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Islamic State won’t have any impact on Muslim youth, but intolerance needs to be curbed: Muslim bodies

New Delhi: A large section of Muslims in the country feel that the global terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS) won’t be able to influence Indian Muslim youth with its ideology to unleash attacks on Indian soil like it did in Paris. However, they also feel that the Indian government needs to rein in the rogue elements responsible for creating an atmosphere of intolerance in the country.

“Despite an atmosphere of growing intolerance in India and certain trust deficit amongst minorities, Muslim youths won’t fall into the tarp of IS, al Qaeda or Dawaish. The ideology of al-Qaeda, IS and other terrorist outfits is against Islam, which abhors all kinds of inhuman acts. The IS terrorists were created and sponsored by Zionist state and its western allies to disturb the geographical boundaries of Muslim nations. We strongly condemn the heinous terror attack on innocent citizens in Paris and demand sincere efforts to eliminate the menace,” said Zafrul Islam Khan, president All India Majlis-e-Mushawarat, an umbrella organisation of Muslim bodies, on Monday.

Representative image. AFPRepresentative image. AFP

Representative image. AFP

He added that the matter of Indian Muslim youth joining the IS was highly exaggerated and there was no real evidence or figure to corroborate the claim. “It’s the Indian intelligence agencies who are telling big lies, and as a result a large number innocent Muslim youth have been selectively targeted and incarcerated for no fault of theirs. No crime has been proved against them. There should be some independent source or evidence to corroborate such claims. Moreover, the politics of hatred and polarising the voters on the basis of religion need to be stopped,” Khan said.

Coming out strongly against growing Islamic terrorism across the globe and create awareness amongst Indian Muslims as a counter-measure, the Delhi-based Shiite religious organisation, Anjuman-e-Haideri (AEH), has decided to observe 3 December as Anti-Terrorism Day, and the initiative has received support from other Muslim and non-Muslim bodies.

Bahadur Abbas Naqvi, general secretary of AEH said, “On the occasion of Chehlum – the 40th day of martyrdom of Imam Husain – the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, a resolution will be passed in the presence of religious leaders from Shia and Sunni community and other religions as well against the terror activities of the IS and other terrorist outfits. We’ve planned to create mass awareness through public and social media campaign, demonstration, seminars, street plays etc against IS and expose their real face and motives. The aim is to protect vulnerable minds from getting poisoned.”

However, Naqvi said the AEH was unaware why the government didn’t allow them to proceed with their anti-terrorism movement.
“We were the first in India to openly come out by opposing the IS activities in Iraq and Syria, and we conducted a signature campaign, whereby more than two lakh people voluntarily joined our movement. Terrorism can’t be countered with bullets alone; there is a need to educate people about the menace of terrorism. The Iraqi Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki appreciated our efforts; but despite that Indian government didn’t allow us to proceed. It seems there are a few people within the government, who do not want that any action should be initiated against the IS,” claimed Naqvi.

In November last year, Maulana Kalbe Jawad, a prominent Shia cleric and general secretary of Majlis-e-Ulema-e-Hind, along with five other members, was prevented from taking flight to Baghdad after a Look-out Circular was issued against him. He was going to Baghdad to have a discussion for the release of 40 Sikhs held captive by the IS.

Senior counsel Mehmood Pracha, also a part of the AEH campaign, said, “Maulana Jawad was on a humanitarian mission, when he was off-loaded. This action of the government of preventing us to go ahead with our peaceful anti-terrorism campaign, would positively make it difficult for us. As, the world has become a global village, especially due to the social media, and boundaries are getting erased, it can’t be said that Indian youth will remain untouched from the influence of IS.

“And, that’s why we want a massive campaign to make Indian Muslim youth aware of the evil motive of these terror outfits. We don’t support any Muslim organisation, body or political outfit that supports terrorism. Despite knowing that our movement will have repercussions on our volunteers as their lives are at risk, we would observe 3 December as anti-terrorism day and work towards uprooting terrorism.”

Link with Osama: Now ex-Pakistan defence minister goes back on his words

Islamabad: A day after an Indian TV channel claimed to have exposed what it called “Pakistan’s link with Osama bin Laden”, former Pakistani defence minister Chaudhary Ahmed Mukhtar on Wednesday categorically denied claims that Pakistan had knowledge of Al-Qaeda leader’s presence in the country.

Talking to Geo News, Mukhtar termed the clips of his interview being shown on Indian media as “utter nonsense” and “totally misquoted”.

Osama Bin Laden was a file photo. ReutersOsama Bin Laden was a file photo. Reuters

Osama Bin Laden was a file photo. Reuters

His statements had been taken out of context, said Mukhtar, who served as the defence minister in ex-prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s cabinet.

CNN-IBN on Tuesday repeatedly showed short clips of the interview, which shows Mukhtar agreeing to the idea that Pakistan’s top civilian and military leadership may have known about Osama’s presence in Pakistan.

After the interview was aired, Mukhtar rejected the statements as portrayed by CNN-IBN.

“Regarding the interview being shown on CNN-IBN, and having been the defence minister, I categorically deny and consider these statements utter nonsense and totally misquoted,” Mukhtar said, adding that if Pakistan knew about Osama residing in Pakistan, it would have taken action against him.

“The statements have been taken out of context…for example, if we knew about bin Laden, then we would have taken action ourselves much earlier,” he said.

Pakistan has repeatedly denied claims and allegations that it had any knowledge of Osama’s presence in the country at the highest levels of civil-military leadership.

IANS

New al Qaeda propaganda video claims PM Modi called for Muslims to be ‘burnt alive’

Al Qaeda’s latest propaganda video titled ‘From France to Bangladesh: The Dust Will Never Settle Down’ has made mention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Seven minutes into the video, Al Qaeda’s chief Asim Umar says that there is a war going on against Muslims from Waziristan to Charlie Hebdo  “through World Bank and IMF policies, drone attacks, satanic conspiracy of Kerry-Lugar bill, Charlie Hebdo’s writings, UN charter, official sermons by muftis and Narendra Modi’s speeches which call for muslims to be burnt alive- this is the same war.”

Screen grab from Al Qaeda video.Screen grab from Al Qaeda video.

Screen grab from Al Qaeda video.

This nine-minute video, released by Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS ) and produced by their own As Sahab production house. The formation of the new affiliate AQIS was announced by the overall leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al’Zawahiri last year.

According to the Guardian, the video, which reads like a long and bloody laundry list of al Qaeda’s ‘achievements’,  is a bid to counter the growing influence of Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria and the rivalry between the two Islamic militant organisations has intensified.

The nine-minute video also takes responsibility for a series of attacks that killed six writers and intellectuals in Bangladesh and Pakistan, including prominent blogger Avijit Roy who was hacked to death on a Dhaka street in February and the death of three others – Oyasiqur Rahman Babu, Rajib Haider and AKM Shafiul Islam- saying that they “have recently assassinated several blasphemers of the Prophet and insulters of Islamic law.”

In addition to these incidents, AQIS has also claimed that its jihadists were responsible for killing  Muhammad Shakil Auj (who was the dean of Islamic Studies at the University of Karachi when he was shot in September 2014) and Aniqa Naz.

In the video Umar claims that the assassinations were all carried out by different branches of the Al Qaeda on instructions from “their leader Shaykh Ayman al-Zawahiri (may Allah protect him) ” and it is part of their commitment to fulfill the “oath of Sheikh Osama bin Laden (may Allah have mercy on him).”

“In France, Denmark, Bangladesh, Pakistan and other countries, enemies of the Prophet are slandering him with words which makes the hearts of the followers of Allah run cold,” Umar says in the video.

This video statement by al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent refers to another statement by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqap), that claimed responsibility for the killing of of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists.

In the video Umar also pays tribute to a “Bangladeshi brother” named Sulaiman who “was martyred in a drone strike in Khurasan by the same powers that expressed solidarity with the blasphemers by participating in the march in Paris.”

AQIS has in the past attempted to use the missiles aboard a Pakistani frigate to attack American and Indian ships. The AQIS team that tried to commandeer the frigate was comprised of former and active Pakistani officers. They failed to launch the missiles, but reportedly killed Pakistani servicemen in the resulting shootout.

Will take up Lakhvi release issue in next meet, UN assures India

United Nations: A UNSC committee has assured India that it will take up the issue of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi at its next meeting, after India expressed concern that the LeT commander’s release from a Pakistani jail violates the provisions of the global body.

India’s Ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji had written a letter to the Chair of the UNSC Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee Ambassador Jim McLay expressing concern over Lakhvi’s release and said it violates the provisions of the committee concerning al-Qaeda and associated individuals and entities.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

India also pointed out that as a listed terrorist, Lakhvi can neither receive or give money since all his assets and financial resources have to be frozen. Any bail money posted for Lakhvi is also a violation of the provisions of the sanctions committee since he is listed terrorist.

Acknowledging India’s concerns, McLay has responded to India’s letter and assured that the matter will be discussed at the next meeting of the committee, sources here told PTI.

The next meeting of the committee is expected to take place in the next few days.

The committee had listed in December 2008 Lakhvi as a terrorist associated with LeT and Al-Qaeda for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts of activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of” both entities.

As a listed terrorist, Lakhvi is subject to assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo.

The committee said that as chief of operations and military commander of LeT, Lakhvi has directed its operations, including in Iraq and South-East Asia.

“In past years, Lakhvi has played an important role in LeT fundraising activities, receiving donations from Al-Qaeda affiliates on behalf of LeT. He has also managed a training camp in Afghanistan,” according to the committee website.

The release of Lakhvi had also raised concerns in the US, UK, Russia, France and Germany with Washington calling for him to be rearrested.

Lakhvi and six others, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum, have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attack in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead.

Lakhvi, 55, a close relative of LeT founder and Jamaat-Ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, was arrested in December 2008 and was indicted along with the six others on November 25, 2009 in connection with the 26/11 attack case.

The trial has been underway since 2009.

A Pakistani court had on April 9 set free Lakhvi, a move which India said “eroded” the value of assurances repeatedly conveyed to it by Pakistan on cross-border terrorism.

PTI