US Congressman says Jamat-e-Islami responsible for violence in Kashmir

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WASHINGTON: Expressing concerns over the growing influence of Jamat-e-Islami in South Asia, US Congressman Jim Banks said that much of the violence in Kashmir is linked to the organizations related to the proscribed religious outfit and its affiliates.

Addressing a seminar hosted by the Middle East Forum here in association with South Asia Minorities Alliance Foundation and other influential think tanks on Wednesday, Banks said, “Jamat-e-Islami is especially operating in South Asia with its violent factions found in Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is a violent, theocratic group that has committed violent acts against minority Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and Ahmadis.”

Jim Banks stressed that there is a lack of awareness and action by the US against the activities of the Jamat-e-Islami.

“Through violent actions, they (the JI) seek to silence the voices of others and discourage participation in democracy. Much of the violence in Kashmir is linked to the organizations related to Jamat-e-Islami and its terrorist partners,” he added.

The lawmaker said that the JI continues to grow its influence in South Asia, and today has been operating on a large scale with multiple international partners. Referring to the activities of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the US lawmaker from Indiana said that organisation is a partner group of Jamat-e-Islami within the US.

“We must prevent the spread of this threat before it starts impacting Americans at home. I introduced HR-160 resolution earlier this year, and this bipartisan resolution calls on USAID and State Department to refrain from any partnership with organizations affiliated with radical Islamist groups,” Banks said.

In his address, South Asia Minority Alliance Chairman (SAMAC) Nadeem Nusrat described the striking similarities between the religious ideologies of Egypt-based Ikhuan-ul-Muslimoon (Muslim Brotherhood) and Jamat-e-Islami. He said that both outfits emerged soon after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1924 during the British control of India and Egypt.