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Pakistan’s lurch towards ultra-conservativism abetted by Saudi-inspired pyramid scheme (Part 2)

Breeding extremism

Malik was but the last incident that raised questions about Al Huda. Other incidents have also fuelled suspicions that Al Huda’s teachings contribute to an enabling environment in which militancy and radicalism can flourish. Al Huda and Hashmi have repeatedly denied allegations that they breed extremism, asserting that they can be not held responsible for the individual actions of a few. To be fair, the number of known cases of Al Huda students seeking association with jihadist groups pales against the huge numbers that have attended the institutions classes and events.

Critics nonetheless note that Hashmi and other Al Huda faculty have repeatedly been quoted as adopting extremist and jihadist positions or enunciating hard-line views that lacked compassion for those who did not share their worldview. In one case, the mother of the alleged mastermind of an attack in 2009 on a mosque near the Pakistani army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi in which 37 people were killed studied at the International Islamic University of Islam turned out to be an Al Huda teacher.[i] Similarly, Hashmi, lecturing students in Canada in Urdu in the wake of the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan that killed 80,000 people, said they should “understand why such calamities take place. The people in the area where the earthquake hit, were involved in immoral activities, and God has said that he will punish those who do not follow his path."[ii]

Samar, an Al-Huda lecturer in Karachi, discussing the 2004 Asian tsunami, told her class that “something must have been wrong, must have justified the destruction…It is said that those places (where the tsunami struck) had become the playgrounds of the rich and famous.” In a subsequent interview, Samar drew a Qur’an-based distinction between God’s punishment for errant civilizations and events that serve as warnings and trials in which innocents also suffer. Samar was suggesting that her remark, like Hashmi’s subsequent statement, portrayed the tsunami and the earthquake as warnings rather than punishments.[iii] Neither Hashmi nor Al-Huda responded however publicly to publication of Hashmi’s statement on the earthquake by a Canadian journalist who said she had heard the scholar making those remarks.[iv] Al Huda however reported days later about its relief work in the wake of the earthquake and described the often emotional experiences of its volunteers.

Attempting to spin Hashmi and Samar’s remarks, Al Huda published a pamphlet advising the faithful to focus on one’s own behaviour rather than on what caused the earthquake. Entitled ‘When Disaster Strikes,’ Al-Huda, quoting scripture, cautioned, however, that “it is necessary for every heedful eye to learn a lesson from the calamities and disaster occurring in the lives of individuals and nations. To call them a turn of events, calamities or merely an accident…can prove harmful. Allah T’alah says: ‘And verily we will make them taste of the near torment (in this world) prior to the supreme torture (in the Hereafter) in order that they may return repent.“[v]

In another incident, Hashmi was quoted as describing Osama bin Laden as an Islamic warrior. “Al Huda supported the Taliban and had a soft spot for Osama bin Laden. They do not believe that 9/11 was perpetrated by Muslims. They believe it was the US. Osama bin Laden was a good person and jihad was legitimate. There was an element of extremism. One teacher ordered us to go home and throw the TV out. The same teacher talked about feeling like doing a suicide bombing and going to Palestine. It was repeated to Al Huda and she apologized. She said someone had complained,” Najam said.

Syed Badiuddin Soharwardy, a 62-year old Canadian-Pakistani Sufi scholar who heads the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada tells a similar tale about Al Huda’s Canada campus. Hundreds of successful, highly educated, Urdu-speaking Pakistani and Indian families have been converted to “an extremist version of Islam. Cassettes of her sermons are played in homes where groups of women gather to listen to them. She reaches thousands through her physical and virtual network,” Soharwardy said. He said groups of young to middle-aged Hashmi devotees confront him regularly during his public sermons and lectures to denounce Sufism, the mystical wing of Islam, and non-ultra-conservative interpretations of the faith.[vi] Among speakers invited to Hashmi’s Canada campus was Naik, the controversial Indian scholar who said in a You Tube video that he was delighted to have been invited after having been banned from numerous countries. Canada subsequently also barred Naik entry.[vii]

Soharwardy asserted that “Hashmi plays on Muslim grievances against the West and an understanding of Islam that is quite similar to that of (Anwar) al-Awlaki,” a popular Yemeni-American jihadist preacher who was killed in Yemen in a US drone strike. The imam believes that most of the roughly 20 Canadian women who have sought to make their way to the Islamic State had been influenced by Hashmi.[viii]

Attendance at Al Huda’s Canada branch dropped sharply after four of its students decided to make their way to the Islamic State in Syria. Three of the women were intercepted by authorities. The incident forced Hashmi to at least temporarily shut down her Canadian operation, which was housed in a converted laboratory-equipment factory amid plazas in Mississauga, Ontario. The facility had a central classroom for adults as well as a prayer hall with a wheeled gender partition that usually allotted more space for women than men, a kindergarten-to-Grade 6 Islamic elementary school, and nursery rooms.[ix] Al Huda’s Canada Facebook page continues to be regularly updated with video clips and other announcements.[x]

Soharwardy’s assessment was echoed by Asra Nomani, a journalist from an ultra-conservative background, who described Al Huda graduates as “the Taliban’s ladies’ auxiliary.”[xi] She dubbed Al Huda “the hub of Muslim rebirths” and its activist graduates “part of a battalion of women quietly manoeuvring around town in shapeless navy gowns, headscarves tightly pinned at their chins and, often, partial veils (niqab) drawn up over the bridge of their nose as their battle armour.” These mujahida or females engaged in jihad by selling textiles and jewellery to raise funds for the Taliban she asserted. They “wield Nokia mobile handsets while driving mostly shiny white Honda Preludes through the quiet streets of Islamabad’s F and G sectors, the middle-class through upper-class neighbourhoods where they live with servants, microwaves and Paknet Internet connections. And in their own way, they definitely feel they are waging their own unique jihad,” she wrote.

A Canadian columnist, human rights activist of Pakistani descent, and former head of the Canadian Muslim Council, Farzana Hassan charged that Hashmi portrayed jihad in her lectures as a self-defence against perceived Western intellectual and cultural encroachment. “It is quite possible Malik agreed with the concepts of provocation and pre-emptive jihad,” Hassan said. She was referring to Tashfeen Malik, an Al Huda graduate who together with her American-Pakistani husband, gunned down 14 people in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015.

“Hashmi advocates jihad as Allah’s third most-favoured doctrine, without describing the conditions which require it… She describes the spiritual benefits of jihad, but appears puzzled non-Muslims cannot understand why Muslims can be so willing to give up their lives for a cause. She believes it’s easy for Muslims because of their belief in rewards in the hereafter. She lambasts non-Muslims for equating jihad with terror and maintains the defence of Islam is a Muslim’s paramount duty. Hashmi cites Muslim history to bolster the view women willingly participated in jihad, even in its militant form, qital (a reference to armed jihad). She elevates the value of jihad by defining it as striving in Allah’s cause with one’s capabilities, resources, even one’s life,” Hassan said.[xii]

Saudi affinity

Hashmi’s affinity with puritan Saudi religious thinking harks back to her cultural and political origins in Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), the Pakistani Islamist political party that enjoyed Saudi backing for decades. JI was established by Syed Abul A'la Maududi, an Islamist philosopher, jurist, and author whom Saudi Arabia in 1953 rescued from the guillotine and who went on to co-found the Muslim World League. A government-controlled non-governmental organization, the league has for the better part of half a century been a global distributor of Saudi largesse and ultra-conservative literature. Liberally funded by the government and always headed by a prominent Saudi, the league’s administration was populated by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. It argued that Islam would not succeed as a religion or civilization unless Muslims rid themselves of cultural accretion and tradition, rigorously reconstructed the pristine faith of the Prophet, and gained political power.[xiii]

“There’s a lot of Saudi influence in Al Huda. They want to import Saudi Arabia’s Islam. JI never had the effect on people that Al Huda does. Hashmi’s style was unorthodox. Her lectures were related to science. Her style of teaching was not installing fear of Allah or a lot of books on hell and fire. Fear was used as a tool in traditional madrassas. Hashmi gave hope to people. She personified Allah as an entity that needed to be loved to be understood,” Najam said.[xiv] Hashmi’s emphasis on personal transformation and the individual’s right to interpret the Qur’an is rooted in Saudi-backed forms of Salafist ideology. Her message resonated with many who had been put off by dire ultra-conservative warnings of doom and gloom and were attracted by her portrayal of God as merciful and forgiving of sins.

“The core ideas of the movement – about direct access to the sacred texts; true understanding spurring behavioural transformation; self-appraisal and social reform being linked under the concept of da’wa (religious outreach) – are certainly not unique to it. Al Huda’s innovation is its ability to link these ideas to practical activities that women can perform in their daily lives and convince them that they can be religious and modern at the same time,” said, Mushtaq, the Pakistani scholar.[xv]

Many of Al Huda’s students and graduates are women who take their mobility, education and employment opportunities for granted. They sport Cartier watches and drive luxury cars, yet remain “suspicious of the male-dominated mainstream Islamic institutions that have come to be associated with coercive, state-led Islamization efforts and which do not offer them any autonomous space. Al-Huda positions itself as an alternative to both these extremes, while selectively utilizing elements from both,” Mushtaq said.[xvi]

Hashmi imbues her students with core beliefs that are shared by her ultra-conservative, male peers. Like them, she argues that many modern Muslim practices deviate from what is allowed in a literal reading of the Qur’an and Hadith, the Prophet’s sayings. Yet, their paths separate with Hashmi’s insistence that the obligation to acquire Islamic knowledge applies equally to men and women. She rejects criticism that women do not need to learn Qur’anic exegesis by pointing to verses in the Qur’an that make it obligatory for men and women alike to acquire religious knowledge. She notes that Islam’s first school was in the Prophet’s house where he would instruct he women of his household. Hashmi argues that a woman’s responsibility towards her household and family does not relieve her of the obligation to engage in religious learning.[xvii] Hashmi has also challenged ultra-conservative precepts by distributing audio-visuals of her lectures and giving television and radio interviews in which men can hear her voice and by travelling without a male escort.

Hashmi’s vision of society, despite her literal adherence to the Qur’an and the Sunnah, strokes in some ways with reform efforts of Prince Mohammed, the Saudi leader she claimed not to know who he was. Both seek to enhance the role of women as part of a redefinition of religious ideology that maintains ultra-conservative values while shedding some of its misogynist sharp edges. Like Prince Mohammed, Hashmi suggested that she was in favour of women being allowed to drive. “They have their cultural influences, we have ours. My students drive… With time things will grow. You have one goal but routes are different… Society’s basic unit is a home. Women play a big role in making a home. If she is mature; if she is educated; if she is healthy, caring and understanding, she can produce a good generation. If we have good human beings, neighbours and citizens, you can obtain love and peace in neighbourhoods and countries,” Hashmi said.

Hashmi and her husband, who is also a former IIUI lecturer, remains at the same time wedded to the teachings of Ahl-i-Hadith or the People of Tradition, an ultra-conservative movement that traces its roots to 19th century northern India. Ahl-i-Hadith was Wahhabism’s earliest ally on the sub-continent and its most loyal one in modern day Pakistan. Ahl-i-Hadith scholars, unlike other ultraconservatives who object to the fact that Hashmi studied under non-Muslim rather than Muslim scholars, do not bar their followers from enrolling in Al Huda. Ultra-conservatives further reject her methods including her abandonment of the madrassa curriculum and the principle of rote learning as well as her assertion that women to teach the Qur’an after only a year of two or training, and targets the upper class for whom many scholars have contempt.[xviii]

Saudi teachings pervade Al Huda’s curriculum. Using a syllabus developed by Hashmi, Al Huda’s students are taught that feasts like Valentine’s Day, Halloween, New Year, and Basant, a springtime Punjabi kite-flying festival, are un-Islamic because they have alien origins, encourage acceptance of worldly values, distract attention from God or endorse romance before marriage. An Arabic grammar book included in the syllabus quotes the Prophet as saying: “You are enjoined to appreciate Arabic on three counts: I’m an Arab, the Quran is in Arabic, and Arabic is the language of those who belong in paradise.”[xix] Knowledge of Arabic serves a dual purpose: access to Islamic texts in their original language and an affinity with the heartland of Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism, Saudi Arabia. Students at IIUI, the Saudi funded university in Islamabad whose mosque was donated by Saudi Arabia and whose foreign liaisons are primarily Saudi universities, are encouraged to attend religious classes at Al Huda.[xx] Khaled Ahmad, a prominent Pakistani journalist and author, noted that culturally “we (Pakistanis) have no connection with the Arabs. We are connected to Iran culturally and linguistically.”[xxi]

“Al-Huda and many other Islamic institutions believe that having lived so many centuries with Hindus, the Muslims of the sub-continent have forgotten what entails the real Islam. We celebrate marriages, funeral and other events like Hindus. So, Al-Huda wants its students to unlearn the Hindu rituals and adopt Islamic lifestyle,” Najam said.[xxii]

Al Huda’s emphasis on what it describes as authentic Pakistani culture in effect amounts to the propagation of cultural norms of Saudi Arabia. “The changes that take place as a result of this cultural production are visible on a number of different levels. They are…visible in women’s changed attire, as they begin wearing hijabs and abayas in public. This is a form of purdah or veiling that is not indigenous to Pakistan, but is rather an Arab import. Shops have now begun selling ready-made abayas along with the more traditional chadors. Other examples of the production of cultural material include different kinds of decoration pieces that now occupy a place in women’s homes; these women’s ideological change at Al-Huda is clearly manifest in the way they have replaced the crystal figures and paintings depicting animal and human figures in their living rooms with landscapes and framed Qur’anic verses showing different calligraphic styles… Ideological alterations are not only manifest in material changes, but also in behaviour, and this, too, alters a culture. Many women, for instance, have stopped dancing at weddings. Teachers at Al-Huda liken the act of dancing to prostitution,” said Sadaf Ahmad, a Pakistani cultural anthropologist who has written extensively about Al Huda.[xxiii]

Al Huda lecturers regular refer to fatwas or religious opinions issued by Saudi grand mufti Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz. They denounce political leaders as corrupt but stop short of questioning their authority – a reflection of Saudi-backed interpretations of Islamic texts that position unconditional obedience of the ruler as a religious obligation. Criticism of Saudi Arabia is however creeping into Al Huda lectures. If faculty described Saudi Arabia a decade ago as an Islamic welfare state, lecturers more recently appeared critical of the kingdom’s perceived failure to come to the aid of Syrian refugees. Najam recalled her instructors as criticizing “Saudi Arabia’s cold behaviour towards Muslims in general and Palestine in particular.”[xxiv]

Manipulating uncertainty and discontent

Hashmi, Saudi-backed ultra-conservatives, and Islamist militants target, among others, elites looking for ways to come to grips with modernity. Their quest, shared by lower class groups who felt that they have no stake in society, was manipulated by successive Pakistani governments that played politics with religion, supported militant groups, allowed ultra-conservative madrassas to flourish, and benefited from Saudi financial largesse.[xxv] Ultra-conservatism wove itself into key branches of government with senior military and intelligence officials, persuaded by the Islamism of General ul-Haq, Pakistan’s dictatorial leader in the 1980s, joining ultra-conservative movements.

Hashmi acknowledged that her success builds on a global trend of popular loss of confidence in political systems and leadership. "The expectations of Pakistanis have not been fulfilled in our 50-odd years of independence. There is a feeling of betrayal and despair. Even political Islam has not been able to address people's grievances. There is a search for direction, for guidance. I wanted to help others experience the peace I felt by reading the Koran. When people benefit from something, they will be drawn to it," she told the BBC.[xxvi]

Organizations like Al Huda “increase the societal threshold for accepting norms and values that may otherwise be rejected or challenged by those subscribing to liberal norms,”[xxvii] said Pakistani scholar Ayesha Siddiqa in a study of radicalism among students at Pakistani elite universities.[xxviii] Siddiqa positioned ultra-conservatism and radicalism as part of a pop culture that appealed to multiple segments of society. Stereotypes of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ populate the culture and “empower a small group of people rather than social reality,” Siddiqa concluded.

The US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as rising Islamophobia since 9/11 reinforced perceptions of an emerging clash of civilizations. Western profiling of Muslims and a feeling of being ostracized and not treated as equal by the West reinforced religious identity among many. The sense of discrimination and prejudice sensitized the Pakistani upper classes to the plight of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere. “There was growth of religiosity bordering on radicalism,” Siddiqa said.[xxix]

The marriage between Saudi financial and ideological muscle and opportunism among Pakistani political leaders produced greater piety among the discontented and elites alike. Sectarianism, intolerance towards Muslim and non-Muslim minorities, and rejection of, pluralism, alternative lifestyles and basic freedoms flourished. “It’s not just beards and hijabs that symbolise their conservatism. It’s also a worldview that involves a trend towards latent radicalism. It is a view of the other that is exclusionary and does not accommodate differences,” Siddiqa cautioned.[xxx]

Inherent in Saudi-backed ultra-conservatism and Al Huda’s teaching is latent radicalism defined by Siddiqa as “the tendency to be exclusive instead of inclusive vis-à-vis other communities on the basis of religious belief. Such an attitude forces people to develop bias against an individual, a community, a sub-group or a nation on how faith is interpreted for them. In its extreme form, it can take people towards violence as well… (It) prepares the mind in a certain fashion which could at a later stage turn towards violence or active radicalism. The inability to challenge traditional notions and viewing the world through a bias lens, especially coated with religious overtones or padded with religious belief prepares the mind to accept the message from militant organizations,” Siddiqa’s report said.”[xxxi]

Source: Heinrich Boell Stiftung

Source: Heinrich Boell Stiftung

Are Shiites Muslim or Non-­Muslim?

Source: Heinrich Boell Stiftung

What’s the reason for the backwardness of the Muslim ummah?

Source: Heinrich Boell Stiftung

“The Saudi-isation of a once-vibrant Pakistani culture continues at a relentless pace. The drive to segregate is now also being found among educated women. Vigorous proselytisers carrying this message, such as Mrs Farhat Hashmi, have been catapulted to the heights of fame and fortune. Their success is evident. Two decades back, the fully veiled student was a rarity on Pakistani university and college campuses. The abaya was an unknown word in Urdu. Today, some shops across the country specialise in abayas. At colleges and universities across Pakistan, the female student is seeking the anonymity of the burqa. And in some parts of the country she seems to outnumber her sisters who still ‘dare’ to show their faces. I have observed the veil profoundly affect habits and attitudes. Many of my veiled female students have largely become silent note-takers, are increasingly timid and seem less inclined to ask questions or take part in discussions. They lack the confidence of a young university student,” warned Pervez Hoodbhoy, a Pakistani nuclear physicist, mathematician and activist.[xxxii]

“Islam in south Asia is changing. Like 16th-century Europe on the eve of the Reformation, reformers and puritans are on the rise, distrustful of music, images, festivals and the devotional superstitions of saints’ shrines. In Christian Europe, they looked to the text alone for authority, and recruited the bulk of their supporters from the newly literate urban middle class, who looked down on what they saw as the corrupt superstitions of the illiterate peasantry. Hard-line Wahhabi and Salafi fundamentalism has advanced so quickly in Pakistan partly because the Saudis have financed the building of so many madrasas that have filled the vacuum left by the collapse of state education,” added writer and historian William Dalrymple.[xxxiii]

Al Huda’s puritan concepts resonate with students because they build on cultural codes and notions that are the staple of elementary and secondary Pakistani education. Prominent Pakistani historian Khursheed Kamal Aziz, better known as K. K. Aziz, noted that Pakistani history books date the country’s history to 712 CE when Muhammad Bin Qasim became the first Muslim to conquer the Indian subcontinent.[xxxiv] That conceptualization is debunked by many Pakistani historians and analysts who in the words of scholar Kamran Ahmed, a prominent intellectual and author, argue that “while the descendants of a few Pakistanis today may have come with an army, the fact is that most of the people of Pakistan are descendants of those who were already living in the subcontinent and only converted to Islam at some point in history. Moreover, these converted Indian Muslims were not considered part of the ruling class by the Arab, Persian or Afghan rulers of the subcontinent.”[xxxv]

Ahmad, the Pakistani cultural anthropologist, argued that “the government of Pakistan has, over the years, strengthened Pakistan’s Muslim identity through its active propagation of a hegemonic religio-nationalist discourse that ties Pakistan’s creation to Islam. The internalisation of this discourse by many people making up the urban middle class facilitates their acceptance of Al-Huda’s Islamic ideology that highlights their Muslim identity, disowns the land’s history prior to the first Muslim conquest in 712 CE, and criticises all things un-Islamic,” Ahmad said.[xxxvi]

Ultra-conservatism in contemporary packaging

With its austere interpretations of Islam and neglect of Pakistan’s non-Muslim history, Al Huda is dressing up its Saudi-inspired worldview in contemporary packaging in an attempt to change the very nature of Pakistani society and adopt a republican version of the Saudi model. Describing Al Huda as a school-turned-social movement, Ahmad notes that “it has been able to make inroads into the middle and upper classes of the urban areas of Pakistan, a feat other religious groups have been unsuccessful at accomplishing. Its success amongst urban women is manifest in the way women transform their ideology, behaviour, and lifestyle in accordance with the religious discourse they internalise while at this school, and in the enthusiasm with which they work towards spreading its ideology into mainstream society through a variety of forms of da‘wa or religious outreach.”[xxxvii]

Hashmi’s success, Ahmad said, was that the Qur’an often only impacted the lives of women “when they came across a religious teacher who had religious knowledge, and therefore legitimate religious authority, in their eyes.”[xxxviii] “Hashmi has built her appeal by deliberately distancing and contrasting Al-Huda with madrasas (Islamic religious schools) and other groups that provide Islamic education in Pakistan,” added Mushtaq, the other Al Huda scholar.[xxxix]

The ultra-conservative identity of Al Huda students is reinforced by the rejection of Westerners, Indians and Shiites in the institution’s rhetoric. Al Huda’s newsletter asserts that “instead of missionary work to non-Muslims, the Shia harbour a deep-seated disdain towards Sunni Islam and prefer to devote their attention to winning over other Muslims to their group.”[xl] The newsletter nonetheless reprinted a fatwa by Sheikh Mahmud Shaltut, a former grand imam of Cairo’s Al Azhar declaring the Shiite Ja’afari school of thought “a school of thought that is religiously correct to follow in worship as are other Sunni schools of thought.”[xli]

Najam, who was taught by her mother to “hate Ahmadis and dislike Shiites” but wanted to marry an Ahmadi, a Muslim sect considered heretics by a majority of Muslims, concluded nonetheless after years at Al Huda that “a lot of mess and sectarianism was created through their interpretation.”[xlii] Najam’s concerns about sectarianism in Al l-Huda were echoed by some of its Shiite students who nonetheless continued to attend classes. The students charged that Al Huda lecturers displayed a lack of respect for the Prophet Muhammad’s family, Shiite imams and other venerated Islamic figures. One of Hashmi’s cassettes that Shiites found particularly offensive was withdrawn after Shiite students complained. The students perceived the views of Hashmi’s husband, Idrees Zubair as even more rigid and doctrinaire.[xliii]

Similarly, Najam noted that “Muslims are generally apprehensive that the Jews and Christian conspire against them. In Al Huda, we were told time and again that Jews and Christians would never be sincere to Muslims. However, it was also told that they both are exceedingly conspiratorial against each other as well.” That attitude did not stop Al Huda from employing Christians as maid’s in the institution’s kitchen.[xliv]

“When I became a teacher at Al Huda, I checked papers. The assignment was mass communication. I was so disturbed going through these papers. Every paper identified Israel and the US as the enemy of Islam. I complained that this is not reality. There is a lack of Muslim introspection. They told me that I had strayed from the right path because I took off my burka. I was not stopped from coming to Al Huda but I knew that they disliked me. They became reserved toward me,” Najam said.

Dr. James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog, a book with the same title, Comparative Political Transitions between Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa, co-authored with Dr. Teresita Cruz-Del Rosario and three forthcoming books, Shifting Sands, Essays on Sports and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa as well as Creating Frankenstein: The Saudi Export of Ultra-conservatism and China and the Middle East: Venturing into the Maelstrom.

[i] Interview senior Pakistani counter-terrorism official, 15 April 2017 [ii] Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Islamic School for Women Faithful or Fundamental? Globe and Mail, 2 March 2012, [iii] Ibid. Mushtaq, New Cliamants, p. 212 [iv] Ibid. Obaid-Chinoy [v] Al-Huda International, When Disaster Strikes, 2005 [vi] Interview with the author, 23 February 2017 [vii] John Goodard and Noor Javed, Canada tells Muslim speaker to stay home, imam says, The Star, 22 June 2010, / Ibid. Choudhary [viii] Interview with the author, 23 February 2017 [ix] The Canadian Press, Al Huda Institute Canada Shuts Doors Following Terror-Related Allegations, 8 December 2015, [x] Al Huda Institute Canada, [xi] Asra Q. Nomani, The Taliban’s ladies auxiliary, Salon, 26 October 2001, [xii] Interview with the author, 26 January 2017 / Farzana Hassan, Is Al-Huda willing to denounce jihad?, Toronto Sun, 8 December 2015, [xiii] Interviews with Muslim World League officials in 1995 in Bosnia, 1998 in Kosovo, 2001/2002 in Saudi Arabia, and 2006 in Mali [xiv] Interview with the author, 13 January 2017 [xv] Ibid. Mushtaq, p. 110 [xvi] Ibid. Mushtaq, p. 106 [xvii] Ibid. Mushtaq p. 133 [xviii] Mufti Abu Safwan (ed.), Maghribi Jiddat Pasandi aur Al-Huda International (Western Modernism and Al-Huda International), Karachi: Jamhoor Ahl-i Sunnat wal Jamaat, 2003 [xix] Ibid. Mushtaq, New Claimants, p. 150 [xx] Amna Shafqat, Islamic University Islamabad: My education in a Saudi funded university, PakTeaHouse, 11 February 2015, [xxi] Interview with the author, 18 April 2017 [xxii] Email to the author, 31 January 2017 [xxiii] Sadaf Ahmad, Identity matters, culture wars: An account of Al-Huda (re)defining identity and reconfiguring culture in Pakistan, Culture and Religion, Vol. 9:1, p. 63-80 [xxiv] Email exchange with the author, 18 February 2017 [xxv] Ibod. Dorsey, Creating Frankenstein [xxvi] Saher Ali, Pakistan women socialites embrace Islam, BBC News, 6 November 2003, [xxvii] Ayesha Siddiqa, Red Hot Chilli Peppers Islam – Is the Youth in Elite Universities in Pakistan Radical?, Heinrich Boell Stiftung, 2010, / Interview with the author, 22 July 2016 [xxviii] Ibid. Siddiqa [xxix] Ibid. Siddiqa [xxx] Interview with the author, 22 July 2016 [xxxi] Ayesha Siddiqa, Red Hot Chilli Peppers Islam – Is the Youth in Elite Universities in Pakistan Radical?, Heinrich Boell Stiftung, 2010, [xxxii] Pervez Hoodbhoy, The Saudi-sation of Pakistan, Newsline, January 2009, [xxxiii] William Dalrymple, In Pakistan, tolerant Islamic voices are being silenced, The Guardian, 20 February 2017, [xxxiv] K. K. Aziz, The Murder of History: A Critique of History Textbooks Used in Pakistan, Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2010 [xxxv] Kamran Ahmad, Mental blocks in Political Economy, The News, Pakistan, 3 April 2005 [xxxvi] Sadaf Ahmad, Identity matters, culture wars: An account of Al-Huda (re)defining identity and reconfiguring culture in Pakistan, Culture and Religion, Vol. 9:1, p. 63-80 [xxxvii] Ibid. Sadaf Ahmad [xxxviii] Sadaf Ahmad, Al-Huda and Women’s Religious Authority in Urban Pakistan, The Muslim World, Vol. 103:3, p. 363-374 [xxxix] Ibid. Mushtaq, A Controversial Role [xl] Hussein Abdulwaheed Amin, The Origins of the Sunni/Shia Split in Islam, Al Huda Newsletter, June 2008, [xli] Ibid. Amin [xlii] Interview with the author, 13 January 2017 [xliii] Ibid. Mushtaq, p. 215 [xliv] Email to the author, 26 January 2017


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