Pakistan Awami Tehrik's (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri, returned to Pakistan a couple of weeks ago, after having launched a counterterrorism curriculum in Britain. The curriculum was designed by Minhaj-ul Quran International (MQI), under the leadership of Qadri, after British Prime Minister David Cameron urged the Muslim community to ‘do more’ to prevent British Muslims from joining the Islamic State (IS) – also known as ISIS.

Cameron’s statement had come after Talha Asmal became the youngest British suicide bomber to sacrifice his life for ISIS. According to estimates, over 700 British Muslims have already fled to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, underscoring the need for the ‘anti-ISIS’ curriculum that was launched on June 23, in London.

The 900-page curriculum excommunicates ISIS and highlights how the actions of Islamist extremists “are totally in violation of the Quran and Islam.” The perils and self-contradiction of apostatising Islamist extremists were discussed in this space last week; however, the intriguing part of the ‘counterterrorism curriculum’ – a well-meaning effort without doubt – is the history of its author.

Qadri is no stranger to contradictions. Sometimes he sells a fascist brand of politics, that made him an inalienable ally for Imran Khan last year, while on other occasions he organises veritable peaceful sit-ins, which nearly derailed the Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) bid for a historic completion of their tenure in January 2013.

From orchestrating sit-ins, where thousands peacefully endure harsh weather for four days, to inciting violent attacks on state buildings, Qadri sells his politics according to the demands of the highest bidders. The same can be said of his religious ‘scholarship’.

After Qadri became relevant in early 2013, following his first long march and the ensuing four-day sit-in at the D-chowk, a video was circulated on social media highlighting Qadri’s contradictions vis-à-vis the formulation and application of the blasphemy law. The law had become an international matter of deliberation following the Rimsha Masih case.

This video showcases Qadri saying that “whoever commits blasphemy, whether a Muslim or a non-Muslim, should be killed like a dog and sent to hell.” In the video, Qadri also brings it to the record that the blasphemy law, Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, was made “solely due to his efforts, with no contribution from anyone else.” He further claims that during the Zia-regime he spent 18 hours convincing the Shura about the blasphemy law, who in turn encouraged Ziaul Haq to pass the law with the Hudood Ordinance, “as an act of Parliament” so that the then president may get credit for its formulation and for serving Islam.

When Tahirul Qadri was invited to a European Peace Conference in 2012, held in Copenhagen, his statements on record in support of the blasphemy law and claims of playing a part in its formulation made the European media apprehensive. In multiple interviews in the lead-up, and after the conference, where the Danish cartoon controversy was discussed, Qadri contradicted his standpoint on the law, blatantly denying his self-proclaimed role in the law’s creation and claiming that the law “doesn’t apply to Muslims at all.”

Qadri’s bilingual volte-face on blasphemy law, where bigotry in Urdu was replaced by ‘progressive moderation’ in English, was matched during last year’s long march as well, when he encouraged his followers to kill those who "return from the battlefield", in front of the local media, while selling a 2013-esque idea of peaceful protest on foreign TV channels.

Qadri isn’t of course the first Islamic scholar to endorse killings over crimes of conscience, and he won’t be the last. However, few manage to lie through the teeth and blatantly contradict stances that they’ve maintained for decades as well as he does. Fewer still pose as big a danger to the Muslim world’s reform as Qadri does.

Just like his ‘Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings’ released in 2010, the British counterterrorism curriculum is a complete U-turn on his hitherto stance on Islamic laws. Mimicking Qadri’s approach to the terrorism fatwa, the British curriculum basically excommunicates everything conspicuously associated with Islamist terrorist organisations, while ignoring the prevalence of those ideas in the Muslim world. This ensures that he can shroud himself in a quasi-reformist cloak in front of the West, while refuting his moderate stance in Pakistan in front of the potential vote bank, where his ostensible reformist endeavours are most needed.

Qadri’s oxymoronic approach to religious reform can be explained by the West hankering after ‘Islamic moderation’ to curb the rise in Islamist terrorism and the growing number of Western Muslims being involved with the likes of ISIS. With his fatwa against terrorism, and the recent counterterrorism curriculum, Qadri has tapped a lucrative market where the demand for ‘reformist scholars’ that denounce armed jihad and blasphemy law is high, while the supply is pretty limited. The desperation of the Western governments for Islamic moderation has reached a point where background checks or track-record of those posing as reformists is deemed superfluous.

Meanwhile, his adherence to religious bigotry back home is pivotal for his political survival, where support for Islamic laws and Shariah is prevalent. His fascist politics, much like Imran Khan’s, stems from the idea that ‘corrupt politicians’, who create a ‘fertile ground for military coups’, need to be urgently displaced. This explains Qadri’s recent hobnobbing with Musharraf following his return to Pakistan. It also explains why propagating Islamo-fascism, with the frequent clamours of ‘martyrdom’, is now inalienable for Qadri’s political relevance.

Qadri, much like Imran Khan, is relying on the ‘let’s-hope-no-one-notices’ strategy over his U-turns. This is why even when his contradictions are hinted at on local TV shows he weaves a coil of denial and deceit. Qadri’s about-turn, however, is a lot more detrimental than Khan’s. In the Muslim world, where Islamic moderation has become an existential question, for Qadri to perpetuate his incongruous reform is more fatal than the acts of Islamist terrorists.