Influential Islamic seminary Darul Uloom on Sunday slammed Pakistan for proposing at the United Nations that the seminary should aim its anti-terror fatwa to Islamic extremists in Pakistan since a large number of them follow the Deobandi ideology.
“Pakistan never does its own job. Controlling jihadis in their territory is their responsibility not ours,” vice-rector Abdul Khaleque Madrasi said in a statement made on behalf of the seminary’s 90-year-old rector Maulana Marghoobur Rahman.
Pakistan's permanent representative at the UN, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, had said in the December 9 speech that Deoband had strong influence in the North West Frontier Province and Federally Administered areas. He had suggested that Deoband address its fatwa that killing of innocents was haram (forbidden in Islam) to jihadis there.
“The fatwa applied to the whole world and there was no question of issuing any new one,” said Madrasi.
He said Deoband’s shoora or the apex council had been offended by Pakistan'’ statement. “Do Deobandis from Pakistan discuss us or seek our advice before going on killing sprees? Then how are we responsible?" Madrasi asked.
The senior cleric, who teaches Quranic jurisprudence in Deoband, said the anti-terror fatwa alone will not help end terrorism. “A fatwa is not a magic pill. The Pakistani government has to act. At the same time, the US has to leave Afghanistan and Iraq. Otherwise, jihadis will fight to finish.”
One of Deoband's oldest teachers and former vice-rector, Qari Mohammed Usman, however, said Deoband will continue with its anti-terror programmes across India because “Deoband has an obligation for the country”.
In an unusual criticism of Deobandi clerics in Pakistani, he said: “Pakistan has so many learned Deobandi clerics. Why haven't their clerics come out against killing of innocents, even after our fatwa. Nobody in that country is accountable.”
Jamiat Ulama-e-Pakistan chief Fazal-ur-Rahman has visited Deoband several times in the past. The last time was in May 2006. “Every time he visited us, we told Fazal-ur-Rahman that all Indo-Pak problems should be addressed through peaceful means, not by killing innocents,” Usman said.