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
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
Since then, many a bomb have gone off where Muslim involvement has appeared certain. Two car bombs in Mumbai in August 2003,
Little does the terrorist realize that every blast makes millions of Muslims all over
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.
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.