Grooming for Radicalization and Jihad
Dr. Pramod Pathak
Eastern Crescent (EC) is a monthly magazine run by Deobandi school of thought. It is heavily patronised by Maulana Badruddin Ajmal Al-Qasmi, the perfume baron from Assam and founder of a regional political party named All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) in Assam. He is often given publicity and coverage in the magazine. The Nov. 2015 issue of EC carries an article, “The War on Islam and Islamophobia” by Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal (Pg 31-36). It also carries felicitation article on Maulana B. Ajmal (Pg 29-30). Article by Dr. Kamal is considered here for the views expressed in it. These views are misleading and with very clear intention of grooming readers for radicalization and jihad. However, major flaws and misleading information have to be exposed here.
On Pg 34 a pink coloured bracket attracts attention. There is quote from Holy Quran. It carries gist of the article in bold letters: “How can a Muslim remain Muslim without the practice of Islam’s obligatory basics like Shariah, hudud, khalefa, shura and jihad? Is it not Sharia obligatory on every Muslim? Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la declares, “... and those who do not run judiciary according to the revealed law (sharia) they are kafir(s) (denier of Islam), … they are zaleem (oppressor(s)), and they are fasiq (sinner(s))” Sura Maida verse 44, 45 and 47.
I was surprized to read the pink colored bracket text. The word sharia attracted my attention. As the three verses referred are from the Holy Quran (HQ), how can word Sharia appear there even if it is indicative and given in bracket? Sharia, the law text is a later development. I doubted authenticity of translation of the ayats.
I give below the translations of all the three verses from the Quran translation published from Saudi Arabia. It should be acceptable to the Deobandi readers:
“It was We who revealed The Torah (to Moses): therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged The Jews, by the Prophets who bowed (as in Islam) to Allah’s Will, by the Rabbis and the Doctors of Law:
For to them was entrusted the protection of Allah’s book, and they were witnesses thereto:
Therefore fear not men, but fear Me, and sell not My Signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge, by what Allah hath revealed, they are unbelievers.” (HQ 5.44)
In the above verse there is clear mention of “taurata”- the Old Testament and to “ayati” the verses from HQ. Both the Old and the New Testaments were accepted as the Holy and revealed books i.e. Ahle Kitabs.
“We ordained therein for them: “Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act for atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by what Allah hath revealed, they are wrong doers.” (HQ 5.45)
This refers to the law of retribution i.e. eye for eye. It is there in the Old Testament also (Exodus 21: 23-25, and Deuteronomy 19.21). However there is sublime element too i.e. to remit, to forgive all the harm done and elevate one’s own self. It becomes expiation not for the culprit but for the victim. The apostle of peace for 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi however had cautioned, “eye for eye will make the whole world blind” thereby justifying the sentiment of forgiving.
The next verse HQ 5.46, not quoted above refers to both the Old Testament – Tawraut-Torah and the Gospel, the New Testament – Injeel.
“Let the people of the Gospel (Injeel) judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by what Allah hath revealed they are those who rebel.” (HQ 5.47)
The verses HQ 5.42-48 have historical significance. A Jewish couple having committed adultery was brought before Prophet Mohammad (PUBH) to deliver judgement. The Jewish judges were compromising with the law dictated in Torah. They felt that Prophet would deliver compromising judgement in accordance with their wishes. However, Prophet compelled them to inform the Torah tenets and accordingly punished both the man and the woman by stoning to death. This was the time at Medina when Jews had their own law i.e. Torah etc. governing their society.
Dr. Kamal blatantly refers to sharia giving the reference into inverted commas. (Quotation marks). It conveys that it is an authentic translation. Dr. Kamal is not meticulous in translating. The original words are not in singular but plural –kafirun, jaleemun and fasikun. In fact it is mutilation of the meaning of the original text. It also gives false impression that sharia existed then. Dr. Kamal quotes in translation a word zaleem - meaning oppressor , fasiq meaning sinner in verses quoted. This is direct mutilation of contents of the verses from the Holy Book. These meanings are misleading for the lay reader who will take Dr. Kamal as a scholar. By translating these words as oppressor and sinner in singular is travesty of truth. He is twisting the meaning.
There is a special note pertaining to these three verses in translation from Saudi Arabia. It reads as under:
Note No 756: “The seeming repetition at the end of the verses 44, 45, 47 are not real repetitions. The significant words in thee three cases are: unbelievers, wrong- doers and rebellious: and each fits the context. If the Jews tamper with their books they are Unbelievers; if they give false judgements, they are wrong- doers. It the Christians follow not their light, they are rebellious.”
It is to be noted here that that kufra, derivative kafir stems from the fact that those who worship idols, consider Gods multiple images as manifestations of God and don’t consider Prophet Muhammad as nabi or rasool are to be treated as kafirs. As a Hindu I can be and am labelled as a kafir. However, I don’t deny Islam as a religion. I know many sufi saints had achieved the same state of ecstasy as Hindu Yogis. So the Saudi Arabian translation as “unbelievers” is more accurate than Dr. Kamal’s translation of “denier of Islam”.
A translation published from Ankara, Turkey also gives meaning of zaleemun as wrong-doers and not oppressor and that of fasikun as transgressors and not sinners. Abdullah Usuf Ali’s translation gives the same meanings. Nowhere the meaning implied is oppressors and sinners. The Jews who had approached Prophet Muhammad (PUBH) were indulging in a wrong practice. They were not oppressors especially in the context of the above verses. These are the wordings ordained by Allah Sub’haha wa Tala. By giving such improper meanings and deviating from the textual terms, Dr. Kamal has digressed from the authentic translation. Rather he has tampered with the translation of the ayats. Shall I call it a blasphemy? In that case the punishment according to sharia is death. Is it acceptable? Because, judiciary should run according to sharia. Since it is pointed out here, are the Deobandi scholars ready to take the issue and issue a fatwa against Dr. Kamal at which they are adept – ma’hir.
Kafirophobia to the core
The article focuses on exposing the Western powers now engaged in war in Syria and Iraq. One side is opposing cruel ruler Bashar al-Assad and other helping him to survive. There is usual stuff of imperialism, oppression, bombing and human misery. Dr. Kamal writes that these rulers are infected with moral disease.
Dr. Kamal sees the situation there: “As if every Muslim man, every Muslim woman, every child, every house and every physical structure in Syria is a high value military target. Hence cities, villages, hospitals, schools, even wedding or funeral gatherings are not spared.” (Pg 32).
Everybody will agree as the war rages there, it is disturbing to see the vast devastation, miseries of the people and mass migration from these regions. Only thing to be remembered here is that it started even before the imperial powers stepped in. While Bashar al-Assad ruthlessly pounded the Sunni conclaves with petrol and nail bombs and chlorine gas cylinders, the opposition, then and now, the Caliphate of ISIS in no less ruthless in attacking not only the army but the civilian population in the region. The minorities i.e. Yazidis, Christians, Kurds and other non-Sunni sects have been subjected to attacks to the extent of complete decimation. Dr. Kamal decries the Islamophobia in the West and states, “They can only promote state terrorism and sectarian bloodshed” (pg 35).
Dr. Kamal needs to be questioned over the state terrorism and sectarian bloodshed. It existed earlier in all these countries. Its roots are to be traced to kafirophobia that is systematically bred and implemented in almost all the Islamic countries. Sectarian violence in the Islamic countries is no new thing. There is no consideration whether a particular sect people are citizens of the same country. Thus in neighbouring Pakistan, leave apart Hindus and Christians who are decidedly kafirs, Sunni majority treats Shias, Ahamadias as kafirs. The Pakhtun majority in Afghanistan treats Hazaras, Tajiks, Uzbeks and other minorities as kafirs.
Dr. Kamal writes, “In Iraq, they (the Imperial powers) armed Shias to kill Sunnis. And in Afghanistan they gave arms to the non-Pakhtun Tajiks and Uzbeks of Northern Alliance to kill the Pushtuns” (Pg 35). Were the Sunnis in Iraq and Pashtuns Afghanistan sitting in peace, performing penance? Once upon a time Khudai Khidmatgars did it under the leadership of Sarhad Gandhi Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan? Sunnis were no less ruthless and oppressive. Saddam Hussain, a Sunni from Tirkit oppressed the Shias and killed them in thousands. For a non-Muslim, Shias and Sunnis are Muslims but for each other they are kafirs. These are the preachings in Mosques. The sectarian rivalry in Pakistan is dealt in depth by Naveeda Khan in her book “Muslim Becoming” (Duke Uni. Press, 2012). Were the Imperial powers aiding Al-Qaida to kill thousands of Pakistani citizens? On the contrary blame can be laid on the Deobandi clerics there who have been fomenting kafirophobia in mosques. Many of these were banned.
The mosques, not only in these Islamic countries but even in all other countries, are the hotbeds of spreading hatred against other sects and religions. There is systematic breeding of kafirophobia. Muslims be they literate or illiterate, modern or backward, technologically advanced or backward, all hate other religions and sect people as kafirs. This is what I call as kafirophobia. Why blame others, Muslim kill Muslims branding each other kafirs. It is just like call a dog mad dog and kill it without remorse; similarly brand a person kafir and he can be legitimately killed, his wife, children enslaved as done by ISIS caliphate and wealth confiscated. In fact the Deobandis are sending the trained Mullahs in these Islamic countries after inculcating their young minds with incendiary Wahhabism.
While he calls the military intervention of the countries like USA, UK, Russia as “The war on Islam” as a result of Islamophobia, the internecine sectarian rivalry in Islam for centuries is “war on kafirs” out of kafirophobia. In any of the Islamic countries there is no peace, be it Asia, Africa or Europe. In the words of Dr. Kamal, they are infected with, the disease of kafirophobia to the core.
Grooming for Radicalization
Dr. Kamal is not averse to castigating Muslims themselves in what he writes as “Islamophobia of Muslims” (pg 35). According to Dr. Kamal, wars have caused death of morality in the Muslims themselves; “hence the courses on dajjal, jinn, sufism, sufi songs, mysticism are getting increasingly popular among the Muslims” (Pg 35). This he calls as milieu of cowardice. These are those Muslims who continually seek material benefits and have no fear of Allah. Not by even shred of imagination one can assign material benefits to sufism or sufi music. This I call as limit of twisting by Dr. Kamal.
We all know the five basic obligations also called as five pillars of Islam for a Muslim. They are obliged to perform 1) shahada - belief on Allah and Prophet Mohammad as his messenger - rasool, 2) salat – offering Islamic prayer namaz, five times a day, 3) zakat – doing charity to poor and needy people, 4) roza – fasting during the holy month of Ramzan, 5) hajj – pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina at least once in a life time. There are other five beliefs constituting the spiritual foundations of Islam: 1) Belief in one and Only One Allah. There are no partners, relatives nor descendants to Allah, 2) belief in Angles, those pious beings like Gabriel – Jibrel and as a corollary belief in Satan – shaitan, 3) on the Prophethood of Muhammad (PUBH), 4) Quran as the Holy Book, to have been directly received from Allah – sort of God’s word, 5) the day of judgment – akhirat. All these are the peaceful pursuits and absolutely peaceful activities. The word Islam itself means peace, peace be upon you as they great each other. It is to be noted here that jihad – the holy war is not among the five pillars or main beliefs of Islam.
However Dr. Kamal come out with five obligations, namely Sharia, hudud, khelafa, shura and jihad to be fulfilled on priority. Now comes forth grooming for violence, radicalization and the holy war.
As stated in the beginning of this article, sharia needs to be implemented. Where? In dar-ul-Islam, the land of Islam or dar-ul-herb the land of kafirs i.e. India? Because the article is written for and read mainly by Indian readers? I have asked many Muslims as to which land they consider as land of Islam. There was none. For some sunnis, Saudi Arabia was land of Islam but after Saudi Arabia demolished the first Mosque used by Prophet Muhammad, that too became a dar-ul-herb for them; as for Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Egypt, decidedly “no” for all of them. Then where does dar-ul-Islam exist? Is it a dream land, possibly coming in reality under the Caliphate of Abubakr Baghadadi in ISIS governed region? That is why young radicalized men and women from many countries are flocking there. Is it the same obligation that is propagated by Dr. Kamal?
Hudud is plural of hadd which is nothing but offences and penalties as prescribed in HQ 5. 45, i.e. life for life, eye for eye, HQ 5.33, 5.38, 24.2 etc. These could be against direct attacks or for perceived offences.
The next is the obligation to khelafa, who is considered the chief religio-political authority for umma – universal Islamic brotherhood. After Kemal Pasha abolished the Caliphate, there has not been any popular or religiously conferred caliphate. However Abubakr Baghdadi last year declared himself as Caliph and gave a clarion call to all the Muslims to join him. What will they do after joining him? They will form a controlling body shura which will advise Caliph in the matters of socio-politico-religious administration. What the shura will conduct as the primary duty or obligation? It will issue fatwa to wage jihad, the holy war against anybody designated as kafir. And for kafirs there are no excuses, for they have to convert to Islam, or pay ziziya tax only if they belong to people of the books or leave the dar-ul-Islam and banish themselves from the land like Kashmiri Pandits, or face death. This is the deviated face of militarized Islam and half the world has been living, at times accommodating, at times struggling with it.
Dr. Kamal goes one step ahead by clearly defining the goal on priority for any and every Muslim: “Therefore, can a Muslim sit idle or remain complacent only with the religious rituals like five times prayers, fasting and hajj while the Muslim lands stay occupied by the enemies of Islam and sharia remains unimplemented in judiciary there?”
The answer is clear. Dr. Kamal expects all the Muslims to strengthen the only Caliphate operating under ISIS in Syria-Iraq. That is the message spread by the Mullahdome in many countries including India in mosques, dargahs, at urs i.e. religious congregations. The recent example is the attack by a Muslim youth Abdul Malik from Pusad, Yavatmal District of Maharashtra. He attacked three Police constables outside the mosque after offering the namaz on Bakri Id day. Later on local cleric Hafiz Mujibur Rehman was arrested for indoctrinating and radicalizing the local youth.
In order to whitewash his elan, he twists the meaning of Khalifa stating that, “Every believer is designated as khalifa (viceroy) of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la” (Pg 36). Will any Muslim individual accept any other Muslim as Caliph? There is no concept in Islam of all pervading “Brahma” of Hindus for whom everybody of us is an integral part. Or Dr. Kamal implies it?
What was the ISIS doing even before it was declared caliphate? It oppressed the minorities, sold the Yazidi women as sex slaves, raped and killed them; drove away its own people who were not agreeing with the ISIS goons and extracted ransom to sustain their existence. Majority of those who join ISIS are of criminal background. Here in India, where Muslim enjoy equal status like all other citizens, who are allowed to vote and enjoy the democratic rights, freedom of expression, which are nowhere to be found in the Islamic world, mullahs are inciting the fellow Muslims to get radicalized!!!
The editor of the magazine is also equally responsible for accepting such a provocative write up which ultimately will harm his own community. Government of India and many other countries reported to be formulating modus operandi to reduce radicalization and bring back the youth to normal stream. Let us understand the way radicalization occurs. This article is a typical mild sample of the vicious propaganda. Will anybody take note of the propaganda of such a kind? One has not to go too far to understand the roots of radicalization. It is very much here in backyards of many countries. Likes of Dr. Kamal have to be countered by police highhandedness but by their own rhetoric. Will Deobandis consider declaring Dr. Kamal as blasphemous as he has harmed the spirit of Islam or the disease of kafirophobia infecting Dr. Kamal is acceptable to them?
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Dr. Pramod Pathak is a Chemical engineer (I.I.T.Bombay) and Ph. D. in The Vedas. He is author of many books and is a free-lance journalist.