Who’s behind the Lahore attack?

Ayesha Siddiqa July 03, 2010

Quite a few people are anxious about the recent death and destruction at Data Darbar, Lahore. While the government and its agencies must be rummaging through heaps of evidence, there are some who already have an answer. The Hizbut-Tehrer (HuT), a movement for global jihad’s Pakistan chapter, has already committed its findings for its supporters and potential followers on the internet and its press releases.

One of HuT’s press release condemns American for involvement in the recent attacks in Lahore. The politico-social-militant group, which seems to be resurfacing in the country again, believes that the attacks in Lahore are part of a series planned by the US or its assistance to provide logic for attack on Punjab. The federal interior minister, who often gives the glimpse of being an unofficial member of a militant group, seems to have put life to the above contention by claiming that this could not be done by Muslims. This, in fact, is an old belief that Muslims cannot kill their other members of the ummah.

Such conclusion would make it harder for the police to dig out the main culprits. It may actually mean nothing to know the real identity of the suicide bombers whose images were caught on the CCTV. It is a known fact that the actual bombers are part of a six member team involved in planning and executing an attack. There is the main planner, the person in charge for the operation, the manufacturer of the suicide jacket, the person who searches out the target, the handler of the suicider and finally the person who commits his life. The militants make sure that it becomes difficult to reach the main person behind the attack even when they can trace the suicide bomber and his handler.

It becomes dicey to argue that the six-plus member team involved in the recent Lahore attacks were not Muslims. The answers are almost improbable to find after a suicide attack is executed since the police cannot find all body parts of the attacker to determine his religion.

But then what the HuT’s seems to argue is that the suicide bombers might have been led astray by foreign, non-Muslim elements. But then what might have led these men astray? Most likely, the team of suicide  attackers was convinced that those going to the shrines, just like the Ahmadis who were targeted earlier, represented the jahiliya. This means a non-Islamic cultural trend which poses a threat to Islam. A world not ruled by pious leaders or not run according to Sharia is a state which then must be changed. This is what Ibn Taimiya had argued in the 13th/14th century and later Syed Qutb in the mid 20th century. It is referred to in Pakistan as the Takfeeri ideology which means that the proponents argue for waging militant jihad against ordinary Muslims who have agreed to live under non-Sharia rule.

Lets stand this argument on its head and look at it from the perspective of the suicide bombers. They were trying to save their world and people. So, does that mean that their international accomplices are helping them establish Islamic rule? Not bad! But then if we were to extend this argument a bit further then does it mean that all the foreign forces that the Hizb holds responsible for these terrorist activities are actually doing us a favor? The Hizb wants to establish khilafat in the world through a Muslim state or states first.  Given the Hizb strategy of using the military to capture power, even this is not the exact formula for a bloodless coup. Lets argue that in case an inspired Muslim army will capture power, they may not want to spill blood but spilling some might be unavoidable. But that would just be of those who resist Islamic rule. Principally, this stance might not be very different from the takfeeris. The difference lies only in the amount of blood that the tafeeris agree to spill versus the HuT. Both aim at the elimination of those who resist Sharia rule or live life differently from what is considered as ordained by the Sharia.

Wouldn’t this logic then put the HuT and alleged perpetrators of violence at the same page? Why would the US want to force Pakistanis to establish Sharia rule? Or why would the HuT present America as aiding those who want to establish Sharia in Pakistan? The logic is mind-boggling but one must read into such statements and see what direction they follow.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2010.


Asif | 11 years ago | Reply Ayesha, While reading through the avalanche of reactions on the suicide bombings of the Data Durbar Shrine in Lahore, I noticed something interesting that I thought I would share here. A number of religious leaders of the mainstream Sunni variety are now qualifying suicide bombings as an un-Islamic act. They are now convinced that the perpetrators of attacks on religious sites and killers of innocent people are enemies of Islam. Obviously, they did not think that such a reaction is warranted when similar attacks are launched with regular frequency on Ahmedis, Shias, and Christians of Pakistan in their places of worship. Of course, Jamaat-e-Islami and even Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Islam do not seem to be too concerned about the attack on Data Durbar because they do not believe that the attacks targeted their peculiar brand of Islam. It seems that acts of brutal terrorism will continue unabated in Pakistan unless Pakistanis of all religious and ethnic backgrounds stand up to condemn all such acts no matter who the targets and victims are. They may be Christians, Ahmadis, Shias, Sunnis, Hindus, Muhajirs, Sindhis, Baluchis or any other religious or ethnic grouping. They are all human beings and citizens of Pakistan. It is amazing that we regard consrete strucrures as more sacred than human lives. As long as the reactions to the killings of innocents are made selectively, based on the religious or ethnic flavor of the victims, these reactions will not discourage those who plan and execute such acts. And here lies the core issue: Religious fundamentalism does not grant basic human rights to those who belong to a different shade of the religious spectrum. As the religious fundamentalism has grown in Pakistan, a growing number of Pakistanis have (either knowingly or subconsciously) accepted that people of a different religious school do not deserve the same privileges as themselves. Even if the constitution and the legal framework of the country do provide legal protection to the lives and properties of all Pakistanis, a religious Pakistani does not consider this to be really important. He has been made to believe that laws and rules made by man cannot compete with the Holy Scripture (as it is interpreted to him by his mullah). In my opinion, a society that is based on religion has an inherent conflict with the concept of Universal Human Rights. As the belief in the superiority of the religious dogma over man-made laws deepens, the violation of basic human rights becomes more flagrant. Once this Pandora's Box has been opened, it is very hard to close it back. This is the challenge that Pakistan faces today.
Saalik Siddikki | 11 years ago | Reply Further to my above comment, if the said link is found broken please check it here : http://e-maqzine.blogspot.com/2010/07/heist-programmed-criminals.html It is a must read article to understand and realize the truth that minds could be changed and people could be converted into suicide bombers. And if Taliban can do it, why the fully qualified and mastermind experts of the sole super power of the world cannot do so rather in a better way.
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