Terrorism is an international phenomenon. This came into main stream of world politics with the attack on America in 2001. America responded to the attack by attacking more than a dozen countries directly or indirectly. In later years of its attack, this terrorism became a tool for America to advance its interests around the world. America entered into Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya without any objection from any of the countries. It attacked numerous countries without any accountability to international community on will. It removed the undesirable rulers from the power in the name of possible link with terrorists. The important allies removed the danger to be overthrown for undemocratic rule. The most nearest ally Israel defamed the Palestinian freedom movement in the name of terrorism and secured the right to invade Palestine on will.
The most important aspect of this terrorism was that it was green. No other community has been maligned in terrorism than the Muslims. On international level, the powerful Muslim countries were destroyed one by one in the name of terrorism. The whole West Asia has been pushed in to chaos. The scene in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan is an example of anarchy. The prospect of development and progress has been put on hold. The entire Muslim community and Islam have been painted in the colour of terrorism. Islam as a religion was declared a religion which promotes terrorism, The Muslim community as a community which nurtures terrorism and Muslim youth with a particular identity has been declared as bearer of terrorism. The Islamic world has been destroyed to stop the spreading of Islam in America, Europe and Australia to save the crumbling traditional power house of Christian and Jews. The world has been secured from the menaces of Islam and Muslims as many scholars of the west predicted earlier and without any accountability to the international community. The natural resources of the Islamic world have been looted and captured. The pipeline of oil was secured to reach the powerful tycoons of the world who use to finance for the offices of Washington, Paris, Canberra and London etc.
Indian Muslims and Terrorism:
The phenomenon of terrorism in India has two dimensions. One is to show the solidatory with the international powers to curtail the power of Islamic world and second is to have a check on the rising power of Indian Muslims. The number of Muslims in India is about 13.4 percent as per the census of 2001. And as per the census of 2011; the population of Muslims in India is 14.2 percent. This is not a small population and insignificant as compared to the many other countries of Islamic world and the past experience of the creation of Pakistan after independence. The strong Muslim population is seen as strong internal threat to security of the country. And terrorism has provided much needed excuse to check the growing power of Indian Muslims. Due to involvement of the major powers of the world against terrorism particularly terrorism of Muslims, some establishments in India took it as a golden opportunity to check the power of Indian Muslims. Some took it for advancement of political agendas to capture political power. Some took it as a cause to advance the interests of a particular class.
In India terrorism is a mantra through which many establishments are getting new leases of lives. These establishments are political parties, the communalist organizations and the power brokers of Indian Muslims. For all of them the mantra of survival is in terrorism for longer period of time without losing the credibility among the Indian people.
The definition of terrorism in India may be different from religion to religion from region to region and from ideology to ideology.. But for Indian Muslims, the definition of terrorism is meaningless as the term has been coined only for them. If we see the culture of violence in India historically, this was never religiously oriented, particularly in medieval India (like persecution of Buddhists in the ancient time). The violence has always been condemned as an act of irreligious people (see the case of Mahabharata and Ramayana principles of war and violence). But in present time why violence has not been taken an act of irreligious people but a projected work of an entire community of a particular religion? This duality is known to every Indian that what terrorism means. Can this sort of dual approach help to reach to find a true definition of terrorism?
The other point related to terrorism is why this evil has been nourished by the so called true patriots of India? For the last 20 years, due to advancement in education, economy, science and technology, the marginalized Indian communities progressed with leaps and bounds. Indian Muslims also progressed with these marginalized communities. These developments have posed threat to the traditional power holder of the Indian nation for centuries which does not want to share power with other communities. This powerful class which holds real political and economic power of the country is trying to be in dominance in the age of globalization. They are trying to expand their power beyond the country with alliance of international powers.
The mantra of Indian nationalism which was a moving force since 1857 revolt started losing the colour due to the rise of regional forces in political manifestation and religious division. The agenda of regional political powers was different from the national parties. The division of religious groups into liberal and orthodox and popularity of orthodox groups in religion divided the unity of the people further. The right to representation to the orthodox in all the major communities of Indians complicated the matters of unity. The rise of right wing parties in Indian political set up is an example. The tussle started among the communities for own vested interests. The national issues and national interests were ignored.
The economic development due to liberalization of Indian economy since 1991 that brought true unity among different segments of Indian society was challenged by raising the issue of Babri Masjid. Was it a deliberate attempt by the communal forces to sideline the Muslims from the development opportunities provided by the economic liberalization? The trend to malign Indian Muslims with Pakistan further strengthens with the emergence of powerful communal media controlled by tycoons and right wing organizations. With every war or tussle with Pakistan the loyalty of Indian Muslims has been questioned. This has been done to create hatred towards Indian Muslims to gain political power. The question that remains unanswered is how long the loyalty of Indian Muslims would be questioned? How long they would be made to feel themselves unsecure?
The trend of globalization introduced borderless economy. Indian Muslims had better prospect in case of business around the world as more than 55 nations of Islamic origin could be a bigger market for them. The globalization opened better prospect of employment to Indian Muslims from the closed sectors due to reservation to a particular communities. The rising number of educated Muslims could be stronger pillar for the community .These trends are not accepted to those sections of the society which have been holding the powers for long. The more powerful Indian Muslims the more danger to internal security; was another presumption about Indian Muslims.
The globalization made Indian industrialists, businessmen, media men more powerful. The united stand of them for domination could not be checked. The political power could be gotten from the alliance of these groups. The rising number of business, industrialists and media turned politicians is an example of the rise of their powers. One section thought that there is needed a more secular approach towards the Indian Muslims who have always been in the touch of their brethren around the world.
The global reaching Indian business classes needed secular Indian Muslims to use in wielding the business relation in fast emerging Muslim nations particularly in Central and West Asia.
With the development of these two trends regarding Indian Muslims it became the point of contention between two groups, one who saw Indian Muslims as internal threat and other as a tool to advance the economic interest of the group abroad. Unfortunately both were advancing their causes in the name of serving the interest of the country.
The group which saw Muslims as internal threat started many such works which fueled the communal tension. The issue of Babri Mosque was tossed, the diplomatic relation with Israel established and aggressive propaganda against Muslims started.
Other group which saw Muslims as a tool to advance their interests succumbed to the pressure of right wing politics. This group became pro-right wing with coming of the first BJP led government in the country while at international level remained singing the secular song.
The coming of globalization and rising number of educated Indian Muslims scarred the communalist organizations and political parties, which were seeing the emergence of a new India based on new identity and new culture different from the traditional Indian system of alignment of traditional groups of power holders? The traditional empire of Indian elite classes who were holding power saw these two trends with horror. After this time, one could witness the emergence of the symptom of the disease known as terrorism in the country which targeted Indian Muslims, as a large numbers of innocent were freed by the Honorable Court of India. The Indian Muslims were brought in net of terrorism by various methods. In first stance the character of whole community was assassinated. Mass media played very important role in character assassination of Indian Muslims. The secularization of Indian Muslims and suppression of anti-secular Muslims started with stereotyping them in mass media. The projection of Muslims as dons, criminals, smugglers, anti-national or anti-social elements started in Indian Bollywood cinema. If someone observes then finds that there were similarities in both Bollywood and Hollywood in character assassination of Muslims. The cinema of Bollywood specifically targeted Indian Muslims while Hollywood targeted Arab world in general and Palestine movement in particular. The Hollywood played important role in projecting Muslims as terrorists by floating powerful images of terror and violence. This prepared the brain to accept the mythical reality of terrorism in later days. The same can be said about Indian Bollywood and Tollywood. The Muslim names and characters were shown in powerful images of violence and terror too. There is need to enquire about the relationship between Hollywood and Bollywood in propagating terrorism against Muslims.
On international level, the 09/11 turned the Muslims of the world into terrorists. The powerful image of terrorism which was created through the mass media was turned into reality after 09/11 by mass media. In India there started the real design of communal forces when they planned to make the marginalized community and Indian Muslims to be enemy of each other. A series of violent acts was unleashed both in terms of communal riots and terrorist attacks. Every terrorist attack was linked with the Indian Muslims. Indian Muslim’s identity and loyalty was put on stake. The main target was Muslim youth. A large number of Muslim youth were arrested and put behind the bars. The atmosphere of hatred was created against Muslims in the country. The whole community was pushed into psychological fear syndrome.
The question that hammers the minds of Indian Muslims were: Could Indian Muslims involve themselves in such acts which invite the ruthless suppression and backlash to their very much needed advancement in education, economy, science and technology? What are the purposes of these acts of violence? Have they power to challenge the Indian government? Why they could choose such suicidal path when they have freedom of their religion and a constitutional government based on equality of law?
No Indian Muslim having’ any sort of wisdom can choose such destructive path for his community. If anyone has involved himself then he is no person of sound mind and should be hanged. Any community around the world chooses the path of revolt when its religion is banned or community faces existential threat. But there is no such thing here in this country.
Then who are the culprits promoting terrorism? The facts revealed till now about terrorism by various agencies and path breaking investigation by slain Police Officer Mr. Karkare proved the thesis of conspiracy of the traditional power holders of country.
The Indian judiciary has done commendable work by freeing numerous innocent Muslim youth from jail which proves the non involvement of the community in the acts of terrorism for which they are accused. Indian Muslims are not the part of ongoing terrorist activities but they are victims of their enemies who unfortunately hold the power of the country.
What’s next for India’s Muslims?
The need of hour for Indian Muslims is to have patience and reject the so called terrorist jihad for the sake of the community and nation. The duty of every Indian is to expose the real enemy of the nation and bring them to justice. The Indian Muslim must form an organization comprising the eminent legal jurists and citizens of India to pursue every act of terrorism and bring the reality and culprit before the nation and the world and prove that Indian Muslims can live in poverty, suffer from illiteracy, face the discrimination but cannot be a terrorist.
It is needed that Indian Muslims must have stronger relation with powerful Muslim countries which have very good relation with India. The cases of so called false terrorism should be narrated to them.
There should be organization which comprises on the civil society from all communities. Any injustice made to any community should be brought to the bodies of justice and international community. The organization of Amnesty international, UN Human Rights organization, Supreme Court of India, International Court of justice should be approached in case of violation of human rights in the name of terrorism.
The Ulema should come in front to issue fatwa against the violence and work for the moderation of teachings of different Maslakas. Islam does not allow violence to disturb the peaceful society. The Ulema should clarify the stand of Islam about violence and misconception about the teachings of Islam. It has been found that the people of other faiths that do not know about the teachings of Islam in their true contexts are preaching hatred against Islam and Muslims. There is need to work for the betterment of the country by bringing all the people in unity and denouncing violence. The acts of terrorism cannot solve the problem of anyone but certainly will make the problem more complex for all-the people, the nation and the world.
- Abdulla, Rasha A., “Islam, Jihad, and Terrorism in Post-9/11 Arabic Discussion Boards”
- Mushrif, S.M, “Who Killed Karkare?: The Real Face of Terrorism in India”
- Allam, Mohammad, “Indian Muslims: Issues and Perceptions”