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Top Pakistani Islamist leader urges jihad against America

Secretary General of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the war against Iraq justifies jihad against US.

world Updated: Mar 20, 2003 11:16 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

The launch of war against Iraq justifies a holy war against America but not the West as a whole, a top Pakistani Islamist leader said on Thursday.

"America has signed its own death warrant," Maulana Fazlur Rehman, secretary general of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) alliance of six fundamentalist parties, declared after US warplanes bombed targets in Baghdad.

"Now jihad (holy war) is justified, but it should be jihad against American oppression and not against the Western world."

He urged the international community to react immediately to stop the "naked American aggression."

"The international community now faces a grave challenge and it must act to meet this, otherwise no one will remain safe in the world," he said.

"This attack is a war against humanity.

Rehman heads the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam party which led violent protests against US-led military strikes in neighbouring Afghanistan in late 2001.

The MMA holds almost one-fifth of national assembly seats and rules one provincial legislature.

First Published: Mar 20, 2003 10:57 IST