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Islam and the Media (09 Aug 2015 NewAgeIslam.Com)

NEWAGEISLAM.COM Is Active In Trying To Build Up A Peaceful, Pluralistic Counter-Narrative to Extremist, Jihadi Islam, Says the Sunday Guardian

By Mohammed Anas

8th Aug 2015

Muslims Get Active to Save Youth from Extremism, ISIS

The Ministry of Home Affairs, which plans to engage the Muslim community to prevent the possible radicalisation of their youth by the terror organisation Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, may find several volunteers, as scores of Muslims are already on the job. Various Muslim fora are actively countering extremist ideologies and promoting the soft or Sufi brand of Islam among the Muslim youth.

In the wake of a US intelligence revelation about ISIS planning to recruit youngsters from India, the MHA announced this week that it is planning a "blueprint" to counter the radicalisation of the youth and stem the possible spread of ISIS in India. In the process, it "will also engage people from the Muslim community for the same".

A Rajasthan-based group called Sufi Muslim Youth Association has started an online contest to promote Sufi Islam and highlight the ills of the extremist Salafi ideology. It is run by a young man called Aneeque Usmani from Didwana district and is supported by many Islamic experts and clerics such as Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, Qazi Ayub Ashrafi and Deedar Chisti.

"We have started a question-answer series on the Sufi side of Islam, where we ask youngsters questions on simple things about Islam and the life of Prophet Mohammed, which highlight the universality of his message. Those who garner the maximum points in this contest are rewarded with encouraging prizes. We opened this all India contest on WhatsApp last week," said Usmani, who also claims to organise other Sufi activities in various places in Rajasthan, spreading the message of communal harmony and about the all-encompassing nature of Islam among the youth.

Similarly, a renowned cleric from Uttar Pradesh, Syed Md Ashraf Ahmed Kichouchvi, who heads the All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board, is challenging the spread of Wahhabi and other extremist ideologies in India with missionary zeal. Three years ago, he organised an all-India conference to denounce Wahhabism. He said that extremist ideologies like Wahhabism are anathema to India's composite culture.

"Youngsters who are fed Wahhabi thoughts tend to be intolerant towards people of other sects and other religions. In recent times, youngsters have even turned towards militancy under the influence of such indoctrinations. We urge the youngsters that whenever any Maulana, however influential he may be, tries to coax them to turn to violent means against their state, they should immediately be reported to the police. They are dangerous for Indian society and should be opposed," said Ashraf. His nephew Syed Babar Ashraf is working among New Delhi's youth on similar lines.


Members of Khudai Khidmatgar lead a peace march.

The Delhi-based group Khudai Khidmatgar has revived Frontier Gandhi Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan's mission to work towards communal harmony and promote the softer sides of all religions, especially Islam. When asked whether they had read reports that terror groups like ISIS were recruiting people, members of the group said they had only heard about it in some news reports.

"But you can see we are regularly recruiting the Muslim youth from campuses, localities and madrasas. You can browse our Facebook page and see how every week, new members join. We are a growing caravan," said Hasan, a member of the group.

Among the various online fora, newageislam.com, a web portal run by Muslim scholar Sultan Shahin, is collecting different scholarly works on various radical ideologies prevalent among Muslims to build up a counter narrative. Shahin said that some extremist ideologies have found place in religious discourses delivered in madrasas, which has to be countered through rigorous reforms in madrasa education.

People connected with anti-Taliban Pakistani scholars like Tahir ul Quadri and Javed Ahmed Ghamidi also organise talks and let people know about their lectures on countering "Jihadi Fatwas".

Even mainstream Muslim organisations like the Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind, All India Imam Organisation, All India Ulema Mashaikh Board and All India Majlis e Mushawarat, etc., have openly urged Muslims to condemn the activities of ISIS and other militant outfits operating in the name of Islam.

Meanwhile, a trip to various seminaries and Muslim localities in Delhi by this correspondent revealed that Muslims do not have anything positive to say about this dreaded outfit. Rather, people are appalled at what they have heard about the group. Even the Urdu press, which had shown some sympathy towards the ISIS when it had come to the limelight one and a half years ago, now carries news items reporting the atrocities, committed by the group, and opinion pieces calling the ISIS "one of the most evil dangers to Muslim society in present times".

When this correspondent contacted the office of the deputy secretary in MHA to know how the ministry was planning to engage Muslims for the de-radicalisation of the youth, an official said that the ministry was aware of the work being done by newageislam.com and Khudai Khidmatgar and would try to contact such organisations.

Source: sunday-guardian.com/investigation/muslims-get-active-to-save-youth-from-extremism-isis

URL: http://newageislam.com/islam-and-the-media/mohammed-anas,-sunday-guardian/newageislamcom-is-active-in-trying-to-build-up-a-peaceful,-pluralistic-counter-narrative-to-extremist,-jihadi-islam,-says-the-sunday-guardian/d/104218



Hyderabad Muslim Youth Most Vulnerable To ISIS Propaganda

By S Rama Krishna

8th Aug 2015

 The threat of radicalisation of thousands of educated Muslim youth from the Old City of Hyderabad is becoming a cause for worry for the authorities. The youth from the Old City, which accounts for over 28 Lakh Muslim population within a congested area of 30 sq km, are considered soft targets by the ISIS moles. In terms of the number of youth suspected to be in touch with extremist outfits within and outside India, Hyderabad tops the list as the most vulnerable in the country, while Telangana, as a state, ranks third after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, say sources in the Telangana Home Department. The other affected states are: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, West Bengal, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Assam and Andhra Pradesh.

The Ministry of Home Affairs is setting up a key surveillance-cum-monitoring centre in Hyderabad to check efforts by the ISIS to spread its tentacles here. Two or more such centres will be set up in other parts of the country. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the vulnerable states held by the MHA in New Delhi on 1 August, according to sources.

As many as 12 states attended the meeting chaired by Home Secretary L.C. Goyal. The Centre, after taking inputs from the states, particularly Telangana, will involve different anti-terror agencies to track down the movements of the youth and unearth the conspiracies hatched by them, sources in Telangana home department told this newspaper. It was decided that the centre in Hyderabad will be the hub of coordination among four different agencies — IB (Intelligence Bureau), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), National Investigation Agency (NIA), National Technical Research Organization (NTRO) and Telangana police.

A team of 15 policemen is tracking the activities of around 200 persons with possible connections with different ISIS moles in Hyderabad. Most of these moles are from SIMI, Harkat-ul-Jihad, and Indian Mujahideen (IM). The role of Hyderabad based outfit Dargah Sadat Jihad is also being monitored by the police.

So far, neither has any Old City youth been arrested, nor has any case been registered even against those who were caught while trying to flee Hyderabad to join the ISIS in the last one year. "Not arresting these youth is part of our strategy. Having the intention to join ISIS may not be a crime. We caught seven youth from Hyderabad in the last one year after it became clear that they had ties with the ISIS, but we let them off," Hyderabad police commissioner M. Mahender Reddy told The Sunday Guardian.

One of these youth is Md Salman, a former Google employee, who was caught at Shamshabad airport while trying to go to Turkey to join the ISIS.

The Hyderabad police's counter-terror wing is keeping a tab on the movements of around 200 youth, who are suspected to have been in touch with ISIS modules all over the world.

The ISIS moles first distribute literature and circulate ideological material on the internet and encourage fresh college graduates and even younger students to go through them. This literature is related to what extremists describe as injustice done to Muslims by non-Muslims, sources said.

After that they lure the youth into joining the ISIS abroad, by saying that their services are needed for the cause of Islam and sticking to their careers or jobs is a betrayal of the larger cause. The moles then extend financial and logistical help to those who are ready to join the ISIS ranks.

The intelligence agencies have identified two routes that these youth take to go abroad: one is through India's border with Pakistan in J&K and Punjab, and the other is the border with Bangladesh in West Bengal. The youth are offered two tasks — one is to fight abroad in either Iraq or Syria, or to come back to India and carry out attacks for the cause of ISIS.

"One youth was told by a mole that God gave Arab countries oil, but the US and NATO forces were taking away Muslim wealth and every Muslim youth should fight this," said a senior police officer who questioned the youth who tried to join the ISIS.

Charges of shielding the moles have been levelled against Asaduddin Owaisi's All India Majlis-e-Ittehad ul Muslimeen (AIMIM), which is the dominant political party in the Old City. The police are yet to look into this angle. However, AIMIM spokesman Syed Ameen Jaffri said that the Owaisis never supported the ISIS. "Our leader had condemned the ISIS openly and we only work for the uplift of the Muslims in the country". Asaduddin Owaisi, MP and party president, has condemned the ISIS as a "gang of rapists and murders".

Telangana Home Minister N. Narasimha Reddy justified the soft approach adopted by the police while dealing with the youth who tried to join the ISIS. "We will counsel the youth and their parents about the dangers of joining hands with ISIS elements. There is no point in arresting and torturing them as there can be a backlash, as we have seen in the case of the TADA accused in the past," he said.

Source: sunday-guardian.com/investigation/hyderabad-muslim-youth-most-vulnerable-to-isis-propaganda


 MHA Wants States to Handle the ISIS-Struck Gently

By Abhinandan Mishra

8th Aug 2015

 The Ministry of Home Affairs, worried over the increasing instances of Muslim youth being radicalised by the ideology of the ISIS, has asked different state governments to handle these youth with great care and not to use "aggravated" force on them.

According to sources in the MHA, at least 50-60 youth from different parts of the country were brought under surveillance after it emerged that they had established contacts with ISIS operatives with the intention of either going to Iraq or to extend support to the terrorist group's activities.

"Either we could arrest them, call them for questioning or provide counselling by involving their parents and community members in order to wean them away from the ISIS. Right now the stress is on the second option as we feel that they have not still reached the point of no return. We have told the state governments that arrests should be the last option in such cases," said an MHA official. Officials said that arresting these youth would further push them towards the ISIS and will lead to more fascination for the ISIS. "Most of these youth are in the age of 20-25 years and are very vulnerable to propaganda. We have asked the security agencies to keep a close tab on them so that we can stop them from moving further towards the ISIS. However, if someone has decided to give his life for the 'cause', then we cannot do much and we will then have to act accordingly", the official stated. At a high level meeting chaired by Home Secretary L.C. Goyal on 1 August, and attended by officials from "sensitive" states including Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Kerala, Assam, Punjab and Delhi inputs generated by the Intelligence Bureau and RAW regarding the growing fascination for the ISIS among the youth was discussed. The officials were also given presentation about how the ISIS was using various social media platforms to lure the youth into its fold.

In a related development, the NIA has been provided with next generation snooping software tools through which the agency will track the online fora and chat rooms frequented by ISIS supporters to try and prevent Indian citizens from getting radicalised. The agency has set up a special cell to monitor different chat sites and share the information thus collected with other security agencies and the state police.

Source: .sunday-guardian.com/investigation/mha-wants-states-to-handle-the-isis-struck-gently

URL: http://newageislam.com/islam-and-the-media/mohammed-anas,-sunday-guardian/newageislamcom-is-active-in-trying-to-build-up-a-peaceful,-pluralistic-counter-narrative-to-extremist,-jihadi-islam,-says-the-sunday-guardian/d/104218



  • NAI gets well deserved recognition.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/10/2015 2:04:04 AM

  • Well, its a start. I wish them success.
    By secularlogic - 8/10/2015 1:41:10 AM

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