Jehad Not Mandatory In Kashmir, Says Pro-Taliban Cleric

2 May 2009
The Times of India

Islamabad: Contradicting militant groups' claim that they were engaged in 'jehad' in Kashmir, a hardline Pakistani cleric, who brokered a peace deal between Taliban and NWFP government, has said jehad is 'not mandatory' in the Indian state as people there are not demanding Sharia. Hardline cleric Sufi Mohammad, the chief of the banned Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Sharia Muhammadi, said the Kashmiris are demanding a state and not Sharia or Islamic law. 'Therefore, jehad is not mandatory in Kashmir.' 'Today there is no place in the world where 'jehad bil qataal' (holy war) is taking place,' Muhammad said in an interview with Geo News channel. He said that Sharia prohibited the stopping of vices through the use of force. He also said democracy is 'kufar' (infidelity) and backing democratic forces is useless. 'Even I do not offer prayers under pro-democracy people,' the cleric said. Former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leader Fazlur Rehman are searching for Sharia in democracy, he claimed. Muhammad said women are not allowed to go out of their homes except to perform Haj or the pilgrimage to Mecca. There is no need to seek a wife's permission for jehad or holy war. He was also of the opinion that there is no Islamic Sharia system in Saudi Arabia or Iran.