Sunday, October 23, 2005

The commitment of Sheikh Gilani's followers

I’ve been conducting back searches for news coverage that has been given to al-Fuqra in the past. It seems the group has had about five minutes of fame, but after that, the media moved on.

A few stories might have run in print, or during the evening dinner hour, but then they went back to falsifying memos, covering car chases, and observing the anniversary of the OJ verdict. You know, more important stuff.

I found a story from 2002 that mentioned a man named Khalid Khawaja. I will have more detail on him later, but this should serve as an adequate introduction for now -

“In the world of militant Islam, Khalid Khawaja seems to be a friend of just about everyone. Osama Bin Laden is one of his closest friends. But he is even closer to Gilani.”
So, if Gilani claims he does not know bin Laden directly, it seems they at least have a mutual friend.

Up to now, I was under the assumption that Gilani was sitting in a Pakistani prison. Now, since news coverage of him has been spotty since then, I’m not sure that he is. I knew that he had been arrested after Daniel Pearl was killed, but then I read this -

“Seven days after being jailed in connection with the Pearl kidnapping, Khawaja was the first to hear the news of Gilani’s release.”
Unless he was arrested again, he may in fact be sitting free inside his walled compound in Lahore. If someone can clarify this, please do so in the comments or via email.

There was also this -

"Gilani says that he is used to being a suspect whenever there is a terrorist act against the U.S."
Now, I wonder why that is?

The story went on to quote Gilani spewing propaganda about how peaceful his followers are and how the U.S. is such a free place for Muslims.
"This is not exactly the marching orders you would expect from a man who had been listed in the United States report on terrorism. But Gilani and his followers, in fact, were taken off the list two years ago."
Let's see, taken off the terrorist list in 2000? I guess that's one more thing we can thank the Clinton Administration for. Hm, what was it Richard Clarke said about their approach to terrorism..."there was no higher priority"? Yeah, right.

There was a particular passage in this story that really caught my attention. When I read it, I had to reread it. I was highlighting certain parts of articles in yellow, but this I underlined in red.

“I am telling you, Osama doesn’t have many people in America,” Khawaja says. “But here (in Pakistan), he has lots and lots of followers there and followers who are, I am telling you, I am sure of one thing, Osama does not have even one of his followers as committed as Sheik Mubarak Gilani. Osama does not have even one as committed as the least of his people."
My friends, that is a frightening prospect.

Read the CBS story I quoted - here.

2 comments:

Always On Watch said...

The web is intricate, I think.

khalidkhawaja said...

Dear Writer

I could not find your name on this article but I am Khalid Khawaja who you have mentioned in yout article. You wished you know about Shaikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, so he is serving the humanity as usual, and nowadays most of his time along with his followers is spent helping earth quake victims.

I donot mince my words and always speak the clear truth, unless at times media misquotes me,if you wish to sort out any confusion in your mind regarding what I said you may call me on my phone 92-300-2018118 or e,mail khawajakhalid@hotmail.com

best regards

Khalid