LAHORE - A radical new Islamist group based in Britain plans to meet in Islamabad to issue a religious decree against the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban, declare the country’s constitution non-Islamic and give details of the apostasy of President of Asif Ali Zardari.
The moot, titled Shariah 4 Pakistan, also plans to lecture on how the country’s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was a “traitor of Islam” and how Pakistan can be transformed under the Shariah law. It is the same group that last year tried to hold a similar conference in India, aptly titled Shariah 4 India.
The main speakers include Shaikh Omar Bakri, the self-proclaimed “Worldwide Ameer of Al-Muhajiroun”, and Anjem Choudary, “Judge of Shairah Court of UK”. Other speakers are to include Abu Walaa, an Islamic preacher, Abu Baraa, a lecturer in Islam and Abu Rumaysah, chairman of the Society of Muslim Converts. The move against Malala Yousufzai, 15, is likely to provoke a public outcry. In the days following her shooting in October, she became an international icon and world leaders pledged to support her campaign for girls’ education.
“There will be a fatwa issued on Malala Yousufzai taking into account the full story of her injury including her public statements in support of the occupying US army in the region and mocking of key symbols of Islam such as hijab and jihad,” said Abu Baraa, a senior member of Shariah 4 Pakistan. The group, whose website features a blog below a photograph of Yousufzai in a hospital bed titled “Don’t Believe The Crocodile Tears for Malala Yousufzai”, is associated with some of Britain’s most hardline Islamists. Anjem Choudary, a prominent radical cleric in Britain, said the fatwa could be issued on November 30 at Lal Masjid, one of Pakistan’s most notorious mosques, where a 2007 army operation crushed a Taliban-style movement controlling the compound.
The mosque’s deputy head, Amir Siddique, denied the group would hold such a conference, but organisers insisted they did not need permission to gather in a public place of worship. Neither Baraa nor Choudary would say what punishment Malala might face if the group found her guilty of violating Islam. “Nobody is saying we are going to get out our swords and go and look for Malala. The point is a wider issue, it is about the American and Pakistani involvement in maintaining the British and American interests,” Choudary said.
“Malala is one of the issues we are going to be addressing because she is being used as a propaganda tool by the enemies of Muslims to say: ‘Look, Muslims don’t believe in education’ which is absurd.” Tens of thousands of Britons have called on the government to nominate Malala for a Nobel Peace Prize for her work promoting girls’ education.