Well, actually we were speaking about Imam Hafiz Muhammed Masood, former former imam from the Islamic Center of New England. While no local papers have reported this, Masood happens to the brother of Hafiz Saeed, the founder of a notorious terrorist group in Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET). It's been reported in newspapers in India and Pakistan, but not in the U.S. Not sure why, that sounds like news to me.
It also turns out that the other arrested imam, Hafiz Muhammad Hannan of the Islamic Society of Lowell, is Saeed's brother-in-law. And Hafiz Mahmood Hamid, the imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester, is Saeed's brother. What a curious family affair we have going on here in Massachusetts! What are the chances?
I described Lashkar-e-Toiba a bit in a previous post ("the most feared terrosist group in Kashmir"), so I won't go into details. Let's just say these guys (LeT) are bad guys. LeT is banned in Pakistan, and Hafiz was under house arrest under recently. Saeed started a new organziation, Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD), which claims to provide humanitarian aid and social services. Both LeT and JuD are declared terrorist organizations by the U.S.
To give you a flavor of LeT, here are two recent articles about that group:
1) Earlier this month, Indian police arrested two suspected LeT militants who had stuffed eight toys with more than 2 pounds of plastic explosives. They planned to blow up a market in New Delhi. "In their luggage, a bomb disposal squad found two boxes with the toys - a toy duck and a toy bus - filled with explosives..." So who was going to carry the explosive-filled toy duck and toy truck? Children?
2) On the Islamic Network website, one finds a charming story about "The Excellent Character of the Mother of Shaheed Abu Dujanah":
"This mother had four sons. Whilst nourishing her sons with her milk, this great mother also instilled in them the love of Jihad. Time passed and the sons grew older. Umm Abu Dujanah repeatedly reminded her sons, “Along with my milk I have also given you the zeal for Jihad and martyrdom. Sons, get ready, the battlefield is beckoning you”.
One son trained to join join Abdullah bin ‘Ateek.
"Abdullah Bin ‘Ateek is an advanced training programme designed for only the most capable and advanced brothers. With Allah’s blessings and help Abu Dujanah completed the course successfully and was now waiting to enter the “valley of death”."
Read the whole thing, it is a total celebration of Umm Abu Dajanah, a mother who has raised her children to become shaheeds, suicide bombers in "Occupied Kashmir." The first son does indeed become a shaheed (martyr). Alhumdulillah.
"The next day, I travelled to Umm Dujanah’s village, to congratulate her.....At that moment, the mother turned her attention towards me and said, “Make sure you come to celebrate Abu Dujanah’s funeral. My next missile I have prepared in the shape of Ali (another son). Whenever the Mujahideen require his assistance, he is at their service."
"The events on the day of the funeral were extraordinary and unexpected. Umm Abu Dujanah was addressing her sisters, sisters-in-law and various other female relatives saying to them, “Today I will see what wedding gift you give to my Dujanah (her dead son). Today is his Walima. Open your hearts and give generously. I will see how much you love my son”. After listening to this great mother, many of her female relatives started donating to the Jihad fund. .... Rings and earrings were also collected. Umm Dujanah herself donated 100,000 rupees to the Jihad fund when her son obtained Shahaadah, and gave it to him as a gift. What a unique gift!"
"These qualities can only be obtained by that mother who teaches herself and her children to live in accordance to the light of the Deen and teaches them the true way of Islam, who strives to make them Mujahideen, and instils in them the zeal to die for Islam.”
I have a very difficult time imagining that any mother desires this for her sons, to die as suicide bombers. Hard to imagine that mothers - who bring life into the world - would worship death.
The connection to Hafiz Saeed is, according to this account, he was recruiting young men to become fighters and shaheeds in Kashmir. Now, maybe Hafiz Saeed is the black sheep of the family, and his brothers and brother-in-law are nothing like him. But let's look closely at this, OK? Perhaps the Boston Globe can send a reporter over to Pakistan to do some investigative reporting.