CHAPTER threat from various terrorist organisations and

CHAPTER III : ISIS IN INDIA

 

 

“Muslims’
rights are forcibly seized in China, India, Palestine, Somalia……. in the East
and in the West. Prisoners are moaning and crying for help. Orphans and widows
are complaining of their plight. Women who have lost their children are
weeping……… Terrify the enemies of Allah and seek death in the
places where you expect to find it. Your brothers, on every piece of this
earth, are waiting for you to rescue them”

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–       Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the newly-named Caliph, after
the declaration of the Caliphate.

 

 

Introduction

 

35.       Abu Musab al Zarqawi the founder of ISIS
laid the very ideology of group by stating to establish a caliphate, which is
being followed by leaders. The statements given above provide a detailed view
into how the ISIS aim to establish a Caliphate in the World. On the larger
picture, India appears to be safe from ISIS influence, however
analysis reveals that the threat is imminent one and likely to emerge. ISIS has
global ambitions to establish caliph, Islamic World and areas North of India forms
part of Khorasan which is one of the territory of Islamic Caliphate. It is
essential for us to be more attentive and workout measures to deny its
emergence in India.

 

36.       India is located in of the most security
and political stressed regions of the world and it faces external threat from
various terrorist organisations and also internal threat from militant groups
operating inside. Terrorism in India is sponsored by and supported by ISI.
India also have terrorism problems in the North eastern and also LWE has
emerged as major threat. Lashkar-e- Taiba continues to play major role in
terrorist related acts and violence in Kashmir valley and over the period
several other groups have come into existence. ISIS flags were also observed in
few processions in J& K, however firm reports of its existence have not
been received. It is in this manner primarily that India stands threatened,
though indirectly, from the jihadi groups operating in India and supporting and
promoting the cause of ISIS.

 

Growth of ISIS in India

 

37.       ISIS
Focus in India.            ISIS
aim to include Khorasan into its Caliphate which poses a significant threat to
India. India will definitely come into the focus of ISIS to recruit and
radicalise individuals for their expansion. India have witnessed very minor
inclination of Muslim people towards trans-national jihadist
sentiment. Few Muslim people have got radicalised and very few have moved to
Iraq and Syria to join the ISIS folds. Considering the sunni population present
in India it becomes a lucrative target in near future.

 

38.       Ayman al-Zawahiri have initiated various
measures to influence and radicalise Indian Muslims for Al Qaeda. It began before
the emergence of ISIS. In 2014, Al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) was
established by Al Qaeda to further achieve their goal. This growing interest in
India’s Sunni Muslim population was reinforced in Al-Qaida’s first
English-language magazine, Resurgence. In an article titled “The Future of
Muslims in India,” published in October 2014, Maulana Esam Umar wrote: “the
time has come for the Muslims of India to play a proactive role in the Jihad in
Afghanistan and benefit from the experience of forty years of the Jihad so that
they may build a better future for coming generations.” The article went on to
declare that the Muslims of India are discriminated against and suffer from
humiliation at the hands of the Hindus.1

 

39.       India as one of the largest democracies
in the world has been role model for other nations and provided a high degree
of freedom to its nationals without any distinction to religion, caste or creed.
Influence of ISIS has grown multifold with the emergence of Information
Technology. Various adhoc institutes and organisations are also contributing
for the radicalisation of youth. ISIS has created an impressive ideology to
attract youth of various segment and the ideology is being projected in the
manner which can reach maximum individuals.

40.       Observation
in India hinting influence of ISIS in India.       India has also witnessed several event and acts which
demonstrates the rising influence of ISIS in India. Few of them are given
below.

(a)       T-shirts bearing ISIS Emblems worn in
India.                       A
recent photograph showed a group of 26 Muslim youths sporting black T-shirts
with the emblem of the ISIS in front of a mosque at the coastal town of Thondi
in Ramanathapuram district (in Tamil Nadu).2The
Imam responsible for procuring these T-shirts was arrested soon and he
revealed, “that the main accused were active supporters of the ISIS and
allegedly trying to brainwash Muslim youths for the cause that the ISIS was
fighting for”.3

 

(b)       Support by India-based Islamic
Organisations.        India –
based Islamic organisation such as Jamaat-e-Islami Hind reportedly said “ISIS
caliphate is binding on all Muslims”4 and
a similar support was also endorsed by a cleric from Darul Uloom Nadwatul
Ulama. In a letter allegedly written by the cleric, he expressed “confidence
that Iraqi Sunnis were with ISIS and that Bagdhadi’s “clean and pious
character is worth praise”, and he also allegedly asked the “Saudi
government to prepare an army of five lakh Indian Sunni Muslim youth to fight
against the Shia militias in Iraq and elsewhere.5

 

(c)        Rising Support for ISIS in Jammu and
Kashmir.      Terrorist groups
fighting in Jammu and Kashmir have different agenda altogether and therefore
minimum links between ISIS and these terrorist groups have emerged till now. There
has been increase in incidents which showcase influence of ISIS in Jammu and
Kashmir, however majority of groups are not associating themselves with ISIS.
There have been five incidents of waving ISIS flags in different part of the
state. In the past, kashmiri youth waved Pakistani flags as a form of anti
–India protest. The Pakistani flags have now been replaced by the ISIS flag6.
But such incidents have been very less.

 

(d)       Charlie Hebdo Incident.    The idea that drove the jihadists to kill
the cartoonists and editors of Chalrie Hebedo is very much alive in towns and
cities across India. A review Facebook comments made by Muslim youth on the Paris
shooting reveals that the geography of this radicalisation in India is indeed
wide, fertile and raw. Of nearly 400 comments, the overwhelming response was in
favour of attackers. The comments celebrating the killings were made on this
facebook page by Muslim youth living in Kolakata, Patna, Nawada, Lucknow,
Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Amravati. Pune, Banglore and other places and among
them are engineers, doctors, graduates, school students both male and female.
Indian Muslims who posted these comments online are not terrorists, but some
observations can still be made about them. They are present across the India
and there is no difference between their viewpoints and those of Jihadists of
Taliban, al-Qaeda and the ISIS when it comes to blasphemy under Sharia7.

Assessment

 

41.       The series of incidents mentioned above
shows that it may be unlikely that all or even majority of these youths will
become terrorist, but it certainly suggests that there is a fertile field of
Jihadist ideas being cultivated by Islamic scholars in India, notions of which
young Muslims are fed regularly. This is a result of decades of Islamic
teachings offered by madrassas. At any point in time and across the countries,
these ideas can be easily used to destabilise society. One may ask if small
bands of barbarians can succeed against mighty states. The answer is yes and
no. Yes, because Jihadist succeed in situations created by local factors; no because
jihadist can’t be curtailed by resilient states. It may happen that very soon
India will be confronting bands of barbarians, ideologically motivated by jihad,
acting in their own.

1    
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya, “Regain lost glory, al Qaeda tells Indian
Muslims,” Hindustan Times, October 28, 2014

2    D.J. Walter Scott, “Muslim youths sporting
ISIS T-shirts cause a flutter”, The
Hindu, 4 August 2014,http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/muslim-youths-sporting-isis-tshirts-cause-aflutter/article6278285.ece

3   D.J. Walter Scott, “Imam held for supplying
T-shirts with ISIS slogan”, The Hindu,
7 August 2014,

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/imam-arrested-for-supplying-tshirts-with-isisslogan/article6288657.ece

4    ‘Supporting the ISIS Caliphate Is Binding
On All Muslims, ISIS Fulfils Maulana Azad And Maududi’s Aspirations For The
Islamic Caliphate,’ Says Jamaat-e-Islami Hind”, New Age Islam, 26 August
2014. http://www.newageislam.com/radical-islamism-and-jihad/-supporting-the-isis-caliphate-is-binding-on-allmuslims,-
isis-fulfils-maulana-azad-and-maududi-s-aspirations-for-the-islamic-caliphate,–says-jamaat-eislami-hind/d/98745.

5    “Nadwa cleric asks Saudi govt to prepare an
army of Sunni youth for Iraq”, The
Times of India, 26 July 2014,
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Nadwa-cleric-asks-Saudi-govt-to-prepare-an-army-of-Sunni-youth-for-Iraq/articleshow/39012903.cms

6    
Pp101 to 102 ” Jihadist threat to India” by Tufail Ahmed

7    
Pp 78 to 80 ” Jihadist threat to India” by Tufail Ahmed

 

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