The New York Times is reporting that Times Square attempted bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad was a “fan” of the writings of Abul Ala Mawdudi (aka Maulana Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi, an Islamist intellectual who was a major influence on the Global Muslim Brotherhood. According to the report:
His 2006 e-mail message echoed the same arguments found on militant Internet forums: that the West is at war with Islam, and Muslims are suffering humiliation because they have strayed from their religious duty to fight back. “The crusade has already started against Islam and Muslims with cartoons of our beloved Prophet,” wrote Mr. Shahzad, who went on to quote verses from the Koran as proof of what “Allah commands about fighting for Islam.” During casual conversations with friends, Mr. Shahzad had taken to citing Islamic theology. He was a fan of Ibn Taymiyyah, a 14th-century scholar who inspired a puritanical following, and Abul Ala Mawdudi, a chief architect of the Islamic revival and founder of Pakistan’s largest Islamic political party, Jamaat-e-Islami.
The JEI was founded in 1941 and is Pakistan’s oldest religious party. The party had its origins in the thought of Maulana Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi (1903-79), the most important Islamist intellectual in the history of Southeast Asia. Maududi was also a major influence on the global Muslim Brotherhood with whom the JEI has long enjoyed close relations. In the United States, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is generally considered to represent the JEI. ICNA has a particularly close relationship with the Muslim American Society (MAS), a part of the U.S. Brotherhood, and the two organizations have been holding joint conferences in recent years. In addition, many past and present leaders of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), also part of the U.S. Brotherhood, have backgrounds that are strongly associated with JEI. One notable example is India-born Muzammil Siddiqi, a past ISNA president and leader of the Fiqh Council of North America. A previous post has discussed a recent speaking invitation by ISNA to another JEI leader.