Sebuah artikel di harian Guardian ,Inggris, ditulis dengan paragraph pertama ketakutan seperti ini:
“Thousands of young Muslim men are attending meetings in east London every week run by a fundamentalist Islamic movement believed by western intelligence agencies to be used as a fertile recruiting ground by extremists”. (Ribuan anak-anak muda muslim menghadiri pertemuan di timur London setiap minggu, pertemuan tersebut diselenggarakan oleh gerakan fundamentalis Islam yang diyakini oleh kalangan intelejen sebagai basis perekrutan ektrimis muslim)”
On Thursday evening, the Guardian witnessed around 3,000 men from as far afield as Great Yarmouth and the Isle of Wight stream through the backstreets of Stratford to the meeting. There, at the gates of a seemingly derelict industrial site, men in fluorescent jackets waved those who are known to the Tablighi Jamaat hierarchy under a security barrier, and into one of three fields that surround a cluster of prefabricated buildings which form a temporary mosque. (Pada hari kamis malam jum’at The Guardian menyaksikan sekiatr 3.000 orang dari area sekitar Great Yarmouth dan Isle of Wight bergerak menuju tempat pengajian………..dst)
Kemudian artikel tersebut dilanjutkan dengan prasangka-prasangka yang …jelas mengada-ada dan phobia. Prasangka tersebut kemudian dibantah oleh Emdad Rahman dalam tulisannya di bawah ini. Dia menulis mengenai analisa berita di Guardian yang berusaha mengaitkan JT dengan terorisme.
Intinya, dengan strategi jitu JT yang tidak menggunakan kekerasan, tidak ngomong politik, tidak menjelekkan pihak lain baik muslim maupun non muslim serta tidak bicara khilafiyah membuat banyak analis intelijen barat bingung.
Mau nyari kejelekannya dari mana JT ini. Mau dijebak dg scenario kekerasan, bagaimana menjebaknya, karkun2 ini tidak bicara kekerasan. Mau diadu domba, bagaimana mengadu dombanya karkun2 ini tidak bicara kejelekan orang lain. Mau diblokir rekeningnya, bagaimana memblokirnya, markas mereka tidak punya rekening khusus, karkun2 itu menggunakan dana pribadinya untuk keliling dunia berdakwa, mereka tidak mencari-cari sumbangan. Mau dibenturkan dg partai politik, bagaimana membenturkannya mereka tidak bicara politik dalam pengajian-pengajiannya.
Maka bingunglah intelejen-intelejen barat tersebut sampai sekarang dan IngsyaAlloh sampai hari kiamat. Sementara dada mereka sesak karena tiap hari ribuan orang-orang bule masuk islam dengan suka rela asbab dakwah para karkun. Semoga amal ibadah kita menjadi penyejuk mata kita di surga kelak. Amiin
Abu Izza Adduri
Inside the real Tablighi Jamaat
After much consideration I felt very much duty bound and obliged to pick up my pen following Paul lewis’ groundbreaking expose on the activities of members of the Tablighi Jamaat. (The Guardian- 19.08.06 http://www.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/0,,1853800,00.html )
The effort of Tabligh has been described (http://www.icna.org/tm/greatmovement3.htm ) ‘as one of the most influential grassroots Islamic movements of the twentieth century South Asian subcontinent.’
The jamaat (group) has been under close spotlight since the atrocities of 9/11. The New York Times stated that an FBI official had claimed the jamaat to be a recruiting ground for Al-Qaeda. Police in the UK also carried out interrogations based on information that Mohammad Sidique Khan, leader of the London bombers of July 7 2005, had frequented the Tablighi headquarters in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. After converting to Islam Lindh met members of Tabligh. Attracted to their proselytising ways, he took part on a Tablighi tour of preaching. Lindh’s lawyer George Harris said; “John’s experience of the Tablighi is that they are what they say they are. They are apolitical. And he found that an extreme position that he didn’t find particularly attractive. He wanted guidance as to political and spiritual issues.”
Online encyclopaedia Wikipedia accurately depicts Tablighi Jamaat as a ‘Muslim missionary and revival movement. They usually limit their activities to within the Muslim community itself, their main aim being to bring spiritual awakening to the world’s Muslims.’
The Jamaat, which boasts former Pakistan cricket captain Saeed Anwar and singing sensation Junaid Jamshed amongst it’s adherents, is far from the shrinking violet type. It is one of the most avant-garde Islamic movements in the world. Those who participate in the approved traditions of the Jamaat describe it as a non political group, shunning violence, and engrossed in nothing more than proselytizing and calling Muslims to return to Islam.
Incidentally, the Jamaat does not like to be seen as a group or sect, rather as simple Muslims striving hard to be firm on their faith.
The refusal of the group to indulge in political discussions has always ensured that those with strong political or radical opinions have moved on very swiftly.
Contrary to common perception Muhammad Ilyas Kandhalawi (1885-1944) is not the founder of the Tablighi Jamaat. He is primarily held responsible for the revival of the effort of Tabligh from Mewat, a province in India. Diagnosing Muslims to be in general ill health, he called global Muslims to return to the basic tenets of Islam from which he believed Muslims had deviated, thus encouraging Muslims to concentrate on their own personal spiritual and moral development. M.S Agwani in Islamic fundamentalism in India likened Muhammad Ilyas’ task to the tilling of land and irrigating it (Islamic fundamentalism in India).
Paul Lewis’ article contained a number of factual errors. Tabligh is not influenced by Wahhabism, and Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that does not support the effort, either morally or financially. Tabligh is not a formal organisation and amazingly there is not one paid member or participant anywhere in the world. The bedrock of the effort is based purely on the participant utilising their own health, wealth and time in the pursuit of moral and spiritual development. For many years some Muslims in the UK and abroad have accused Tablighis of being too passive and being out of touch with reality (with regards to current affairs) because of their shunning of all forms of politics.
The Thursday evening gatherings mentioned have been taking place in the UK since the 1950’s and this is not a new phenomenon by any stretch of the imagination. The number of attendees and the popularity of the activities of the effort have increased ten fold, but the peaceful message of self rectification ant the call towards good remains very much the same.
With regards to the security barrier, it is open knowledge that the Markaz operates a completely open door policy. Mr Lewis states that; ‘men in fluorescent jackets waved through those who are known to the Tablighi hierarchy.’ This is strictly untrue and on the contrary nobody is refused entry to gatherings. The Jamaat has never been a secretive or draconian body, with a hidden agenda. There are no lodges, secret meetings, rituals or golden and coded handshakes. The Markaz is open to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The fact of the matter is that a very large group of people that are non political, and are perceived to be low profile because of lack of media coverage until now, are now being openly accused in many quarters of acting as a conscription bureau for Al Qaeda.
For a good few years the location of the Markaz (Tabligh’s London headquarters), has courted controversy, surrounding planning permission and preparations for the 2012 games. The site for the Markaz was purchased in 2000. It was perceived to be worthless due to the fact that the said land posed a toxic threat. This was way before the success of the 2012 Olympic. Amongst popular consensus, a large number of Muslims find it intriguing that with the Olympics looming large that there is talk of the possibility of looming Islamic terrorism in Newham.
The Newham Labour Council has thus far refused planning permission regarding the construction of a building, (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1892780,00.html ) which is very likely to bring considerable benefit to the area.
Over the weekend a source from the Markaz who I spoke to expressed his disappointment at what he referred to as, ‘a very ill conceived and poorly researched article by Lewis.’
The member accused the Author of using racist stereotypes, when writing the article in question. ‘People who go to Church carry out atrocities. Does this mean that the Church is a terrorist body? Far from it’ said the member. ’This highlights astounding levels of ignorance and a complete lack of understanding of our peaceful nature.’
In a nutshell Tablighi excursions usually involve a group of Muslims retiring to a Mosque for a few designated days. Activities involve teaching and learning the tenets of faith, enjoining fellow Muslims towards good by addressing them in lectures in the Mosque or one to one discussions at their residence, business, even on the street. Preaching focusses on increasing piety through devotion to God, thus maintaining positive change within an individual.
An essential feature is encouraging Muslims to join the effort of preaching good.
Why is there so much focus on Tabligh? Has the effort taken the place of Opus Dei as the new target of ridicule and suspicion? Tablighi activities are the most transparent of any organisation in the world. People involved with the effort have had to live with being villifiesd by fellow Muslims for many years, with accusations of being boring, to harping on with the same repeated messages, and leaving their homes to fulfill so called ‘missionary roles ( http://www.forum.mpacuk.org/showthread.php?t=99 ). Members have for many years also had to live with the laughable notion that members are CIA agents, with the large (Ijtema) gatherings being funded by Western governments. It’s a lose, lose situation either way.
Tabligh is a truly global effort and accusations regarding the Jamaat’s links to terror groups are largely misconstrued. Scrutiny is not alien to the Jamaat, which has been under close monitoring for many years. There is nothing to hide. Do we really believe that members have only been under scrutiny in recent years. Monitoring has been taking place for years on end.
There is a quote attributed to Umar Ibn Khattaab the second Caliph of Islam who said:
“The one whom I fear most for this Ummah is a man who is an Aalim (learned person) with his tongue, but a Jaahil (ignoramus) in his heart.”
This description fits those who make negative and false accusations towards this benevolent effort and this has led to unstable and theoretical ramblings. The solution to all this very clear; laying down the gauntlet, I would now like to advise anybody in doubt and seekers of truth like Paul Lewis, to pack their bags and spend 3 or 10 days with a travelling group to see for themselves what all the fuss is all about.
The second option is to cut out the James Bong intelligence farce ands use a more sophisticated and old fashioned method of investigation; Pop into the Markaz in Newham or room 5 at the Markaz in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, knock on the door and ask for yourself.
Extract from Tablighi preaching:
Hadhrat Nuúmaan bin Basheer (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) says that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) gave an example of people sailing on a boat having an upper deck and a lower deck. The people from the lower deck require water and request water from the people of the upper deck. The people from the upper deck refuse water so the people from the lower deck decide to make a hole on the floor of the ship and get water from the sea. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, “If the people from the upper deck don’t stop the people at the bottom from making a hole, the ship will sink and all the people travelling will drown.” (Mishkãt vol. 2 p. 436)
Similarly, if people do not prohibit evil and sin in the society, the entire society – innocent and evil – will equally suffer.
Inside the Islamic group accused by MI5 and FBI
A man in a traditional Islamic hat. Photograph: Linda Nylind
Thousands of young Muslim men are attending meetings in east London every week run by a fundamentalist Islamic movement believed by western intelligence agencies to be used as a fertile recruiting ground by extremists.
Tablighi Jamaat, whose activities are being monitored by the security services, holds the tightly guarded meetings on an industrial estate close to the area where some of the suspects in last week’s terror raids were arrested.
This week it emerged that at least seven of the 23 suspects under arrest on suspicion of involvement in the plot to blow up transatlantic airliners may have participated in Tablighi events.
The organisation – influenced by a branch of Saudi Arabian Islam known as Wahhabism – has already been linked to two of the July 7 suicide bombers who attended a Tablighi mosque at the organisation’s headquarters in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. The jailed shoe bomber Richard Reid is also known to have attended Tablighi meetings.
Until now, the leaders of Tablighi Jamaat – which means “group of preachers” – have refused to open their doors to outsiders, shrouding the organisation in mystery.
Tablighi enthusiasts say that the organisation, founded by a scholar in India in the 1920s, has no involvement with terrorism and simply encourages Muslims to follow the example of the prophet and proselytise the teachings of the Qur’an. As one sympathetic imam put it, they were the “Jehovah’s Witnesses of Islam”.
On Thursday evening, the Guardian witnessed around 3,000 men from as far afield as Great Yarmouth and the Isle of Wight stream through the backstreets of Stratford to the meeting. There, at the gates of a seemingly derelict industrial site, men in fluorescent jackets waved those who are known to the Tablighi Jamaat hierarchy under a security barrier, and into one of three fields that surround a cluster of prefabricated buildings which form a temporary mosque.
As the Guardian entered the complex one person spoke admiringly about the “main man” for the south-east division of Tablighi Jamaat. “We can’t call him a prophet,” he said. “No one can be a prophet. But when you meet him you’ll realise. He’s helped a lot of people in Walthamstow to follow the right path, the path of the prophet. He’ll talk to you openly this evening and everything will make sense.”
Seconds later, the main man stood next to his red van in Islamic dress and a smart blue waistcoat as hundreds of men, many carrying suitcases and sleeping bags, filed past him into a network of six rooms cobbled together with planks of wood and corrugated plastic windows. He later said he was from Walthamstow.
The largest room was reserved for the main speaker, an elder from Preston who spoke in Urdu. His sermon was relayed through a microphone to five other rooms in which interpreters provided simultaneous translation into English, Arabic, Sinhala, Turkish and Somali.
The English-speaking room heaved as a sea of faces, white, black and Asian, spilled into the hallway. Most were teenagers and men in their 20s and 30s dressed in Islamic dress, caps and beards. Some came in suits and ties, others in jeans and hoodies. There were old men too, who weaved slowly through to the front of the room, and a few young boys.
The Walthamstow man took a seat in the middle of the room to interpret proceedings. The murmur of hundreds of whispering voices stopped as he put on his headphones. “We come to submit our will to Allah,” he began. “We have to live the life that Allah has prescribed for us. We have been invited into Allah’s house.”
He continued to translate the preacher’s message. “If a person is drowning, the man who saves him needs to take him out of the water. If he has swallowed too much water, that water must come out. At the moment we are in a worldly ocean and we are all drowning. For us to become successful, we must come out of this world for a short period of time.”
Although not a scholar, the interpreter is deeply respected. Quietly, some in the congregation whisper that he has seen miracles – the sign of a truly committed Tablighi.
After an hour the preacher concluded with a call for followers to join the effort and commit to a trip away. “We must leave our houses, our businesses, our families, for a short period of time, and follow the path of Allah and practise the ways of the prophet, going from mosque to mosque,” said the interpreter. “Then [the behaviour] will become second nature to us. We shall go to India and Pakistan for four months to follow these ways.”
What Tablighi followers call “the effort” – travelling around the country for three days or 10 days, depending on their level of commitment – is key to the organisation. Once they have completed the first stage, they may undertake a 40-day trip, which is likely to entail travel around Europe.
Finally, a Tablighi member will be given the opportunity to take a four-month journey to Pakistan or India. During their “efforts” members are encouraged to emulate the life of the prophet and show others “the path”.
On domestic trips, members are sent to communities where they will have most leverage. In September, for example, students will be sent to universities throughout the country.
Later in the evening, the rooms are transformed into dining halls. A small group of men who know several of the Walthamstow suspects gathered round to share out plastic plates of chickpeas, lamb and naan bread, washed down with cans of peach juice and Coke.
“It will shock you but we all used to be deep into drugs and crime and all that,” said one man, in his 20s, who went on a three-day trip to Woking with one of the suspects arrested in last week’s raids. “Walthamstow used to be a dodgy area. Tablighi changed all that.”
A former body builder showed pictures on his mobile of the “pumped-up gym fanatic” he used to be. After spells in prison, he said, he went on a life-changing four-month trip to Pakistan. “I went to places you wouldn’t believe,” he said. “There are people in Pakistan and India who know less about the prophet than people in east London.”
The Urdu interpreter from Walthamstow acknowledged that Tablighi Jamaat had roused suspicions. “I know three or four people who come here regularly who are informants,” he said. “After September 11 the security services met with our elders at our headquarters and told them that they keep the flight records of every Tablighi member who travels abroad. But we are not worried. They can close us down and it will not matter because the effort will continue. We have no fear.”
He said he was not worried about the Walthamstow suspect he knows best, a young man he recently took on a 40-day trip to Scotland. “Anyone who suffers for Islam will be rewarded,” he said.
Asked about the association between Tablighi Jamaat and terrorist groups, he replied: “Tablighi is like Oxford University. We have intelligent people – doctors, solicitors, businessmen – but one or two will become drug dealers, fraudsters. But you won’t blame Oxford University for that. You see, it does not matter if someone speaks in favour or against this effort. Everything happens with the will of God.”
Another follower added: “Sometimes the youngsters say that if they saw President Bush they would chop his head off, and things like that. But we’re discouraged from talking about politics. If elders say these things it is out of anger. They’re not dangerous, they can’t actually do anything.”
By the early hours, 300 followers had volunteered for a three-day trip. One man who knows six of the suspects arrested last week leaned against the wall, the City of London glowing behind his shoulders, and adjusted his cap. “Do you see now?” he said.
“Tablighi is not the problem. It is the solution. It is another world in here, completely diffehrent from the world outside.”