Prominent Muslim organisations have rejected al Qaeda’s announcement of its new establishment in South Asia, saying Indian Muslims will not be swayed by its ideology.
A 55-minute video posted on jihadi websites Wednesday purports to show al Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahri addressing Muslims in India in which he says “your brothers” are “doing what they can to rescue you”.
The Jamaat-e-Islami, an influential countrywide organisation, said the Indian state would deal with the threat. “If the video is indeed genuine, then the Indian state will naturally fight it. Indian Muslims will also fight it. But we are equally concerned about right-wing Hindu as well as Naxal extremism,” Jamaat’s political secretary Mohammed Ahmed said. Ahmed said Muslims in the country would never recognize the Islamic State, adding the Jamaat would hold a media briefing tomorrow on the issue.
Founded in 1941 by Syed Abul Ala Maududi with the aim of spreading Islamic values rooted political Islam in the subcontinent, the Jamaat, scholars argue, has undergone a gradual ideological shift to become responsive to demands of a secular democracy.
Many Muslims said they were tired of reiterating their position on terror. "Despite reiteration and disavowing terror again and again, Muslims are still asked their opinion. Al Qaeda at best is a horrible dream. To think of a conscious support from Indian Muslims…that is so preposterous. Muslims are more worried about people like Yogi Adityanath," said Prof. Rizwan Kaiser who teaches in Jamia Millia Islamia.
Has Asia become a fertile ground for al Qaeda?
Zafarul-Islam Khan, the president of the All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat, a Delhi-based organisation, said: “Muslims of South Asia do not require such meddling in their affairs by a foreign terrorist outfit.”