When South Asian and American radicals collide, Congress takes notice

A recent hearing on human rights in South Asia focused almost exclusively on the issue of Kashmir, a disputed region which is claimed, at least in part, by India, Pakistan, and China. Legislators and witnesses at the hearing spent a great deal of time denouncing the Indian government’s response to the Pulwama attack of February 2019, in which terrorists killed 40 Indian police officers.

Pakistan’s role in all this, however, went largely unmentioned. Just a few days before the hearing, Pakistani Sen. Sirajul Haq declared, “There is no resolution of the Kashmir problem except through jihad” and that “[t]he entire [Pakistani] nation is ready to fight against India.”

Haq is the emir of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, a multinational radical Islamist movement with a decadeslong history of violence. It was recently banned in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir for supporting terrorists. As such, Haq’s statement deserves more attention, not only because of the explosive nature of the Kashmir dispute, but because there is substantial evidence that American institutions, including the federal government, have been helping fund the violent jihad advocated by Haq.

Luckily, these terror finance links did not escape the attention of several members of Congress. A letter recently sent to State Department Counterterrorism Coordinator Nathan Sales by Reps. Jim Banks, R-Indiana, Chuck Fleishmann, R-Tennessee, and Randy Weber, R-Texas, lays out the evidence simply and convincingly.

One of Jamaat-e-Islami’s proxy groups in the West is the Islamic Circle of North America, a large Islamic organization with branches all over the country, whose annual conferences attract thousands of supporters. According to Vali Nasr of Johns Hopkins University, ICNA is one of Jamaat-e-Islami’s most important branches in the world. ICNA’s various officials and branches have a long history of partnership with Jamaat-e-Islami’s terror finance proxies and other South Asian terrorist groups.

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