A video of Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi, current chief of the proscribed sectarian group Ahle Sunnat Wal Jama’at (ASWJ) is circulating on social media in which he recalls the environment of fear his organisation had successfully created in the 1990s for the Shia Muslim community in Pakistan.
Ludhianvi, who is addressing a public meeting, was lamenting that his organization stood alone in its movement against “enemies of Islam,” but remembered ASWJ’s efforts with pride.
“This organization has been fighting alone, no one joined us,” he said. “This organization was left alone by even religious scholars. I do not say this with resentment, it was in fact a blessing.”
Ludhianvi said, “Even though we, with a very limited organization, ran this movement alone – and those who remember 1990s will confirm what I am saying – we reduced the enemies of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) to the level where they removed their flags from their homes. We reduced them to such a level that they removed plaques carrying their names Naqvi, Takwi from their houses. We reduced them to the level where they stopped wearing black on their way to demonstrations; these black clothes would be packed in shopping bags. They wore white wear clothes on the way to their demonstrations, then changed into black and then returned wearing white again. If we, a limited organization, could confront such a powerful force and reduce them to this level, we would not be seeing this day if our ulema had stood with us.”
The ASWJ chief was removed from the Fourth Schedule in 2018. The Fourth Schedule is a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act under which someone suspected of terrorism is kept under observation; it is mandatory for him or her to register his or her attendance with the local police regularly.
The Fourth Schedule also includes elements found to be or suspected to be involved in anti-state activities, delivering hate speeches and/or activists of religious outfits not yet banned but related to militancy in some way.