During a recent visit to Pakistan, Lord Nazir Ahmed, a member of the British House of Lords who originally hails from Pakistani Kashmir, announced he was putting up a bounty of £10 million for the capture of U.S. President Barack Obama and his predecessor, George W. Bush. The announcement, made at a conference held in the Pakistani town of Haripur, came in response to a recent U.S. announcement offering a $10 million reward to anyone providing information leading to the capture of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, founder of the Pakistani jihadi organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and emir of LeT’s charity arm, Jamaatud Dawa.
I’m sure that Bush and Obama are well-protected. But before I discuss his offer, here is a reminder about what Lashkar-e-Taiba is:
LeT has been responsible for numerous terror attacks, including one on the Indian Parliament in 2001 in which 7 people (plus 5 terrorists) were killed. The most well-known was the 2008 incursion into Mumbai in which 150-190 people were murdered (numbers in sources vary; also 10 terrorists were killed).
The Mumbai incident, which continued for 3 days until Indian special forces finally overwhelmed the terrorists, was remarkably vicious, including the random shooting of people at a railway station, an attempt to kill hospital patients, and the invasion of hotels and restaurants.
The group is concerned with far more than the Indian ‘occupation’ of Kashmir. It has a global focus:
a Markaz al-Dawa wal-Irshad [LeT’s parent political organization] publication titled Hum Jihad kyun Kar rahe hain? (Why Are We Waging Jihad?), declares the United States, Israel and India as existential enemies of Islam. It lists eight reasons for Jihad: 1) to eliminate evil and facilitate conversion to and practice of Islam; 2) to ensure the ascendancy of Islam; 3) to force non-Muslims to pay jizya (poll tax, paid by non-Muslims for protection from a Muslim ruler); 4) to assist the weak and powerless; 5) to avenge the blood of Muslims killed by unbelievers; 6) to punish enemies for breaking promises and treaties; 7) to defend a Muslim state; and 8) to liberate Muslim territories under non-Muslim occupation. — Husain Haqqani: The Ideologies of South Asian Jihadi Groups, p. 24-25
Their concern with the Jewish occupation of ‘Palestine’ led the terrorists to include the Mumbai Chabad house on their list of targets, where Rabbi Gavriel Holzberg, his pregnant wife Rivka, and four others were murdered. It was not an afterthought, and in an intercepted phone call from Pakistan, the terrorists were told that dead Jews were worth 50 times other victims.
Baron Nazir Ahmed is Britain’s first Muslim life Peer. Here is an explanation of his reason for supporting this terrorist organization, from a Pakistani newspaper (also from MEMRI):
In an expression of solidarity with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, British parliamentarian of Kashmiri origin Lord Nazir Ahmed has announced a reward for the [capture] of U.S. President Barack Obama and his predecessor, George W. Bush…
Lord Nazir said that the bounty placed on Saeed was an insult to all Muslims, and [that] by [offering it], President Obama has challenged the dignity of the Muslim ummah.
Even if Ahmed would say that the methods of LeT are too violent — and I have no idea what he would say if asked — his remarks show that it is intolerable to him that infidels like Bush or Obama should place themselves above a Muslim.
This is precisely the ideology of LeT. Haqqani continues:
This list of itself is suﬃcient to justify a virtual state of permanent jihad. “Have all the obstacles to observing the faith in the world been removed?” the unnamed author asks rhetorically, adding that non-Muslim dominance of the global system makes jihad necessary. “Is the current world order that of kaﬁrs (unbelievers) or of Muslims? Is the global economic system according to the wishes of Allah, which requires the end of interest and usury?” Jihad is described as essential to ensure ascendancy of Islam and to create circumstances whereby non-Muslims would either convert to Islam or pay jizya.
Maybe a good test for whether a Muslim is ‘moderate’ or not is to ask him if unbelievers should have the same rights as believers.
Certainly those who do not accept this, like Ahmed, should not hold a position in a governing body of a Western democracy like the UK.