Muslim groups trying to contain radical elements in their community
The Indian Mujahideen (said to be a branch of SIMI) has created a vast underground terror network in India, much like the Naxals have. It’s unnerving to know that terror camps are not out there somewhere in the deserts of Afghanistan or the mountainous regions of Pakistan, but in the jungles of India. I had missed the news about a terror camp in the Wagamon forests of Kerala (not widely reported?) and now they are saying that terror camps have been discovered not just in Kerala, but also Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and one in Halol (outskirts of Vadodara) in Gujarat.
This news has had a devastating impact on the Muslim community, the vast majority of whom are peaceful. Their fears of harassment have increased and the recent well-publicised case where a group of Muslim tourists were turned away from Sardar Sarovar Dam dam just because they had Muslim names is a case in point. A fear psychosis has developed amongst the security agencies and because it is easy to distinguish Muslims from non-Muslims, they become targets.
I think it’s important that at least we the people are not suspicious of ordinary Muslims. The community is trying its best to contain the radical elements in their midst and there have been a spate of public meetings and rallies by various Muslim groups across India “denouncing terrorism and insisting that it has no relation whatsoever with Islam.” Quoting from the Indian Muslims site:
These have been widely reported in the Muslim press, but, barring the recently-held Anti-Terrorism convention held by the Dar ul-Ulum Deoband, they have not received any attention by the so-called ‘mainstream’ Indian press. The reason is simple: The ‘mainstream’ press rarely, if ever, highlights any positive stories or news about Muslims. It is as if only ‘bad’ news about Muslims is ‘good’ news for the ‘mainstream’ press.
The fatwa by Deobandi clerics (a highly influential religious group with links to religious groups abroad) is worth a mention. Thousands attended the conference and the main Muslim organisations and almost all the Muslim sects in India were represented. In this sense it was a historic meeting. The scholars declared that “the very idea of a terrorist glorying in violence and describing himself as a jihadi was denounced as an abomination.”
That’s an education for a non-Muslim because many tend to use the term “Jihadi” to describe terrorists.
In Hyderabad moderate muslims are taking concrete steps to deter the young from supporting terrorists.
Study centers are holding seminars and workshops for young people, particularly disgruntled youth. Any innocent young person picked up by the police and perhaps harrassed and tortured becomes a prime candidate for a terrorist recruiter and these are the people muslims groups are reaching out to and counseling. They provide information about the constitution, the law and human rights and help the youth to fight it out the the legal way. Plus, organisations like the All India Mujlis Tameer-e-Millat “have started monitoring activities of young Muslim men and women and warning their parents whenever they are found straying”. Young women and housewives are being informed about how their men can get caught in the terror web.
At such a time all Indians should stick together, Muslim or non-Muslim doesn’t matter.
(Photo copyrighted to me)
Related Reading: List of posts on terrorism in India