MUZAFFARABAD / LAHORE: In a fiery Friday sermon, Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed called on the people to wage jihad against America in order to save Pakistan and Islam. “Come to us. We will teach you the meaning of jihad… The time to fight has come.”
The sermon was held at the JuD head office Jamia Markaz al-Qadsia in Lahore, where Saeed had his own security. Some of the security personnel were also seen carrying weapons with silencers. A box was placed at the exit and men asked for people exiting the mosque to give funds for jihad.
Saeed, who recently became the centre of attention after the US announced a $10 million bounty on him for his affiliation with the banned Laskar-e-Taiba (LeT), said that the JuD is not afraid of anyone and will continue with its jihad. “They [US] are even scared of my name.”
“This is the same jihad which caused the USSR to break and now America is failing because of it. Analysts and journalists don’t realise why America is failing, the only reason is jihad.” he remarked. “There are many parties in Pakistan, but America has only sent a message to Jamaatud Dawa, because we do jihad.”
Commenting on the Raymond Davis saga, Saeed said that everyone knows what he was doing in the country and what the American spy agency Central Investigative Agency (CIA) is trying to accomplish in Pakistan. “America should leave Pakistan and Afghanistan peacefully. Then, we will not come to you with guns but will instead invite you to Islam.”
Saeed added that the reason why the media is against jihad is because it is influenced by the west, and the western education makes them degrade jihad.
After the sermon, a rally was taken to the Lahore press club which was joined by union traders, some Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz leaders, other Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) leaders and was led by Convener of Hurmat-e-Rasool Committee Ameer Hamza. Saeed himself did not participate in the rally.
Difa-e-Pakistan activists protest US bounty on Hafiz Saeed
Hundreds of Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) activists took to the streets Friday, calling for “holy war” and torching a US flag to condemn a $10 million US bounty on Jamaatud Dawa’s (JuD) founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed.
DPC, an alliance of religious groups, has called for rallies to denounce the move against Saeed, whose Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group was blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
In Muzaffarabad, around 500 activists shouted “Al Jihad, al Jihad (holy war)” as they marched on the city and set fire to a US flag in a main square.
DPC activists also staged demonstrations outside Lahore Press Club and Faisalabad.
Speakers asked President Asif Ali Zardari to cancel a planned visit to India on Sunday and demanded an American apology for the bounty.
“Such steps are forcing Muslims towards guns,” said Abdul Aziz Alvi, the local head of JuD, which is seen as a front for LeT, is headed by Saeed and blacklisted by the United Nations and United States.
“We condemn American announcement against Hafiz Saeed,” cried a banner at the rally, attended by members of other banned and religious groups.
The reward for Saeed was announced by US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in India on Monday.
Saeed, who lives openly in Pakistan, has mocked the charges, calling a press conference to say he is ready to face “any American court” to answer charges.