Pakistani media is reporting that the head of Jamaat-i-Islami (JEI) Pakistan has called for the end of operations against the Taliban and called Osama Bin Laden “a man of character.” According to a MEMRI translation:
Syed Munawwar Hasan, Emir of Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan, has asked the Pakistani government and the military to revisit their anti-terrorism policy, and linked peace in the region to the ouster of America, according to a Pakistani daily. Addressing a big meeting in Karachi on June 4, against the U.S. drone attacks, Hasan called for an Islamic revolution in the country, according to a report in The News daily. He also urged the Pakistani military to stop its security operations against the Taliban in the tribal areas, saying, such action is creating a negative impression about the army among the tribesmen. According to the report, the Jamaat-e-Islami chief also said that the Pakistani people want to know facts about the May 2 Abbottabad operation and the May 22 Karachi naval base attack as the security of the Pakistani military itself has become questionable. Speaking about Osama bin Laden, he said the Al-Qaeda leader was a man of character and a symbol of jihad and resistance against the U.S. Hasan said that bin Laden’s killing was a great defeat for the U.S. “Now the patriotic people of Pakistan would fight zealously with all those forces that support America and would not sit idle till its expulsion from the country,” he added.
Source: The News, Pakistan, June 5, 2011″
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. A previous post discussed a 3-day Islamic conference held in late October 2008 in Lahore that brought together leaders of the JEI with leaders in the global Muslim Brotherhood. Previous posts have discussed various anti-American, anti-Indian, anti-Israeli, and anti-Semitic comments made by JEI leaders.
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.