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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776
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Combating ISIS influence in India

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Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.

Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.
Photo Credit: YouTube stillshot / ITN

Once again,  a  group of fanatics seems determined to end the age-old atmosphere of peace and harmony in Indian society, taking the nation towards the  Islamisation of the kind  Wahabbists have long been preaching. Reports are that  India’s Sunni theologian Maulana Salman Nadvi of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama recently greeted   the  self-appointed caliph and head of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.  Now  he has asked the Saudi government to prepare an army of Indian Sunni Muslim youth to fight against the Shia militias in Iraq and elsewhere.


The National Democratic Alliance government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi must remain vigilant against such fanatic elements in Indian society and take all appropriate measures aimed at  neutralizing them as early as possible. It would not be wise to treat the rise of  the ISIS lightly . The whole world knows this terrorist outfit aims to install an Islamic world caliphate, of which India, along with many other pluralist nations,  would be included. Sharing its  ideology in common with al-Qaeda, Taliban and other Wahabist Islamist outfits, the ISIS preaches hatred and violence against    whoever does not subscribe to its radical, militant theological version.Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi  has reportedly already  ordered Muslims to obey him in his call for a ‘global jihad.’


In its operations and activities the ISIS  has been  far  more aggressive and dangerous than its once ideological source al-Qaida.  It has made a rapid advance in a very short time .  Beginning just as a mere group of  al-Qaida in the region, it took the shape of Islamic State in Iraq in 2006 in the wake of escalation of the  crisis the post –dictator Saddam Hussein phase generated in the country.  As another crisis escalated in the neighborhood of Syria under its autocratic presidency of Bashar al Assad. this terrorist group metastasized into an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Now it  is known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Syria, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Cyprus, and parts of Turkey.) 


There are reports that the influence of ISIS has been increasing in India. Some Indian youths have recently called up their families from Syria and confirmed they are  fighting for it. They have said that they are safe and their entire family would go to ‘jannat’ or heaven because of the ‘work’ they are doing as part of ISIS. Indications are that if  these youths, currently fighting in Iraq and Syria, are victorious there, they would  return to India only to help (with support from other Islamist nations and their  various accomplices in the Middle East) ISIS carry out its anti-India designs.  Also, the presence of such die-hard Islamist fighters would embolden some other like-minded forces in India .


The civil society too should come forward in India and do its best to keep off all such fanatic elements from vitiating the atmosphere of peace and harmony in the country. The larger Muslim community must play a special role in this. For centuries it has been as integral as any other segment of Indian society to this ancient civilization’s glorious  syncretistic traditions. This must be maintained and advanced in the service of humanity, the core of Islam (and all other religions ).    


It is heartening to learn that Maulana Mahmood Daryabadi of All-India Ulema Council, the umbrella organization of clerics, has in a way already disapproved of the above-mentioned action of  Maulana Nadvi. Daryabadi has reportedly said, “If this is true, it’s unfortunate. Indian Muslims share the pain of their brothers elsewhere but it’s futile to see the crisis in Iraq and Syria from the Shia-Sunni prism. Some forces are bent on dividing the Muslims. Such letters will only widen the gulf between the two sects.”


Needless to mention, the ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular. The self-styled commander of ISIS Ibrahim Awaad al-Badri vowed war against democratic India ( and others ). This demands that all democracies get really serious about checkmating this Islamist outfit .

Jagdish N. Singh

About the Author: Jagdish N. Singh is an Indian journalist based in New Delhi.

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