Zakir Musa, who quit Hizbul, asks Muslims to launch jihad against cow protectors
A radical militant leader, who severed ties with the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) to wage a war for an Islamic Kashmir, urged India’s Muslims on Monday to launch a jihad against cow protection vigilantes.
Zakir Musa’s call for a holy war on those who claim to be gau rakshasks – or cow protectors – was released in a 4-minute audio clip and is the first public statement by a Kashmiri militant on the self-styled vigilante groups.
HT could not verify the authenticity of the message but appeared similar to earlier messages which were confirmed to be by Musa, a Kashmiri militant who was once seen as the successor of HM’s slain commander Burhan Wani.
Musa, 23, is known as a hardline militant who last month threatened to behead separatist Hurriyat leaders for calling Kashmir a political issue. HM refused to back Musa’s idea of an Islamic Kashmir and he quit the outfit in protest.
Several Muslim men have been killed across India in the past three years on suspicion of consuming beef or transporting cattle for slaughter.
“See how much blood is being spilt in the name of gau raksha,” a man believed to be Musa is heard saying in the clip, which was widely circulated on social media and messaging apps.
“We will take revenge for every atrocity. Muslims of India, there is still time to emerge. Form groups and do jihad against these kafirs (infidels). Show these gau rakshaks what it means being a Muslim. Learn from your history,” added Musa, a former engineering student.
A few weeks ago, a family of nomadic herders were allegedly assaulted by gau rakshaks in Jammu, the Hindu-dominated region of the state.
Musa also exhorted Muslims to help establish Shariah, the code on which Islamic laws are based.
“This war is not of Kashmir only. This war is between Islam and infidelity...We will establish Shariah not only in India but in the whole world,” Musa said.
He also censured Indian Muslims for their alleged timidity and referred to the alleged rape of a “Muslim sister” on a train by a government railway police (GRP) personnel last month in Uttar Pradesh.
“I am ashamed that I could not do anything for you. The Muslims of India should be ashamed. Our sisters and daughters are being raped and they are chanting ‘Islam is peace’,” he said.
“Indian Muslim is the most shameless community I have witnessed. They don’t raise voices against injustices.”
Musa also indicated he was not familiar with a group of masked men who released a few video clips recently, claiming responsibility for the death of HM commander Sabzar Bhat, who was killed by security forces in Tral late last month.
The group – which identified itself as Mujahideen Taliban-e-Kashmir – said they provided information on Bhat to security forces and swore allegiance to Musa in his quest to “turn Kashmir into an Islamic state”.
“I don’t have to give clarifications to anybody but I want to tell these people that if you claim to be from my group then why not meet. Allow me to serve you. Come with your weapons.
We will serve you well,” he said in what appeared to be mocking in tone.