– NIZAMUDDIN SHAMZAI
* Mufti NIzamuddin Shamzai was born in a small village in Swat, Northern Pakistan, in 1930. He became, with time, a prominent Islamic preacher in one of the most prestigious Islamic Madrassas in Pakistan – the Binori Madrassa in Karachi and the future breeding ground for many Muslim prominent radical clerics.
After the Russians invaded Afghanistan towards the end of 1979, NIzamuddin Shamzai, in association with other Mullas of Pakistan issued a fatwa calling for a Jhad (Holy War) against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. NIzamuddin Shamzai became one of many prominent Islamic clerics in Pakistan that, with the support and backup of the Pakistani Intelligence – ISI, the American CIA and the Saudi Intelligence helped to recruit thousands of young Muslims to the war in Afghanistan and facilitate their training and shifting to the war against the Russians.
NIzamuddin Shamzai was one of the founders of the original Taliban when his Students (Taliban) from the Binori Madrassa in Karachi joined Mullah Omar to the last stage of the war in Afghanistan in 1989. Since 1995 NIzamuddin Shamzai along with Qari Saifullah Akhtar mediated between the Taliban in Afghanistan and Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Sudan. NIzamuddin Shamzai was one of the facilitators in coordinating the moving of Osama Bin Laden, his entourage and Al Qaeda apparatus from Sudan to Afghanistan in the end of 1996.
During his career, NIzamuddin Shamzai had issued nearly 2000 Fatwas (Islamic religious verdicts). In the 1970s and the 1980s, his Fatwas were mainly directed against the USSR, India and Israel. After Osama bin Laden formed his International Islamic Front (IIF) in 02/1998, his Fatwas became increasingly directed against the USA. After the US-led coalition started its so-called war against terrorism in Afghanistan, in 10/2001, operation Absolute Justice, he issued a Fatwa calling upon the Muslims of the world to join the Jihad against the USA.
NIzamuddin Shamzai, who strongly backed Pervez Musharraf’s seizure of power in 10/1999, became increasingly critical of him after the General decided to co-operate with the USA in its operations against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. He and his followers helped the leaders of the Taliban, including its Amir Mulla Omar, to escape from Afghanistan into Pakistan and take sanctuary there.
Unlike Al Qaeda NIzamuddin Shamzai opposed terror attacks against Muslims or Muslim regimes, such as in Saudi Arabia.
NIzamuddin Shamzai was killed, on 05/30/2004, and his son, nephew and driver were wounded, when armed men ambushed their vehicle in front of the Binori Mosque and Madrassa compound in Karachi. The assassination occurred three weeks after a powerful bomb killed 15 Shiite worshippers in Hyderi Mosque in Karachi, which aroused speculations that Shiites avenged the Hyderi Mosque attack by assassinating NIzamuddin Shamzai. However his followers abstained from blaming Shiites of NIzamuddin Shamzai’s killing.
A day after NIzamuddin Shamzai’s assassination, on 31 May 2004, at least 24 worshippers were killed and 34 others sustained injuries when a high-intensity bomb explodes during the evening prayers at a Shiaa mosque situated on the MA Jinnah Road in Karachi.
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