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Islam,Terrorism and Jihad ( 28 Nov 2008, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Can we Trust Pakistani commitment to fight Jihadi Terrorism?


Like his predecessors for a long time, and like several heads of government and the state of Pakistan, Pakistani foreign minister Yousaf Raza Qureshi has reiterated Pakistan’s determination to wipe out terrorists. Using a language meant to reassure India, the visiting minister says, “They [terrorists] have no face. They have no colour, no class, no creed, no religion, no nothing. They are barbarians. They are inhuman and we have to collectively eliminate them.” Qureshi has continued his visit reassuring India of every possible cooperation. Both President Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani have made assurance calls to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

But the question before us is: Can we trust Pakistan? Promises like this have been made before. But the factories of terror in Murdike and elsewhere continue to churn out terrorists. No action is taken against terrorists who claim to be fighting only against India. It seems while Islamabad will fight against terrorists who fight against Pakistani state or the US interests, it will leave alone organisations like Lashkar-e-Tayyaba that fight against India alone. Mr. Qureishi says his government practises no such discrimination.

Can we trust them? asks Sultan Shahin, Editor, in this debating forum free for all its readers to participate.

Pak will cooperate with India at every level: Qureshi

Atishay Abbhi / CNN-IBN

Published on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 00:40, Updated on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 01:00 in World section

NEIGHBOURHOOD STANCE: Pakistani foreign minister Yousaf Raza Qureshi has continued his visit reassuring India of every possible cooperation.

New Delhi: Once the operation to flush out the terrorists from the Mumbai hotels are over, the focus will shift to the investigations.

As it happens, the Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is in India in New Delhi and he said India shouldn't blame Pakistan and called for a united stand on terror.

Qureshi said, “Today India is mourning. Yesterday Pakistan was mourning and tomorrow, we don't know who that will be. Let us share our problems. There should not be any blame game. Pakistan is willing to cooperate with India at every level.”

Just couple of hours after the Pakistani foreign minister’s statement, it was anything but peace.

Terrorists unleashed every piece of artillery in the heart of Mumbai to carry out the most coordinated terror attack in India and with all the evidence stacking up pointing towards the Pakistani link, where do India-Pakistan relations go from here?

Some of the men behind the attack, according to initial reports, are Pakistani nationals trained in maritime terrorism in Karachi by Lashkar-E-Toiba (LeT).

An angry India conveyed to Pakistan that it has all the evidence pointing towards the Pakistani link.

External affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee said, “The preliminary information we have received so far points to the certainty that some of Pakistani elements are involved in the activity. We ask Pakistan to arrest these people and put an end to these things.”

Meanwhile Qureshi says, “They have no face. They have no colour, no class, no creed, no religion, no nothing. They are barbarians. They are inhuman and we have to collectively eliminate them.”

Attacks in Mumbai have once again landed India and Pakistan in an embarrassing face-off.

The new lull in the relation has cemented the fear of the failure the joint Anti-terror mechanism.

Apparently, Pakistan is feeling the heat not just from India but around the world.

It is now making efforts to prove itself and is sending ISI chief to India to help in investigations.

Qureshi has continued his visit reassuring India of every possible cooperation.

Both president Zardari and prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani have made assurance calls to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

However, the PM without naming Pakistan, warned that the neighbour may have to pay a price if it continues allowing its territory to be used against India.


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  1. From: Dr. Shahid Ali Khan To: Sultan Shahin <>
    Date: Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 2:49 AM

    Contact persons:
    Dr. Shahid Ali Khan, Habeeb Ahmed and Dr. Shaik Ubaid
    Tel: 516-567-0783  Email: <
    Indian Muslims Held Special Prayers and Condolence Meetings for the Victims of the Mumbai Terror Attacks
    New York, November 28, 2008 -  Friday is the holy day for Muslims and this Friday after Thanksgiving was a day of sadness for Muslim Indian-Americans. Many imams (prayer leaders) in the New York and New Jersey areas condemned this heinous terror attack against the civilians in Mumbai, India in their sermons. According to media reports more than 150 civilians were killed and hundreds more wounded in the well coordinated attacks by well trained militant terrorists.
    Area mosques that held these services include Long Island Islamic Center in Westbury and Upper Westchester Islamic Society in Thornwood.  Similar services were held in other parts of the country.
    The Muslim community expressed its outrage at the killings of the Brooklyn based Rabbi and his wife and other American citizens. Dr. Shaik Ubaid of Indian Minorities Advocacy Network expressed his heartfelt condolences to the family of the rabbi and other victims.
    Dr. Ubaid lauded the valor of  the slain Anti Terrorism Squad Chief Hemant Karkare who was courageously heading the recently publicized inquiry against the recent Malegaon bomb blasts in which Hindu supremacists including military officers and some religious leaders were implicated. "We must be proud of the selfless sacrifice of the under-paid and under-armed special forces who were let down by corrupt politicians and incompetent intelligence agencies, and still manage to save hundreds of civilians," said Dr. Ubaid.
    Saeed Patel, a well-known community leader congratulated the Indians for staying united and not succumbing to the designs of the terrorists and of the extremist politicians who unsuccessfully tried to use the terror attacks to foment retaliatory violence against civilians. "This sad and savage tragedy brought out the best in the common folks." " The terrorists have no religion but their victims were people of Hindu, Islamic, Christian, Sikh, Parsi, Jewish, Buddhists, Jain and other faiths as well as atheists. Their humanity was their common bond," he said.
    Many Muslim leaders will also be participating in the upcoming inter-faith condolence services.


    November 28, 2008 

    As a broad-based coalition committed to promoting justice, peace and human rights, we denounce in strongest possible terms the dastardly terror attacks in Mumbai and demand that the highest echelons of  political decision makers in India, be held accountable for what seems to be widespread and escalating trend of abject failures in protecting precious lives of ordinary citizens and preserving the pluralistic fabric of India.

    We express our deepest gratitude to the thousands of security personnel for their courageous and selfless service in fighting these well-planned and coordinated attacks. We are deeply moved by still-emerging stories of the heroism and professionalism of the staffs at the affected hotels. Our hearts go out to the families of fallen heroes and the civilian victims.  We also note with a sense of great pride and satisfaction, that Indian citizens have by and large maintained harmony, understanding and resolve  in the face of successive acts of terrorism, thereby foiling the perpetrators' principal objective.  We have no doubt that it is this unique strength of ordinary people which keeps India resilient, vibrant and united in the face of mounting internal and external challenges.  We call upon all political forces in India to build upon this unique character rather than foment divisive agenda for short term gains.

    We are alarmed by the reports of foreign groups being involved in the attacks. We urge the government of India to identify these foreign groups and to reassure the nation that such threats are being dealt with in an effective manner.

    Recent years have witnessed an alarming growth in the number of groups committing highly orchestrated acts of terrorism and violence against innocent civilians and public institutions.  As evident from this still unfolding tragedy,  a coordinated and open attack on this scale by a handful of people, completely paralyzing Mumbai – India's largest city -  points to major and multiple break downs across the internal and external intelligence agencies, center-state coordination on law and order, as well as political-bureaucratic-civil society continuum.

     As non-resident Indians, we note how India has come to be recognized as a rising world class power as a result of successive recent governments assiduously pursuing and successfully accomplishing programs to advance the country's profile on the international stage.  However, we also note with dismay and frustration that similar single minded focus and resolve seems to be lacking in successive governments, when it comes to ensuring the life, liberty and livelihood of ordinary citizens. We therefore call upon leaders across political spectrum towards a renewed sense of single minded focus on this very fundamental and basic purpose of government.

     While acknowledging the complexity of the situation and concerned about frequent terrorist attacks in recent months,  we feel nevertheless compelled to request Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh to make  much needed changes in the senior ranks of the government officials and the government security apparatus to ensure that the citizens and institutions of India are fully protected from acts of terrorism.

     COALITION AGAINST GENOCIDE - A Coalition of Concerned Indian-Americans


    Gautam Desai [<]
    George Abraham [<]
    Kaleem Kawaja [<]

    Endorsing Organizations:

    Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington, DC
    American Muslim Physicians of Indian Origin (AMPI), Chicago. IL.
    Association of Indian Muslims in America (AIM), Washington DC; (<
    Campaign to Stop Funding Hate (CSFH); (<
    Friends of South Asia (FOSA), San Jose, California; (<
    Gujarati Muslim Association of America (GMAA), Chicago, IL
    India Foundation, Michigan
    Indian Minorities Advocacy Network (ImanNet), New York
    Indian Muslim Council (IMC), Morton Grove, Illinois (<
    Indian Muslim Education Foundation of North America (IMEFNA), Chicago, IL
    International Service Society, Michigan
    Muslim Youth Awareness Alliance (MYAA), Michigan
    Non-Resident Indians for a Secular and Harmonious India (NRI-SAHI), Michigan
    Sikh American Heritage Organization, Wayne, IL.
    South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD), Vancouver, Canada (<
    Supporters of Human Rights in India (SHRI), Minnesota.
    The Coalition for a Secular Democratic India (CSDI), Chicago. IL
    Vaishnava Center for Enlightenment, Michigan

    Individual Endorsements:

    George Abraham
    Habeb Ahmed
    Dr. Syed S. Ahmed
    Dr. Waheeduddin Ahmed
    Girish Agrawal
    Rasheed Ahmed
    Dr Shahid Ali
    Khalid Azam
    Dr. Chinmoy Banerjee
    Dr. Angana Chatterji
    Nasir Chippa
    Gautam Desai
    Shalini Gera
    Sapna Gupta
    Kaleem Kawaja
    Attaulla Khan
    Dr. Fazal Khan
    Dr. Hyder Khan
    Dr. Shahid Ali Khan
    Dr Wasim Khan
    Alex V. Koshy
    Dr. Kursheed A. Mallick
    Ghulam Mansuri
    Biju Mathew
    Saeed Patel
    Shrikumar Poddar
    Syed Azmatullah Quadri
    Raju Rajagopal
    Ravi Ravishankar
    Dr. Shaik Sayeed
    Dr. Hari Sharma
    Ramkumar Sridharan
    Raja Swamy
    Dr. Shaik Ubaid
    Firoz Vohra

    By Dr. Shahid Ali Khan

    from          Sunita Raina to            Sultan Shahin

    date        29 November 2008 09:15


    Might interest some:



    U.S. Intelligence Focuses on Pakistani Group




    Published: November 28, 2008

    WASHINGTON — American intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Friday that there was mounting evidence that a Pakistani militant group based in Kashmir, most likely Lashkar-e-Taiba, was responsible for this week’s deadly attacks in Mumbai.


    The officials cautioned that they had reached no firm conclusions about who was responsible for the attacks, or how they were planned and carried out. Nevertheless, they said that evidence gathered in the past two days pointed to a role for Lashkar-e-Taiba or possibly another group based in Kashmir, Jaish-e-Muhammad, which also has a track record of attacks against India.


    The officials requested anonymity in describing their current thinking and declined to discuss specifics of the intelligence that they said pointed to Kashmiri militants. In the past, the American and Indian intelligence services have used communications intercepts to tie Kashmiri militants to terrorist strikes. Indian officials may also be gleaning information from at least one captured gunman who participated in the Mumbai attacks.


    According to one Indian intelligence official, during the siege the militants have been using non-Indian cellphones and receiving calls from outside the country, evidence that in part led Indian officials to speak publicly about the militants’ external ties.


    Lashkar-e-Taiba denied any responsibility on Thursday for the terrorist strikes. American intelligence agencies have said that the group has received some training and logistical support in the past from Pakistan’s powerful spy service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or I.S.I., and that Pakistan’s government has long turned a blind eye to Lashkar-e-Taiba camps in the Kashmir region, a disputed territory over which India and Pakistan have fought two wars.


    Officials in Washington said Friday that there was no evidence that the Pakistani government had any role in the attacks. But if evidence were to emerge that the operation had been planned and directed from within Pakistan, that would certainly further escalate tensions between India and Pakistan, bitter, nuclear-armed rivals. It could also provoke an Indian military response, even strikes against militants’ training camps.


    American and Indian officials were pursuing the possibility that the attackers arrived off the coast of Mumbai in a large ship and then boarded smaller boats before initiating their attack.


    An American counterterrorism official said there was strong evidence that Lashkar-e-Taiba had a “maritime capability” and would have been able to mount the sophisticated operation in Mumbai.


    Senior Bush administration officials sought to keep the tensions from boiling over on Friday by maintaining steady contact with Indian officials. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke by phone with Pranab Mukherjee, India’s foreign minister, and one of Ms. Rice’s deputies spoke with the Indian foreign secretary.


    In what was seen as a sign of Pakistan’s concern about a possible Indian response, Pakistani officials announced Friday that the head of the I.S.I. would go to India to help the Indian government with its investigation. On Friday evening, however, Pakistani officials indicated that a lower-level I.S.I. representative might make the trip.


    American and Indian officials have for years blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba for a campaign of violence against high-profile targets throughout India, including the December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament building in New Delhi and an August 2007 strike at an amusement park in Hyderabad. At times, Indian officials have also said Jaish-e-Muhammad was responsible for the attack on Parliament.


    That attack prompted the Bush administration to try to freeze Lashkar-e-Taiba’s assets and press Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s president at the time, to crack down on the group’s training operations in Pakistan.


    A State Department report released this year called Lashkar-e-Taiba “one of the largest and most proficient of the Kashmiri-focused militant groups.” The report said that the group drew financing in part from Pakistani expatriates in the Middle East, and that it used a front organization called Jamaat ud-Daawa to coordinate charitable activities, like relief for the victims of the October 2006 earthquake in Kashmir.


    The report said the actual size of the group was unknown, but estimated it at “several thousand” members.


    Recently, some of the group’s operations have shifted from Kashmir to Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas and even to Afghanistan to attack American troops. American officials and terrorism experts said the group had not sent large numbers of operatives into Afghanistan, but had embedded small teams with Taliban units to gain fighting experience.


    “Afghanistan is an operating war zone, so they can get active training as the Kashmir front has slowed down a bit,” said Seth Jones, a terrorism expert at the RAND Corporation.


    The group is believed by experts to have at least a loose affiliation with Al Qaeda. In March 2002, a Qaeda lieutenant, Abu Zubaydah, was captured in a Lashkar-e-Taiba safe house in Faisalabad, Pakistan, according to the State Department report.


    Lashkar-e-Taiba is not known to have singled out Westerners in past terrorist attacks, as the gunmen in Mumbai seem to have done. But one counterterrorism official said Friday that the group “has not pursued an exclusively Kashmiri agenda” and that it might certainly go after Westerners to advance broader goals.


    Even as a Kashmiri connection to the attacks began to emerge on Friday, American officials said they were puzzled by some developments. For instance, they said they knew next to nothing about a group called the Deccan Mujahedeen, which issued a claim of responsibility for the attacks.


    Terrorism experts have said there is no evidence of that group’s involvement in past strikes, and they speculated that another group fabricated the name to mask responsibility.


    Salman Masood contributed reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan, Souad Mekhennet from Frankfurt, and William K. Rashbaum from New York.


    By Sunita Raina

    from          Sunita Raina to            Sultan Shahin

    date        29 November 2008 09:15


    "...evidence gathered in the past two days pointed to a role for Lashkar-e-Taiba or possibly another group based in Kashmir, Jaish-e-Muhammad, which also has a track record of attacks against India"




    "As the enormity of the attack on Mumbai sank in, it seemed like the arrival of al-Qaida in India........Given the operation's obvious planning, few doubted it was the deadly firm of LeT-ISI in action yet again."




    By Sunita Raina
  4. Date:       Sat, 29 Nov 2008 02:06:58 +0530 [02:06AM IST]

    From:      Sarkar Haider

    To:           Sultan Shahin <>


    Dear Friends,

    Came across this thoroughly researched & beautifully written article in TIMES which clearly demarcates the mindset acquired by Muslims trained at A.M.U. Aligarh & those trained at Deoband.. A very very keen observation indeed.


     India's Muslims in Crisis



    The disembodied voice was chilling in its rage. A gunman, holed up in Mumbai's Oberoi Trident hotel where some <40 people had been taken hostage, told an Indian news channel that the attacks were revenge for the persecution of Muslims in India. "We love this as our country but when our mothers and sisters were being killed, where was everybody?" he asked via telephone. No answer came. But then he probably wasn't expecting one.


    Clashing Over Kashmir

    The roots of


    The huge gap between Muslims and Hindus will continue to haunt India's, and neighbouring Pakistan's, progress towards peace and prosperity. But before inter-communal relations can improve there is an even bigger problem that must first be worked out: the schism in sub continental Islam, and the religion's place and role in modern India and Pakistan. It is a crisis 150 years in the making.


    The Beginning of the Problem

    On the afternoon of March 29, 1857, Mangal Pandey, a handsome, mustachioed soldier in the East India Company's native regiment, attacked his British lieutenant. His hanging a week later sparked a subcontinental revolt known to Indians as the first war of independence and to the British as the Sepoy Mutiny. Retribution was swift, and though Pandey was a Hindu, it was the subcontinent's Muslims, whose Mughal King nominally held power in Delhi, who bore the brunt of British rage. The remnants of the Mughal Empire were dismantled, and five hundred years of Muslim supremacy on the subcontinent was brought to a halt.


    Muslim society in India collapsed. The British imposed English as the official language. The impact was cataclysmic. Muslims went from near 100% literacy to 20% within a half-century. The country's educated Muslim élite was effectively blocked from administrative jobs in the government. Between 1858 and 1878, only 57 out of 3,100 graduates of Calcutta University — then the center of South Asian education — were Muslim. While discrimination by both Hindus and the British played a role, it was as if the whole of Muslim society had retreated to lick its collective wounds.


    From this period of introspection two rival movements emerged to foster an Islamic ascendancy. Revivalist groups blamed the collapse of their empire on a society that had strayed too far from the teachings of the Koran. They promoted a return to a more pure form of Islam, modeled on the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Others embraced the modern ways of their new rulers, seeking Muslim advancement through the pursuit of Western sciences, culture and law. From these movements two great Islamic institutions were born: Darul Uloom Deoband in northern India, rivaled only by al-Azhar University in Cairo for its teaching of Islam, and Aligarh Muslim University, a secular institution that promoted Muslim culture, philosophy and languages, but left religion to the mosque. These two schools embody the fundamental split that continues to divide Islam in the subcontinent today. "You could say that Deoband and Aligarh are husband and wife, born from the same historical events," says Adil Siddiqui, information coordinator for Deoband. "But they live at daggers drawn."


    The campus at Deoband is only a three-hour drive from New Delhi through the modern megasuburb of Noida. Strip malls and monster shopping complexes have consumed many of the mango groves that once framed the road to Deoband, but the contemporary world stops at the gate. The courtyards are packed with bearded young men wearing long, collared shirts and white caps. The air thrums with the voices of hundreds of students reciting the Koran from open-door classrooms.


     Founded in 1866, the Deoband School quickly set itself apart from other traditional madrasahs, which were usually based in the home of the village mosque's prayer leader. Deoband's founders, a group of Muslim scholars from New Delhi, instituted a regimented system of classrooms, coursework, texts and exams. Instruction is in Urdu, Persian and Arabic, and the curriculum closely follows the teachings of the 18th century Indian Islamic scholar Mullah Nizamuddin Sehalvi. Graduates go on to study at Cairo's al-Azhar and Islamic University of Medina in Saudi Arabia, or found their own Deobandi institutions.


    Today, more than 9,000 Deobandi madrasahs are scattered throughout India, Afghanistan and Pakistan, most infamously the Dara-ul-Uloom Haqaniya Akora Khattak, near Peshawar, where Mullah Mohammed Omar, and several other leaders of Afghanistan's Taliban first tasted a life lived in accordance with Shari'a. Siddiqui visibly stiffens when those names are brought up. They have become synonymous with Islamic radicalism, and Siddiqui is careful to disassociate his institution from those that carry on its traditions, without actually condemning their actions. "Our books are being taught there," he says. "They have the same system and rules. But if someone is following the path of terrorism, it is because of local compulsions and local politics."


    Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, founder of the Anglo-Mohammedan Oriental College at Aligarh in 1877, studied under the same teachers as the founders of Deoband. But he believed that the downfall of India's Muslims was due to their unwillingness to embrace modern ways. He decoupled religion from education, and in his school sought to emulate the culture and training of India's new colonial masters. Islamic culture was part of the curriculum, but so were the latest advances in sciences, medicine and Western philosophy. The medium was English, the better to prepare students for civil-service jobs. He called his school the Oxford of the East. In architecture alone, the campus lives up to that name. A euphoric blend of clock towers, crenellated battlements, Mughal arches, domes and the staid red brick of Victorian institutions that only India's enthusiastic embrace of all things European could produce, the central campus of Aligarh today is haven to a diverse crowd of male, female, Hindu and Muslim students. Its law and medicine schools are among the top-ranked in India, but so are its arts faculty and Quranic Studies Centre. "With all this diversity, language, culture, secularism was the only way to go forward as a nation," says Aligarh's vice-chancellor, P.K. Abdul Azis. "It was the new religion."


    This fracture in religious doctrine — whether Islam should embrace the modern or revert to its fundamental origins — between two schools less than a day's donkey ride apart when they were founded, was barely remarked upon at the time. But over the course of the next 100 years, that tiny crack would split Islam into two warring ideologies with repercussions that reverberate around the world to this day. Before the split manifested into crisis, however, the founders of both the Deoband and Aligarh universities shared the common goal of an independent India. Pedagogical leanings were overlooked as students and staff of both institutions joined with Hindus across the subcontinent to remove the yoke of colonial rule in the early decades of the 20th century.


    Two Faiths, Two Nations

    But nationalistic trends were pulling at the fragile alliance, and India began to splinter along ethnic and religious lines. Following World War I, a populist Muslim poet-philosopher by the name of Muhammad Iqbal framed the Islamic zeitgeist when he questioned the position of minority Muslims in a future, independent India. The solution, Iqbal proposed, was an independent state for Muslim-majority provinces in north-western India, a separate country where Muslims would rule themselves. The idea of Pakistan was born.


    Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the Savile Row-suited lawyer who midwifed Pakistan into existence on Aug. 14, 1947, was notoriously ambiguous about how he envisioned the country once it became an independent state. Both he and Iqbal, who were friends until the poet's death in 1938, had repeatedly stated their dream for a "modern, moderate and very enlightened Pakistan," says Sharifuddin Pirzada, Jinnah's personal secretary. Jinnah's own wish was that the Pakistani people, as members of a new, modern and democratic nation, would decide the country's direction.


    But rarely in Pakistan's history have its people lived Jinnah's vision for a modern Muslim democracy. Only three times in its 62-year history has Pakistan seen a peaceful, democratic transition of power. With four disparate provinces, over a dozen languages and dialects, and powerful neighbours, leaders — be they Presidents, Prime Ministers or army chiefs — have been forced to knit the nation together with the only thing Pakistanis have in common: religion.


    Following the 1971 civil war, when East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, broke away, the populist Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto embarked on a Muslim identity program to prevent the country from fracturing further. General Mohammed Zia ul-Haq continued the Islamisation campaign when he overthrew Bhutto in 1977, hoping to garner favour with the religious parties, the only constituency available to a military dictator. He instituted Shari'a courts, made blasphemy illegal, and established laws that punished fornicators with lashes and held that rape victims could be convicted of adultery. When the Soviet Union invaded neighbouring Afghanistan in December 1979, Pakistan was already poised for its own Islamic revolution.


    Almost overnight, thousands of refugees poured over the border into Pakistan. Camps mushroomed, and so did madrasas. Ostensibly created to educate the refugees, they provided the ideal recruiting ground for a new breed of soldier: Mujahdeen, or holy warriors, trained to vanquish the infidel invaders in America's proxy war with the Soviet Union. Thousands of Pakistanis joined fellow Muslims from across the world to fight the Soviets. As far away as Karachi, high-school kids started wearing "jihadi jackets," the pocketed vests popular with the Mujahdeen. Says Hamid Gul, then head of the Pakistan intelligence agency charged with arming and training the mujahedin: "In the 1980s, the world watched the people of Afghanistan stand up to tyranny, oppression and slavery. The spirit of jihad was rekindled, and it gave a new vision to the youth of Pakistan."


    But jihad, as it is described in the Koran, does not end merely with political gain. It ends in a perfect Islamic state. The West's, and Pakistan's, cynical resurrection of something so profoundly powerful and complex unleashed a force whose roots can be found in al-Qaeda's rage, the Taliban's dream of an Islamic utopia in Afghanistan, and in the dozens of radical Islamic groups rapidly replicating themselves in India and around the world today. "The promise of jihad was never fulfilled," says Gul. "Is it any wonder the fighting continues to this day?" Religion may have been used to unite Pakistan, but it is also tearing it apart.


    India Today

    In India, Islam is, in contrast, the other — purged by the British, denigrated by the Hindu right, mistrusted by the majority, marginalized by society. India has nearly as many Muslims as all of Pakistan, but in a nation of more than a billion, they are still a minority, with all the burdens that minorities anywhere carry. Government surveys show that Muslims live shorter, poorer and unhealthier lives than Hindus and are often excluded from the better jobs. To be sure, there are Muslim success stories in the booming economy. Azim Premji, the founder of the outsourcing giant Wipro, is one of the richest individuals in India. But, for many Muslims, the inequality of the boom has reinforced their exclusion.


    Kashmir, a Muslim-dominated state whose fate had been left undecided in the chaos that led up to partition, remains a suppurating wound in India's Muslim psyche. As the cause of three wars between India and Pakistan — one of which nearly went nuclear in 1999 — Kashmir has become a symbol of profound injustice to Indian Muslims who believe that their government cares little for Kashmir's claim of independence, which is based upon a 1948 U.N. resolution promising a plebiscite to determine the Kashmiri people's future. That frustration has spilled into the rest of India in the form of several devastating terrorist attacks that have made Indian Muslims both perpetrators and victims.


    A mounting sense of persecution, fueled by the government's seeming reluctance to address the brutal anti-Muslim riots that killed more than 2,000 in the state of Gujarat in 2002, has aided the cause of home-grown militant groups. They include the banned Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which was accused of detonating nine bombs in Bombay during the course of 2003, killing close to 80. The 2006 terrorist attacks on the Bombay commuter rail system that killed 183 people were also blamed on SIMI, as well as the pro-Kashmir Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). Those incidents exposed the all-too-common Hindu belief that Muslims aren't really Indian. "LeT, SIMI, it doesn't matter who was behind these attacks. They are all children of [Pervez] Musharraf," sneered Manish Shah, a Mumbai resident who lost his best friend in the explosions, referring to the then president of Pakistan. In India, unlike Pakistan, Islam does not unify, but divide.


    Still, many South Asian Muslims insist Islam is the one and only force that can bring the subcontinent together and return it to pre-eminence as a single whole. "We [Muslims] were the legal rulers of India, and in 1857 the British took that away from us," says Tarik Jan, a gentle-mannered scholar at Islamabad's Institute of Policy Studies. "In 1947 they should have given that back to the Muslims." Jan is no militant, but he pines for the golden era of the Mughal period in the 1700s, and has a fervent desire to see India, Pakistan and Bangladesh reunited under Islamic rule.


    That sense of injustice is at the root of Muslim identity today. It has permeated every aspect of society, and forms the basis of rising Islamic radicalism on the subcontinent. "People are hungry for justice," says Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani journalist and author of the new book Descent Into Chaos. "It is perceived to be the fundamental promise of the Koran." These twin phenomena — the longing many Muslims have to see their religion restored as the subcontinent's core, and the marks of both piety and extremism Islam bears — reflect the lack of strong political and civic institutions in the region for people to have faith in. If the subcontinent's governments can't provide those institutions, then terrorists such as the Trident's mysterious caller, will continue asking questions. And providing their own answers.


    With reporting by Jyoti Thottam / Mumbai and Ershad Mahmud / Islamabad


    Dr. Sarkar Haider M.D

    Bareilly, (India).

    By Sarkar Haider
  5. from          Sunita Raina  to     Sultan Shahin

    date        29 November 2008 09:15

    subject   Jihadis were Pakistani citizens..


    "Ajmal has revealed the name of his fellow jihadis all Pakistani citizens.........The account of Ajmal also strengthens the doubt of the complicity of powerful elements in the Pakistani establishment"


    By Sunita Raina