Uploaded on September 05, 2014
We don’t need al-Qaeda
Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam
Of late we have been reading reports in a section of the press about al-Qaeda’s plans to enter countries of our region where Muslims are persecuted. Three such names have appeared: Myanmar, India and Kashmir. The last one has been mentioned in a way that shows as if Kashmir is not part of India.
Indian Muslims have traditionally kept themselves aloof from al-Qaeda and other similar international groups. This fact has been reiterated by no less a person than former US president George W. Bush. Even former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has asserted it. US intelligence agencies do not count India as a country where al-Qaeda has a presence.
Why is it so? Is it because our police and intelligence agencies are extravigilant? No. It is because, as former Prime Minister IK Gujral said, Indian Muslims have still their faith left in the country’s democratic institutions and the goodwill of a majority of Indians.
This is not to deny that the worst pogroms have been perpetrated against them, a fresh example being Muzaffarnagar. Despite such recurring atrocities Indian Muslims have persuaded themselves to believe that if democracy survives the police’s communal behaviour and the politics of hate will someday stop.
A recent article in London’s prestigious Economist weekly lists the nationality and numbers of foreign fighters of ISIS in Syria, but there are no Indians in the list. By and large, this is the situation today despite events like Muzaffarnagar’s. As far as doctrinal Islam is concerned there can be no jehad without the express orders of a Muslim state.
Al-Qaeda and all such organisations are non-state players. They do not have the authority of any state behind them. Hence they are illegal. We condemn all such efforts to introduce al-Qaeda into India and dissociate ourselves from it. Indian Muslims will rise against it as one man if it steps into the country. Indian Muslims are self-sufficient to fight their just, legal and constitutional battles with the support of fellow-citizens from other faith communities.
Indian Muslims do not need to be supported from outside. g