HATRED – Terror’s only religion Himanshu Shekhar

2 10 2008
Source: Zee News
Himanshu Shekhar

“What people in the West simply don’t understand is that we love death even more than they love life.” – Osama bin Laden, November 1996.

It was 2002 when I was in first year of my college when an image released on Israeli television and published in leading magazines across the world hit me. The image titled ‘Hebron’s Baby Bomber’ sparked a worldwide debate. A debate which still remains relevant. Which religion teaches one to engage an infant baby of hardly 18 months for killing others? Definitely not Islam.

We are in times when the world is reeling under terror strikes which have a lasting impact and India is no exception. Terrorism is back in focus or perhaps it was never out of frame. That brings us to a simple question- why do some people love death more than life? As a modern civic society/ state are we prepared to counter the menace?

It is a basic challenge to locate and fix the problem first before embarking on curative measures. Who are these people? What is their religion? What is their mission?

London, Karachi, Bangalore, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Delhi – blasts had one thing in common and that was their techno savvy nature. An email sent from a laptop with a Wi-Fi connection just before all these attacks from ‘Indian-Mujahideen,’ clearly means that terrorists were with a mission or at least they projected one. Once again the name given to such dastardly coward act was ‘Jihad’.

It is true that those who are lured to indulge in such acts are misguided. People who are frustrated because of the political climate are the first targets. There’s no denying the fact the socio- economic factors are the ingredients in making of terror.

SIMI’s indoctrination

As the investigations reveal, the act was perpetrated by a new group named Indian Mujahideen which worked in tandem with the banned outfit SIMI. The roots of most serial blasts, which sent down jitters in India, were traced to Azamgarh – now referred to as India’s ‘terror hub.’ To say that it’s only the socio economic backwardness of the people is the only reason which pushes them towards these acts would be totally wrong. It’s the rich, the more affluent, highly educated and technologically advanced men who have been involved in the masterminding of these plots.

All the accused arrested in recent spate of blasts are in early 20s and one thing they had in mind was injustice meted out to people of their community in Gujarat riots. The mail sent by IM was just a confirmation of the sentiment. It is this sense of being denied due justice that lead the masterminds picking disgruntled youth.

A paper submitted by Marc Sagemen, a renowned expert on understanding of terror network, to the Tiffin University in Ohio says, “It is not a specific organization but a social movement consisting of a set more or less formal organizations, linked in patterns of interaction ranging from the fairly centralized to the more decentralized.”

Sagemen in his report further adds, “Some nodes are more popular and are attached to more links, connecting them to more isolated nodes.” Azamgarh was probably that isolated node to which these groups have now connected. Internet has definitely aided that inter-linkage.

Technology has increasingly helped terror groups in a way that they can successfully share their failure and success world wide. While the Delhi Police raided the ‘Batla House’ in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar, it was believed that these terrorists were doing a case study.

It is a really dangerous sign as it questions the very base of India’s secular credentials. The fact that a chunk of Indian Muslims feel they are ‘others’ when incidents like Gujarat or Babri demolition occur, in itself is disturbing because it hits the very ‘Idea of India’.

I- Factor

That brings us to another rudimentary question of terror’s linkage with religion. Are those who are perpetrators of this heinous and ghastly act there to spread Caliphate? Answer probably is big NO. Islam also means: as Salam, a word that signifies surrender. MJ Akbar in his book Shade of Swords writes, “But the Islamic faith from time to time also demands a holy war defined by specific circumstances, blood of the faithful in defence of the faith.”

Akbar further adds, “Shahada: Lailaha- il- Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah” – which means there is but one Allah and Muhammad is his Prophet. And those who become martyrs of Allah are the Shaheed.

It is these lines which are misinterpreted the most. A report submitted by Adam Fosson on cause and effect of ‘Martyrdom’ quotes Sheikh Yasin (a Hamas leader) as saying, “Love of martyrdom is something deep inside the heart. But these rewards are not in themselves the goal of a martyr. The only aim is to win Allah’s satisfaction. And it is Allah who selects martyrs.”

Indian Mujahideen clearly seem to get their inspiration from such misinterpretations. Probably Prophet Mohammad insisted on holy war against the enemy inside. For that matter the feeling shared by Indian Muslims can be really heart wrenching. ‘What can you say if after every terror attacks your own friends see you suspiciously just because you also follow the religion of those involved in these ghastly acts?” Their feelings can be best explained by these immortal lines of Iqbal in his masterpiece ‘Shikwa’;

Hai baja shewa-e-taslim mein mashhoor hain hum Kissa –e- dard sunate hain ki majboor hain hum.

(We won renown for submitting to Your will – and it is so; We speak out now, we are compelled to repeat our tale of woe.) Translation by: Khuswant Singh

It would be wrong for anyone to question Islam or Muslims as that would erroneously include all those Indian Muslims who have led their lives as good citizens trying to improve the lot of their country. India today is the emerging power in the world because all sections of society be it Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Parsees and all others have contributed towards it. Can one question Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s patriotism?

All those people who decided to choose India as their country during partition are Indian first and alienating or seeing them through cataract eyes would just be questioning the very concept of secular India. The fight against terror can begin only after killing its religion which undoubtedly is ‘HATRED’.

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