Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Jihad salve for fevered minds

Jihad salve for fevered minds

Published Oct 5, 2016, 6:19 am IST

KOZHIKODE: It is alleged that there is none to address the vital issues that Muslims face in a pan-global society today. Muslim youth in Kerala, who are aware of the suppression of Muslims taking place in different parts of the world, connect it to the Sangh Parivar agenda in the country.   Umpteen Muslim organisations and their publications fuel this sense of  insecurity.

Minor clashes in conflict-ridden Palestine are shown as Muslim victimisation. At the same time, notable Muslim critics  like Ziauddin Zardar, Fatema Mernissi and Amina Wadud are less projected.  A practising and educated Muslim youth who is bothered about his religious identity finds no mainstream political parties or community organisations capable of  addressing these issues.  The insecurity pushes them to the trap of extreme religious ideologies which have   roots in West Asia.  Venom-spewing preachers who propagate these Saudi Arabian Wahabist (salafist) thoughts are  connected and create the ground for IS-type terror outfits.

“It is vital to identify democracy. You can attain power in a democracy using its own rules and not by religious rules. Taking arms is no reply to the injustice meted to Muslims. I use modernity in the sense of democracy. Islam has failed to accept  modernity,” says writer M.N. Karasserry. The dreaded IS gaining foothold among a section of youth exposes a lacuna, which is that the modern secular education doesn’t help  recognise modernity. “The Amish people in the US do not use cell phones or cars claiming that they were not used during the time of Jesus some 2,000 years ago.  That is fundamentalism and against modernity. That type of fundamentalism feeds extreme spiritualism,” noted Karasserry. He cautions that fundamentalists are close to  terrorists.

But another section of Muslim youth, who mostly pursue education outside Kerala, equally shun mainstream parties and  are inclined towards subaltern politics. “Muslim youth are disenchanted  with mainstream parties and organisations.  The inclination towards IS-type outfit is yet to be studied. Mostly, Muslim students  in universities in Delhi or Hyderabad  have radical thoughts of democracy and are not bothered about religion,” says Mohammad Aslam, researcher at EFLU, Hyderabad.
The Salafist movements in Kerala, which were at the centre of  controversies following the missing of 21 youth from Kerala, reiterate  that their ideology is rooted in the  Indian context. Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen (KNM-Hussain Madavoor faction) state president C.P. Umar Sullami alleges that the splinter Salafi groups who propagate extremist ideology are funded from the Gulf. “A Kuwait-based organisation is pumping money for Kerala preachers like Mujahid Balusserry. They carry out intense campaigns which attract more youth,” he said.

KNM (official faction) state president T.P. Abdulla Koya Madani warns that it would be dangerous to brand extreme spiritual seekers as terrorists. “Assumptions will not help solve the crisis.  Primarily, IS is an organisation operating in the dark. We cannot come up with concrete solutions without knowing the activities of the outfit. KNM had worked for communal harmony even during the time of  Babri Masjid demolition,” he said.

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