The Deobandis: Part 2

In part two of The Deobandis, the BBC's former Pakistan correspondent Owen Bennett Jones reveals a secret history of Jihadist propagation in Britain.

This follows the BBC's discovery of an archive of Pakistani Jihadist publications, which report in detail the links some British Deobandi scholars have with militant organisations in Pakistan. Among the revelations are details of a lecture tour of Britain by Masood Azhar - a prominent Pakistani militant operating in Kashmir. He toured the UK in the early 1990s, spreading the word of Jihad to recruit fighters, raise funds and build links which would aid young Britons going abroad to fight Jihad decades later.

The programme also explores intra-Muslim sectarianism in Britain, and discovers how some senior Deobandi leaders have links to the proscribed organisation Sipah-e-Sahaba, a militant anti-Shia political party formed in Pakistan in the 1980s.

But how widespread and representative is this sympathy with militancy?

The programme explores the current battle for control in some British mosques, speaking to British Deobandi Muslims pushing back against the infiltration of Pakistani religious politics in British life.

As one campaigner says, this is 'the battle for the soul of Islam' and the 'silent majority' must speak out - but can moderate Muslims build the institutional power they need to really enforce change?

CONTRIBUTORS INCLUDE:

Aimen Dean - former member of Al Qaeda and former MI5 operative

Rafaello Pantucci - Director in International Security Studies, RUSI

Mufti Mohammed Amin Pandor

Toaha Qureshi MBE - Trustee of Aalimi Majlise Tahaffuze Khatme Nubuwwat (Stockwell, London)

Aamer Anwar - human rights lawyer

Producers: Richard Fenton-Smith & Sajid Iqbal
Researcher: Holly Topham

Available now

43 minutes

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