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Islam,Terrorism and Jihad ( 8 Oct 2008, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Time Indian Muslims told terrorists their dastardly actions are inimical to Muslim interests

By Dr. Mookhi Amir Ali


Some time in the first two years of this century, the well known New York Times Columnist Thomas Friedman posed a question why Indian Muslims are untouched by the Al Qaeda. He answered his own question thus: “The answer lay in India being a secular country, where Muslims can give free vent to their grievances.”  This columnist was not the only one to have this opinion. Many other observers including Richard Armitage have expressed similar sentiments.

Sadly, writing in The Times of India dated 7th September 2003 Swaminathan Anklesaria Aiyer rues, “Alas, we must reject this myth that has ceased to be true after the Gujarat riots” of 2002. “Al Qaeda,” he said had arrived in India.


Since then, many a bomb have gone off where Muslim involvement has appeared certain. Two car bombs in Mumbai in August 2003, Varanasi blasts in March 2006, Train blasts in Mumbai in July 2006. Lately Jaipur, Bangalore and the worst of all Ahmedabad. Still later Delhi bomb blasts on 13th Sept 2008.


Little does the terrorist realize that every blast makes millions of Muslims all over India lose their sleep. Or perhaps he realizes this and accepts this as an average Muslim’s contribution to “the cause”. Muslims spend the immediate hours after the blasts in trepidation and anxiety. A Muslim apprehends backlash and bloodbath in the wake of every terror attack. As the hours turn into days he starts breathing easy. An ordinary Muslim curses a terrorist. The pity is he is accused of not condemning terrorism enough.


This can not go on. This should not go on. Muslim community should not remain in the state of denial. There are Muslims who still believe strongly that there is no involvement of Muslims in these attacks. They suspect a huge conspiracy against the Muslim population. Their belief is strengthened by the fact that no action seems to be taken against certain non-Muslim militant groups who are caught red-handed manufacturing bombs while scores of Muslim young men are routinely locked up, tortured and humiliated.


The time has come when Muslims should stop arguing whether it is the Muslims who are responsible for terror; whether “Indian Mujahideen” really exists and is consisting of Muslims or it is a name some other terror group has given itself to pass the blame of the blasts on to Muslim community. It is prudent for Muslims to accept that there is involvement of Muslims in terrorism. Muslim community in their own interest and that of the country should start thinking of ways and means of reining in the misguided young Muslims who seem to have fallen in traps of indoctrination by militant groups.


The community must form something like an anti terror task force of their own. Enlightened Muslims from all walks of life, Muslim clerics and Muslim politicians from all political parties should form part of such a force. A dialogue should be opened with the suspected terror groups. SIMI or its alleged offspring IM should be asked, in the name of Allah and for the sake of the community to come clean. If they are guilty they should be made to understand that what they think they are doing for the good of the community is actually causing great harm to it.


If, in India, Muslim community can cajole their flock into giving up violence, [let me add again IF they are responsible] it will be a big win in the war against terror. It can be precursor to a win against global terror because at the global level also there is need for a dialogue between terror groups on one side and clerics of Islam and rulers of Muslim countries on the other. Perhaps Muslims of India can lead the way.


Yes, it is useless to sermonize these groups on the tenets of Islam. They will claim to know Islam better. None can perhaps argue with them even on the justifiability of terrorism. But it can surely be impressed upon their minds that what is being done is futile and counterproductive and that Muslims will have to find better and more effective ways of redressing their grievances and injustice done to them. The harm their methods can do to the community can be of catastrophic proportions.


Dr. Mookhi Amir Ali is based in Mumbai.


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  1. A rejoinder to Dr. Mookhi Ali's article "The Indian Muslims are told that their dastardly actions inimical to Muslims' interest".

    By A.M.Jamsheed Basha, Chennai, India.

    Terrorists are the victims out to avenge and create more victims. There is no end to the act of vengeance in the world. Even in an act of vengeance, one creates a victim who will also follow the same path of seeking vengeance. Then there will be no end to it. Therefore, kindness, love and compassion with a proactive approach to all the problems facing the society, is the only option left in the present context. Muslims have time and again denounced terrorism as an act of cowardice, insanity and barbarism.  Muslims believed that the perpetrators of this dastardly crime against humanity are not Muslims but anti-social elements deserve no sympathy.

     Here every one including the writer Dr. Mookhi Ali is trying to counsel the Muslims about the side effects of terrorism as if the entire community is indulging in the acts of terrorism. Where was he when Gujarat was burning and why hasn’t people like him have not tried to counsel the saffron brigade? Why Modi was not taken to task or counseled against the atrocities committed by him and his men in a state sponsored pogrom aimed at avenging the killings of Godhra victims, which was worst than terrorism or we may call it another form of terrorism? Why no one has ever tried to study the cause of terrorism, though terrorism in any form is highly reprehensible? It may be remembered that if Muslims have risen against years of oppression, it is an indication of the mood of the community as they will no longer tolerate neglect and ill treatment. The Govt should try to address their problems rather than being satisfied with the arrest of innocent people in the name of nabbing the terrorists. The community has not reconciled fully to the fact that some of the youth, misguided though, have indulged in such acts of terrorism in the recent past, which have taken away precious human life and those killed in the serial bombing do include Muslim men, women and children. It’s mainly because of lack of transparency in the arrest so indiscriminately taking place in India. It may be recalled that it was the Muslim community that helped the Intelligence agencies in nabbing the terrorists in Mumbai recently. They even sheltered the sleuths who went in the thick of their community posing themselves as NRI returnees. This goes to show that Muslims are too willing to cooperate to wipe out terrorism even at the cost of their own kith and kin in the community. There is, therefore, no justification whatsoever to brand the entire community as the harbinger of terrorism.

    It is time to introspect and go into the genesis of the problem facing the Muslim Ummah today vis-à-vis the repressive policies of the Safron brigade. The polarization began soon after the infamous Advani's Rath Yatra that culminated into the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya iin 1992. Till then, the Muslims were silently tolerating all the humiliation in the county. There were riots in hundreds since 1947 in the post-partitioned India, where mostly Muslims were killed and their properties looted. They were aggrieved but could do nothing but to resign to the reality. Normal life went on for years together. No political party ever tried to address their problems. They were not given adequate representation in the administration, legislature and education of the country based on the strength of their population. The biggest beneficiary of the vote bank politics was congress party in whose time, Muslim suffered most. Now its leaders are slowly trying to assuage the feelings of this beleaguered community particularly when the elections are round the corner. The emergence of political leader like late Bhaguna, Mulayam Singh Yadev and Lalu Prasad Yadev, as the champions of the cause of Muslims, was the turning point in the realignment of various forces in the country as Muslim leadership was not worth the name. It was left to the Hindu NGOs and other Human Rights organisations to fight for the cause of Muslims. In this situation, the demolition of Babri Mosque woke up the sleeping members of the community. The result was disastrous. There were serial bombings in Bombay purportedly to avenge the killings of Muslims in post Ayodhya riots and the demolition of Babri Mosque. The Tiger Memon and Family supported by the outlawed Dawood Ibrahim were the brain behind the bombings in Bombay. This was the beginning of the bomb culture in the country. Both the demolition of the Babri Mosque, followed by riots, and the serial bombing in Bombay were not only unfortunate but also highly reprehensible. This was followed by one after another as the militant elements in the community emboldened by the successes of the bombing in Bombay, carried on the legacy aided and abetted by the forces inimical to the interest of India. Funds and support started flowing from outside as they thought it was the best opportunity to foment trouble in the otherwise peaceful India. The height of hypocrisy was seen when there was pogrom in Gujarat in the post Godhra riots. This was clearly a state sponsored communal violence and massacre took place at the behest of Modi and his men. The whole world condemned it; even US went to the extent of denying Modi any visa and banned his entry in US. No Muslim country in the world including Pakistan had the guts to come in support of the Muslims of India in that hour of crisis. Even the Supreme Court came out against Modi when they shifted a number of cases against him and his men, outside Gujarat, appointed a special team to investigate the causes of riots that is due to submit its report in December. Was it not enough to bring Modi to trial in the criminal court? Why Govt has not taken action against him and others? Why adequate compensations have not been paid to the riot victims while Modi had the audacity to announce a solatium of Rs.5 Lakh to those killed in the recent bomb blast on the borders of Gujarat, but no such compensation was announced for the victims of bombing in Melagoan in Maharashtra, where the victims were largely Muslims who were breaking the fast before Mughrib prayers, when the bomb went off. Why such blatant discrimination against Muslim community? This has angered the Muslim community in India and what's wrong with it. Govt should analyse such incidences seriously and take action accordingly. We once again reiterate that Muslims in India do not approve of any violent reaction and more particularly terrorism of any form. We support Govt efforts to nab the conspirators and perpetrators of terrorists’ activities in the country. Sufferers of the bombings were not only Hindus but include Muslims too.

    The Safron brigade is not free from the blame. It is this brigade that was responsible for riots in the country and the Govt was a silent spectator unable to curb their activities fearing Hindu backlash. The emergence of BJP, in the political scene as the next alternative to Congress all added to the woes of the community as the other members of the Sangh Parivar began to consolidate their foot hold in the body politics of the country. The emergence of Bajrang Dal and VHP as the militant face of  Sangh Parivar, famous for spreading bomb culture, further aggravated the situation. The tirade against the hapless Christian community was the result of the over zealous activities of these organisations. The multiple membership Bajran Dal and VHP had the full support of the RSS and BJP. While Govt could ban SIMI for their alleged involvement in the terrorists attack in the country, though not yet proved, it is too hesitant to ban Bajrang Dal and VHP, though there was a strong case against them and there was persistent demand from all political parties barring Safron Brigade to ban it. These organisations were responsible for spreading hatred and incited violence against the Christians in Orissa, Karnataka, MP, Kerala and elsewhere, and recently in Tamilnadu. This has resulted in the killing of the innocent people, displaced them in large numbers, and forced them out of their homes in Orissa, where they are seeking shelters in Jungles and refugee camps. The prayer houses and churches were desecrated, demolished and burnt in the public glare. Even the members belonging to these organisations owned the responsibility in front of the cameras of major news channel as they did it to oppose the so called forcible conversion. But the inept BJD Govt of Navin Patnaik not only failed to protect but also was soft on the activities of these dangerous organisations. The Central Cabinet met amid hope but failed to come out with a clear cut policy to ban these organisations much against the demand from majority of the cabinet ministers and Communists. Even the threat to dismiss the Navin Patnaik Govt for its failure, which was admitted even by the Chief Minister himself, got evaporated in the vote bank politics, as Congress was too afraid to risk when the elections are round the corner.

    All said and done, violence is no answer. Its time to resolve the problem through inter-religious dialogues as suggested by even hawkish Advani. The Muslims grievances may be addressed; they may be given adequate representations in the legislatures, administration, employment and education proportionate to their population. The reservation and separate electorate system that was available to the community earlier before indpendence may be restored. The reservation of constituencies on par with SC/ST reservations may be restored so that Muslims are well represented in the State legislatures and Central parliament.  Implement the recommendations of Sachar Committee report for Muslims were under represented in all arms of the Govt. Lack of adequate opportunities for Muslims in higher education was also a reason for the disenchantment among them. Education is the best option for the youth to sway them away from the path of violence.  Provide more opportunities; open up new educational institutions in the country, give some preference to this highly sensitive but neglected community. Such steps taken in right earnest would help the community and its youth from going extreme. Ban all the organisations whether Muslims or Hindus, that incite violence and spread communal disharmony. Let's all join to create a new India free from internal conflicts where people live in perfect harmony with respect to all religious beliefs and faiths.





    By A.M.Jamsheed Basha, Chennai, India
  2. Terrorism and wisdom are like chalk and cheese. Terrorism damages one's cause rather than promoting it. It is against humanity, it hurts and kills innocent people and brings bad name and repulsion if done in the name of religion.

    Ultimately, it will loose as it has no leges to stand upon. We find that extrmists in England are moving away and finding their place in moderation. Visit to learn more. Terrorism is being defeated by the damage it does and also by people within the community who report suspicious people to the authorities.

    Indian young Muslim terrorists seem to have been greatly hurt by Gujerat Massacres. If injustice was done to innocent Muslims in Gujrat then it must be acknowledged, the guilty punished and a public apology by the authorities will go a long way to heal the wounds. Comensation should be paid to all those who lost bread earners and property. That is how living nations respond to injustice. Not sweep it away underneath the rug and accuse the victims.


    By Mubashir