India is aghast at the wanton killing of 19 soldiers in Sunday's Uri terror attack, one of the worst strikes on a military centre in Jammu and Kashmir in a decade. The soldiers were martyred in the proxy war after 4 heavily-armed terrorists stormed the army camp in the town, as reported by CNN News18.
As the initial investigations by the Army have indicated the role of the Pakistani jihadist terror outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammed in the attack, the motive behind this nefarious strike is self-evident. The terror goons who butcher the innocent children, women and elderly people in their own ‘Islamic’ country, because they are not ‘perfect in faith’, are easily enticed to attack the Indian army. The terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammed or any other violent jihadist outfit in Pakistan wreak violence in a crazy bid to earn martyrdom or what they glorify as “Shahadat”. It’s the biggest lure for them to get free and direct entry to Jannah (heaven).
But we cannot wash our hands of this mindless martyrdom, underestimating these ‘gullible, indoctrinated or naive youths’. Veteran Lt Gen of Indian Army Prakash Katoch has rightly pointed out in an earlier Firstpost article:
“We can’t brush the issue under the carpet simply under cover of “misguided youth”, “terrorists use children and women as shields” and the like. What about the parents of the children – are they under terrorist threat or are they getting radicalised as well, and if so why and how.
In this context, Prakash Katoch has asked very pertinent questions:
“Don’t they need to be addressed? Has the state ever talked to religious maulvis and religious preachers since they are crucial to radicalisation and de-radicalisation? Should they not be talked to periodically, to review the situation and make course corrections, as required?”
It cannot be denied that Indian ulema— the religious guides of Muslim youth—have been vehemently opposed to the brainless acts of violence including the Pakistani terror attacks juxtaposed with jihad and martyrdom. Recently, Mufti Mohammed Salim Noori, the spokesperson of a leading Indian Islamic seminary stated in his fatwa that, “the terrorists like Hafiz Saeed are beyond the pale of Islam”. He wrote the harshest words against Saeed stating that “he spilled innocent blood in the name of religion” and that “it is sin for the common public to listen to his hate speeches” — a Firstpost article has detailed it.
But these condemnations have proven ineffective in the series of wanton jihadist bloodshed in Jammu and Kashmir. The more strongly they condemn, the more deadly attacks the Pakistani Jihadists launch on the valley. Terribly, the Pakistani Jihadists such as Jaish-e-Mohammed have attached greater religious sanctity to their terrorist designs on India. Their war cry of ghazwa-e-hind (Islamist expedition against India) is entirely based on six fabricated prophetic sayings (hadiths).
The most common among them is the one that is attributed the Prophet’s companion Hazrat Abu Huraira (r.a): “Abu Huraira (r.a) said, “The Messenger of Allah promised us the conquest of India. If I was to come across that event, I will spend my soul and wealth. If I am killed then I am among the best of martyrs. And if I return then I am Abu Huraira (RA) who has been freed from the fire of hell.”
Hadiths like this have extensively been quoted in Pakistan where the jihadist ideologues and extremist maulvis have tempted the Muslim youths to participate in the ongoing proxy war against India. The founder and leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed, Maulana Masud Azhar often exhorts the virulent doctrine of ghazwa-e-hind in his speeches. Another jihadist ideologue in Pakistan, Maulvi Irfan ul Haq also uses this Hadith to misguide the Pakistani people fomenting hatred against India as ‘land of kufr’. He ranted in his sermon:
“You see, God eliminated kufr and shirk (idolatry and polytheism) from the entire Arab peninsula. But polytheism and idolatry were yet to be uprooted from the rest of the world. Therefore, in his final days, the Prophet issued an order. He said, “There will be a Ghazwa (Islamic battle) in India, in which a group of my Ummah would participate and they will be granted a position equal to that of my foremost followers. In this jihad, some people will be killed and some others will be arrested. After achieving the conquest, the group will join the army of Isa Ibn-e-Maryam (Jesus) in Syria”
He further says:
“Abu Hurairah wished to reach their position, but the Prophet did not respond to his plea and remained silent. Imagine, how fortunate the Pakistanis are who would participate in the Prophetic Battle for India (Ghazwa-e-Hind)”. One wonders how come this is conceived as a Ghazwa, which terminologically means an ‘Islamic battle in which the Prophet himself participated’. The Pakistani maulvi himself explains it: “See! Here the word “ghazwa” has been used. Needless to tell the intellectual gathering over here as to why has it been termed ‘ghazwa’ when the Prophet (pbuh) is no more now to participate in this battle physically?” Simply, because it is none other than Prophet’s own mission. So, you have to carry on this Prophetic mission.”
Thus, the jihadist Pakistani cleric Maulvi Irfan ul Haq avers that ‘Pakistan has been created for Ghazwa-e-Hind’. He exhorts that “this is an honour that Allah has bestowed on Pakistanis, and this is the cause that led to the establishment of Pakistan”. However, he laments that “majority of us (Pakistani Muslims) do not even know what Ghazwa-e-Hind is”. “This is precisely why you Pakistanis are criticised by all the evil forces and especially by Indian people. For they know very well why this country has been established. They fully understand why this nation has emerged. But you people do not have the faintest idea about it”, the Maulvi states in his speech.
Clearly, all this was stated relying on the fabricated and misconstrued sayings attributed to Prophet or his companions. Therefore, we cannot overlook the radical Pakistani clergy breeding for the terrorists taking arms to strike India. While it is an obnoxious religious design to ‘eliminate all infidels from the Indian sub-continent’, one cannot reject its implication as part of the proxy war that Pakistan has launched.
This intellectual war against India is going on in so many ways. Scores of print and online magazines are freely available to the Pakistani youths enchanting towards war against India. Jihadist organs in the Pakistani literature are still flourishing with an onslaught of radicalization. Take a look at Jaish-e-Muhammad’s magazine in Urdu entitled “Jaish-e-Muhammad”, Tahrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s Urdu magazine “Nawa-e-Afghan Jihad”, an extremist monthly in English, "Azaan", many other extremist Islamist magazines in Urdu like “Al-Shariat”, “Sada-e-Mujahid” “Hateen”, “Murabetun”, “Al-Qalam”, “Rah-e-Wafa” and “Zarb-e-Momin” etc.
These are some of the many instances of how Pakistani jihadist ideologues resort to Quran and Hadith in an attempt to brainwash the common Pakistani youth. The Pakistani Islamist outfit
“Islam ke sipahi” (the soldiers of Islam) published an article 'Ghazwa-e-Hind: Mujahideen will conquer India'. Quoting run-of-the-mill and brazenly concocted prophetic traditions, the author, the chairman of Islam Ke Sipahi, buttresses his point:
“India is a fitna (evil), which is being supported by the Zionists to destroy Muslims. This has turned into a proxy war where the Zionists fund and support India to destroy the Muslims. India itself was a Muslim country until the British invaded it and before they left they gave all the power to the Hindus and tried their best to bring the Muslims down, thanks to Allama Iqbal, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Pakistan Movements’ efforts that Muslims got Pakistan.”
In the wee hours of Sunday morning, when the Pakistani terrorists attacked the administrative block of the Indian Army killing 19 and injuring over two dozen soldiers, they all seemed well-spirited. It was a bloody war of Ghazwa-e-Hind by the people of Jinnah to go straight to Jannah (heaven).
Reportedly, the Uri terrorists belonged to the Jaish-e-Mohammed, as the Director General Military Operations Lt. Gen Ranbir Singh told the media. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has decided not to travel to Pakistan for the Saarc Summit, has pledged that ‘those behind this despicable attack will not go unpunished’. But what about the theological terror creators who provide the doctrinal basis for the militants turning terrorists and going haywire? What is the state administration planning to do about it? I repeat the question that the veteran Lt Gen of Indian Army has posed:
“Has the state ever talked to religious maulvis and religious preachers since they are crucial to radicalisation and deradicalisation? Should they not be talked to periodically, to review the situation and make course corrections, as required?”
Doing something serious about it will be one of the befitting tributes to the martyrs of the Uri attack.
The author is a scholar of Comparative Religion, Classical Arabic and Islamic sciences, cultural analyst and researcher in Media and Communication Studies. Views are personal. He tweets at @GRDehlvi. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org