Transcript of an interview with Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam, Bureau Chief, Brussels:
24 May, 2013
So far as your question is concerned, there is no ambiguity left in the belief that the group that has emerged very rapidly and has spread its tentacles all over the world very successfully is the Saudi concept of Islam and Salafism has a very important role in it. When we carry out research on Al Qaida and organisations affiliated to it, we find that before their spread, there was a traditional peaceful point of view in those societies. Islamic organisations and groups have not remained the same. And the situation has changed very fast. The greatest victim of this change is the sub-continent. In Pakistan, Wahhabism was promoted and the outlook about the minorities and other sects of Muslims was made rigid. I can tell you with proofs that in Pakistan every year hundreds of such books are published which voice the point of view that the beliefs that are different from Salafism are either Hinduistic or polytheistic or atheistic and that they are more dangerous than those of born kafirs. The Muslims who do not believe in Wahhabism are more opposed to Islam. This is a new trend that has surfaced.
Unfortunately, the greatest victims of this mindset are the sections that belong to the middle class or those that have played an important role in getting education and those whose children are studying in modern schools. And it has not remained confined to this country. When we look at Europe, wherever the migrants from Asia or Gulf States live, you will find a certain kind of rigidity in them. For example, rigidity in the matter of hijab. Those who did not support hijab earlier have now made it a symbol which shows that they are against the local point of view and that they reject the local culture. They want to live there but by rejecting them.
Similarly, when we look at the situation after 9/11, especially after the London bombing, we perceive certain rigidity among the Muslim sections, particularly among the youth in Britain, Germany, Holland, France, and Spain. They are lost in the discussion of what is halal and haram. They preach people to carry out jihad and reject what the Muslim jurists or ulema did not reject before. Today they are rejecting it. They rejected television, photography, music and other cultural traditions strictly. It is evident that the Muslim youth today is a violent person ready to rejecting everything and shaping everything according to his own point of view. And if he cannot shape it according to his point of view then he is bent on destroying it. When we delve deep into this mindset, we find petrodollar behind it. This is the power behind the growth of Wahhabism and Salafism.
Islamic centres were established. Obviously building a mosque is a fundamental right. The purpose behind the construction of a mosque is to organise prayers, and not to brainwash people against the country in which the mosque has been permitted and destroy the society. Do the minorities in their own countries enjoy the same freedom? No one will discuss that. No one would like to give reference to that because the information we get from these countries negates this claim. I do not think building a cathedral will be an easy task in a Muslim dominated country. Undoubtedly, building a mosque in a non-Muslim country, in Europe, in Western countries is an easy task. This is your right, you can build a mosque but when you use it for the destruction of their society and try to shape the government and the society according to your ideology, it will be an interference which is not permitted anywhere.
This is exactly what has happened in Pakistan and this is what is happening in Europe and western countries and the forces behind all this are not a secret. Today we see that a man from Bangladesh came and settled in England, established his group there called Shariah for Uk, used the local facilities and now he wants the implementation of the Shariah in the UK and all those who oppose his programme deserve death. This is the situation also in Pakistan. A similar situation is also in India. We had had the impression about India that it is a secular society and the Muslims there are a part of the society. His thinking is in consonance with the society. But with due respect I would like to disagree that the situation is not that optimistic in India. The religious organisations working there and the new generation that is coming up is very fatal with the growth of Wahhabism and Salafism. The same trend of fatwa-mongering is taking up root there.
Though because of the strength of democracy in India, suicide bombings have not been heard of till now, it does not seem to be a distant possibility either. I would like to tell you that the first fatwa declaring Shias kafir was issued from Lucknow and the Deobandi sectarian groups in Pakistan get guidance from Darul Uloom Deoband. They also read Maulana Manzoor Ahmad Nomani’s book and developed the belief that Shias are kafir, they must be killed and they should be excommunicated. So, I would very humbly say that if we believe that the society and the system of India and Bangladesh or of the Gulf States is such that violence cannot raise its ugly head there, we are mistaken and we should remove our misunderstanding. I think that the states should raise this issue because that the Arab countries have been aiding Muslim organisations and pouring in money to such organisations to promote their violent ideology is not a simple issue. It is interference because the Muslims in the subcontinent have co-existed with the minorities for centuries and they did not have this sense of apathy towards them as they have today.
This is the situation in Europe as well. I have discussed it in detail that when a Muslim youth born in Europe, may be his parents came from India or Pakistan, ties a bomb to him and enters a metro train here and before that records his statement saying that the life he had spent till now was a very bad life and that he had got the true path now, he means that the true path is that in which one kills himself and others and destroys the society. How can we propagate this Islam which is not in practice anywhere? They want to implement new basics, want to implement a new Islam. This is a moment of reckoning for all those countries who think that this rigidity does not exist there for certain reasons. They can take the example of the countries where this rigidity did not exist ten years ago and are today bearing the brunt of it.
I think that it is an opportunity and the Muslim ummah has great potential. The majority of Muslims does not think this way and does not want this. They should come forward rather stop such elements and tell people that the kind of violent Islam, the psychology of throat slitting you want to implement here and the kind of hatred and apathy you are preaching does not exist in Islam and did not exist in the past either. It is a new element that has surfaced preventing which has become inevitable and imperative for the nations of the world so that the interfaith harmony and the fraternity that exists now can be maintained.