Roosting Chickens

Posted by sepoy on May 30, 2004 · 3 mins read

Unidentified gumen shot and killed Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai today in Karachi. Riots have broken out all over town. They burned a KFC, a research library and countless shops. The general in charge of security is trying to protect the Shi'a neighborhoods. By most accounts, this looks like a payback for the Shi'a mosque bombing a few weeks ago.
Who was Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai? He was, probably, one of the biggest Sunni clerics in the country. The head-mullah of the Jamiat-ul Ulum-il Islamiyyah Banuri Town. Commonly known as Banuri Town, the seminary is the biggest Deobandi seminary in Pakistan. It was founded by Maulana Yusuf Banuri in the early 50s. It trains seminarians and theologians that take Deobandi message to all corners of the world. It also was the fountainhead for many jihadis in the Afghanistan conflict as well as Kashmir supplying money and training for the mujahideen.
In October 2001, Mufti Shamzai declared a fatwa pronouncing compulsory Jihad on all muslims against the U.S. He lend his support to many jihadi organizations, namely Harkat ul Mujhadeen, Jaish-i Muhammad, Harkat al Jihad-ul Islami, and the supra-org Harkat al Ansar. His student, Masood Azhar the founder of Jaish Muhammad, and Omar Sheikh collaborated on the Daniel Pearl murder.
Mufti Shamzai was unabashedly anti-Shi'a, anti-Musharraf, anti-US. Any one of those concerns could be behind his demise. Earlier this year, he responded thusly to Musharraf's policies: "The anger is there and it is building and it will one day explode into a bloody revolution". He peddled violence against the world that was not Deobandi. He advocated and used terror but hid behind the fake veneer available to the religious elite in Pakistan. It was inevitable that he would suffer what he prescribed so often.
Yet, in the end, it is the Pakistani people who will suffer the most. His killing is already being used as a call to arms to begin an Islamic Revolution in Pakistan. It is sure to unleash a horrific backlash against the Shi'a population in Karachi and elsewhere. Still, the government remains unable to prosecute these organizations in any sytematic form.
& if you thought that burning the KFC was a statement against globalization. don't. Shamzai Jamiat-ul Ulum-il Islamiyyah Banuri Town hated KFC because the chicken was not halal.
update: Daily Times has an editorial laying out the Shamzai past. also, as predicted, the first wave of retaliation against the Shi'a has begun
correction: Some research over the weekend proves that Mufti Shamzai did NOT advocate any sectarian violence. I apologize for writing that. However, I do think he bears responsibility for what was peddled in his seminary and by his students.


Moiz | May 31, 2004

i would not agree fully with the way you have tried to portray shamzai in your post. He was a xritic of US policies in the region no doubt about that. he also was in the delegation that was ent to persuade mullah Umar. but saying this that he directly taught militants is a bit too harsh. also more than anyone he agtrrd to a more comprehensive and mild approach towards addressing Ummah's problems. Not everyone who criticises US govt. is a terrorist my friend.

s¯nee | June 02, 2004

Thanks for the latest update! This is what many poeple were saying that he never 'advocated' voilence. he was just against the US for leading war against Afghanistan. WHy most of his student led Jihadi Organizations?? is another topic??

Shakir | June 03, 2004

the murder of Mufti Shamzai is indeed a great loss to the muslim world. Mufti sb. 'never' taught voilence favouring anti-sectarism, but always talked about the need of Jihad in afganistan, kashmir etc. the organizations formed by his students were actually based upon true spirit of Jihad, but as money & power came to them, they were more politically motivated , hence damaging Mufti sahib's personality and teachings. Masood Azhar who formed Jaish Muhammad, always said that he will rejoin with Harkat-ul_ansar , but he never did! Most claim the reasons being his connection with agencies and his arrogance on leading a jihadi tanzeem. Its all about having POWER...May God Bless the Soul of Mufti sahib.

Mohammed Riaz | July 16, 2007

Just as the above individuals have mentioned, being against the U.S policies does,nt make you a terrorist. Mufti Shamzai taught my uncle and he said you could,nt meet a more loving human being, who had utmost respect and love for all. May Allah almighty bless Mufti sahib