Introducing Abu Zar al-Burmi

For the November edition of the Jamestown Foundation’s Militant Leadership Monitor (MLM), I have written what is probably the first publicly available English-language profile of Abu Zar al-Burmi, the mufti of the Waziristan-based Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The MLM is only available via paid subscription, so you’ll have to be a subscriber to read the full text of my article.

Many of you Urdu speakers have heard Abu Zar’s voice before. He is the jihadi cleric debating with a counterpart from the Pakistani military in an audio recording that has spread on the Internet.

Abu Zar represents the most radical elements of Pakistan’s jihadi landscape. He and his ilk are unlikely to ever negotiate a peace with the Pakistani government. And the Pakistani government, military, and public must contend with the fact that peace talks will not end the war for some of the country’s anti-state jihadists.

Abu Zar says that his goal is shariah ya shahadat (Islamic law or martyrdom).  He will fight to the death.  Abu Zar seeks a pure Islamic state.  He says that not even a 99% Islamic state will suffice. For him, even Quaid-e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, was a kafir (infidel).

One final interesting tidbit: Abu Zar is a Pakistani national of Burmese ancestry who is the leading cleric for a jihadist group founded in Uzbekistan, but now based in Pakistan’s Waziristan. His background is truly an example of globalization — but, given the IMU’s viciousness, of its ugliest sort.

Print Friendly
Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis

Category: Abu Zar al-Burmi


2 Responses

  1. schahid says:

    these people can do some blasts,but there is no chance that they will be in power in next 100 years in pakistan.majority in pakistan is secular.all main political powers are secular minded.when foreign troops are there in afghanistan,they survive or breathe.people dont like these intolerent people,self proclaimed righteous actually psychpaths.

  2. adnan says:

    hmmm this guy calls ‘qaid e azam’ a kafir i can see his “Islam” clearly…

Leave a Reply


Arif Rafiq, a Washington, DC-based consultant on Middle East and South Asian political and security issues. [About]

For Media and Consulting Inquiries:
E-mail // Tel: +1(202) 713-5897

On Twitter:

On the Radio:
Arif Rafiq regularly appears on the John Batchelor Show Friday nights from 09:30-10:00pm Eastern Time. Tune your dial to 770AM in New York or 630AM in DC. The show appears on affiliates in other cities. Listen live online at WABCRadio.com.
AddThis Social Bookmark Button AddThis Feed Button