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On November 9, 2018, Ustad Usama Mehmood, spokesman of Al-Qaeda In The Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), released an audio message to the religious-political parties in Pakistan, saying that democracy is a threat to Islam but that religious scholars wrongly see it as a means to shari'a rule.
The speech was produced by As-Sahab Media For The Subcontinent, the arm of Al-Qaeda's As-Sahab media for the Pakistan-India region. The 11-minute message, supposed to be the first of four parts, is titled "Goodwill Message To The Respected Brothers Associated With Political And Religious Parties." Written in the context of the 2018 parliamentary elections in Pakistan, the first part is subtitled, "Where Are Those Who Were To Rise Up In Defense Of The Religion?"
Addressing Muslims in Pakistan, especially those associated with political-religious parties, Ustad Mehmood says: "Respected brothers, it may be that some of you think that we, the mujahideen, are your enemies, or, God forbid, have ill will. My brothers and elders, this is not so at all. If we do not agree with these democratic politics for you, then Allah is witness that we do not like them for ourselves too."
The AQIS spokesman says: "We consider this path [of democracy] a threat to our religion and the Hereafter. Dear brothers, you are inhabitants of faith and this manner of yours and your identity is much higher than it that you wander in the jigsaws built by the Satan... and as a result of which the enemies of religion get the opportunity to laugh at the inhabitants of religion."
Ustad Mehmood says that a reverse question can be asked of the jihadi groups: "What aid did the mujahideen offer the religion; which path of the followers of falsehood did you stop?" He answered: "All praise be to Allah, the mujahideen have made attempts to their best..." Images of former Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar and slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and others appear as Mehmood makes this point.
"Criminals like Daesh [ISIS] too spoke of jihad. They defamed jihad. Using the pious name of jihad, they committed such crimes, inflicted such atrocities on Islam and on the believers of Islam that benefitted unbelief and the followers of unbelief," Ustad Mehmood, speaking in Urdu, says. "Similarly, intelligence agencies too are blaming their atrocities on the Daesh mischief-makers so that jihad and the followers of jihad be defamed well," he says, but admits that the mujahideen too sometimes commit crimes for which they will be held responsible by Allah.
Exhorting the religious-political parties, the jihadi commander says: "Is there someone in Pakistan who can rise up as the defender of religion against irreligiosity?" He rues that in Pakistan today religious leaders speak in defense of democracy and the Pakistani constitution, but not in the defense of Islam and the enforcement of shari'a. "There are many in this country who raise the flags of [territorial] nationalism and nationhood, but there is an absence of those followers of the religion whose identity it was to worship Allah rather than worship nationhood," he says.
Ustad Mehmood says: "My brothers, where are those followers of the religion who were to erect walls against this dirt of the forbidden and irreligiosity? Where have those sons of tawheed [monotheism] disappeared who were to thwart these ill-mannered storms of Westernism and liberalism?" He expresses sadness that all the battlefronts needed for Islam's ascendancy are empty and questions religious-political parties, saying they believed wrongly in democracy as a means for the enforcement of shari'a.
Source: Telegram.me/GIMF, November 9, 2018.