting match.

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  • Peace lover
    Sep 7, 2011 - 2:49PM

    Can some one advice what relationship Religion have with money ?????

    Are the preachers supposed to collect money for their sermons ??????

    The only relationship I can connect with money is with welfare of humanity not the wellfare of preachers who are supposed to render their services without any self intrests.Recommend

  • rashid khan
    Sep 7, 2011 - 3:15PM

    It a good thing.
    Collect alms from Muslims living in the west and come back to Pakistan and cry themselves hoarse against the west.
    The collected money will be used for fanning sectarianism, intolerence and further suppression of those not in a position to defend themselves.
    Ideally, they would have been able collect the same funds from within Pakistan.

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  • Mani
    Sep 7, 2011 - 3:30PM

    Very Much Appreciated…
    They are together for the muslim ummah. May Allah Accept their efforts and succeed them in their cause (Islam Is the Religious OF Peace)

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  • Cautious
    Sep 7, 2011 - 4:03PM

    Sources said that SIC chairman Sahibzada Haji Fazle Karim arrived in Britain in the first week of August after getting a medical check-up in the United States and was staying in Nottingham, where he also celebrated Eid.
    ,
    It would appear that he has no shortage of funds to travel the World – not many Pakistani’s can afford to fly to the USA for a medical check up.

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  • Ishrat Salim
    Sep 7, 2011 - 4:09PM

    So many firqas in Pakistan…no wonder we are in such a mess…..why Saudi Arabia / UAE / Iran etc; funding these different firqas & not allowing same in their own country ??….that is why they are more peaceful then we in Pakistan….we & our religious so-called scholars ( most of them illiterate ) are being exploited – what agenda..?? let us think it objectivly & not emotionally pls….no where in any muslim country there are so many firqas nor do their govt allows it.Even if there is, it is properly registered & monitored by govt internal intel agencies for their work & teaching methods & not allowed to enter into any State activity especially politics….Recommend

  • Ali tanoli
    Sep 7, 2011 - 5:04PM

    Well come to pakistan where double standerd exist in every field no matter what it is mullah ( tekedar of firqas parties) No wonder these peoples can not made a pakistan…Recommend

  • Sep 7, 2011 - 5:23PM

    Instead these beards procure weapons and explosives from western countries and sell them in Karachi markets. Our Government will be providing Sunday Market for these merchants of death.

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  • Ahmed Malik
    Sep 7, 2011 - 5:25PM

    @Kashif Chaudhry: These wahabi/deobandi madrasas received a lot of funds from USA during the Soviet War. Saudis are their lifelong buddies but it were USA’s funds to Wahabi organizations that brought Kalashnikov culture in Pakistan.

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  • Muhammad Ahsan Khan
    Sep 7, 2011 - 8:09PM

    About 2000 years back a Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger (4 BC – 65 AD) said:

    “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful”.

    All these Islamic authorities and leaders do not belong to the first or second group but they belong to the third and they are using the religion for finencial gains. A pound is a pound; there is no religion attached to it!!

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  • Ahmed Malik
    Sep 7, 2011 - 10:03PM

    @Ishrat Salim:
    “why Saudi Arabia / UAE / Iran etc; funding these different firqas & not allowing same in their own country ??….that is why they are more peaceful then we in Pakistan”

    “no where in any muslim country there are so many firqas nor do their govt allows it”

    Stop saying firqas, firqas and firqas. This is a very natural cultral factor that in Pakistan we have different sects(firqas) of Islam and we can’t do anything about this except we can co-exist with each other even if we are divided into sects religiously. You asking why the government allows firqas?? what does that means?? The government can’t make one sect supreme and ban all others saying ‘no firqas’ just like Saudis, UAE and Iran did because Saudi Arabia is a Wahabi state and Iran is a Shia state. Pakistan is (Officially) an Islamic State and it allows scholars of every sect to participate in state religious matters. There is an Islamic Ideological council that includes members from every sect unlike the wahani dominated Arab and Shia dominated Iran, our constitution allows everyone to participate in Religious affairs. Your sect is not even there in NADRA records.

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  • hamza
    Sep 7, 2011 - 10:29PM

    Don’t give them money to these clerics they will waste them on eating HALWAS………..surely.
    what do u think?????

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  • Parvez
    Sep 7, 2011 - 11:29PM

    I think it was ZAB but I may be wrong, who asked in Urdu ‘ Have you ever seen a thin, weak looking mullah ? ‘ Not only was that a loaded question but it made sense as well.

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  • AAhmed
    Sep 7, 2011 - 11:56PM

    @Saif:
    Spend money for food, health care and education> How about that?

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  • sunny
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:55AM

    @Ahmed Malik
    good explanation.
    Its a pity that some people in disguise of religious persons (Mullahs) are collecting donation for madrassahs, masjids etc. I visited a number of countries and found such peoples there particularly muslims countries like Brunei, Malaysia, Middle East or those western countries where a sizeable number of muslims are residing.
    Once in Malaysia i asked some such persons from Pakistan why u r collecting alms for such madrassahs which can well afford sending a group of people abroad?? No reply.

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  • Noise
    Sep 8, 2011 - 10:39PM

    He said that Deobandi, and Wahhabi groups were running organizations and seminaries with funding from foreign governments like the USA, UK, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Iran

    Why did say Iran’s government why funding the Deobandis, Ahle Hadith and Wahabis? That was absurd of him. Iran would be the last country on earth to support these three sects who all make takfir on Shias and Iran. Recommend

  • Ahmed Malik
    Sep 9, 2011 - 2:01AM

    @Noise: Either the author or the cleric have mistaken Iran can never fund these organizations.

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  • asad
    Sep 11, 2011 - 6:07PM

    This act of SIC is neither wrong nor amazing. Every religious scholar, and charity org go abroad for fund raising, including Edhi and Imran khan. Sunni Ittehad Council is asking for donations from the public and for the public. Media should raise voice against shia seminaries being sponsered by agencies and government of Iran. In the same way Wahabi/ Tableeghi / Deobandi seminaries and mosques are secretly funded by Saudia, UAE, USA, UK, Kuwait, etc.
    All these band outfits like TTP and SSP are getting oxygen from the charity, zakat and funds from Saudi government.

    Recommend

  • naeem
    Oct 31, 2011 - 7:19PM

    we appriciate the efforts being done by Tehreek e Minhaj ul Quran & Prof. Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri sb for promoting Islam`s massage of Peace & humanity to the whole world. This is the way Rasool ALLAH saw spread Islam and brought worst enemies in the fold of our beautiful Deen.
    Well done Minhaj ul Quran & Dr. Tahir ul Qadri.May ALLAH help and bleas you.

    Recommend

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