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A religion, a nation being disgraced! Jihad recruitment rising

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    A religion, a nation being disgraced! Jihad recruitment rising

    This is a very sad commentary of the fate of jobless hopeless youngsters, the jihadi terrorist outfits that take advantage of these youngsters and a toothless dictatorship that watches without stopping it.

    From The Friday Times.

    Jihad recruitment is on the rise

    Mohammad Shehzad
    Interior ministry says it can’t stop people from donating their sons to jihadi outfits

    FAR FROM A DOWNSWING IN JIHAD’S popularity, there is evidence that more young men might be enlisting with militant groups to wage the Kashmir jihad. Observers say a host of factors such as poverty, unemployment, the desire to acquire fame, problems with parents at home and religious passion are responsible for the steady stream of recruits for the cause of jihad. Enlistment offers honourable living and honourable death, martyrdom for Allah.

    Jihad is spreading despite General Pervez Musharraf’s efforts to put a lid on it. Jihadi publications like Ghazwa, Majalla, Zarb-e-Taiba, Shamsheer, Zarb-e-Momin etc reveal that between January-June 2003, the various groups have recruited more than 7,000 youngsters aged between 18-25 from various parts of Pakistan. The most high-profile outfits – Lashkar-e Taiba (LT) and Jaish-e Mohammad (JM) – claim to have recruited more than 3,350 and 2,235 boys, respectively. “LT’s website says that around 800 youngsters had embraced martyrdom while fighting the Indian army last year,” says an interior ministry official.

    “The young jihadis come from poor and middle-class families. When they fail to find any employment, they join the jihadi outfits that provide them food and shelter and promise them a passage to paradise through martyrdom,” says Gulzar Ahmad, a peace activist.

    This is corroborated by unofficial profiles of jihadis. A vast majority of youth that joins the radical Islamists consists of run-away boys. At least 60% of them are school dropouts.

    Naveed Ahmed was one such lad from Jhelum in north Punjab. His father was a clerk in a private company and earned Rs 7,000 per month. He wanted his son to do well at school so he could get a good job and support the family. Naveed failed the 10th grade exam for which the parents berated him. Feeling insulted, and to prove that he could do wonders, Naveed joined the outlawed jihadi outfit Al-Badar Mujahideen. He was trained in a camp and sent to fight the Indian army in Occupied Kashmir where he was killed in the very first encounter. His dead-body was handed over to his parents along with a video-interview he had recorded before his death.

    “I ran away from home because I wanted to do something adventurous. I might have failed the matriculation examination, but I will pass the biggest exam, that of embracing shahadat.” This was Naveed’s message to his parents. He also advised his younger brother and friends to join the jihadi forces to fight the Indian army.

    Following General Musharraf’s January 12, 2002 speech, the government of Pakistan has banned all jihadi outfits but most have re-emerged under new names. The firebrand chief of LT Hafiz Mohammad Saeed told TFT that Lashkar was banned in Pakistan but not in Azad Kashmir. Similarly, JM’s chief Maulana Azhar Masood has publicly said that Jaish is not restricted from operating in Azad Kashmir. “We reject [General] Musharraf’s peace initiative with India; jihad will strengthen the Kashmir cause,” Saeed of LT told his followers in Lahore last week.

    Meanwhile, jihadi outfits have intensified their campaign to recruit more volunteers to the cause in the wake of US attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq. Far from dampening it, the US aggression has served to stoke the jihadi fire. The groups are effectively using publications, websites, local prayer leaders, audio-video cassettes and CDs, souvenirs like file cover, badges, T-shirts, etc for promoting the jihadi culture.

    All jihadi outfits have their publications that have a circulation of millions and are distributed free of cost. These publications feature jihadi ballads, impressive interviews and profiles of young jihadis with big pictures, verses from the Qur’an, letters from the readers and so on to inspire the readers, particularly the youth. “Their passion for jihad is spurred when holy warriors are presented as heroes of Islam,” says Dr Minhas, a psychologist.

    Local prayer leaders and schoolteachers also play a key role in advocating jihad. “My 18-year-old son joined LT because he was influenced by his teacher’s regular lectures on jihad. The teacher would tell the boys that this world was immaterial and temporary. The real world was in the hereafter and a Muslim could achieve it only through martyrdom. The obvious way to do it is to go to Kashmir and embrace shahadat. My son was among the eight boys that went to Kashmir last month and were killed there,” Karim Khan from Gujranwala told TFT. Karim sells vegetables and earns around 100 rupees a day.

    “Send your boys to us. We will train and send them to Kashmir for jihad,” is Saeed’s message in one of the CDs.

    “Contact me if you want to donate your sons for the Kashmir jihad,” says Maulana Yousaf, the prayer leader at Al-Raza Mosque in Rawalpindi, in every Friday sermon. And people listen to Yousaf carefully and hand over their sons to him. “My speeches have motivated hundreds of people to donate their sons. I have raised an army of 300 holy warriors within four months,” claims Yousaf.

    Ahsan Mehmood has eight children. He is a labourer based in Rawalpindi and barely earns 150 rupees a day. Last month, he donated his two sons for jihad. “It is better for them to die for a cause and embrace martyrdom before hunger kills them,” was the reason Mehmood gave to justify sending his sons to fight.

    “The jihadi outfits have their offices in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. They chase young boys and indoctrinate them on the virtues of jihad. They draw a very rosy picture of jihad. They tell innocent boys that they will go to the paradise and get 70 houris if they died in Allah’s way. That’s what they did to my son,” said Maula Bux, father of Kalim, who was killed in Kashmir in March this year.

    Sakina, the mother of 23-year-old Imran who was killed in Kashmir in June has a similar story to tell. “They tempted my son with all the talk about martyrdom and salvation. He was unemployed and quite frustrated and perhaps found it easier to live in the hereafter than here and now,” she says.

    Of course, the most steady stream of warriors comes from the seminaries run by various outfits. The seminarians are indoctrinated over a long period of time since they join at a much younger age. When they grow up, they are sent to jihadi outfits where they are imparted guerrilla training to fight in Kashmir. Such boys join the jihadi outfits in huge numbers, though no exact figures are available for recruitment from the seminaries,” Anis Jillani, head of the Society for Protection of Children Rights, told TFT.

    When TFT spoke with an interior ministry official, he said the government could not penalise people for donating their children for jihad or stop the youth from joining the jihadi outfits. “This happens secretly. They do not have any official patronage. You cannot stop jihad. If you have to stop it, you will have to stop people from offering prayers and keeping fasts. In other words, jihad is an integral part of Islam, so you can’t reject it,” he said.

    Interior minister Faisal Saleh Hayat told TFT: “The government is monitoring the activities of these jihadi groups and will take stern action if it got any proof or substantial evidence. But we cannot proceed against them without any evidence. The government also can’t ban them unless they are really involved in anti-state activities.”

    Edit - with link (pre-registration is mandatory to access the article):

    This no good. Why mushraf not put jihad peapul for terorism jail? becase own yung boys there doing this? guverment send miltry and cached and put in jail or gantanmo