arrests of the Islamic State (ISIS) terror suspects in Hyderabad, an Indian
daily wrote in its editorial of July 1: "Though security agencies have
provided counselling to deradicalise many such suspects in the past, the
internet remains the biggest source of indoctrination for Muslim youth
suffering from a feeling of persecution."
internet has indeed emerged as the conveyor of jihadist content, it is not the
primary source of radicalisation.
social reformer Sultan
Shahin has pointed out that nearly a century ago when there was no
internet, about 18,000 Muslims left their homes and jobs in India to fight for
the Ottoman Caliphate in Turkey.
feelings of persecution, siege mentality and exclusion from the mainstream
among Indian Muslims as well as hospitable intellectual environments that
nurture jihadist attitudes are created not by the internet but by Islamic
clerics and Urdu publications.
examine how the Urdu dailies are doing this.
On June 23,
several Urdu dailies in India celebrated Ghazwa-e-Badr, the first war of Islam
against Kufr (unbelief) led by Prophet Muhammad on 17th of Ramzan in the second
year of Hijri, corresponding to March 13, 624 CE.
of Ramzan fell on June 23, Roznama Sangam, an Urdu daily published from Patna,
wrote an editorial praising Ghazwa-e-Badr (the Battle of Badr).
is the great memorable day when the first decisive war between Islam and Kufr
(unbelief) was fought," it noted and reminded its readers that a
"handful of 313 Muslims forced the army of the infidels of Mecca to lick
dust in the field of Badr. This first battle is the point of the beginning of
the philosophy of jihad."
observed: "1,400 years have passed since the War of Badr but its memory
refreshes the faith and belief of Muslims even today."
Sahafat - an Urdu newspaper published from Lucknow, Delhi and Mumbai - carried
a half-page article in praise of Ghazwa-e-Badr by Allama Pir Muhammad Tabassum
Of the most
objectionable points, the author cited Islamic jurists as arguing that for
Muslims the "most legitimate halal" source of income is
maal-e-ghanimat (goods seized from non-Muslims), followed by profits from
trade, followed by profits from farming, followed by income from work done by
one's own hand - the last being the lowest in importance.
Prophet Muhammad was fighting against the Meccans partially in response to
their mistreatment of Muslims, Allama Pir Muhammad Tabassum Bashir Owaisi
nevertheless argued that fighting against non-Muslims is mandated by Allah.
observed: "Otherwise too, the infidels are enemies of Allah and their
properties… are halal (permissible as per Shariah) for Allah's friends, in
other words, for Muslims."
radicalise Muslims, he wrote an Urdu couplet: "Create the environment of
Badr, because the angels for your aid will come down, in rows after rows even
Inquilab, an Urdu newspaper influential in Maharashtra, also published an
article to celebrate Ghazwa-e-Badr. The article, written by Kamran Ghani Saba,
preached jihad and suicide attacks.
justified fighting against family members to advance the cause of Islam. Saba
noted that Muslims fought against "extremely close relatives" at the
Battle of Badr.
the "spirit of jihad", the writer noted an incident as per which a
companion of the Prophet, Umar bin Jam, was eating dates when he heard the
Prophet's call to fight and plunged headlong into a suicide mission, saying to
himself: "Wow, wow, between me and paradise, the only time (left to elapse
is the period before) they kill me."
June 12 shooting at the gay club of Orlando, Roznama Sahafat of June 22
published an article which argued the attack was a conspiracy to make Donald
Trump the US President and said "the American intelligence agencies
carried out the attacks on 9/11".
Urdu weekly Nai Duniya of June 27-July 3 argued that Mir Siddiqui, the father
of Omar Mateen, the shooter, is a CIA agent because he ran a YouTube channel.
Indians know that a YouTube channel can be opened by anyone having a
issue of May 25-31, 2015, Nai Duniya justified the killing of 700-900 Jews of
Banu Quraiza despite that they had surrendered, offering to leave behind their
groups began ghar wapsi (reconversion) programmes, Mumbai-based Urdu Times of
December 26, 2014 wrote that apostates (Muslims leaving Islam) should be
"The first interpreter of the Quran, Prophet Muhammad, has clearly ordered
the killing of a person becoming apostate."
social media can be misused, the time is now to recognise the real problem and
stop blaming the internet for radicalisation of Muslims.
of Mail Today.)