Johann Hari: Why should I respect these oppressive religions?

19 02 2009

Whenever a religious belief is criticised, its adherents say they’re victims of ‘prejudice’

Johann Hari Source: The Independent

The right to criticise religion is being slowly doused in acid. Across the world, the small, incremental gains made by secularism – giving us the space to doubt and question and make up our own minds – are being beaten back by belligerent demands that we “respect” religion. A historic marker has just been passed, showing how far we have been shoved. The UN rapporteur who is supposed to be the global guardian of free speech has had his job rewritten – to put him on the side of the religious censors.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights stated 60 years ago that “a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief is the highest aspiration of the common people”. It was a Magna Carta for mankind – and loathed by every human rights abuser on earth. Today, the Chinese dictatorship calls it “Western”, Robert Mugabe calls it “colonialist”, and Dick Cheney calls it “outdated”. The countries of the world have chronically failed to meet it – but the document has been held up by the United Nations as the ultimate standard against which to check ourselves. Until now.

Starting in 1999, a coalition of Islamist tyrants, led by Saudi Arabia, demanded the rules be rewritten. The demand for everyone to be able to think and speak freely failed to “respect” the “unique sensitivities” of the religious, they decided – so they issued an alternative Islamic Declaration of Human Rights. It insisted that you can only speak within “the limits set by the shariah [law]. It is not permitted to spread falsehood or disseminate that which involves encouraging abomination or forsaking the Islamic community”.

In other words, you can say anything you like, as long as it precisely what the reactionary mullahs tell you to say. The declaration makes it clear there is no equality for women, gays, non-Muslims, or apostates. It has been backed by the Vatican and a bevy of Christian fundamentalists.

Incredibly, they are succeeding. The UN’s Rapporteur on Human Rights has always been tasked with exposing and shaming those who prevent free speech – including the religious. But the Pakistani delegate recently demanded that his job description be changed so he can seek out and condemn “abuses of free expression” including “defamation of religions and prophets”. The council agreed – so the job has been turned on its head. Instead of condemning the people who wanted to murder Salman Rushdie, they will be condemning Salman Rushdie himself.

Anything which can be deemed “religious” is no longer allowed to be a subject of discussion at the UN – and almost everything is deemed religious. Roy Brown of the International Humanist and Ethical Union has tried to raise topics like the stoning of women accused of adultery or child marriage. The Egyptian delegate stood up to announce discussion of shariah “will not happen” and “Islam will not be crucified in this council” – and Brown was ordered to be silent. Of course, the first victims of locking down free speech about Islam with the imprimatur of the UN are ordinary Muslims.

Here is a random smattering of events that have taken place in the past week in countries that demanded this change. In Nigeria, divorced women are routinely thrown out of their homes and left destitute, unable to see their children, so a large group of them wanted to stage a protest – but the Shariah police declared it was “un-Islamic” and the marchers would be beaten and whipped. In Saudi Arabia, the country’s most senior government-approved cleric said it was perfectly acceptable for old men to marry 10-year-old girls, and those who disagree should be silenced. In Egypt, a 27-year-old Muslim blogger Abdel Rahman was seized, jailed and tortured for arguing for a reformed Islam that does not enforce shariah.

To the people who demand respect for Muslim culture, I ask: which Muslim culture? Those women’s, those children’s, this blogger’s – or their oppressors’?

As the secular campaigner Austin Darcy puts it: “The ultimate aim of this effort is not to protect the feelings of Muslims, but to protect illiberal Islamic states from charges of human rights abuse, and to silence the voices of internal dissidents calling for more secular government and freedom.”

Those of us who passionately support the UN should be the most outraged by this.

Underpinning these “reforms” is a notion seeping even into democratic societies – that atheism and doubt are akin to racism. Today, whenever a religious belief is criticised, its adherents immediately claim they are the victims of “prejudice” – and their outrage is increasingly being backed by laws.

All people deserve respect, but not all ideas do. I don’t respect the idea that a man was born of a virgin, walked on water and rose from the dead. I don’t respect the idea that we should follow a “Prophet” who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they wouldn’t follow him.

I don’t respect the idea that the West Bank was handed to Jews by God and the Palestinians should be bombed or bullied into surrendering it. I don’t respect the idea that we may have lived before as goats, and could live again as woodlice. This is not because of “prejudice” or “ignorance”, but because there is no evidence for these claims. They belong to the childhood of our species, and will in time look as preposterous as believing in Zeus or Thor or Baal.

When you demand “respect”, you are demanding we lie to you. I have too much real respect for you as a human being to engage in that charade.

But why are religious sensitivities so much more likely to provoke demands for censorship than, say, political sensitivities? The answer lies in the nature of faith. If my views are challenged I can, in the end, check them against reality. If you deregulate markets, will they collapse? If you increase carbon dioxide emissions, does the climate become destabilised? If my views are wrong, I can correct them; if they are right, I am soothed.

But when the religious are challenged, there is no evidence for them to consult. By definition, if you have faith, you are choosing to believe in the absence of evidence. Nobody has “faith” that fire hurts, or Australia exists; they know it, based on proof. But it is psychologically painful to be confronted with the fact that your core beliefs are based on thin air, or on the empty shells of revelation or contorted parodies of reason. It’s easier to demand the source of the pesky doubt be silenced.

But a free society cannot be structured to soothe the hardcore faithful. It is based on a deal. You have an absolute right to voice your beliefs – but the price is that I too have a right to respond as I wish. Neither of us can set aside the rules and demand to be protected from offence.

Yet this idea – at the heart of the Universal Declaration – is being lost. To the right, it thwacks into apologists for religious censorship; to the left, it dissolves in multiculturalism. The hijacking of the UN Special Rapporteur by religious fanatics should jolt us into rescuing the simple, battered idea disintegrating in the middle: the equal, indivisible human right to speak freely.

An excellent blog that keeps you up to dates on secularist issues is Butterflies and Wheels, which you can read here.

If you want to get involved in fighting for secularism, join the National Secular Society here.

j.hari@independent.co.uk

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PAKISTAN: Timeline on Swat Valley turbulence

12 02 2009
Source: IRIN


Photo: Kamila Hyat/IRIN
Schoolgirls even in veils are not allowed to continue their education in Swat

LAHORE, 11 February 2009 (IRIN) – Understanding the humanitarian situation in turbulent Swat Valley, some 160km from Islamabad in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), requires some knowledge of the political background to the current tensions and violence.

In 1995 radical clerical leader Sufi Muhammad Khan, leader of Tehrik-e-Nifaz e Shariah-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) in Swat Valley, demanded imposition of Islamic law in the area. Violence followed as the Frontier Constabulary, a paramilitary force, began an operation against Khan. Tourism, a major source of income, was disrupted and 13 militants died in fighting.

After the operation, the NWFP government agreed to enforce Shariah law in Malakand Division (in Swat District). TNSM’s main demand – the replacement of regular courts with Islamic courts – was partially met, but arguments over the peace deal led to sporadic violence.

In 2001 Sufi Muhammad Khan took a force of some 10,000 people from Swat and the tribal areas to fight against US forces invading Afghanistan. Nearly 3,000 were killed, while others were jailed in Afghanistan or sent back to Pakistan, including Sufi Muhammad Khan, who was imprisoned. The TNSM was banned by the government.

In 2002 Sufi Muhammad Khan’s son-in-law, the firebrand cleric Maulana Fazalullah, emerged as a force in Swat and set up his headquarters at Imam Dehri. Linked to the militant Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), he stepped up efforts to impose hardline Islam.

In January 2003 incidents of violence began to increase in Swat. The Afghan writer Fazal Wahab, whose work was viewed as being critical of Osama bin-Laden and the Taliban in Afghanistan, was shot dead in Swat by unidentified assailants.

Between 2004 and 2007 Maulana Fazalullah set up at least 30 illegal FM radio stations to get his message across. Girls’ education and any active role for women in society was opposed. Several schools, music shops and barbers’ businesses were attacked.

2007

July 2007 – Violence in Swat increases after Fazalullah urges his followers to launch ‘jihad’ (holy war) to avenge an operation carried out by the Pakistan military against the Lal Masjid (mosque) in Islamabad, where clerical leaders were accused by the government of harbouring “terrorists”.

4 July 2007 – Four civilians are killed and two police wounded by a roadside bomb. In a separate incident a policemen is killed and four others injured in a rocket attack on a police station in the Matta area of Swat District.

12 July 2007 – A suicide bomber kills three police.

13 July 2007 – President Pervez Musharraf approves a plan to deploy paramilitary forces in Swat to crush growing militancy. Troops are positioned in Swat.

15 July 2007 – At least 13 paramilitary personnel and six civilians, including three children, are killed and more than 50 people injured at Matta in Swat District when two suicide bombers ram two cars packed with explosives into an army convoy.

August 2007 – NGOs and international humanitarian organisations are asked by the administration to leave Swat after threats by militants. Attacks on several girls’ schools are reported.

30 August 2007 – Seven security forces’ personnel are killed as militants attack a checkpoint in Swat. Owners of video centres and barber’s shops receive threatening letters.

21 September 2007 – Maulana Fazalullah urged his supporters to attack government officials after a demand to release three militants held after a hotel bombing incident was rejected by the authorities.

October 2007 – Fazalullah sets up his own Islamic courts.

21 October 2007 – Eighteen soldiers and two civilians die and 35 others, including nine civilians, are injured in a bomb blast aimed at a vehicle carrying paramilitary personnel at Nawan Killi, about 1km from Swat city.

26-29 October 2007 – Fierce clashes erupt between troops and militants in Swat, leaving at least 29 dead. Thirteen security personnel are executed by militants.

1-2 November 2007 – Fighting resumes after a brief ceasefire. 60-70 people die after a clash in Khwazakhela town; 48 troops who surrendered to militants are paraded in public.

3-6 November 2007 – Militants extend their hold over Swat, capturing key towns including Madyan and Kalam.

November 2007 – The Pakistan military intensifies its operation in Swat. Helicopter gunships pound villages. Thousands flee the valley. There are conflicting accounts of casualties, but dozens are feared dead.

28 November – 6 December 2007 – Security forces say militants have been forced out of Swat and many key leaders arrested. Key centres such as Imam Dehri are seized. Hundreds are feared dead in the operation; 500,000 of Swat’s 1.8 million people are reported to have fled.

23 December 2007 – Fourteen die in a suicide attack on a military convoy near Mingora, Swat’s main city. Sporadic violence continues in Swat, including attacks on shops, schools and government buildings.

2008

January 2008 – Low-level violence between troops and militants continues in Swat.

29 February 2008 – Forty killed and more than 75 wounded when a suicide bomber targets the funeral of a police officer in Mingora.

1 March 2008 – Militants behead a 22-year-old man accused of passing on information to the security forces.

April 2008 – NWFP government launches a fresh peace process, setting up a committee to initiate dialogue with different groups of militants. Militant leaders, including Fazalullah, re-enter Swat. Maulana Sufi Muhammad Khan of the banned TNSM is released.

21 May 2008 – Taliban militants operating under Fazalullah in Swat District sign a 16-point peace agreement with the NWFP government and agree to disband their militia; they also denounce suicide attacks and stop attacks on the security forces and government buildings.

June-July 2008 – Attacks on schools and other buildings continue in Swat. Militants say the government refused to keep its part of the peace deal by retaining troops. At least 50 girls’ schools are reported to have been attacked by militants in 2008. Thousands of girls quit school, fearing for their safety.

27-30 July 2008 – Fierce clashes erupt again, after incidents involving the killing of military personnel.

August-December 2008 – The military moves tanks, heavy artillery and helicopters into Swat to combat militants. Hundreds are reported killed in heavy clashes. Reports of atrocities by militants increase – including the killing of women who decline to stop work and public beheadings of those accused of spying. Human rights activists say 60 percent of Swat’s 1.8 million people have fled. Thousands of homes are reported to have been damaged and 150 schools destroyed.

December 2008 – Press reports say the militants control 75 percent of Swat. Fazalullah announces a ban on education for girls.

29 January 2009 – Pakistan’s government announces a new strategy to combat militancy in Swat and pledges to ensure girls resume schooling. Schools for girls remain closed in Swat after the winter break leaving 80,000 girls out of school. Militants are reported to have seized control of almost all of Swat.

31 January 2009 – Fazalullah, leader of the TTP in Swat, says he will relax the ban on education to allow girls to attend school up to grade 5. The ban had been met by a nationwide outcry.

February 2009 – Renewed military offensives are reported against militants as the Pakistan Army pledges to regain control of Swat. Mingora said to be under government control. Fierce fighting continues and more people flee.

(Sources: Dawn, The News, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan State of Human Rights in Pakistan annual reports, and the South Asian Terrorism Portal, run by the Institute of Conflict Management, New Delhi)

kh/cb





Pak to stop broadcast of Taliban radio in Swat, FATA

12 02 2009

Source: Merinews

During a meeting, officials from ISPR, PEMRA and Radio Pakistan informed the Information Minister of the Pakistan government’s ongoing efforts to procure equipment for jamming illegal radio transmissions in Swat and FATA..

PAKISTAN GOVERNMENT has said that it will intensify the government’s public outreach and strategic communications efforts to counter extremist propaganda and prevent terrorism.

Officials also said that they were procuring high tech equipment to stop the broadcast of Taliban radio in Swat and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

“Pakistan is confronted with a war of ideas – between tolerance and extremism, and between democracy and anarchy,” said federal minister for information and broadcasting, Sherry Rehman, while chairing a high-level public outreach and communications meeting held today at the Information Ministry to assess the government’s counter-terrorism communications strategy.

In this war for hearts and minds, Pakistan’s vulnerable population segments are exposed to terrorists’ message,” said the Information Minister.

“Our poor and uneducated youth become hapless recruits to their sinister recruiting techniques. Only a well-coordinated and synchronised national and international framework of public outreach and strategic communications undertaken by government departments and agencies will counter and thwart extremist propaganda that represents a major challenge to our country today.”

During the meeting, officials from ISPR, PEMRA and Radio Pakistan informed the Information Minister of the government’s ongoing efforts to procure equipment for jamming illegal radio transmissions in Swat and FATA.

The Minister was informed that the necessary equipment will be procured and installed in the sensitive regions in the next two weeks, followed by launch of an elaborate and aggressive FM radio campaign in the region to counter extremists’ transmissions.





Militants marry Kashmiri girls on gunpoint

9 02 2009

Srinagar, Feb 07:

Source: Zeenews

Militants in Jammu and Kashmir have been forcing young girls to get married to them at gun-point only to abandon them later. Such an instance came to light when sixteen-year-old Fatima Bi of Kishtwar district gathered courage to narrate her misfortune.

Fatima said she was abducted by Sher Khan, the then divisional commander of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), a Pakistan militant group four years ago. Sher Khan and his associates tortured Fatima for eight days until she gave in to their demands and agreed to marry Hashim, a HuJI worker. She managed to run away and got a police complaint registered against Sher Khan, who was later arrested.

“There was this one Bilal, then another one named Ansari, there was a third man also, I don”t remember his name. They used to keep me in a room and beat me with iron rods. They used to tell me that if I don”t get married according to their will and wish, I would have to face dire consequences. I used to tell them I want to get married to a man I chose for myself. Sher Khan used to head these people,” said Fatima.

Fatima said that such horrendous abduction was still taking place, and authorities should put a check on them. “The girl has given a very different story and she has given a nerve shaking story in terms that she was forcibly married to a person against her will when she was a minor girl. It was done by a Sher khan and his associates who were running a HuJI organisation in this area,” said Haseeb Mughal, superintendent of police, Kishtawar district. Shehnaz of Doda district too was abducted just like Fatima.

“These militants they are dreadful people. They come to our village, sit and eat here, utter bad words for women, abuse them. But now the police is with us, I am sure we can also hit back at them,” said Shehnaz. Shehnaz felt that the future forced brides like her was dark. Many have to up bring their children alone, when their militant husbands get arrested. Society, too, sees them as an outcast. Police officials say that the militants get married in order to mingle with the locals and avoid any suspicious eyes on them. Though the authorities have been trying to tackle the issue but they express their helplessness, as such incidents come to light only when the forcibly married girls gather the strength to register a case.

ANI





Unraveling India? By Jamie Glazov

12 08 2008

By Jamie Glazov
Source: FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Moorthy Muthuswamy, an expert on terrorism in India. He grew up in India, where he had firsthand experience with political Islam and jihad. He moved to America in 1984 to pursue graduate studies. In 1992, he received a doctorate in nuclear physics from Stony Brook University, New York. Since 1999 he has extensively published ideas on neutralizing political Islam’s terror war as it is imposed on unbelievers. He is the author of the upcoming book, Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War.

FP: Moorthy Muthuswamy, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Muthuswamy: Thank you for this timely interview, Jamie

FP: There were some Islamic terror attacks against India in late July. What do you make of them?

Muthuswamy: The late July 2008 blasts are ominous signs of a political Islamic movement in India coming of age. This movement is a consequence of a thirty year old process of jihadization of Indian Muslims or simply, jihad build up in India.

The Islamic conquest of nations and people in Arabia and Africa is now part of history. We are now witnessing the Islamic conquest of South Asia. With Pakistan and Bangladesh firmly Islamized, now the attention is shifting to India, the last big land of South Asia yet to be conquered.

Who would have thought that this barbaric conquest phenomenon will rear its ugly head again in our life time?

FP: Can you give some background to the readers?

Muthuswamy: Sure.

Studies of Islamic conquest of non-Muslims and their land have identified a process called jihad build-up in non-Muslim nations. This build-up also creates what is called a political Islamic movement.

In this process the Muslim minority is systematically and politically indoctrinated by mosques aided by funding from Muslim majority nations, on the grounds of “religious freedom”. This indoctrination is geared towards driving Muslims away from the mainstream, to become hostile to their own nation, and to identify with pan-Islamic aspirations, including a unified Caliphate under Sharia. The Caliphate is envisioned to wage wars until the whole world is converted to Islam.

The contiguous land mass of the Caliphate requires destroying India and converting it into an Islamic state – the primary goal of the political Islamic movement in India. Spearheading this effort in India is the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), identified by Indian intelligence as the terror outfit behind the serial blasts of late July, 2008.

Here is what one may call as a well-articulated manifesto of the Call to Arms (armed jihad): click here. This manifesto was sent minutes before one of the serial blasts and it warned of impending blasts to note that Hindu blood is, “the cheapest of all mankind” and contained Koranic justifications for killing unbelievers. Of course, the manifesto also called on the Hindu majority in India to embrace Islam in order to avoid further attacks – a chillingly similar threat Bin Laden and his deputies’ issue to America every now and then.

FP: What is the ideological inspiration and cover for SIMI?

Muthuswamy: It is mostly derived from Deoband Islamic seminary and the tens of thousands of clerics it has graduated over the years. Deoband is an Indianized version of Wahhabism established in the 19th century (most terrorist outfits in Pakistan, Taliban or even many in ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency, are considered its followers). A declaration issued at the end of February 2008 “anti-terror” conference organized at Deoband showed Islamic deceit or Taqqiya at its very best – “Their [western] aggression, barbarism and state-sponsored terrorism – not only in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in Bosnia and various South American countries – have surpassed all records known to human history.”

The declaration said nothing about Pakistani and Saudi sponsorship of terror in India or Indian Muslims’ role as foot-soldiers of this jihad. Among the main thrust of this conference was to give a clean chit to SIMI and to absolve it of any terrorism related activities carried out in India.

Ironically, the Indian government too has unwittingly acted to nurture the intellectual base of jihad and sponsorship of SIMI, through an increasing number of government-funded universities with “Muslim character” – Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia University, to name a new.

FP: Can you talk about the serial blasts themselves?

Muthuswamy: The back-to-back serial bomb blasts that killed many and injured scores of innocent civilians in the Indian cities of Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and detection and diffusion of scores of other bombs in Surat in July 2008 may have signaled the next stage of jihad build-up in India – from siege to attack mode. Bangalore was probably chosen due to its prominence as the emerging technology capital of India; the city of Surat in Gujarat is the diamond business center of India and Ahmedabad is the capital of the Indian state of Gujarat – the engine driving India’s economic growth and whose population is most resistant to jihad.

From the strategic point of view of destroying Indian economy and degrading the will of the unbelievers to resist, and to destabilize India, no other targets could be better chosen.

These blasts show exceptional levels of organizational ability, inspiration, logistical support in both men and material, and importantly, wide following of extremism among Indian Muslim population. I believe that Indian jihadists and their sponsors in many Muslim nations have concluded that due to the extensive network of terror cells established in Muslim communities all over India they can now indefinitely bleed India until it is destroyed. I also think that the Indian jihadists have shown only a small measure of what they are capable of.

Unlike most western nations where state monitoring of mosques and other jihad sponsoring entities is good (especially since 9/11 attacks), in the case of India, a retired top intelligence official has noted very limited penetration of terrorist entities by the state. Due to this reality, Indian intelligence has no clue about the full dimension of terrorist threat India faces.

Unsurprisingly, military pressure on India is now mounting on its western front, with frequent reports of gun fire exchange with Pakistan and breaking of the four year old ceasefire. As the Indian army is increasingly diverted to quell Muslim-Hindu fight within India, Pakistan is expected to infiltrate more of its irregular jihadists and troops disguised as “freedom fighters” in order to help “oppressed” Indian Muslims to take the war inside India.

The excitement of a resurgent India is fast getting replaced with India as a theater of jihad.

FP: American intelligence officials have gathered intelligence suggesting that Pakistan helped plan the deadly bombing of India’s embassy in Afghanistan. What do you make of this?

Muthuswamy: Indeed, there is every bit of motivation for Pakistanis to plan and execute the Embassy bombing. Pakistanis see India as their primary enemy and clearly, they couldn’t digest increasing Indian influence in what they see as a Pakistani sphere of influence.

This bombing puts a damper on developmental efforts in Afghanistan. When you add this to the Pakistani support and sponsorship of the Afghan Taliban, the American effort to stabilize and to moderate Afghanistan is running into some serious difficulties.

In addition, aided by Saudi Arabia, even under Musharraf, Pakistan has continued to destabilize India.

It seems, American effort to engage Pakistan has yielded very little on the larger strategic front, while tactically it may have been successful in capturing some Al-Qaeda operatives.

Jamie, as you may recall, in an earlier interview conducted last year, I had mentioned that, “[t]he de facto power in these nations [Pakistan and Saudi Arabia] are political Islamic movements, this makes these leaders ineffective in stopping these nations from being fountainheads of terror.”

Pakistani military and ISI are the sword-arm of political Islam in Pakistan. First and foremost, they will never stop armed jihad – and no other internal force can change that.

Even Musharraf showed his true colors by coming to the aid of the ISI, by calling it: “the first defense line of Pakistan.”

Pakistan has now become one of America’s biggest foreign policy and strategic challenges. The bottom line is that America has little leverage against Pakistan (or Saudi Arabia for that matter).

A desperate India and frustrated America will be increasingly pulled toward each other to counter Pakistan-Saudi axis in the region.

FP: What are the powers behind the jihad build-up against India?

Muthuswamy: The primary powers behind the jihad build-up in India, and the resulting terror and mayhem created there are Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

We may be able to associate these nations and their leaders with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined by the Geneva Convention. This is an interesting angle because it may provide the western powers much-needed leverage against these terror-sponsoring entities and also legal justification to jihad victim states to decisively strike back.

Let me present some material that might implicate Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Centuries ago “offensive” or “expansionist” armed jihad was used to conquer land and people for Islam. It is interesting to note the view of a Sharia judge of Pakistan who had sat in its Supreme Court for twenty years: “Even in those days . . . aggressive jihads were waged… because it was truly commendable for establishing the grandeur of the religion of Allah.”

Now, with international criminal system in place, and also because many Muslim nations no longer have the military might to impose an expansionist jihad on unbeliever nations, the concept of “defensive” armed jihad has been invoked to justify arming and funding Muslim insurgencies in many non-Muslim majority nations in order to create separate homelands for Muslims.

As part of the grand vision of the so-called defensive jihad, state-sponsored Saudi charities have worked to deliberately drive a wedge between Muslim minorities and the non-Muslim majority in many nations; new mosques were established and material hateful of unbelievers was distributed and preached. These measures, funds for mobilizing the faithful and the indoctrinating the necessity of waging armed jihad have given Muslim populations a sense of empowerment, ideology, logistics, and motivation needed to mobilize and to finally wage armed jihad.

In Muslim majority nations such as Pakistan, the above process has created a steady stream of recruits for global jihad.

In other words, as we will see, worldwide Islamic terror is part and parcel of a grand vision of Saudi Arabia.

Having financed and provided logistics for the charities, the Saudi government itself provided material for indoctrination and to prepare Muslim minorities to wage armed jihad on their non-Muslim compatriots. Here is a sample of the official Saudi school material for consumption both internal and abroad:

In these verses is a call for jihad, which is the pinnacle of Islam. In (jihad) is life for the body; thus it is one of the most important causes of outward life. Only through force and victory over the enemies is there security and repose. Within martyrdom in the path of God (exalted and glorified is He) is a type of noble life-force that is not diminished by fear or poverty (Tafsir, Arabic/Sharia, 68).

Before adverse publicity compelled the Saudis to remove the following statement, the Islamic Affairs Department of the Saudi embassy in Washington carried the following statement defining the motif for jihad:

The Muslims are required to raise the banner of jihad in order to make the Word of Allah supreme in this world, to remove all forms of injustice and oppression, and to defend the Muslims. If Muslims do not take up the sword, the evil tyrants of this earth will be able to continue oppressing the weak and [the] helpless…

There is every reason to believe that the Saudis have distributed these kinds of materials around the world, including in India.

FP: Can you discuss the specific case of the Kashmir jihad?

Muthuswamy: “Self-determination” of “oppressed” or “alienated” Muslims in Kashmir is among the most popular cause (of “defensive” jihad) in the Muslim world. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have pursued this jihad aggressively, while exposing their hand (and thereby implicating them) because they seem to think that they are dealing from a position of “moral high ground” and because India is seen as a weak state.

By the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, admitting its role: “Jihad, insurgency or whatever you want to call it in Kashmir… Yes, Pakistan may have helped the jihad at some time, but it was not started by us”.

First, I want to show that the Kashmir jihad is an offensive one aimed at extending Islam’s boundaries at the expense of non-Muslims by imposing a no-holds-barred warfare on the state controlling Kashmir, India. It is ironic that Pakistan would want to grab more territory from India, especially when it owes a significant portion of its territory to India for its recent acts of non-Muslim ethnic cleansing.

Funding for building mosques and indoctrinating Muslim populations in Kashmir has been funneled through state-sponsored Saudi charities. While supporting Muslim self-determination in Indian part of Kashmir (so that the Muslims would vote to join Pakistan and take the land to Islamic Pakistan), nothing is said about non-Muslim ethnic cleansing (to India) from Pakistani part of Kashmir or from Pakistan itself (to India).

Just as India had to absorb non-Muslims driven out of Pakistani part of Kashmir and from the rest of Pakistan, Pakistan could simply absorb the Muslim population in the Indian part of Kashmir (minus the land), if they feel so alienated. And, that could be considered an equitable arrangement. But clearly that is not the case here; the principle that has been invoked is: What is mine is exclusively mine and what is yours is also mine!

In other words, Kashmir jihad is a bogus “defensive” jihad.

FP: Can you provide more details on the jihad buildup in India aided by Saudi Arabia (and assisted by Pakistan)?

Muthuswamy: I provide them below. I believe the Indian govt. has shared much more comprehensive data implicating both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia with their American and other western counterparts.

  • Funds for Muslim insurgencies, including Kashmir Muslim insurgency and Al-Qaeda were funneled through Saudi state-sponsored charity organizations such as Muslim World League (MWL) and World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY). A MWL communiqué in 2000 called for, “all assistance to the people of Kashmir, and support its steadfast struggle.” Since a major part of this “struggle” is armed insurgency, this call for material support and support of the “struggle” can be taken to mean supplying of funds, arms, and ammunition for an armed jihad. According to Indian government, “90 percent of the funding [for Kashmir militants] is from other countries and Islamic organizations like the WAMY”.
  • A cursory review of over thirty years of MWL’s mouthpiece, The Muslim World League Journal, indicates that it has consistently ignored expulsion of over 300,000 non-Muslim Kashmiris and Kashmir Muslim complicity toward this cleansing act. Also ignored are Kashmiri Muslims’ religious apartheid practices toward non-Muslim Kashmiris and others in the rest of the state.
  • The key first step toward building up jihad is the construction of new mosques. Starting 1980, scores of new mosques were constructed. Since 1990s at least 3,000 new mosques were constructed in Kashmir, many with Saudi assistance.
  • SIMI’s, “spectacular growth after 1982 lay in the support it gained from Islamists in West Asia, notably the Kuwait-based World Association of Muslim Youth and the Saudi Arabia-funded International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations.”
  • With authorities in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya and Sudan assisting, about $700 million was raised to further growth of Islam. As part of this plan new mosques and madrassas were to be constructed outside of Kashmir.
  • Indian security agencies have detailed how Saudi Arabia acts as the meeting point of Indian and Pakistani-backed terrorists who plot their strikes in the Indian Kashmir and elsewhere. Indian security officials have been unhappy with the Saudi efforts in monitoring sizable funds that are transferred to India, a big portion of which is suspected to be routed to fundamentalist institutions.
  • In January 2006, India approached the Saudis to sign an extradition treaty covering terrorism. But Saudis demanded that India agree to incorporate “freedom struggles” as a justification of acts of violence.
  • Additionally, state-sponsored Saudi charities have funded India specific terrorist outfits in Pakistan, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), who are working to create additional homelands for Muslims in India through terror. An ex-activist of SIMI claimed, “Funds are available for the asking for LeT not only from Pakistan, but also from Wahhabi fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia and the UAE”.

Battling Saudi-sponsored Islamic terrorism has been an escalating burden on an impoverished India. Nearly about 6,000 children die every day in India due to malnourishment driven by poverty.

Serial blasts by suspected Islamists, in major Indian economic and technological hubs such as Bangalore and Ahmedabad are poised to drive capital and investment out of India, drive millions more into poverty and make it easier for jihadists to destroy India from within.

Also notable is terrorist attacks directed at Hindu temples – exposing the intent to annihilate the idolaters’ way of life, as suggested in Koranic injunctions.

All of the available evidence appears to show a desire, intent, and execution on the part of Saudi Arabia (and Pakistan) to impose an offensive jihad on India – not just restricted to Kashmir – using bogus excuses that are either exaggerated or invented. Even the so-called alienation of Kashmiri/Indian Muslims is to a great part built up by Saudi charities in order to use Indian Muslims as foot-soldiers to purposefully extend Islamic sphere of influence at the expense of non-Muslims. This is sanctioned by the pseudo-Constitution of Saudi Arabia, the Koran and the Sunnah, which have widely quoted verses (by Muslim clerics) that justify violent conquest of unbelievers.

This deliberate, long-term, and large-scale execution of terror plans has already devastated significant portions of India, with about one hundred thousand people killed, and about half a million displaced. Besides, this highly impoverished nation had to divert its scare resources to fight this terror imposed on its people, and this has in turn led to exacerbating malnutrition of its children, their deaths as a result and grinding poverty of millions of its citizens.

Among the cross hairs of the terrorists’ hit list, according the Indian Home Ministry: India’s nuclear installations, power plants, and oil refineries. The current escalation of serial blasts and what is yet to come at this rate is poised to devastate and kill tens, if not hundreds of millions of Indians and take away the future of many more in the coming decades.

It appears that one can associate the pattern of terrorism waged on India, spearheaded by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as per the Geneva Convention. This act of genocide is of a slow form, likely taking several decades to conduct (less likely to be noticed, as a result), unlike the classic one in Darfur region of Africa which is measured in years.

By emphasizing just the “self-determination” of the Muslims in Kashmir while ignoring the ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims in Muslim majority regions nearby, leaders such as the reigning King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s leadership may have set forth policy measures leading to terror, genocide and crimes against humanity conducted on the people of India, using the Saudi and Pakistani resources respectively.

FP: What can India do?

Muthuswamy: In the near-term there is little the ruling regime in India can do, as the nation awaits blasts of increasing devastation and frequency.

Internally, the tipping point may have been crossed; India no longer defendable. Jihadists know what they are doing, as a Pakistan-based jihad commander proclaimed a few years ago.

Even in the long-term, poor governing and a dysfunctional democracy significantly undermine India’s prospects. Besides, the institutional know-how on dealing with the Islamic threat remains primitive, as the recent Frontpage Symposium can attest to.

Putting it differently, India is a sitting duck – and these serial blasts mark the beginning of extreme destabilizing of India: Spreading of Kashmir jihad into the rest of India.

In this war of minds, first and foremost, India has to articulate the rationale for its existence within human rights framework. Here is one.

Non-Muslims from every Muslim majority region of South Asia – without exception – be it Pakistan, Bangladesh or from India’s own Kashmir valley have been massively driven out to Hindu-majority India. This occurred when Muslim populations in these areas obtained political power. In addition, in 1971, the Pakistani army selectively sought out and killed perhaps a million or more Hindus and drove many more to India. But it was never held accountable. Indeed, due to this mostly one-sided religious cleansing India ended up accommodating about 85% of the original population in about 75% of the original land called British India.

The fact that non-Muslim populations in these Muslim majority regions shared ethnicity, language, food habits, and culture didn’t at all help or save them. This data shows unequivocally that South Asian Muslims do not believe in coexistence and that the Islam practiced in the region is a repressive political ideology of conquest that pretends itself as a religion.

This documented genocidal conquest of non-Muslims in South Asia compellingly defines the first human rights priority for India: Ensuring India’s long-term existence as a free and safe land of opportunity for non-Muslim South Asians.

Armed by this rationale and with the right leadership India can take to the much-needed offense by first mobilizing the non-Muslim majority and to weaken jihadist hold on a mobilized Indian Muslim population.

However, the major responsibility of stopping jihad in India falls in the hands of mainly those who nurtured it all these years: political and religious leadership of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Besides, in the eyes of Indian jihadists, these external entities carry more weight than the internal ones.

It is only natural that the Indians make the following demands on the Saudi/Pakistani political and religious leaderships:

  • They apologize for their one-sided past support of “self-determination” of Muslims in Kashmir while ignoring the plight of non-Muslims driven away from nearby Muslim majority regions.
  • These leaders will appeal to the Indian Muslims, Pakistanis and the Saudis – and take steps to stop the jihad directed at India and its citizens.
  • Saudi Arabia will agree to generously fund to rehabilitate Indian Muslims away from extremism, to compensate non-Muslim Indians affected by Islamic radicals that are in anyway indoctrinated by Saudi-originated funds and to compensate the Indian state for the damages suffered and expenses occurred due to Saudi jihad.
  • Saudi Arabia will not stop oil exports to India, as this could be interpreted as waging additional jihad on humanity in India.
  • Pakistan will take the “alienated” Kashmiri Muslims from India and settle them in the portion of Kashmir it holds and in the rest of Pakistan.

Of course, one should be under no illusion that any of these demands are going to be made by the Indians any time soon or even if they are made, the Saudis and Pakistanis are willingly going to embrace them!

Yet, if India wants to exist and do so securely, it has little choice.

These are first of the steps India has to undertake in order to persuade western powers to bring up genocide and other charges against the Saudi and Pakistani political and religious leaderships, and before embarking on a military offensive.

The 1996 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice even extends such authority to the preemptive use of strategic nuclear weapons in certain existential circumstances.

Should the terrorist attacks continue to devastate India and if Pakistan and Saudi Arabia do not act to discourage jihad, India’s existence is threatened and as a nuclear-armed state, it should use every means to devastate Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, paving the way for unraveling of political Islamic movements in India and beyond.

The conundrum of Pakistan is understandable; any limited offensive military measure directed at punishing it will most likely destabilize it and persuade Pakistani military leadership to retaliate with nuclear strikes. However, under the current western policy of “engaging” Pakistan, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have only grown stronger due to internal support.

India could be the missing link in neutralizing the threat Pakistan poses in Afghanistan and through its procession of “Islamic” nuclear bombs.

If Indians feel that they have to hit back at Pakistan due to extensive internal terror attacks attributable as genocide or crimes against humanity, an option worth backing by the western powers is a full-scale Indian offensive that may involve massive pre-emptive strategic nuclear strikes to first soften up Pakistan, followed by over running Pakistan’s territory with Indian troops and liberate its population to Hindu way of life (which culturally Pakistanis belong to), by comprehensively neutralizing its Islamic roots. The West can follow it up by aiding nation-building to be utilized wisely for the first time in Pakistan (until now, the well-meaning western aid has gone into jihad-building there, much to the discomfort of the givers). Such a Pakistan will not only have a negative memory of its Islamic past, but importantly, will be a much less likely terror sponsor.

FP: What can the western powers do?

Muthuswamy: Let me set this section up by first explaining how policy decisions regarding Islamic terrorism are taken in India at the present time.

India’s top two leaders’ (the unelected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his boss, Sonia Gandhi, the president of Congress Party) interaction with the public or journalists on foreign policy and security matters come down to reading statements prepared by aides, with virtually no cross-examination. Singh’s long career in the government had been that of an economic technocrat and Gandhi’s prior experience consisted of home-making.

Due to these leaders’ inexperience on strategic issues, including matters related to Islam or Muslims, Muslim leaders who serve as aides or those who serve in the Cabinet have take the lead in formulating policies. This has been a recipe for disaster as the Muslim leadership in India reflects the Bin Laden loving, fundamentalist-oriented Muslim community.

Not surprisingly, every long-term decision taken by these two leaders have gone on to advance the cause of jihad. Even in cases of obvious Islamist violence, Muslim leaders close to these top Indian leaders have used their influence and access to stymie the investigation and let the terrorists run free. In addition, the Muslim leaders have helped to misguide the focus of government effort away from the roots of terror within their community.

That the Muslim leaders with jihadist outlook are pulling strings behind the top two Indian leaders can explain the bizarre Muslim exclusive promises made by these Indian leaders. Prime Minister Singh stated in Dec. 2006: “They [Muslims] must have the first claim on resources.” Sonia Gandhi went a step further. She wrote a letter as part of a 2007 election campaign in India’s most populous state, specifically pleading to over 15,000 Muslim leaders, including clerics, “I can build a society of your dreams“.

The shocking reality of India is that the ruling Manmohan Singh regime is an unwitting proxy of jihadists on policy matters pertaining to Islam and Muslims.

The ruling regime’s success in bringing India along to sign the proposed nuclear deal with America shouldn’t misconstrued as an ability to tackle Islamic terrorism. Reason: This proposed deal is not an Islam related issue and hence Muslim “advisors” didn’t play a determining role. In any case, in my view, the nuclear deal with India is highly irrelevant for the reason that India will neither be able to securely build nor maintain the nuclear reactors it proposes to construct in another ten years time, should internal destabilizing continue at this rate.

Give these realities it is hard to believe that India is any longer capable of surviving the Islamic onslaught all by itself.

It all comes down to western leaders deciding whether they would like to see India rapidly destabilized by an Islamic war of thousand cuts, with millions of people dying of hunger and malnutrition, and importantly, hostile jihad-sponsoring Muslim states born inside of what is left of India within the next few decades.

When large-scale terrorism that can categorized as crimes-against-humanity is taking place in a nation at the behest of external Islamic powers and where the regime in power is not only ineffective in stopping terror but even seems to act as a proxy for the Islamists, there is every reason for the world powers to step in and help the beleaguered people staring the face of a mutual existential threat.

Such a help can come in the form of backing the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its strong leader, Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat. Indian intelligence has identified BJP as the only main stream party free of terrorist infiltration. Manmohan Singh’s Congress Party with its traditional reliance on Muslims has become susceptible to jihadist infiltration and influence.

As part of discrediting the jihadist moral “high ground”, the United States must question the credibility of the Kashmir jihad.

The western powers should persuade and back India to build up the case of crimes against humanity implicating both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia through the International Criminal Court. Not just in the case of India, this angle needs to be pursued to include other jihad victim states and also potentially more sponsors, including the Islamic Republic of Iran (due to its sponsorship of terror directed at Israel).

The 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other attacks directed at the United States by Al-Qaeda should have given more than ample warning to the Saudi ruling class (and Pakistan) that continued funding – directly or through government-linked charities – of either the Taliban or Al-Qaeda is to harm American interests – and that corrective measures must be put in place to roll back extremism. We now know that the Saudis and Pakistanis hardly undertook any measures to stop the funding of terrorist groups, let alone undertake any corrective measure, until a least 2001 – and that make these nations significantly responsible for 9/11 attacks on America. Still, the 9/11 Commission has blundered into letting the Saudis (and to a lesser extent Pakistanis) off the hook.

The need to move beyond proxies, from Al-Qaeda, Taliban or Hezbollah to their major sponsors – namely, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran – can’t be overstated.

Associating Saudi Arabia with genocide and other crimes against humanity gives us an unprecedented ability to regulate its funding for “religious causes” in the West, to even retroactively shutdown any “religious” institution built with its funding, to discredit its standing (Saudi Arabia is synonymous with Islam and vice versa) in the community of societies and nations – and to even seize its oil-based assets (used to sponsor genocide) as a last resort.

Specifically, western powers, going beyond their support for India, should call on the Saudi leadership to allocate, say, 30-40% of its oil-based revenues for rehabilitating Muslims it has indoctrinated all these decades and to compensate non-Muslim victims and their states.

The victim list includes the United States.

Should the Saudis balk at this humanitarian proposal, the western powers should work to add top Saudi political and religious leaderships to the elite list now occupied by the fellow Muslim, Sudan’s leader, Omar al-Bashir – now charged by the International Criminal Court. Similar approach may be pursued in the case of Pakistan in order to make it disengage from terror sponsorship directed at Afghanistan and India.

Due to deeply entrenched and popular nature of political Islamic movements based in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan that are answerable to none, it is unlikely that even the above approach will yield any meaningful results. Still, this intermediate step may be necessary before justifying far more lethal means.

FP: Moorthy Muthuswamy, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

Muthuswamy: Thank you Jamie.


Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine’s managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. He is also the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at jglazov@rogers.com.





Unraveling India? By Jamie Glazov

12 08 2008

By Jamie Glazov
Source: FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Moorthy Muthuswamy, an expert on terrorism in India. He grew up in India, where he had firsthand experience with political Islam and jihad. He moved to America in 1984 to pursue graduate studies. In 1992, he received a doctorate in nuclear physics from Stony Brook University, New York. Since 1999 he has extensively published ideas on neutralizing political Islam’s terror war as it is imposed on unbelievers. He is the author of the upcoming book, Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War.

FP: Moorthy Muthuswamy, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Muthuswamy: Thank you for this timely interview, Jamie

FP: There were some Islamic terror attacks against India in late July. What do you make of them?

Muthuswamy: The late July 2008 blasts are ominous signs of a political Islamic movement in India coming of age. This movement is a consequence of a thirty year old process of jihadization of Indian Muslims or simply, jihad build up in India.

The Islamic conquest of nations and people in Arabia and Africa is now part of history. We are now witnessing the Islamic conquest of South Asia. With Pakistan and Bangladesh firmly Islamized, now the attention is shifting to India, the last big land of South Asia yet to be conquered.

Who would have thought that this barbaric conquest phenomenon will rear its ugly head again in our life time?

FP: Can you give some background to the readers?

Muthuswamy: Sure.

Studies of Islamic conquest of non-Muslims and their land have identified a process called jihad build-up in non-Muslim nations. This build-up also creates what is called a political Islamic movement.

In this process the Muslim minority is systematically and politically indoctrinated by mosques aided by funding from Muslim majority nations, on the grounds of “religious freedom”. This indoctrination is geared towards driving Muslims away from the mainstream, to become hostile to their own nation, and to identify with pan-Islamic aspirations, including a unified Caliphate under Sharia. The Caliphate is envisioned to wage wars until the whole world is converted to Islam.

The contiguous land mass of the Caliphate requires destroying India and converting it into an Islamic state – the primary goal of the political Islamic movement in India. Spearheading this effort in India is the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), identified by Indian intelligence as the terror outfit behind the serial blasts of late July, 2008.

Here is what one may call as a well-articulated manifesto of the Call to Arms (armed jihad): click here. This manifesto was sent minutes before one of the serial blasts and it warned of impending blasts to note that Hindu blood is, “the cheapest of all mankind” and contained Koranic justifications for killing unbelievers. Of course, the manifesto also called on the Hindu majority in India to embrace Islam in order to avoid further attacks – a chillingly similar threat Bin Laden and his deputies’ issue to America every now and then.

FP: What is the ideological inspiration and cover for SIMI?

Muthuswamy: It is mostly derived from Deoband Islamic seminary and the tens of thousands of clerics it has graduated over the years. Deoband is an Indianized version of Wahhabism established in the 19th century (most terrorist outfits in Pakistan, Taliban or even many in ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency, are considered its followers). A declaration issued at the end of February 2008 “anti-terror” conference organized at Deoband showed Islamic deceit or Taqqiya at its very best – “Their [western] aggression, barbarism and state-sponsored terrorism – not only in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in Bosnia and various South American countries – have surpassed all records known to human history.”

The declaration said nothing about Pakistani and Saudi sponsorship of terror in India or Indian Muslims’ role as foot-soldiers of this jihad. Among the main thrust of this conference was to give a clean chit to SIMI and to absolve it of any terrorism related activities carried out in India.

Ironically, the Indian government too has unwittingly acted to nurture the intellectual base of jihad and sponsorship of SIMI, through an increasing number of government-funded universities with “Muslim character” – Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia University, to name a new.

FP: Can you talk about the serial blasts themselves?

Muthuswamy: The back-to-back serial bomb blasts that killed many and injured scores of innocent civilians in the Indian cities of Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and detection and diffusion of scores of other bombs in Surat in July 2008 may have signaled the next stage of jihad build-up in India – from siege to attack mode. Bangalore was probably chosen due to its prominence as the emerging technology capital of India; the city of Surat in Gujarat is the diamond business center of India and Ahmedabad is the capital of the Indian state of Gujarat – the engine driving India’s economic growth and whose population is most resistant to jihad.

From the strategic point of view of destroying Indian economy and degrading the will of the unbelievers to resist, and to destabilize India, no other targets could be better chosen.

These blasts show exceptional levels of organizational ability, inspiration, logistical support in both men and material, and importantly, wide following of extremism among Indian Muslim population. I believe that Indian jihadists and their sponsors in many Muslim nations have concluded that due to the extensive network of terror cells established in Muslim communities all over India they can now indefinitely bleed India until it is destroyed. I also think that the Indian jihadists have shown only a small measure of what they are capable of.

Unlike most western nations where state monitoring of mosques and other jihad sponsoring entities is good (especially since 9/11 attacks), in the case of India, a retired top intelligence official has noted very limited penetration of terrorist entities by the state. Due to this reality, Indian intelligence has no clue about the full dimension of terrorist threat India faces.

Unsurprisingly, military pressure on India is now mounting on its western front, with frequent reports of gun fire exchange with Pakistan and breaking of the four year old ceasefire. As the Indian army is increasingly diverted to quell Muslim-Hindu fight within India, Pakistan is expected to infiltrate more of its irregular jihadists and troops disguised as “freedom fighters” in order to help “oppressed” Indian Muslims to take the war inside India.

The excitement of a resurgent India is fast getting replaced with India as a theater of jihad.

FP: American intelligence officials have gathered intelligence suggesting that Pakistan helped plan the deadly bombing of India’s embassy in Afghanistan. What do you make of this?

Muthuswamy: Indeed, there is every bit of motivation for Pakistanis to plan and execute the Embassy bombing. Pakistanis see India as their primary enemy and clearly, they couldn’t digest increasing Indian influence in what they see as a Pakistani sphere of influence.

This bombing puts a damper on developmental efforts in Afghanistan. When you add this to the Pakistani support and sponsorship of the Afghan Taliban, the American effort to stabilize and to moderate Afghanistan is running into some serious difficulties.

In addition, aided by Saudi Arabia, even under Musharraf, Pakistan has continued to destabilize India.

It seems, American effort to engage Pakistan has yielded very little on the larger strategic front, while tactically it may have been successful in capturing some Al-Qaeda operatives.

Jamie, as you may recall, in an earlier interview conducted last year, I had mentioned that, “[t]he de facto power in these nations [Pakistan and Saudi Arabia] are political Islamic movements, this makes these leaders ineffective in stopping these nations from being fountainheads of terror.”

Pakistani military and ISI are the sword-arm of political Islam in Pakistan. First and foremost, they will never stop armed jihad – and no other internal force can change that.

Even Musharraf showed his true colors by coming to the aid of the ISI, by calling it: “the first defense line of Pakistan.”

Pakistan has now become one of America’s biggest foreign policy and strategic challenges. The bottom line is that America has little leverage against Pakistan (or Saudi Arabia for that matter).

A desperate India and frustrated America will be increasingly pulled toward each other to counter Pakistan-Saudi axis in the region.

FP: What are the powers behind the jihad build-up against India?

Muthuswamy: The primary powers behind the jihad build-up in India, and the resulting terror and mayhem created there are Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

We may be able to associate these nations and their leaders with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined by the Geneva Convention. This is an interesting angle because it may provide the western powers much-needed leverage against these terror-sponsoring entities and also legal justification to jihad victim states to decisively strike back.

Let me present some material that might implicate Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Centuries ago “offensive” or “expansionist” armed jihad was used to conquer land and people for Islam. It is interesting to note the view of a Sharia judge of Pakistan who had sat in its Supreme Court for twenty years: “Even in those days . . . aggressive jihads were waged… because it was truly commendable for establishing the grandeur of the religion of Allah.”

Now, with international criminal system in place, and also because many Muslim nations no longer have the military might to impose an expansionist jihad on unbeliever nations, the concept of “defensive” armed jihad has been invoked to justify arming and funding Muslim insurgencies in many non-Muslim majority nations in order to create separate homelands for Muslims.

As part of the grand vision of the so-called defensive jihad, state-sponsored Saudi charities have worked to deliberately drive a wedge between Muslim minorities and the non-Muslim majority in many nations; new mosques were established and material hateful of unbelievers was distributed and preached. These measures, funds for mobilizing the faithful and the indoctrinating the necessity of waging armed jihad have given Muslim populations a sense of empowerment, ideology, logistics, and motivation needed to mobilize and to finally wage armed jihad.

In Muslim majority nations such as Pakistan, the above process has created a steady stream of recruits for global jihad.

In other words, as we will see, worldwide Islamic terror is part and parcel of a grand vision of Saudi Arabia.

Having financed and provided logistics for the charities, the Saudi government itself provided material for indoctrination and to prepare Muslim minorities to wage armed jihad on their non-Muslim compatriots. Here is a sample of the official Saudi school material for consumption both internal and abroad:

In these verses is a call for jihad, which is the pinnacle of Islam. In (jihad) is life for the body; thus it is one of the most important causes of outward life. Only through force and victory over the enemies is there security and repose. Within martyrdom in the path of God (exalted and glorified is He) is a type of noble life-force that is not diminished by fear or poverty (Tafsir, Arabic/Sharia, 68).

Before adverse publicity compelled the Saudis to remove the following statement, the Islamic Affairs Department of the Saudi embassy in Washington carried the following statement defining the motif for jihad:

The Muslims are required to raise the banner of jihad in order to make the Word of Allah supreme in this world, to remove all forms of injustice and oppression, and to defend the Muslims. If Muslims do not take up the sword, the evil tyrants of this earth will be able to continue oppressing the weak and [the] helpless…

There is every reason to believe that the Saudis have distributed these kinds of materials around the world, including in India.

FP: Can you discuss the specific case of the Kashmir jihad?

Muthuswamy: “Self-determination” of “oppressed” or “alienated” Muslims in Kashmir is among the most popular cause (of “defensive” jihad) in the Muslim world. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have pursued this jihad aggressively, while exposing their hand (and thereby implicating them) because they seem to think that they are dealing from a position of “moral high ground” and because India is seen as a weak state.

By the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, admitting its role: “Jihad, insurgency or whatever you want to call it in Kashmir… Yes, Pakistan may have helped the jihad at some time, but it was not started by us”.

First, I want to show that the Kashmir jihad is an offensive one aimed at extending Islam’s boundaries at the expense of non-Muslims by imposing a no-holds-barred warfare on the state controlling Kashmir, India. It is ironic that Pakistan would want to grab more territory from India, especially when it owes a significant portion of its territory to India for its recent acts of non-Muslim ethnic cleansing.

Funding for building mosques and indoctrinating Muslim populations in Kashmir has been funneled through state-sponsored Saudi charities. While supporting Muslim self-determination in Indian part of Kashmir (so that the Muslims would vote to join Pakistan and take the land to Islamic Pakistan), nothing is said about non-Muslim ethnic cleansing (to India) from Pakistani part of Kashmir or from Pakistan itself (to India).

Just as India had to absorb non-Muslims driven out of Pakistani part of Kashmir and from the rest of Pakistan, Pakistan could simply absorb the Muslim population in the Indian part of Kashmir (minus the land), if they feel so alienated. And, that could be considered an equitable arrangement. But clearly that is not the case here; the principle that has been invoked is: What is mine is exclusively mine and what is yours is also mine!

In other words, Kashmir jihad is a bogus “defensive” jihad.

FP: Can you provide more details on the jihad buildup in India aided by Saudi Arabia (and assisted by Pakistan)?

Muthuswamy: I provide them below. I believe the Indian govt. has shared much more comprehensive data implicating both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia with their American and other western counterparts.

  • Funds for Muslim insurgencies, including Kashmir Muslim insurgency and Al-Qaeda were funneled through Saudi state-sponsored charity organizations such as Muslim World League (MWL) and World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY). A MWL communiqué in 2000 called for, “all assistance to the people of Kashmir, and support its steadfast struggle.” Since a major part of this “struggle” is armed insurgency, this call for material support and support of the “struggle” can be taken to mean supplying of funds, arms, and ammunition for an armed jihad. According to Indian government, “90 percent of the funding [for Kashmir militants] is from other countries and Islamic organizations like the WAMY”.
  • A cursory review of over thirty years of MWL’s mouthpiece, The Muslim World League Journal, indicates that it has consistently ignored expulsion of over 300,000 non-Muslim Kashmiris and Kashmir Muslim complicity toward this cleansing act. Also ignored are Kashmiri Muslims’ religious apartheid practices toward non-Muslim Kashmiris and others in the rest of the state.
  • The key first step toward building up jihad is the construction of new mosques. Starting 1980, scores of new mosques were constructed. Since 1990s at least 3,000 new mosques were constructed in Kashmir, many with Saudi assistance.
  • SIMI’s, “spectacular growth after 1982 lay in the support it gained from Islamists in West Asia, notably the Kuwait-based World Association of Muslim Youth and the Saudi Arabia-funded International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations.”
  • With authorities in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya and Sudan assisting, about $700 million was raised to further growth of Islam. As part of this plan new mosques and madrassas were to be constructed outside of Kashmir.
  • Indian security agencies have detailed how Saudi Arabia acts as the meeting point of Indian and Pakistani-backed terrorists who plot their strikes in the Indian Kashmir and elsewhere. Indian security officials have been unhappy with the Saudi efforts in monitoring sizable funds that are transferred to India, a big portion of which is suspected to be routed to fundamentalist institutions.
  • In January 2006, India approached the Saudis to sign an extradition treaty covering terrorism. But Saudis demanded that India agree to incorporate “freedom struggles” as a justification of acts of violence.
  • Additionally, state-sponsored Saudi charities have funded India specific terrorist outfits in Pakistan, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), who are working to create additional homelands for Muslims in India through terror. An ex-activist of SIMI claimed, “Funds are available for the asking for LeT not only from Pakistan, but also from Wahhabi fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia and the UAE”.

Battling Saudi-sponsored Islamic terrorism has been an escalating burden on an impoverished India. Nearly about 6,000 children die every day in India due to malnourishment driven by poverty.

Serial blasts by suspected Islamists, in major Indian economic and technological hubs such as Bangalore and Ahmedabad are poised to drive capital and investment out of India, drive millions more into poverty and make it easier for jihadists to destroy India from within.

Also notable is terrorist attacks directed at Hindu temples – exposing the intent to annihilate the idolaters’ way of life, as suggested in Koranic injunctions.

All of the available evidence appears to show a desire, intent, and execution on the part of Saudi Arabia (and Pakistan) to impose an offensive jihad on India – not just restricted to Kashmir – using bogus excuses that are either exaggerated or invented. Even the so-called alienation of Kashmiri/Indian Muslims is to a great part built up by Saudi charities in order to use Indian Muslims as foot-soldiers to purposefully extend Islamic sphere of influence at the expense of non-Muslims. This is sanctioned by the pseudo-Constitution of Saudi Arabia, the Koran and the Sunnah, which have widely quoted verses (by Muslim clerics) that justify violent conquest of unbelievers.

This deliberate, long-term, and large-scale execution of terror plans has already devastated significant portions of India, with about one hundred thousand people killed, and about half a million displaced. Besides, this highly impoverished nation had to divert its scare resources to fight this terror imposed on its people, and this has in turn led to exacerbating malnutrition of its children, their deaths as a result and grinding poverty of millions of its citizens.

Among the cross hairs of the terrorists’ hit list, according the Indian Home Ministry: India’s nuclear installations, power plants, and oil refineries. The current escalation of serial blasts and what is yet to come at this rate is poised to devastate and kill tens, if not hundreds of millions of Indians and take away the future of many more in the coming decades.

It appears that one can associate the pattern of terrorism waged on India, spearheaded by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as per the Geneva Convention. This act of genocide is of a slow form, likely taking several decades to conduct (less likely to be noticed, as a result), unlike the classic one in Darfur region of Africa which is measured in years.

By emphasizing just the “self-determination” of the Muslims in Kashmir while ignoring the ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims in Muslim majority regions nearby, leaders such as the reigning King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s leadership may have set forth policy measures leading to terror, genocide and crimes against humanity conducted on the people of India, using the Saudi and Pakistani resources respectively.

FP: What can India do?

Muthuswamy: In the near-term there is little the ruling regime in India can do, as the nation awaits blasts of increasing devastation and frequency.

Internally, the tipping point may have been crossed; India no longer defendable. Jihadists know what they are doing, as a Pakistan-based jihad commander proclaimed a few years ago.

Even in the long-term, poor governing and a dysfunctional democracy significantly undermine India’s prospects. Besides, the institutional know-how on dealing with the Islamic threat remains primitive, as the recent Frontpage Symposium can attest to.

Putting it differently, India is a sitting duck – and these serial blasts mark the beginning of extreme destabilizing of India: Spreading of Kashmir jihad into the rest of India.

In this war of minds, first and foremost, India has to articulate the rationale for its existence within human rights framework. Here is one.

Non-Muslims from every Muslim majority region of South Asia – without exception – be it Pakistan, Bangladesh or from India’s own Kashmir valley have been massively driven out to Hindu-majority India. This occurred when Muslim populations in these areas obtained political power. In addition, in 1971, the Pakistani army selectively sought out and killed perhaps a million or more Hindus and drove many more to India. But it was never held accountable. Indeed, due to this mostly one-sided religious cleansing India ended up accommodating about 85% of the original population in about 75% of the original land called British India.

The fact that non-Muslim populations in these Muslim majority regions shared ethnicity, language, food habits, and culture didn’t at all help or save them. This data shows unequivocally that South Asian Muslims do not believe in coexistence and that the Islam practiced in the region is a repressive political ideology of conquest that pretends itself as a religion.

This documented genocidal conquest of non-Muslims in South Asia compellingly defines the first human rights priority for India: Ensuring India’s long-term existence as a free and safe land of opportunity for non-Muslim South Asians.

Armed by this rationale and with the right leadership India can take to the much-needed offense by first mobilizing the non-Muslim majority and to weaken jihadist hold on a mobilized Indian Muslim population.

However, the major responsibility of stopping jihad in India falls in the hands of mainly those who nurtured it all these years: political and religious leadership of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Besides, in the eyes of Indian jihadists, these external entities carry more weight than the internal ones.

It is only natural that the Indians make the following demands on the Saudi/Pakistani political and religious leaderships:

  • They apologize for their one-sided past support of “self-determination” of Muslims in Kashmir while ignoring the plight of non-Muslims driven away from nearby Muslim majority regions.
  • These leaders will appeal to the Indian Muslims, Pakistanis and the Saudis – and take steps to stop the jihad directed at India and its citizens.
  • Saudi Arabia will agree to generously fund to rehabilitate Indian Muslims away from extremism, to compensate non-Muslim Indians affected by Islamic radicals that are in anyway indoctrinated by Saudi-originated funds and to compensate the Indian state for the damages suffered and expenses occurred due to Saudi jihad.
  • Saudi Arabia will not stop oil exports to India, as this could be interpreted as waging additional jihad on humanity in India.
  • Pakistan will take the “alienated” Kashmiri Muslims from India and settle them in the portion of Kashmir it holds and in the rest of Pakistan.

Of course, one should be under no illusion that any of these demands are going to be made by the Indians any time soon or even if they are made, the Saudis and Pakistanis are willingly going to embrace them!

Yet, if India wants to exist and do so securely, it has little choice.

These are first of the steps India has to undertake in order to persuade western powers to bring up genocide and other charges against the Saudi and Pakistani political and religious leaderships, and before embarking on a military offensive.

The 1996 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice even extends such authority to the preemptive use of strategic nuclear weapons in certain existential circumstances.

Should the terrorist attacks continue to devastate India and if Pakistan and Saudi Arabia do not act to discourage jihad, India’s existence is threatened and as a nuclear-armed state, it should use every means to devastate Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, paving the way for unraveling of political Islamic movements in India and beyond.

The conundrum of Pakistan is understandable; any limited offensive military measure directed at punishing it will most likely destabilize it and persuade Pakistani military leadership to retaliate with nuclear strikes. However, under the current western policy of “engaging” Pakistan, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have only grown stronger due to internal support.

India could be the missing link in neutralizing the threat Pakistan poses in Afghanistan and through its procession of “Islamic” nuclear bombs.

If Indians feel that they have to hit back at Pakistan due to extensive internal terror attacks attributable as genocide or crimes against humanity, an option worth backing by the western powers is a full-scale Indian offensive that may involve massive pre-emptive strategic nuclear strikes to first soften up Pakistan, followed by over running Pakistan’s territory with Indian troops and liberate its population to Hindu way of life (which culturally Pakistanis belong to), by comprehensively neutralizing its Islamic roots. The West can follow it up by aiding nation-building to be utilized wisely for the first time in Pakistan (until now, the well-meaning western aid has gone into jihad-building there, much to the discomfort of the givers). Such a Pakistan will not only have a negative memory of its Islamic past, but importantly, will be a much less likely terror sponsor.

FP: What can the western powers do?

Muthuswamy: Let me set this section up by first explaining how policy decisions regarding Islamic terrorism are taken in India at the present time.

India’s top two leaders’ (the unelected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his boss, Sonia Gandhi, the president of Congress Party) interaction with the public or journalists on foreign policy and security matters come down to reading statements prepared by aides, with virtually no cross-examination. Singh’s long career in the government had been that of an economic technocrat and Gandhi’s prior experience consisted of home-making.

Due to these leaders’ inexperience on strategic issues, including matters related to Islam or Muslims, Muslim leaders who serve as aides or those who serve in the Cabinet have take the lead in formulating policies. This has been a recipe for disaster as the Muslim leadership in India reflects the Bin Laden loving, fundamentalist-oriented Muslim community.

Not surprisingly, every long-term decision taken by these two leaders have gone on to advance the cause of jihad. Even in cases of obvious Islamist violence, Muslim leaders close to these top Indian leaders have used their influence and access to stymie the investigation and let the terrorists run free. In addition, the Muslim leaders have helped to misguide the focus of government effort away from the roots of terror within their community.

That the Muslim leaders with jihadist outlook are pulling strings behind the top two Indian leaders can explain the bizarre Muslim exclusive promises made by these Indian leaders. Prime Minister Singh stated in Dec. 2006: “They [Muslims] must have the first claim on resources.” Sonia Gandhi went a step further. She wrote a letter as part of a 2007 election campaign in India’s most populous state, specifically pleading to over 15,000 Muslim leaders, including clerics, “I can build a society of your dreams“.

The shocking reality of India is that the ruling Manmohan Singh regime is an unwitting proxy of jihadists on policy matters pertaining to Islam and Muslims.

The ruling regime’s success in bringing India along to sign the proposed nuclear deal with America shouldn’t misconstrued as an ability to tackle Islamic terrorism. Reason: This proposed deal is not an Islam related issue and hence Muslim “advisors” didn’t play a determining role. In any case, in my view, the nuclear deal with India is highly irrelevant for the reason that India will neither be able to securely build nor maintain the nuclear reactors it proposes to construct in another ten years time, should internal destabilizing continue at this rate.

Give these realities it is hard to believe that India is any longer capable of surviving the Islamic onslaught all by itself.

It all comes down to western leaders deciding whether they would like to see India rapidly destabilized by an Islamic war of thousand cuts, with millions of people dying of hunger and malnutrition, and importantly, hostile jihad-sponsoring Muslim states born inside of what is left of India within the next few decades.

When large-scale terrorism that can categorized as crimes-against-humanity is taking place in a nation at the behest of external Islamic powers and where the regime in power is not only ineffective in stopping terror but even seems to act as a proxy for the Islamists, there is every reason for the world powers to step in and help the beleaguered people staring the face of a mutual existential threat.

Such a help can come in the form of backing the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its strong leader, Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat. Indian intelligence has identified BJP as the only main stream party free of terrorist infiltration. Manmohan Singh’s Congress Party with its traditional reliance on Muslims has become susceptible to jihadist infiltration and influence.

As part of discrediting the jihadist moral “high ground”, the United States must question the credibility of the Kashmir jihad.

The western powers should persuade and back India to build up the case of crimes against humanity implicating both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia through the International Criminal Court. Not just in the case of India, this angle needs to be pursued to include other jihad victim states and also potentially more sponsors, including the Islamic Republic of Iran (due to its sponsorship of terror directed at Israel).

The 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other attacks directed at the United States by Al-Qaeda should have given more than ample warning to the Saudi ruling class (and Pakistan) that continued funding – directly or through government-linked charities – of either the Taliban or Al-Qaeda is to harm American interests – and that corrective measures must be put in place to roll back extremism. We now know that the Saudis and Pakistanis hardly undertook any measures to stop the funding of terrorist groups, let alone undertake any corrective measure, until a least 2001 – and that make these nations significantly responsible for 9/11 attacks on America. Still, the 9/11 Commission has blundered into letting the Saudis (and to a lesser extent Pakistanis) off the hook.

The need to move beyond proxies, from Al-Qaeda, Taliban or Hezbollah to their major sponsors – namely, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran – can’t be overstated.

Associating Saudi Arabia with genocide and other crimes against humanity gives us an unprecedented ability to regulate its funding for “religious causes” in the West, to even retroactively shutdown any “religious” institution built with its funding, to discredit its standing (Saudi Arabia is synonymous with Islam and vice versa) in the community of societies and nations – and to even seize its oil-based assets (used to sponsor genocide) as a last resort.

Specifically, western powers, going beyond their support for India, should call on the Saudi leadership to allocate, say, 30-40% of its oil-based revenues for rehabilitating Muslims it has indoctrinated all these decades and to compensate non-Muslim victims and their states.

The victim list includes the United States.

Should the Saudis balk at this humanitarian proposal, the western powers should work to add top Saudi political and religious leaderships to the elite list now occupied by the fellow Muslim, Sudan’s leader, Omar al-Bashir – now charged by the International Criminal Court. Similar approach may be pursued in the case of Pakistan in order to make it disengage from terror sponsorship directed at Afghanistan and India.

Due to deeply entrenched and popular nature of political Islamic movements based in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan that are answerable to none, it is unlikely that even the above approach will yield any meaningful results. Still, this intermediate step may be necessary before justifying far more lethal means.

FP: Moorthy Muthuswamy, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

Muthuswamy: Thank you Jamie.


Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine’s managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. He is also the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at jglazov@rogers.com.





Mind of a Jehadi

30 05 2008

Mind of a Jehadi

By Amir Mir

(Appeared in Tehelka)

AL QAEDA chief Osama bin Laden has made jihad more central than ever before, sparking new global waves of inspiration to youth ready to give their all for the fight that he has come to symbolize. So blinded, often, is the commitment of the jihadi to the cause that those confronted with them are at a loss for counter-strategies.

He could be a dyed-in-the-wool product of a remote madarsa, bearded, aloof and intent on his purpose of establishing the Empire of the Faith. Or he could be a denim-clad graduate from a Western campus, modern to all intents and appearances, but equally single-minded in determination as his counterpart from the madarsa. He may have been part of the West and benefited from what it has to offer, but he also sees the “ills and injustices of its materialism, its determination to foist on the world an order and ethos it has created”; he is determined to fight it. As Giles Kepel, the leading French authority on Islamists, puts it in his important study, The War For Muslim Minds: “Al Qaeda was (and is) less a military base of operations than a database that connected jehadists around the world via the Internet… this organisation did not consist of buildings and tanks and borders but of websites, clandestine financial transfers and a proliferation of activists ranging from Jersey City to the paddies of Indonesia.”

In the final analysis, the jehadi is the same person, whether he comes from an ill-equipped madarsa or an affluent university, whether he comes from the poverty of the Orient or from the plenty of the West. He celebrates death in the service of Islam and resolutely believes that death in the service of the only cause worth serving is a one-way ticket to heaven. His biggest disagreement with the modern concept of democracy is that he does not believe religion is the private affair of a person but rather a complete way of life that necessarily includes politics.

Islam is his religion and his nation; it transcends boundaries, ethnicities, colour, creed and race. He rejects secularism and any social order other than that defined by Islam. He believes that Allah alone ——” is the sovereign and His commandments are the supreme taw of man. Of course, the theoretical reason why Islam had asked its followers to wage jehad was to create an egalitarian social order where the poor and the vulnerable would be treated with respect and dignity.

Jehad (struggle) never exclusively meant a holy war; it could have been a social, political, economic campaign as well. It was a fight against inequality, social injustice and discrimination. But today jehad has but one dimension — Kital, or violent struggle. And it has but one icon: Osama bin Laden, embattled with the Great West to establish the domination of his own realm of faith.

The mind of an Islamic terrorist is difficult for a non-Muslim to comprehend. What could lead a person to cause his or her own violent death is a question that is frequently raised. It is contrary to every human emotion that we have. Yet, we know there are hundreds of Islamic fundamentalists who are wilting to kill and be killed for Allah. An important reason is the promise that the gates of Paradise are under the shadows of the swords.

According to most leading Muslim scholars here, personally, spirituality, politically, intellectually and emotionally, the questions that an Islamic fundamentalist faces are stark indeed. Personally, he asks himself if he loves Allah more than his own life? Spiritually, he asks whether or not he is willing to sacrifice himself in Allah’s cause against the Shaytan’s power and the infidel’s military forces? Politically, he divides the nations of the world into two warring camps. The nations under Islamic rule are termed, the Land of Peace (Dar al-lslam) while the remaining nations are called the Land of War (Dar al-Harb). Intellectually, the answers to those questions are crystal clear to him. Emotionally, his only hurdle is the fear of death. Once this emotional fear is conquered, the person joyfully takes up the sword to kill and be killed in Allah’s cause, anticipating his entrance into the gates of heavenly Paradise. Thus, martyrdom is the only assured path to Paradise.