Islamic Terrorism in India

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What have you done for Pandits: SC asks J & K

Posted by jagoindia on September 23, 2011

The journey back home

Minhaz Merchant Aug 21, 2011

A three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by chief justice Sarosh Kapadia, is hearing a petition against the Jammu & Kashmir government on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits forced to flee the Valley. The apex court is focussing on two issues: one, jobs promised to the Pandits by the J&K government; two, rebuilding their vandalised homes. Visibly annoyed with the senior counsel representing the J&K government, the Supreme Court bench observed acidly: “We didn’t want to go by your dream proposals, but want firm action. Can you show us even one instance where you have set aside the sale (of a Pandit home) and given it back to the victim?”

With the Supreme Court likely to pass a seminal order on their rehabilitation and return to the Valley, Kashmir’s Pandits have new hope that they will receive justice after 22 years of the most devastating ethnic cleansing in post-Independence India. Under legal pressure, a special employment package announced by the prime minister has already led to a trickle of Pandits flowing back into the Valley. In a significant if symbolic move, the US House of Representatives recently introduced a resolution highlighting the plight of the dispossessed Pandits.

What have you done for Pandits: SC asks J&K

Jan 18, 2011

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has expressed displeasure over inertia of the Jammu and Kashmir government to implement rehabilitation packages for Kashmiri Pandits who fled the Valley in the aftermath of insurgency. It asked the state to take firm action to ameliorate their condition.

“Tell us what have you (state government) done with your promise of providing 15,000 jobs? Have you given a single job? Or, for that matter, have you given them a single house,” asked a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia on Monday. We don’t want to go by your dream proposals, but want some firm action”.

It was hearing a petition filed by the All India Kashmiri Samaj and others alleging neither the state government nor the Centre was addressing grievances of Kashmiri Pandits who have been suffering for over two decades.

The court asked the state government to furnish data on steps taken to ameliorate the plight of Pandits. It asked the state to explain whether the government had set aside even a single sale of house as illegal since hundreds of houses between 1990-1997 belonging to Pandits had been auctioned and sold illegally after the victims fled the Valley.

“Can you show us even one instance where you have set aside the sale and given it back to the victim.” The bench granted four weeks to the state government to explain it.

Earlier, the court had sought a response from the state government on Rs 1,618-crore special package offered by Centre for restoring properties and providing jobs to migrant Pandits. It also expressed reservations over the Centre’s scheme saying it was not clear as to how the migrants on return will stay without any accommodation.

“Where will people who want to go back stay? Now, their properties have been sold or auctioned. There are number of petitions pending in the High Court. How will they go? Without house, how can people go back to Jammu and Kashmir,” the bench asked.

Additional Solicitor-General Indira Jaising on behalf of the Centre, however, assured the court that properties auctioned between 1990 to 1997 would be declared “illegal” and would be “restored” to owners. “All those auctions are illegal and they will be cancelled,” she had said. According to the Centre, Rs 12.5 crore has already been allocated to the state government for providing transit housing to the migrants.

An estimated 4.5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits had migrated from the Valley over 20 years back, fearful of the insurgency in the state.

Posted in Appeasement, Hindus, Islamofascism, Kashmir, Kashmir Pandits, Minorities, State, Terrorism | Comments Off on What have you done for Pandits: SC asks J & K

What is the future of the Kashmiri Pandits?

Posted by jagoindia on September 17, 2011

What is the future of the Kashmiri Pandits?

“When a man is robbed of his belongings, kicked out of his home, and forced to leave his land where his ancestors had lived for thousands of years, it is very hard to imagine that he will continue to have faith in the human values of his tormentors and destroyers –even of his neighbours and countrymen at large, and even that of the people around the world,” he said.

“Kashmiri Pandits, the original inhabitants of Kashmir, have been kicked and destroyed before, but never have they been so grossly brutalised, victimised, and dehumanised as this time. The annihilation of Pandits happened while the government of India was watching and well aware of the dimensions of the tragedy taking place but chose to play soft with its perpetrators, Muslims, in the hope of winning the civil war in Kashmir one day,” he said.

Today, he continued, “Most of the Pandits pass time in the dreary, pigeonholed, futureless existence in Jammu. Thousands of men in mid-30s to mid-50s never go to work, as they have chosen to survive on government handouts given in lieu of the salary they would have earned if they had the proper conditions to work in Kashmir. This psychological-self-annihilation is the worst price the Pandit community is paying at the hands of the civil war. It will take generations before Kashmiri Pandits of Jammu and Kashmir will regain purposefulness, confidence, and cheerfulness in their lives. Although Kashmir will continue to remain under India, its past social and cultural atmosphere will never reemerge. Kashmiri Pandits have to accept the fait accompli of the situation the events have thrown them into. They are the sideshow of the sideshow in this insane and ancient drama played between Muslims and Hindus. Kashmir cannot become their home in the same way as it was before.”

He added, “How can a Kashmiri Pandit return to a place where his fellow Kashmiri Pandits have been murdered, many of their houses have been burnt, by a majority community who hates them? Even though Kashmir will continue to remain a part of India, it is no longer a home of the Kashmiri Pandits. It would make a lot of sense for Kashmiri Pandit organisations like Panun Kashmir to withdraw from the cause of returning Pandits to Kashmir and re-channel their energies and financial resources to the placement of young Kashmiri Pandits in jobs, helping in the education of the destitute children, and the creation of international networking for the sustenance of the Pandit identity and ambition

Posted in Hindus, India, Islamofascism, Kashmir, Pakistan, State, Terrorism | Comments Off on What is the future of the Kashmiri Pandits?

NIA files chargesheet against 24 Kerala Islamic terrorists for training Kerala youth for terror

Posted by jagoindia on September 17, 2011

NIA files chargesheet against 24 for training Kerala youth for terror

TNN Feb 16, 2011

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The National Investigation Agency today filed chargesheet in the Kashmir terror recruitment case in which youth from Kerala were indoctrinated and recruited for jehadi traning by Lashkar-e-Taiba agents.

The chargesheet which was filed in a designated court in Kochi lists 24 accused. The main accused is K V Abdul Jaleel, who hails from Kannur. He is said to be an activist of the ultra-Islamic National Development Front which later merged to form the Popular Front of India. Some of the other accused named by the NIA are Pakistan national Wali Abdul Rahman and Sarfraz Nawaz, a keralite. Both of them were LeT operatives.

The chargesheet claimed that the conspiracy behind the terror recruitment extended beyond Indian borders and had links with some of the neighbouring countries. The youth were weaned away from their
homes in the guise of religious training and taken to places like Hyderabad where they were introduced to jehadi literature.

The terror trail came to light after the death of four Malayalee youth in an encounter with security forces in Kashmir in October 2008. They were identified as Mohd Fayaz of Kannur, Abdul Rahim of Malappuram, Rimon alias Mohd Yasin – a convert from Christianity – from Ernakulam and Fayeez of Kannur.

Investigation revealed that Bangalore blasts case accused Tadiyantavide Naseer who is also an accused in the case had taken the youth initially to Hyderabad where they were prepared ideologically and then sent across the border for weapons training. The first hits came from Mohd Jaleel, a painter, who had received phone calls from the militants while they were caught in the encounter. He led the cops to Faisal, the man who had taken Mohd Fayaz from his home in September 2008 on the pretext of a job in Bangalore.

Subsequently, it came to light that Faisal was one of the main recruiting agents for the LeT and is believed to have taken at least 100 men, mostly from Kannur, to Bangalore and Hyderabad for induction in terror. But the state government claimed that the figures were exaggerated.

Posted in Indian Muslims, Kashmir, Kerala, State | Comments Off on NIA files chargesheet against 24 Kerala Islamic terrorists for training Kerala youth for terror

Politics in Kashmir a Money Game,as “filthy” as Dal lake: US cable

Posted by jagoindia on September 13, 2011

Politics in Kashmir as “filthy” as Dal lake: US cable
PTI Sep 05,2011

Srinagar, Sept 5 (PTI) Politics in Kashmir is “as filthy as Dal lake” and corruption cuts across party lines, according to leaked US diplomatic cables from India released by Wikileaks. David Mulford in a cable to Washington in 2006 when he was the US ambassador to India also alleged that corruption in Jammu and Kashmir was widespread and prevalent not only among mainstream politicians but separatists as well. “Corruption cuts across party lines and most Kashmiris take it as an article of faith that politically-connected Kashmiris take money from both India and Pakistan,” Mulford said in the cable which was released by Wikileaks last week. The April 2006 cable, released by Wikileaks and titled “Kashmiri politics as filthy as Dal lake”, alleges that politicians — mainstream as well as separatists — amassed wealth within the country and abroad. Mulford observed that the spread of corruption undermined popular support of existing political parties and s eparatists. “Money from Pakistani and Indian intelligence agencies and from Saudi and other foreign extremists has further distorted Kashmiri politics, incentivized leaders to perpetuate the conflict, and perverted state and central government institutions,” he added. In another US diplomatic cable, Mulford quoted JKLF chairman Yasin Malik as alleging that Kashmir is all a “money game”. “Kashmiri politics is no longer about ideology, it’s all a money game,” the US diplomatic cable dated April 2006 quotes Malik as saying. The cable further alleged that a “recurring theme” throughout the interactions with Kashmiris suggest how Indian and Pakistani money has made all Kashmiri political actors dependent on “handouts”. The cable said that state administration gets “rivers of money” for development but the streets in J and K are “appalling, even by Indian standards.” It however, believed that the funds to Kashmiri politicians from India and Pakistan will stop flowing once the Kashmir issue is resolved.

Kashmir is a money game: David Mulford

ET Bureau Sep 5, 2011

SRINAGAR: David Mulford, who was American Ambassador to India, cabled the US State Department in February 2006, “Kashmir politics is as filthy as Dal Lake”.

Scores of cables of whistleblower website WikiLeaks has several instances explaining the vested interest of ‘stakeholders’ in keeping the Kashmir pot boiling. “Corruption cuts across party lines and most Kashmiris take it as an article of faith that politically-connected Kashmiris take money from both India and Pakistan,” a cable noted.

Giving an example, Mulford’s cable alleged that a Kashmiri businessman told embassy officials that Mirwaiz Umer Farooq had acquired property in Dubai and the Kashmir Valley from payoffs done by intelligence agencies of India and Pakistan.

The cable noted that some “security officers bribe their way into Kashmir assignments that give access to lucrative civil affairs and logistics contracts.” Mulford’s cable also referred to a newspaper report suggesting a “retired minister for Irrigation and Flood Control” embezzled funds to construct two large homes in Srinagar.

Money from Pakistani and Indian intelligence agencies and foreign extremists has distorted Kashmiri politics and incentivised leaders to perpetuate the conflict, another Mulford cable alleged.

“While this river of dirty money has led to a boom in Kashmiri household income and real estate prices, it also calls into question whether the Kashmiri elite truly want a settlement to their problems. The minute a deal is struck, some must surely worry that the funds will dry up,” the cable said.

An April 2006, a cable from Mulford alleged that when JKLF’s Yasin Malik asked people belonging to moderate separatist Bilal Lone’s area to refuse government compensation (paid for every innocent killing), the latter told US officials that “Yasin should give up ‘a month of his Pakistani salary’ to compensate families of boys killed”.

The cable was based on the US officials’ visit to Srinagar between April 3 and 5. In the same cable Mulford quotes PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti accusing New Delhi of reverting “to its customary bad old ways” before the April 24, 2006, by-elections.

The Intelligence Bureau, the cable quotes Ms Mufti alleging, had given Sajjad (Gani Lone) a crore of rupees to support an independent candidate secretly affiliated to him. Arecurring theme, Mulford informs his bosses in Washington, “throughout all of our interactions with Kashmiris” is “how Indian and Pakistani money has made all Kashmiri political actors dependent on handouts.”

He alleged: “Omar and Farooq Abdullah, descendants of the Sheikh who first figured out Delhi’s money game, live in fabulous houses in Srinagar and Delhi, wear matching Panerai watches, serve Blue Label to guests and travel all over the world first class courtesy the Indian government.”

The ambassador, who served in India for little over five years, was pained to see the lack of development work. “The state administration gets rivers of money for development but the streets in J&K are appalling, even by Indian standards.”

The cable quoted two leaders who admitting that there was money. “Sajjad lamented that the conflict remained lucrative to many, and he is right,” the cable reads.

“CPM legislator Yusuf Tarighami also told us too many people have a stake in the conflict’s perpetuation.” Even Yasin Malik said: “Kashmiri politics is no longer about ideology, it’s all a money game.”

Posted in Islamofascism, Kashmir, Terrorism | Comments Off on Politics in Kashmir a Money Game,as “filthy” as Dal lake: US cable

Kashmir Muslim woman falsely implicates Indian army on rape charges

Posted by jagoindia on July 31, 2011

Kashmir rape case: SIT detains man for instigating woman
PTI | Jul 28, 2011, 11.29AM IST

SRINAGAR: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the alleged rape incident in Kulgam district of south Kashmir has detained a man on charges of instigating a woman to put the blame on Army.

A senior police official said a man identified as Ghulam Hassan was detained on Wednesday after it emerged that he had instigated 32-year-old Ruqaya Bano to blame the Army.

“We are trying to ascertain the motives of the man for instigating the woman but so far there is nothing to suggest that he might be linked to any separatist outfit,” the officer said on condition of anonymity.

The officer said investigations have also revealed that there were some problems in the woman’s martial life as she had not been able to conceive even after three years of marriage.

“On the day she had disappeared, she had quarreled with her husband and left home. After wandering overnight, she met Ghulam Hassan while on her way back to home who asked her to blame army,” the officer said.

Earlier last week, the rape controversy had taken a new turn when the husband and mother-in-law of Ruqaya claimed before police that she suffered from mental illness and was at her home home on the day she claimed she was sexually abused.

The statement of the family members of Ruqaya, 32, are contrary to her claim that she was picked up by two men in uniform on July 19 and allegedly gangraped for two days before being let off on July 21.

In her statement to the SIT on Friday, Amina Bi, mother-in-law of the alleged victim, said her daughter-in-law went missing on the morning of July 20 and not evening of July 19.

Ruqaya had alleged that she was kidnapped by two men in uniform on the evening of July 19 and held hostage for two nights during which she was raped in a “Dhok” at Manzgam, 80 km from Srinagar.

Posted in India, Islam, Islamofascism, Kashmir, Terrorism | 3 Comments »

Islamic terrorist Osama Bin Laden saw India As Enemy, Wanted To Join Jihad In Kashmir

Posted by jagoindia on May 14, 2011

Osama saw India as enemy, wanted to join jihad in Kashmir

May 3, 2011,

NEW DELHI: While India was spared of any attack directly masterminded, or even aided by Osama himself, it did find mention in his messages suggesting that the terror ideologue looked upon India as an enemy and a potential target. The alliance between al-Qaida and Lashkar-e-Taiba, India’s main terror threat, suggests that Osama had evolved into more than being just an inspirational figure for several terror groups targeting India.

The links between anti-India terror groups and Osama’s jihadis have been known at least since 1998 when members of Harkat-ul-Ansar, a terrorist group focused on Kashmir, training alongside al-Qaida members in Afghanistan were killed in a US missile attack. In fact, the very first reference to India by Osama came in May 1998 when he said in a press conference at Khost in Afghanistan that he would love to join the jihad in Kashmir if the Pakistani authorities allowed him. Osama’s answer came in response to a question from a Pakistani journalist. In the same conference, he announced the formation of International Islamic Front for Jihad Against the US and Israel.

This was followed by a long pause on India, even though his No.2 Ayman Al Zawahiri regularly spewed venom not just against India but also Hindus. In an April 2006 audio message, the emir of al-Qaida broke his silence to speak of a “Crusader-Zionist-Hindu conspiracy” against Muslims and also referred to Kashmir.

“Meanwhile, a UN resolution passed more than half a century ago gave Muslim Kashmir the liberty of choosing independence from India. George Bush, the leader of the Crusaders’ campaign, announced a few days ago that he will order his converted agent Musharraf to shut down the Kashmir mujahideen camps, thus affirming that it is a Zionist-Hindu war against Muslims,” he said in the message which sought to highlight conspiracies against Muslims all over the world. According to security expert B Raman, the message lacked focus.

It was never established why he made the remark in the context of East Timor’s independence from Indonesia.

Much before 9/11, in November 1998, the Army claimed to have seized from militants, after an encounter in the Pir Panjal ranges, some cards with messages from Osama describing India as enemy No.1.

It is a safe surmise that Osama’s dependence on Pakistan for his survival may have forced him to buy more heavily into Islamabad’s designs against India.

A Wikileaks cable in December last year revealed that Osama was willing to divert $20 million to support groups active in Kashmir and also that he asserted that the jihad would not suffer from lack of funds. In a meeting with US officials, joint secretary (cabinet secretariat) Sharad Kumar stated that Indian intelligence had transcripts of pre-9/11 meetings between Osama and Taliban chief Mullah Omar during which terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir was discussed.

That India was an al-Qaida target became obvious in 2007 after 9/11 accused Khalid Sheikh Mohammed revealed in his testimony at Guantanamo Bay that he was involved in a conspiracy to bomb the Israeli embassy in Delhi before 2003. In a tape released in 2003, Ayman Al Zawahiri warned Pakistan army officers that President Musharraf would ”hand you over to the Hindus and flee to enjoy his secret bank accounts” if India attacked their country. He urged them to overthrow Musharraf and also condemned then Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s visit to India.

In 2009, there were two warnings to India from al-Qaida. The first was a telephonic threat in February 2009, the authenticity of which could not be established, warning India not to attack Pakistan and another one seven months later in which it warned Germany of attacks like those in Madrid and Mumbai.

From time to time, there have been reports about the presence of al-Qaida from J&K to Bihar but this has never been established. Security experts like Raman have warned though that LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and HuJI could “turn out to be the Trojan horse of al-Qaida”. India’s former NSA M K Narayanan even said that LeT was the “most visible manifestation” of al-Qaida in India.

Posted in Al-Qaeda, India, Islamofascism, Jihad, Kashmir, Osama Bin Laden, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

RSS ideologue recommends autonomy for Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh be made separate states

Posted by jagoindia on October 3, 2010

RSS voice seeks separate Kashmir state

MG Vaidya
New Delhi, Oct. 2: A leading RSS ideologue has turned the stated position of the Sangh and the BJP on Kashmir on its head by floating radical corrective proposals that could trigger a new debate on the way forward in the troubled Valley.

In what’s a plunge against the tide, former RSS spokesperson M.G. Vaidya has recommended that Kashmir be cleaved from Jammu and Ladakh and granted pre-1953 levels of autonomy with a prime minister (Wazir-e-Azam) as head of government with powers over all subjects other than defence, currency, foreign affairs and telecommunications.

But unlike the pre-1953 status, there should be no separate president (Sadr-e-Riyasat) for the state because “we have only one President for the whole country”.

Insisting that the office of the governor appointed by the Centre be retained, Vaidya says: “During the British regime, there were many princely states that enjoyed complete autonomy on internal matters. But a British Resident used to be there to look after the interests of the empire and the geographic unity and integrity of the state was not damaged. So will it happen in the case of the new state. Our governor, like the British Resident, will have to be vigilant about the whole nation’s interest.”

He has also suggested that powers to impose governor’s rule under Article 356 should be retained in the interests of national integrity.

Jammu, according to the Vaidya plan, should become a separate state and Ladakh a Union territory in accordance with its distinct “geographical, religious, linguistic and cultural” identity.

In addition, he has said that in order to contain Kashmir’s drift towards separatism, Article 370, which grants special status to the state, be strengthened by making it a permanent feature of the Constitution rather than the “temporary and transitory” status it currently has. He has suggested that once Kashmir becomes a separate state, it should also be allowed to enact a separate criminal law.

The Centre should call a roundtable conference comprising all shades of opinion in the Valley to put in place the minutiae of the new framework to ensure that Kashmir remains an integral part of India, Vaidya has suggested.

Among the other issues the conference should discuss are the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Election Commission over Kashmir as well as census operations and the appointment of IAS and IPS officers in the state.

He also believes that Kashmiri opinion should be sought on whether Parliament should continue to make laws for the state in accordance with Article 249 of the Constitution and whether central rules of excise, customs, civil aviation and post and telegraph should continue to apply to the new state of Kashmir.

The RSS senior has attached a few critical caveats, though. All Kashmiri Pandits forced into exile by a militant insurgency in the early 1990s should be rehabilitated in the Valley and elements that seek a merger with Pakistan should have no role in consultations over the new arrangement.

Vaidya’s sweeping and contentious reforms are part of a paper he circulated to scant notice following an all-party delegation’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir last month. His prescription not merely represents a drastic departure from the Sangh’s position, it also vastly exceeds what parties like the Congress are willing to concede at the moment.

The BJP rejects outright the trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir on regional lines, rejects autonomy, and remains theoretically committed to the abrogation of Article 370.

The Congress, which has been more accepting of Kashmiri demands than the BJP, too has pointedly ignored the autonomy resolution f the Assembly which is being foregrounded as a key demand by chief minister Omar Abdullah.

The autonomy proposals, Vaidya says, should not be “imposed” on the people of Jammu or Ladakh.

Speaking to The Telegraph from Nagpur, the 88-year-old Vaidya was keen to stress that the views were personal and did not represent the “official position” of the RSS. But that he has gone public with his note suggests that he is seeking a clean-slate debate on Kashmir within and outside the Sangh parivar.

The BJP, unsurprisingly, rejected the Vaidya remedy out of hand.

“The BJP has a clear, well-meditated position on Jammu and Kashmir,” chief party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, reacting to the points made by Vaidya.

“Anything that becomes a facade for separatism or independence is totally unacceptable. Kashmir is and will remain an integral part of India.”

Without engaging with the specifics of Vaidya’s suggestions, Prasad said: “We must reach out to the people of the Valley, provide them relief and confidence and differentiate between them and separatists who only become important when there is violence. The current cycle of violence is the consequence of Omar Abdullah’s misrule; we believe his removal has to be the starting point of turning the Valley around.”

Another senior BJP leader sounded more dismissive of Vaidya and his Kashmir proposals. “Vaidya has always been a bit of a freelancer,” he said. “Often, even within the RSS and the Sangh parivar, his views are not taken seriously.”

Vaidya sounded unperturbed by either criticism or indifference from colleagues.

“Of course, these are ideas that many will find difficult to accept or even discuss,” he said. “Many of my friends have told me that the medicine I am prescribing is more dangerous than the disease. But I believe this should be debated…. In muddon par charcha honi chahiye kyonki Kashmir bahut mahatvapurna maamla hai (there should be a discussion on these matters because Kashmir is a very important issue).”

Posted in Islamofascism, Jammu, Kashmir, State, Terrorism | 2 Comments »

What ails Kashmir Muslims? The Sunni idea of ‘azadi’

Posted by jagoindia on September 8, 2010

What ails Kashmir? The Sunni idea of ‘azadi’

Friday, Aug 6, 2010

Aakar Patel

We know what Hurriyat Conference wants: azadi, freedom. But freedom from what? Freedom from Indian rule. Doesn’t an elected Kashmiri, Omar Abdullah, rule from Srinagar?

Yes, but Hurriyat rejects elections. Why? Because ballots have no azadi option.But why can’t the azadi demand be made by democratically elected leaders? Because elections are rigged through the Indian Army. Why is the Indian Army out in Srinagar and not in Surat? Because Kashmiris want azadi.

Let’s try that again.
What do Kashmiris want freedom from? India’s Constitution.

What is offensive about India’s Constitution? It is not Islamic. This is the issue, let us be clear.

The violence in Srinagar isn’t for democratic self-rule because Kashmiris have that. The discomfort Kashmiris feel is about which laws self-rule must be under, and Hurriyat rejects a secular constitution.

Hurriyat deceives the world by using a universal word, azadi, to push a narrow, religious demand. Kashmiris have no confusion about what azadi means: It means Shariah. Friday holidays, amputating thieves’ hands, abolishing interest, prohibiting alcohol (and kite-flying), stoning adulterers, lynching apostates and all the rest of it that comprises the ideal Sunni state.

Not one Shia gang terrorizes India; terrorism on the subcontinent is a Sunni monopoly.

There is a token Shia among the Hurriyat’s bearded warriors, but it is essentially a Sunni group pursuing Sunni Shariah. Its most important figure is Umar Farooq. He’s called mirwaiz, meaning head of preachers (waiz), but he inherited his title at 17 and actually is no Islamic scholar. He is English-educated, but his base is Srinagar’s sullen neighbourhood of Maisuma, at the front of the stone-pelting. His following is conservative and, since he has little scholarship, he is unable to bend his constituents to his view.

Hurriyat’s modernists are led by Sopore’s 80-year-old Ali Geelani of Jamaat-e-Islami. Jamaat was founded in 1941 by a brilliant man from Maharashtra called Maududi, who invented the structure of the modern Islamic state along the lines of a Communist one. Maududi opposed Jinnah’s tribal raid in Kashmir, which led to the Line of Control, saying jihad could only be prosecuted formally by a Muslim state, and not informally by militias. This wisdom was discarded later, and Hizb al-Mujahideen, starring Syed Salahuddin of cap and beard fame, is a Jamaat unit. Maududi was ecumenical, meaning that he unified the four Sunni groups of thought. He always excluded Shias, as heretics.

The Kashmiri separatist movement is actually inseparable from Sunni fundamentalism. Those on the Hurriyat’s fringes who say they are Gandhians, like Yasin Malik, are carried along by the others in the group so long as the immediate task of resisting India is in common. But the Hurriyat and its aims are ultimately poisonous, even for Muslims.

The Hurriyat Conference’s idea of freedom unfolds from a religious instinct, not a secular sentiment. This instinct is sectarian, and all the pro-azadi groups are Shia-killers. In promoting their hatred, the groups plead for the support of other Muslims by leaning on the name of the Prophet Muhammad.

Hafiz is a title and means memorizer of the Quran. Mohammed Saeed’s Lashkar Tayyaba means army of Tyeb (“the good”), one of the Prophet’s names. This is incorrectly spelled and pronounced by our journalists as “Taiba” or “Toiba”, but Muslims can place the name. Lashkar rejects all law from sources other than the recorded sayings and actions of Muhammad. This is called being Wahhabi, and Wahhabis detest the Shia.

Jaish Muhammad (Muhammad’s army) was founded in a Karachi mosque, and it is linked to the Shia-killing Sipah Sahaba (Army of Muhammad’s First Followers) in Pakistan’s Seraiki-speaking southern Punjab. The group follows a narrow, anti-Shia doctrine developed in Deoband.

Decades of non-interference by the Pakistani state in the business of Kashmiri separatism has led to a loss of internal sovereignty in Pakistan. The state is no longer able to convince its citizens that it should act against these groups. Though their own Shia are regularly butchered, a poll shows that a quarter of Pakistanis think Lashkar Tayyaba does good work. We think Indian Muslims are different from Pakistanis and less susceptible to fanaticism. It is interesting that within Pakistan, the only group openly and violently opposed to Taliban and terrorism are UP and Bihar migrants who form Karachi’s secular Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party.

So what do the separatist groups want? It is wrong to see them as being only terrorist groups. They operate in an intellectual framework, and there is a higher idea that drives the violence. This is a perfect state with an executive who is pious, male and Sunni. Such a state, where all is done according to the book, will get God to shower his blessings on the citizens, who will all be Sunnis.

There are three types of Sunnis in Kashmir. Unionists, separatists, and neutrals. Unionists, like Omar Abdullah, are secular and likely to be repelled by separatism because they have seen the damage caused by political Islam in Pakistan. They might not be in love with Indians, but they see the beauty of the Indian Constitution. Neutrals, like Mehbooba Mufti, are pragmatic and will accept the Indian Constitution when in power, though they show defiance when out of it. This is fine, because they respond to a Muslim constituency that is uncertain, but isn’t totally alienated. The longer these two groups participate in democracy in Kashmir, the weaker the separatists become. The current violence is a result of this. Given their boycott of politics, the Hurriyat must rally its base by urging them to violence and most of it happens in Maisuma and Sopore. The violence should also clarify the problem in the minds of neutrals: If Kashmiri rule does not solve the azadi problem, what will?

India’s liberals are defensive when debating Kashmir because of our unfulfilled promise on plebiscite. But they shouldn’t be. There is really no option to secular democracy, whether one chooses it through a plebiscite or whether it is imposed. It is a universal idea and there is no second form of government in any culture or religion that works. The Islamic state is utopian and it never arrives. Since it is driven by belief, however, the search becomes quite desperate.

India has a constitution; Pakistan has editions. These are the various Pakistani constitutions: 1935 (secular), 1956 (federal), 1962 (dictatorial), 1973 (parliamentary), 1979 (Islamic), 1999 (presidential), 2008 (parliamentary). Why do they keep changing and searching? Muslims keep trying to hammer in Islamic bits into a set of laws that is actually quite complete. This is the Government of India Act of 1935, gifted to us by the British.

Kashmiris have it, and perhaps at some point they will learn to appreciate its beauty.

Aakar Patel will take a break from his column to write a book. He will return early next year.

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Posted in India, Indian Muslims, Islam, Islamofascism, Kashmir, State, Terrorism | 4 Comments »

Inside Kashmir’s New Islamic Terrorist Movement

Posted by jagoindia on September 5, 2010

SRINAGAR, August 19, 2010
Inside Kashmir’s New Islamist movement
Praveen Swami

Leaders of the ongoing street mobilisation hope to lay the foundation for a new jihadist movement

Irshad Zargar had an explanation for the neat, bound file in his home with the names, addresses and photographs of 740 Srinagar residents: they were aspirants, he told investigators after his arrest in February, for start-up bank loans for local artisans.

But as their investigation moved forward, police say, it became clear that the dossier was in fact an organisational chart of one of the multiple Islamist networks that had spearheaded the violence in Kashmir towns this summer.

Police say they also found maps of the best place to stage clashes with police and evidence of funds being transferred from overseas. The funds had paid for the Maruti jeep Zargar used to visit cadre — fitted, ironically, with a red police beacon.

There’s little doubt that the large-scale street violence in Kashmir — fuelled by urban deprivation, human rights abuses and, above all, the often-indiscriminate use of lethal force against protesters — have a reach and legitimacy that no organisation can account for. But the Zargar case shows that hard work went into building the networks that gave the protests direction and focus.

Fugitive Islamist leader Masrat Alam Bhat, his colleague Asiya Andrabi and their jailed mentor Ashiq Husain Faktoo are at the heart of the New Islamist movement that runs these networks.

Bhat has issued the strike calendars that have brought Kashmir to a standstill — and controlled the protest squads that enforce them.

Born in old-city Srinagar’s Zaindar Mohalla in July 1971, Bhat studied in Srinagar’s élite Cecil Earle Tyndale-Biscoe School before joining the Sri Pratap College. Like so many of his generation, he was drawn to the jihadist movement that began in 1989.

He was first arrested by the Border Security Force in October 1990 on charges of serving as a lieutenant to the then-prominent jihadist, Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat. He won a protracted legal battle in 1997 and began working at a cloth store owned by his grandfather, graduating the next year.

From 1999, though, Bhat became increasingly active in the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) — an association that cost him multiple stints in prison. He represented the Muslim League.

Founded in 1989 as a political front for former jihadists, the League’s objectives, “besides fighting Indian aggression, were propagating Islamic teachings to fight out socialism and secularism, removing taghut [false leaders; traitors] rule and uprooting western ideology.”

Bhat found space under hardline Islamist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s wing after the Hurriyat Conference split in 2003. He found an ally there in Asiya Andrabi, head of the Dukhtaran-e-Millat (daughters of the nation).

The youngest child of prominent Srinagar doctor Sayeed Shahabuddin Andrabi, 1962-born Ms. Andrabi had completed a degree in biochemistry, and hoped to study further in Dalhousie.

Forbidden from leaving home, she turned to religion. From 1982, she set up a network of religious schools and campaigned against obscenity in popular television programming.

The Dukhtaran-e-Millat supported jihadists through Kashmir’s two-decade long insurgency. From 2006, Ms. Andrabi acquired increasing visibility, campaigning against an anti-vice platform.

Both leaders played a key role in organising protests against the grant of land-use rights to the Amarnath shrine board in 2008 — a communally-charged campaign that brought tens of thousands of people on to the streets.

The ideological firmament of the New Islamists, though, is Ms. Andrabi’s incarcerated husband, Ashiq Husain Faktoo.

Now serving a life sentence for the assassination of human rights campaigner H.N. Wanchoo, Faktoo acquired a doctorate in Islamic studies while in prison.

Like Bhat and Ms. Andrabi, he founds his religious beliefs on the teachings of the neo-fundamentalist Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith.

Earlier this year, the New Islamists attempted to depose the Ahl-e-Hadith leader Shaukat Shah in a tightly-fought election; Shah backs Mirwaiz Farooq’s pro-dialogue secessionist faction.

Long a political activist, Faktoo was led into the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen by Mohammad Abdullah Bangroo who, many years later, presided over the assassination of influential Srinagar cleric Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq — father of the present APHC chairperson, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

In 1990, Faktoo and Hilal Mir (better known by code-name Nasir-ul-Islam) broke from the Hizb to form the Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen, upset with its linkages to the Jamaat-e-Islami.

Later that year, Faktoo married Ms. Andrabi — only to be imprisoned two years later. From jail, the police allege, Faktoo mentored a new generation of jihadists.

The police say he inspires two organisations — al-Nasireen and Farzandan-e-Millat — responsible for the killing of officers in August and September last.

The name al-Nasireen, a reference to the companions of Prophet Mohammad, is thought to draw on the nom de guerre of Faktoo’s Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen co-founder, Farzandan-e-Millat (sons of the nation).

New foundation
In essence, the troika wishes to build a new political foundation for the jihadist movement in Jammu and Kashmir.

“You will be tired,” Bhat said in a recent release addressed to Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir, “of killing us; some day you might be horrified at what you have done to humanity. We will never tire of struggling for our history, for our future, our freedom. We will not forgive.”

Posted in Indian Muslims, Islamofascism, Jihad, Kashmir, Terrorism | 3 Comments »

The ugly world of Kashmir’s online Muslim rebels

Posted by jagoindia on August 25, 2010

The ugly world of Kashmir’s online rebels

Praveen Swami

Social networking sites backing street clashes overflow with communal invective and calls to violence 


There is no evidence that social networks are used to organise or fund protests

Little infrastructure to enforce Facebook’s terms of use that prohibit abuse

NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR: “I know I’m sexy,” Srinagar resident Junaid Rafiqi proclaims on his Facebook page, below a professionally lit photograph that, among other things, shows off his possession of an expensive pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses.

He goes on with an enthusiasm unfettered by punctuation, spelling and grammar: “I got the looks that drives the girls wild I got the moves that really move them. I send chills up and down their spines” [sic., throughout and below].

Facebook users like Rafiqi have been sending chills down the spines of the police in Jammu and Kashmir for much of this summer. Much to the dismay of the authorities, social networks backing the cause of the Islamist-led protesters have proliferated on the Internet.

There is no evidence that social networks have been used to organise or fund the protests — but their content underlines concerns at the growing influence the religious right-wing has over the educated young people in Kashmir.

“We Hate Omar Abdullah,” a network Mr. Rafiqi often participates in, gives some insight into the world of Kashmir’s Facebook rebels. The network hosts a collection of political satire. There is, for example, a digitally-manipulated image of Paul, the celebrity octopus, picking a dead donkey over the Chief Minister in response to a question who has “more guts.”

But much of the satire is venomously communal. Mr. Abdullah is repeatedly referred to as “Omar Singh” — a derisory reference derived, evidently, from the rumour that his wife is Sikh. The former Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah, is shown offering respects at a Hindu temple, while another image caricatures the Chief Minister and his wife as pilgrims to the Amarnath shrine. The administrators of the “We Hate Omar Abdullah,” quite clearly see politicians’ efforts to reach out to multiple religious communities as a betrayal.

“The Dalla [broker] family,” the Ray-Ban wearing Rafiqi asserts in one post on the Facebook page, “should be hanged publicly.” Elsewhere, he refers to Mr. Abdullah as a kafir, or unbeliever. In another post on the page, a member asserts that Mr. Abdullah has been denied permission for pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia because of his marriage — a canard circulated by Islamists soon after he took power.

Some networks host express calls to violence. “Everybody,” exhorts the administrator of “Times Now is Anti-Kashmiri,” “[the] next time you see any Times Now correspondent pick up a stone and throw that on their face!.” Arnab Goswami, the channel’s editor-in-chief, one user asserts, “should be killed.” Ethnic-Kashmiri anchor Mahrukh Inayet comes in for unprintable abuse targeting her gender.

Barkha Dutt, arguably India’s best-known English-language television journalist, also draws flak. “We hate Barkha Dutt” contains claims that her reportage on the clashes lacked balance. Much of it, though, consists of personal invective — and threats. “Hell is meant for her,” writes network member Faizan Rashid, “but she should have some kinna punishment in this world as well…‘stoned to death’…wot say?”

Facebook’s terms of use prohibit content that is hateful, threatening or incites violence. Little infrastructure, though, seems to be in place to enforce those terms.

Not all protest-linked networks promote these kinds of invective. Barring the odd comment about “Indian dogs,” “I Protest Against the Atrocities on Kashmiris” has no abusive language. Most posts on this network address questions of media bias and political grievances, not individuals.

Even networks like this, though, are remarkable for the complete absence of the very kinds of serious commentary and debate they believe is wanting in India’s mainstream print and electronic media.

There is no way of telling just who the participants on these sites are: users contacted by The Hindu, including Mr. Rafiqi, did not respond to requests to be interviewed. For the most part, though, users seem to be English-speaking and Kashmiri. Judging by their clothing and cultural idiom, are middle-class. Despite the aggressive religious chauvinism evident on the site, there is nothing to suggest substantial numbers of users support established Islamist clerics.

The police say most young people held on the charge of throwing stones do not have a high-school education, and are either unemployed or semi-employed — a class quite distinct from that of the Facebook radical.

More likely than not, official concerns at these networks is exaggerated: their scale and reach is tiny. “I Protest Against the Atrocities on Kashmiris” has 810 members — small numbers compared, for example, with the Palestine solidarity page “Palestine Freedom,” which has 101,178. “We Hate Omar Abdullah” has 675 members and “Civil Disobedience 2010-Quit Kashmir Movement” 134. “Bloody Indian Media,” set up to protest the reportage of the street violence in Srinagar, has 58.

It is possible, though, that the ideas they propagate reflect new ideological trends among some sections of young people in Jammu and Kashmir — a prospect which, if true, holds out a real reason for concern.

Posted in Indian Muslims, Islam, Islamofascism, Kashmir, State, Terrorism | 1 Comment »