Indian Sunni And Shia Youths Being Drawn Into Iraq Fighting : A NEW AND VERY DANGEROUS SHIA-SUNNI DIVIDE

The exploits of Maulana Salman Nadwi have caused consternation amongst Intelligence agencies in the country. Maulana Nadwi, Dean of Lucknow’s prominent Islamic research institute, Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, ‘accepted’ terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, responsible for man slaughter in Iraq, as the Caliph of the Islamic World and by lobbying to send 5 lakh soldiers to Iraq tried to whip up religious frenzy. It is a different matter that most people did not take Maulana Nadwi’s talk seriously, but some people were hoodwinked. Some Sunni youth were emotionally carried away and got ready to go to Iraq, and in ‘reply’ to that some Shia youth too got ready to go Iraq to fight Al-Baghdadi. Maulana Nadwi gave this controversial statement on July 7, but now he has denied the statement and is blaming the media. The question is, why did Maulana Nadwi not refute it earlier? Why did he let people’s emotion get charged? Chauthi Duniya brings you an exclusive report on the chaos caused by Maulana Salman Nadwi’s controversial statement and the sensational flutter that spread amongst Intelligence agencies…


leadThe one minute audio tape of mastermind Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has emerged as a dreaded terrorist organisation, and Dean of Lucknow’s well known Islamic research institute, Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Maulana Salman Nadwi’s bizarre and controversial statement has become and continues to be a problematical matter for Intelligence agencies of the Centre and the States. Intelligence agencies are using full force to check and determine the negative impact of al-Baghdadi’s tape and Nadwi’s statement. The worry of Intelligence agencies is whether, upon Baghdadi’s call and Nadwi’s instigation, Lucknow is not becoming a centre for recruitment for Indian youth in the ISIS and entering the war in Iraq!
The news of some Indians fighting on contract from the side of ISIS, which had started a cruel war against Shias, was a subject under investigation, when a flutter spread with the statement of Maulana Salman Nadwi, Dean of the Shariah Faculty of the prominent Islamic research institute Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama situated in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh. Not only the eyes of the country, but the entire world’s eyes were fixed on Lucknow, wondering what kind of statement is this that has come and what after all was the intention behind it? Maulana Salman Nadwi advocated making an army of 5 lakh Indian Sunni youth to be sent against the Shias in Iraq. Not only this, he invoked the creation of an army of 5 lakh Indian Sunni youth while in Saudi Arabia and also wrote a letter to the Government of Saudi Arabia about this matter.
Nadwi’s statement was dangerous, but the IB and Central Government were silent. The freedom to cross such limits of anarchy can be found only in India. Inspite of such a sensational statement, neither was any official statement made from the side of the Indian Government nor were there any murmurs of any kind of legal action. This is the same Nadwi , who had openly showed support for mastermind Abu Bakr Baghdadi of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and gave validation to his announcement of being the self-proclaimed Caliph. Inspite of this, no appropriate action of any was seen to be taken on it in the country. On such a sensitive matter, there is silence from the side of the Indian Government, but this matter is so serious that the country’s Intelligence agencies have become alert and active. The Home Ministry has not voiced any assertive response, but monitoring of the suspicious activities and a review of reactionary statements is being done very subtly but minutely.
Senior reviewers of terrorism matters in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) too believe that if the situation is not handled in time, then India itself could become the next halt for terror anarchy. On one side, statements in support of terrorist organisations like ISIS are being made openly, and on the other side the mastermind of that organisation is also giving the youth of India a call to war. And there is Al Qaeda too which is giving ultimatums like starting Jihad in India. The mastermind of the ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s audio tape can be heard not only in Iraq, but is playing even in those areas of Lucknow which are known for their high Sunni density. In the tape Baghdadi can be clearly heard giving an open invitation to Indian Sunni youth to join the ISIS. Almost one minute long, this audio tape was especially issued in the name of a message for Ramzan.
In the audio tape, the Urdu translation of Baghdadi’s statement is also included. In this message, while inviting Indians, there is also talk of Chinese, American, French, German, and Australian youth being present in queue of ISIS. Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Abdul Subhan Qureshi, who was arrested from the Sarai Kale Khan area of Delhi on July 28 has also said that he was doing the work of recruiting youth for

Lashkar. The Intelligence agencies are working on this crucial evidence of whether Qureshi was playing a central role in handing over those youth to ISIS. Now it has come to be known that Qureshi’s brother, who is locked up in Alipur jail in Kolkata, was from there itself monitoring terrorist activities in the country and the world. Intelligence agencies have also ‘caught’ conversations taking place from jail itself between him and his facilitators sitting in Pakistan.
Intelligence sources reveal that Muslim youth of India are being sent to fight not only in ISIS but also in Chechnya, Afghanistan and Syria. There is official confirmation of many young men of Tamil Nadu fighting in Syria. ISIS had such an impact that more than 1000 youth of India are participating in the war against Shias in Iraq, whereas by saying they are stranded in Iraq, planned confusion is being spread in India. There is official confirmation as well of members of the Indian Mujahideen fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Reports of Intelligence agencies reveal that in India, Al-Qaeda, in the name of Jihad, is making preparations of spreading terrorist anarchy. Al-Qaeda has given this the name ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’, which means, a decisive or conclusive war. In the beginning Arab youth were recruited for this. Now Kashmiri youth are also being included.
The Tehrik-i-Taliban has even announced opening their office in Kashmir. Slogans of ‘Welcome Taliban’ written on the walls of Hari Parbat confirm this announcement. A senior official of IB revealed that an audio tape of Al-Qaeda has also been found, which has been issued by Al-Sahab and in that an appeal has been made clearly to the Muslim youth of the States of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and South India to participate in global Jihad. These are the same States where the Indian Mujahideen is involved in terrorist activities and is recruiting youth in its organisation. By riding on the shoulders of Al-Qaeda, the Indian Mujahideen is also working hard to be of international level. Documents of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) clearly show that Al Qaeda and Taliban — both are working to strengthen Indian Mujahideen. Terrorists like Yasin Bhatkal and Riyaz Bhatkal are also being used for this.
Many members of the Indian Mujahideen are fighting with the Taliban on the border of Afghanistan-Pakistan. Pakistan too wants that India, rather than Pakistan, becomes the centre of the Taliban-Al-Qaeda war. For this, Pakistan Intelligence agencies are adopting all kind of tactics. The one point program of pushing terrorists from the Pakistan border into India is the result of this intention. The NIA has ‘caught’ the matter of youth in Kerala being recruited in the Lashkar-e-Taiba and along with notorious T. Nazir and Sarfaraz Nawaz, 13 terrorists have already been given punishment by NIA’s special court. In Kupwara in Jammu- Kashmir, 4 youths recruited by these people were killed in an encounter. Out of them, a youth named Abdul Jabbar succeeded in getting away, but was later arrested by the Kerala Police. Later this matter was handed over to the NIA, and a charge sheet was filed against 24 people. There is official confirmation too of 4 youths — Arif Fayyaz Majeed, Fahad Tanvir Sheikh, Aman Naim Tandel and Shaheen Farooqi Tanki — fighting with the ISIS in Iraq. The family members of these men have also been questioned and after that a detailed report of the IB has been handed over to the Union Home Ministry. Apart from this, some Sunni youth of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are also with ISIS in the war against Shias in Mosul and Tikrit, whereas there was talk of them being stranded in Iraq. A resident of Kalyan in Maharashtra, Arif Fayyaz Majeed, with 3 other companions left home on May 23 and on May 24 he phoned his family members and told them that he and his companions were in Baghdad.
The intelligence agencies of Iraq, in furthering investigations by the Intelligence agencies of India, revealed that the last call made from their mobiles confirmed their being in Mosul, which is under the hold of the ISIS. Arif Fayyaz Majeed, Fahad Tanvir Sheikh and Aman Naim Tandel were engineering students, whereas Shaheen Farooqi Tanki worked in a call center. A letter written by Arif Fayyaz Majeed to his family has also been recovered by Intelligence Agencies. Apart from these men there is confirmation of 18 other Indian Sunni youth being, but further details about them are not yet available. The Syrian Ambassador to India, Riad Kamel Abbas also said that apart from Syria, terrorists from India are also participating in the violence in the name of Jihad in Chechnya, Afghanistan and some other countries.


Shia Youth In Large Numbers Ready To Go To Iraq
Shia youth too are ready to go to Iraq in large numbers. They too have a wish that they participate against the destructive attacks of the ISIS on Shia religious sites in Iraq and protect their religious sites. Almost 30,000 Shia youth have given their passports to various travel agencies and have told them to make arrangements for them to go to Iraq. More than one lakh Shia youth have pledged their support to Shias in Iraq. In India, the population of Sunnis is more, but 4-5 crore people of the Shia community also live here. An organisation named Anjuman-e-Haideri is working to recruit Shias to fight in Iraq. Syed Bilal Hussain Abidi, connected to this organistion, will be submitting visa applications of Shia youth wishing to go to Iraq to the Iraq embassy in Delhi. Anjuman-e-Haideri’s headquarters is located off Karbala Road in Delhi. An organisation of Shias, the All India Shia Hussaini Fund, has said that 4000 Shia youth have put in requests to go to Iraq.

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Maulana Nadwi Averse To Criticising Al-Baghdadi
Maulana Salman Nadwi created a sensation by making a controversial statement. According to Maulana Nadwi he had on July 7, written a letter to Al- Baghdadi, the mastermind of ISIS, which was indulging in carnage in Iraq, whereas he published this letter on his Facebook page on July 17. This means that after writing the letter on July 7 he did not give information to the media. This news was first published by an Urdu newspaper on its front page as the lead story, but a commotion was created when an English newspaper published this news on its front page on July 26. Even if it is accepted that the media distorted and presented his statement given on July 7, it still does not make sense why Maulana Nadwi took so long to send an official rebuttal. He issued his official rebuttal through Facebook on July 31. Whether the statement was correctly or ‘distortedly’ presented doesn’t matter much, because emotions were being charged by Maulana Nadwi’s statement. Sunni youth were getting ready to go to Iraq to join Al-Baghdadi’s terrorist organisation. In reply to this Shia youth had also prepared themselves to go to Iraq. The religious feelings of people were in a frenzy. The damage that was to be done had been done. The atmosphere deteriorated from bad to worse, but except the one to blame the media, Maulana Nadwi did not make any statement to heal wounds. What is surprising is that even today he is not criticising Al-Baghdadi by calling him a terrorist, whereas the whole world is seeing that Al- Baghdadi and his fighters are doing such a dance of carnage in Iraq, which is not only anti-Islam, but is extremely beastly and inhumane.


Shias Are Angry
In the political corridors of Uttar Pradesh, brains are being ferverishly cudgelled on why people from the Shia community are angry with the State’s senior cabinet Minister, Azam Khan. Is it that Azam Khan is secretly trying to aggravate the tension between the Shia and Sunni communities? The Bharatiya Janta Party’s victory in the Lok Sabha elections has baffled and ruffled Azam Khan in particular and odd, peculiar statements have also come from him. Azam Khan thinks that people of the Shia community voted for the BJP and besides, Azam Khan himself is a Sunni.
This tension spread to the extent that after the Alvida Namaz, Shias even tried to surround the house of Minorities Minister Azam Khan, upon which police resorted to a lathi charge and many people along with a Shia religious leader got injured. After this, Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad Azam Khan was up in arms against Azam Khan. People of the Shia community are demanding removal of Minister Azam Khan from the SP, arrest of the former chairman of the Wakf Board and suspension of the DM-SSP who ordered the lathi charge. Politics has taken such a turn that the Shia community is targeting Congress leader Ahmed Patel on one side and Azam Khan on the other side. Kalbe Jawad says that on the directions of Ahmed Patel and Azam Khan, unarmed Shia Uelma were lathi charged, so that attention from the Wakf properties worth crores sold in Delhi and Lucknow can be diverted. Kalbe Jawad and a delegation also met newly appointed Governor Ram Naik and protested against the lathi charge and voiced their demands. Jawad says that after Britishers, it is only the SP members who have lathi charged religious leaders.


Maulana Nadwi’s Version
This reporter spoke to Maulana Salman Nadwi, the Dean of Lucknow’s renowned Islamic research institute, Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama. Before talking about his statement advocating making an army of 5 lakh Sunnis , he sharply criticised the ‘slaughtering’ of Sunnis in Iraq by Nouri Al Maliki. He added that America and Israel together are creating enmity between Shias and Sunnis and their agents are spreading this enmity in the whole world. Coming to his statement, Maulana Nadwi merely said that as a Muslim cleric it is his duty to give statements on events worldwide only according to religious laws, the Quran and the Hadees. Maulana Nadwi also said that he has given a suggestion to the ISIS mastermind, Abu Bakr Al- Baghdadi, to establish harmony and peace. About his controversial statement, Nadwi said that ‘my statement was distorted and presented’. Then why didn’t he send his rebuttal to the English newspaper that published his statement? To this question, Maulana Nadwi said that a rebuttal had been sent to the newspaper. But the local editor of that newspaper clearly said that no rebuttal has come from Maulana Nadwi’s side.


Letter Throws Islamic Politics In Lucknow Off Balance
The letter written to the Saudi Arabian Government about making an army of 5 lakh Indian Sunni youth and sending them against Shias in Iraq has thrown the Islamic politics in the capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, off balance. This letter sent by Maulana Salman Nadwi, the Dean of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama’s Shariah department has rattled the Sunni Maulanas as if they have sniffed a snake, but they are not even coming forward to criticise it. No fatwa has been issued against Maulana Nadwi’s statement. By this their internal state can be easily understood. A member of the Executive of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Maulana Athar Ali, merely said rather than writing a letter to the Government of Saudi Arabia, it would have been better if Maulana Nadwi had made an appeal to the Indian Government for some worthwhile initiative to find some diplomatic solution the Shia-Sunni dispute in Iraq. He himself raises the question: what will the Saudi Arabia Government do? On the statement of Nadwi about raising an army of Sunni youth, Maulana Athar Ali said that there is no rationale for it, through it only mutual differences will increase.
Maulana Mahmood Daryabadi, a member of the All India Ulema Council said that he considers a letter of this kind being written by Maulana Nadwi unbelievable. If it is true, then it is unfortunate. It is wrong to view and understand the Iraq-Syria dispute from the angle of Shias–Sunnis. Such letters only increase the depth of differences between two communities. While Imam Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali of Lucknow’s Idgah refused to give his reaction to this matter, a Member of the Executive of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Additional Solicitor General of Uttar Pradesh Zafaryab Jilani criticised Maulana Nadwi and said that this letter is against the interests of the country and because of it unnecessary tensions between the Shia and Sunni community will increase.

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