FrontPage: "A Small Sample of a Great Problem: Deoband Islam"
As the United States begins to draw down its forces in Afghanistan in accordance with the so-called peace agreement with the Taliban, the move could help bring attention to an oft-ignored branch of Islam — that is, the branch of Deoband Islam. Deoband is actually a city in north central India. In the 1860s, it was realized that the Deobandis had a very similar interpretation and approach to Islam as the Saudi Wahhabis. In other words, they are Salafiand practice the original form of Islam. Thus, they are pro-jihad and their goal is to implement Sharia law around the world. Take, for example, the Taliban who are currently making an attempt to re-establish the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (a totalitarian Islamic state), having taken possession of more territory in the South Asian country of Afghanistan since 9/11. Coincidentally, the Taliban itself is a Deobandi group.
In a recent online survey administered by the author and Animesh Roul (SSPC, New Delhi), 27 voluntary subjects were questioned about Deoband Islam. All of the participants were required to be in a field of homeland (internal) security or counterterrorism. Each participant was presented a short survey about the global Islamic Deoband movement — with particular interest on the Indian subcontinent, considering the origin of the movement. The average age of participants was 53. Seventeen subjects were male, while 10 were female. The participants’ countries of origin included the United States, India, Israel, United Kingdom, and Iran.
Interestingly, experts in any one of the fields of homeland (internal) security or counterterrorism agreed that a number of Darul Uloom Deoband-linked groups have contributed to the promotion of Jihad in the Indian subcontinent. These groups include Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, Jamaat ul-Ahrar, Jamaat-ul-Mujahedeen, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Tablighi Jamaat, Tamil Nadu Sunnath Jamaath, Tehrik-e-Taliban, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, Thowheed Jamaat, and of course, the Taliban.
A five-point Likert scale allowed participants to specify their level of agreement to a statement according to the following responses: very influential, likely, neutral, not influential, not very influential. Especially, when asked how influential these groups were to the Indian subcontinent, 18 (66.67%) of the respondents believed they were “very influential,” while nine (33.33%) respondents agreed they were “influential.”