By Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
16 September 2008
In the holy month of Ramadhan, when Muslims consciously occupy themselves to thank Allah for all He has given, some Muslims, in the name of the very same Allah, claim to have killed and maimed innocents. In utter disregard to Islamic convention which prohibits even hurting others during this month, the so-called Indian Mujahideen showed no remorse in spilling blood on the streets of
Unknown to Muslims, it claims to act on their behalf to avenge the pogrom in
The Indian Mujahideen also conveniently forgets that Indian Muslims have as strong a stake in this country as any other community -- or it doesn't want this to be the case. They forget that some Muslims of this country have scaled great heights in this country which would not have been possible if
Quoting from the Quran to justify their nefarious ends is appalling. The Indian Mujahideen claim to be Muslims but their selective quotation of Quranic verses is tantamount to dismembering the sacred text. As the Indian Ulama were quick to point out, if placed in their proper context, the verses quoted by the Indian Mujahideen would not mean the same. Like the puritanical streak of a new convert, the Indian Mujahideen’s attempt to interpret Quranic verses is the work of novices and does violence and injustice to the collective conscience of Indian Muslims who regard their sacred text as the ultimate guide of ethics and compassion.
The attempt to appropriate Maulvi Ismail and Syed Ahmad Barelwi is equally baffling. The Indian Mujahideen, in their intellectual ineptitude, seem to forget that the above mentioned leaders raised the banner of jihad against the British, not against their fellow countrymen. And, in any case, Maulvi Ismail and Ahmad Barelwi remain marginal to the Indian Muslim religious imagination. Both these men advocated a puritanical reading of Islam, rejecting a mediated religious experience which was, and to a large measure still is, the dominant imagery of Indian Islam. Their followers later on came to be known as the Ahl-e-Hadis, which -- despite the media hype surrounding it -- remains a marginal force within the Indian Muslim community. The Ahl-e-Hadis, however, is one of the most potent killing machines in
The so-called Indian Mujahideen wants to gain Muslim sympathy by stating again and again that it is fighting against the RSS and Bajrang Dal. However, in equating RSS with the Hindus, it becomes the most ardent supporter of its avowed enemy. After all, it is also the fantastic claim of the RSS that it represents all Hindus, which it does not. The Indian Mujahideen gives the RSS this legitimacy which has been denied to them time and again by the Indian people. In fact, it would seem that the Indian Mujahideen is helping the RSS. By targeting innocents, it reinforces the RSS’ viewpoint that Islam and Muslims are incorrigibly fanatic and violent. The traditional religiosity of Indian people, both Hindu and Muslim will see to it that both the RSS and Indian Mujahideen’s chauvinist and bigoted religious vision gets defeated.