The organization has more than 50 million adherents worldwide with the majority living in South Asia. Tabligh Jamaat has been deemed as one of the most influential Islamic movement.
Tabligh Jamaat is headquartered in New Delhi’s Nizamuddin. The organization has been at the center of a controversy after a group of its followers attended a religious congregation the group held at its headquarters in Delhi in March 2020 and tested positive for Covid 19. A large number of people from across the country and foreign nations such as Indonesia and Malaysia attended the congregation.
The Tabligh Jamaat congregation that took place at Nizamuddin in March 2020 was a corona virus super spreader, with more than 4000 confirmed cases and at least 27 deaths linked to the event reported across the country.
Though Tabligh Jamaat pretends to be a group preaching Islam, it is in fact spreading the message of Jihad amongst people by whipping up religious passion in their mind. In a number of terrorist activities in the world, Tabligh Jamaat’s involvements were clearly discernible. In Bangladesh it is spreading wings everyday, as the government or security agencies are yet to put focus on the activities of this group. Bangladesh has seen a mushrooming of madrassas and mosques of various sects and persuasions and also Islamic universities funded by Islamic NGOs based in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Pakistan. These madrassas, mosques and Islamic universities are contributing to a growing Wahabisation of the Muslim community in the country.
The Jihadist groups now active inside Bangladesh are continuing to gather strength with the ulterior motive of establishing Sharia in the country. Though Bangladesh government has pledged support to the US-led war against terror and intends to showcase Bangladesh as a moderate Muslim country by banning a number of Islamist militant groups, it is yet to take any effective action against Tabligh Jamaat and other radical groups which are continuing covert activities around the country with the agenda of destabilizing democratic government.
Bishwa Ijtema, organized by Tabligh Jamaat in Bangladesh every year, is the second largest congregation of Muslims the world over after the Haj. Media reports indicate that more than one million people gathered at the Biswa Ijtema congregation recently, and, from this year, the congregation will take place on three different dates as the organizers are sensing larger participation of people from foreign countries from this year.
Main objective of Tabligh Jamaat is to encourage people towards religious conversion. The next agenda is instigating Jihadist notion. Third is ousting democracy. In a country like Bangladesh, where more than 83 per cent of the population are Muslims, the only reason behind allowing Tabligh Janaat to keep active would be to ultimately wipe off the existence of Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and Ahmadiya community. There are reports in media about forceful conversion of Hindu girls and boys into Islam. In most cases, where female Hindus are converted, the entire episode is given a 'legal' coverage of marriage. But, no one ever bothers, if the marriage was forceful. Actually, most of such so-called marriages are forceful. In some cases, the abductors rape the girl with the motive of putting mental pressure on her for marrying the rapist and ultimately getting converted into Islam. Tabligh Jamaat activists are continuing to encourage people in trying to get any of the non-Muslims into Islam. Mostly the Muslim youths are getting attracted at such 'calls' of the Tablighis. And such inspiration ultimately leads them to do anything in getting any of the non-Muslims into Islam.
In Bangladesh Qaumi Madrassas are the breeding grounds of Jihadists. Only 26 per cent of the students coming out of Qaumi madrassas ultimately find a job with any mosque as cleric, while the larger segment of such madrassa educated people with high Jihadist brain-wash either mix-up in the society or just disappear from the scene. It is well known that, such disappeared madrassa students find ways to any of the foreign countries for joining 'Jihad'. It is also known that these elements had taken active part in Afghan war where they came in contact with Al Qaeda and Taliban and returned to Bangladesh, completely radicalized, after fall of Taliban regime. Thereafter they formed militant Islamic groups such as Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami HUJI and Jamiatul Mujahideen Bangladesh JMB. Iranian and Saudi embassies in Bangladesh as well the Palestinians encourage these Qaumi madrassa products in joining Jihad against Israel and United States. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran spend huge funds in such activities every year. On the other hand, Pakistani intelligence agency ISI recruits Qaumi madrassa educated students for joining war against India in Kashmir. Such elements are also sent by ISI to other parts of India with terrorist dictation.
Bangladesh government and those combating terrorism should carefully examine the case of those 84 per cent disappeared madrassa students, who either mix up in the society or get into Jihadist activities. For the sake of fixing a workable and effective strategy on combating terrorism, such investigation and study is extremely essential. No government or security agency can combat terrorism without specific and in some cases even comprehensive information on the roots of terrorism and bases of such terror acts. For the sake of combating terrorism and Jihad, it is essential first of all to understand the strength and 'route map' of the terrorists and Jihadists. Once Bangladesh gets this, combating or countering terrorism will become much effective and meaningful.