Radical Islamism and Jihad
After the Arab Spring, hailed so naively by the West as a reawakening of the Middle East’s soul, collapsed into insurgency and jihad, young men and women are flocking from all over the world to join Islamist fundamentalist guerrillas fighting in Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Palestine. Many of them are dirt poor, uneducated with little employment prospects or disillusioned with their irrelevance in society. Spurred on by radical preachers financed with mainly Saudi and Qatari money, they are part of a growing legion that hates anything that goes against their twisted version of religion…..
Avoiding such topics is deliberate, not least because the historically dominant form of Islam in India, which is strongly inflected by Sufism and somewhat syncretistic, is inimical to al-Qaeda’s ideology and teachings. Even the Salafis in India, the otherwise named Ahl-e Hadees, among whom I have done extensive fieldwork research in such places as Batla House and in Old Delhi, are committed to an Indian nationalistic agenda, and readily participate in electoral politics. Indian Islam, in other words, does not fit the rigid categories that al-Qaeda would like to impose on the wider world of Muslim belief and practice. Hence, it is better for al-Qaeda not to delve into such matters for fear of losing further credibility and audience share. It is challenging enough to have to contend with the threat that ISIS poses, and it would be suicidal to have to argue also with the Barelvis, the Deobandis, the traditional Hanafis, the Ahl-e Hadees and the Sufis…..
I began by noting that Islamist terror is not the isolated behaviour of a handful of nihilists. There is a broader culture that has been complicit, or at least unwilling to combat it. Things have changed on his front but not nearly enough…..
Obama is going to resurrect the Sunni “Awakening Council” militias – a creature invented by a certain General David Petraeus – who were paid to fight al-Qaeda by the Americans during the US occupation of Iraq, but who then got blasted by al-Qaeda and betrayed by the Shia-dominated Iraqi government. Obama has even invented a new name for these militias: he called them “National Guard Units” who will “help Sunni communities secure their own freedom from ISIL”. National Guard indeed!......
Over 6,000 Indian Muslims did apply for visas to Iraq but these were Indian Shias who wanted to fight against Sunni jihadists. While this throws up its own set of problems for India, given the prevalence of Iran-backed hard-line Shia militias in Iraq and Syria, it doesn’t help al-Qaeda. “Zawahiri’s first public message in two years looks like a desperate gamble intended to help al-Qaeda keep up”……
“It is not a question of numbers. For me, as police commissioner of the city and for the police force under me, it should be a matter of great shame if even one police man or woman is communal.” Call it “zero tolerance” policy. For Muslims, the takeaway from Sahney’s comment should be this: It is not a question of how many Muslim youth have taken to terrorism. Since it is oft reiterated that Islam strictly prohibits the killing of even one innocent person, it should be a matter of great shame for all Maulana’s, muftis and Maulvis if even one Muslim is involved in a terror act. Who would pretend there is none?....
The new group is called al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), and Zawahiri named as its leader Asim Umar, a Pakistani who had written previous messages for al-Qaeda threatening India. Last year, Umar said to Muslims in India, “You ruled India for 800 years,” and that it was time to return to the Islamic rule and law across the subcontinent. This ideological fantasy of restoring the Mughal Empire in India is not unique to al-Qaeda; other terror groups in Pakistan share it….
Her parents, Muzaffar and Khalida, said they were horrified that their 'sweet, peaceful, intelligent' child had joined jihadists in Syria and had hoped she would become a doctor in Britain. In a statement issued today, they said she had 'betrayed' the family but begged for her to return home. They said: 'We still love you, Aqsa, but we now have to put your family, your brother and sisters first as you have betrayed us, our community and the people of Scotland when you took this step. 'You have torn the heart out of our family and changed our lives forever. Please come home.'....
Another Related Story:
'You've betrayed us': Parents of private school jihadist in emotional appeal for her to stop inciting massacre and return home from Syria
By Emma Glanfield
This analysis may be missing the mark: What may be occurring is the evolution of Sunni extremism and proto-state development into Pakistan and India while at the same time that the Islamic Caliphate is in its early stages of functioning. This activity is not to set up an epic competition and battle between the ISIS and al-Qaeda: Instead, the move is looking towards the next level of the concept of Caliphate construction in the coming years….
"Today, when the call of Jihad is being raised all over the world and Muslims of every region have started Jihad in their lands to eradicate the system based on global disbelief; the leaders of the global Jihad have the right to ask... Why is it that the Muslims of India are totally absent from the fields of Jihad?"......
Responsibility for the emergence of the IS vests with a number of key actors. The United States’ reckless war on Iraq created the reservoir for Jihadis, as money from the Gulf Arabs came to sustain them in an emerging sectarian clash against an ascendant Iran. The narrow and suffocating Assad and al-Maliki regimes – which alienated large sections of Sunnis – propelled the disenfranchised to reckless rebellion. In 2007, the cartoonist Ali Ferzat said of the process called the Damascus Spring (2005), “either reform or le deluge [the flood].” It was the flood. Alienated people who measure their alienation in sectarian terms (Sunni) cannot be only defeated in the battlefield......
With the Western world predominantly reinventing the “Coalition of the Willing” and dispatching arms and air support to Kurdistan, where the Peshmerga have stood alone in battling the Islamic State, pressure is rightly being applied to Southeast Asia to pitch-in, particularly ASEAN’s three predominantly Muslim members: Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei……
Yet the United States and its European allies for long, too long, have bent over to service the Wahhabi state. Even as Western politicians loudly proclaimed their allegiance to democracy and secularism, they failed to oppose or counter Saudi Arabia’s oppression of, and utter discrimination against, Shia citizens. For over 40 years they opted to close their eyes and supply Saudi Arabia with massive quantities of fighter planes, missiles and other weaponry, in exchange for the country’s crude......
Osama bin Laden, now arguably at the bottom of the Arabian Sea (according to the official spin), used to personify the intolerant Wahhabi worldview run amok. Then his Wahhabism married Sayid Qutb’s Egyptian Islamism, personified by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri. Qutb, killed by the Egyptian regime in the late 1960s, was the wayward prophet of a global jihad between Islam and the West. Yet his zealous sons – from Osama/al-Zawahiri to current Caliph Ibrahim of ISIS/IS [The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL] – went much further, their jihad targeting civilians and even Muslims. Now Caliph Ibrahim has manoeuvred Washington into renewed bombing in Iraq – and potentially bombing Syria. Obama does “Syraq”. And yet, more crucially, what if Obama is doing Al-Qaeda’s bidding? This could all fit Osama’s carefully laid-out trap – over the years - of finally managing to expel the US from the Middle East via a constant war of attrition, slowly bleeding the Empire of Chaos. Eric Margolis has alluded to this possibility here…….
“This entity was not established today, but it is the fruit of a blessed effort of more than two years to gather the Mujahideen in the Indian subcontinent into a single entity to be with the main group, Qaedat al-Jihad, from the soldiers of the Islamic Emirate and its triumphant Emir, Allah permitting, Emir of the Believers, Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahid,” al-Zawahiri goes on……
Al-Qaeda Comes Out Of Cold to Call for Jihad in IndiaAl-Qaeda Declares New Front to Wage War on India, Calls for Jihad in the Subcontinent
His father, though, was not a gangster, but an Islamist, arrested in 1998 when the young Abdel-Majed was indeed six at the start of one of the most extraordinary and controversial episodes in British legal history. An exile for his Islamist activities from Egypt, where according to his family’s account he had been repeatedly imprisoned and tortured, his father Adel had been granted asylum in Britain five years before. But he was an associate of known jihadist sympathisers, and when al-Qaeda blew up the American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya the police came knocking. Adel Abdel-Majed, an alleged associate and devotee of Ayman al-Zawahiri….
There is no imminent danger of this happening. The overwhelming majority of Muslims are loyal Indians. A number of them in the Armed Forces have readily died for the country displaying outstanding gallantry. Most mainstream Muslim organisations and clergy in India have roundly condemned the IS’s actions and exhortations and savage ways.SM Hameed Chishti, caretaker of Dargah Ajmer Sharif has called them Takfiris out to destroy the pristine image of Islam by razing Iraq’s historically and spiritually significant shrines. Most Sunni leaders, including those from Deoband, have also been harshly critical…..
The future looks bright for IS if the main actors continue to exploit its presence to avoid responsibility for their own failings. Shia Islamists, secular elites and western governments are redefining their relations on the basis of a sort of holy war that is becoming an end in itself. In this context, Gaza, Yemen, Sinai, Libya and even Tunisia are fertile grounds for IS expansion. This is a part of the world which has a high degree of regional integration, both across and within borders: as a result of rural migration, outlying regions are well connected to informal neighbourhoods that often sit close to the heart of the big cities……
IS’s response has been muted. Unlike most jihadist groups, including al-Qaeda’s leaders, it has tended to shy from theological matters. Instead it simply issues videos of Burqa-clad women in the caliphate, headless infidels and its demolition of Shia shrines. Sadly, for many its grim pictures are worth more than words…..
The world is never short of threats and intimidation. The latest to be blurted out is from al-Qaida leader Ayman al Zawahiri. He claims to have flagged off an Indian branch of his militant group 'spearheading' a South Asian front. Set against Lashkar-e-Tayyeba's Taj Hotel massacre in Bombay, such a threat from al-Qaida with its presence in Pakistan and Afghanistan at once beeps under the radar…..
In other words Obama’s immediate priority was to get rid of Nouri al-Maliki. According to this logic, a terrorist outfit like the ISIS can, on some occasions, play a useful role. That is why Obama allowed the ISIS to grow in size to frighten the obstinate Prime Minister in Baghdad. Here the President of the United States is giving an example of how terrorism can be placed at the disposal of diplomacy…..
The Cold War climaxed with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and collapse of the communist bloc in 1991. And al-Qaida’s assault on the US mainland on 11 September 2001 was bookended by the shooting of its chief inspirer, Osama bin Laden, by American commandos in Pakistan a decade later. Or so it was thought. If the events of 1991 and 2011 were seen to have definitively ended two major threats to world peace, the last couple of months have destroyed such complacency……
They can't grasp nuance and complexity, they live on adrenalin and emotionalism; they are, ironically, products of the very western decadence and materialism they claim to despise. Then there are the sociological and psychological, even sexual, aspects of all this. Most of these men are severely inadequate, working in boring jobs if they're working at all, failing to make their way, wasting their time on fatuous courses at universities. Suddenly they are heroic, mysterious, have meaning and significance, people are frightened of them, stupid girls desire them…..
The journey from the US to Syria - and the decision to join an extremist group known for beheading people - may seem chilling to some. These Americans see things differently. Sandee says: "They think that Syria is heaven."….
In his fatwa (religious verdict), Shaikh Abu Bakr clearly and categorically stated that “the Muslim community needs to get united in boycotting the ISIS and its sister terrorist organisations”. “It is about time we expressed our hate and disdain against them”, said the Sunni-Sufi Islamic scholar and leader Shaikh Abu Bakr, who is also a prominent educationist, particularly known in the south Indian Muslim community.....