Kerala hit by another Islamic radicalisation wave: Time to act, its now or never

 New Delhi, Dec 21: The back to back political murders in Kerala has once again thrown up the often spoken about subject in the state and that is radicalisation. Recently the state police sought a ban on the Malayalam translation of a 14th century book Mashari-Al-Ushaaq or the Book of Jihad which has been used in the state extensively by the Islamic State.

While many radical outfits have mushroomed in the state of Kerala, the origins of radicalisation in the state can be traced back to the 1980s when the Wahhabi ideology began making its way. The same problem was found in Kashmir as well, but the ideology became deeply infested for a variety of reasons-one the lack of knowledge and two the lack of political will.

Another reason for the Saudi endorsed ideology becoming so strong in Kerala was also due to the massive amount of funds that were pumped in. Abhinav Pandya and Akshay Kumar write in the Sunday Guardian that Kerala-based Salafi Philanthropic Society, registered as Salafi Charitable Trust Narikkuni received around USD 4.9 million between 20098 and 2017. This charity group is run by another Qatar based charity group called RAF. This is run by a royal family member of Qatar and was black-listed for terror financing by Arab nations in 2018. There are serious charges against it, including funding Al-Qaeda affiliated groups in Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood backed fighters in Sudan. However these charges have been denied by the RAF, according to the article.

Another main contributor to the radicalisation problem in Kerala is the Zakir Naik run Peace Foundation.

This NGO is accused of radicalising school children through radical content. The role of the Peace Foundation in the Kerala ISIS module became clear when the mastermind of the module Abdul Rashid Abdullah said that two former employees of the NGO had travelled to Afghanistan to join the Islamic State Khorasan Province. Incidentally Abdullah too is a former employee of the Peace Foundation.

In Kerala welcoming the Wahhabis for years together dealt a blow to internal security. In Kerala there was a steady flow of funds to the tune of Rs 1,700 crore from the Gulf nations specifically to promote Wahhabi activities in the state, an Intelligence Bureau official tells OneIndia.

It is these worrisome developments which had prompted the police to seek an urgent ban on the Book of Jihad. In the year 2018, the National Investigation Agency had produced a copy of the Book of Jihad in a special court after scores of Kerala Muslims left the state to join the ISIS in Afghanistan. The NIA claimed that a member of this module, Abdul Rashid had used quotes extensively from this book. It was further stated that it was these discourses that convinced many to join the ISIS as they were told that Jihad is an obligation for the Islamic faithful.

The book was little known in Kerala although the Arabic version was available for centuries. However it was the ISIS sympathisers who began publishing this book in Malayalam. They called it Vijayathinte Vaathil Vaalinte Thanalil or the Door to Success, the shade of the sword.

While the book was not available in print, it was circulated among many Muslims in the form of a 344 PDF. It has 33 chapters and it speaks about the important of breeding horses to wage Jihad. Seen as a full handbook on Jihad, the book also speaks of the punishment to be given to cowards who fail to wage a holy war.

The Kerala police had recently asked the state government to ban the circulation of this book. The police said that the book inspires youngsters with a strong religious inclination in joining terrorist organisations. The state has formed a three member committee to examine the content.

The original book was written in Arabic by a religious scholar Abu Ahmad Ibnu Ibrahim Imam Abu Ahmad Ibnu Ibrahim Muhammad al Dimashqi al Dumyati also known as Ibn Nuhaas. He was killed by the Romans in 1411. However in the late 20th century the book was resurrected by an Egyptian author Sayyid Quote. Since then many who read the book have termed it as the best inspiration to wage Jihad.



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