Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Al Qaeda Can Succeed in India Only if Aided by Hindu Nationalists

Ayman Al-Zawahiri, successor to Osama Bin Laden as Al Qaeda chief, has announced plans to "raise the flag of jihad" in South Asia, particularly India.  Zawahiri said that the new wing would save Muslims from injustice and oppression, and bring relief for Muslims "in Burma [Myanmar], Bangladesh, Assam, Gujarat, Ahmedabad, and Kashmir", according to Indian media reports.

In a video released by Al Qaeda, Zawahiri has made two references to the western state of Gujarat, the home state of India's Hindu Nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is widely believed to be at least partly responsible for the 2002 riots in which thousands of Muslims were massacred in Gujarat.

Can Al Qaeda Succeed in India?

Can Al Qaeda succeed in "raising the flag of jihad" in India? Are the conditions in India conducive for Al Qaeda to take root? These are the important questions being raised among south Asia watchers and analysts.  In my view the answer to these questions would depend mainly on how the Modi government reacts to this threat.

What is the State of Muslims in India?

It is not a secret that there is widespread discrimination against Indian Muslims in education, employment and housing.

India's criminal justice system is clearly stacked against Muslims and other minorities.  Muslims make up 13% of India's population but 28% of Indian prisoners.   Similarly, Christians make up 2.8% of India's population but 6% of India's prison population. Meanwhile, the newly elected parliament has just 4% Muslim representation.

There is ongoing ghettoization of Muslims in Indian cities.  Muslims are routinely and systematically excluded from living in nice urban neighborhoods.

Indian Muslims are now worse off than the lowest-caste Hindus, or Dalits, in terms of education and employment. The 2013 update of the Sachar Commission report shows there has been little improvement for Muslims since the original report published 2006.

Will Hindu Nationalists Frame More Muslims on Terror Charges?

Hindu Nationalists and their allies in the Indian government machinery have used the US global war on terror as a convenient cover to launch a concerted campaign of terror against Indian Muslims. Large numbers of Muslims in various parts of India continue to languish in jails on trumped-up terror charges, suffering brutal torture as well as routine insults to their religion by police officials, according to Indian journalist Yoginder Sikand.

In addition, several Hindutva terror groups, and their affiliates, have carried out a number of bomb blasts across India in the last few years, and tried to pin the blame on Indian Muslims or the Pakistan's intelligence service ISI. A retired high-ranking Indian police official S.M. Mushrif has described nearly a dozen blasts conducted by Hindutva terror groups of different stripes. He argues that a section of India’s intelligence services, a small group in the armed forces and parts of different state police forces have been compromised and infiltrated by these elements, a development that bodes ill for the future of the country, and the region.


Conditions already exist today, especially after the recent success of the Sangh Parivar in India, for Al Qaeda to succeed in persuading many resentful Indian Muslims to join its "jihad" in South Asia.  If the latest video threat from Al Qaeda chief intensifies framing of innocent Muslims on terror charges by the new Hindu Nationalist government led by Narendra Modi, then the chances of Al Qaeda's success would dramatically increase in India.

Here's a video of just one of many innocent Indian Muslims framed on terror charges in India:

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Can Hindutva Terrorists Spark India-Pakistan War?

Modi's Pakistan Policy

Indian Muslims Worse Off Than Dalits

Gujarat Muslims Ignored By Indian Politcians

Are Muslims Better Off in Jinnah's Pakistan?

India's Guantanamos and Abu Ghraibs 


Ras said...

AQ cannot and will not succeed even in Muslim Majority countries like Pakistan.

It will get a good thrashing in India as well.

Anonymous said...

Dear Riaz Bhai

Few basics- Al-Qaida is gaining strength not because of poor Muslims. Most of Al-Qaida is made of well educated and rich youth.Poor people have other priorities- like earning their bread and taking care of their families.

If there is wide-spread discrimination of Muslims in India, how is it that Pakistan is more effected by terrorism then India?

India is a secular democracy. Muslims can reach the top-most positions and hold high positions in all walks of life. You can have any number of examples- Film field, technology, defence, arts, Education, agriculture, software, industry etc.

Muslims tend to have larger families- so miss out of development. Muslims do not have reservation, due to the fact that they are not downtrodden. They have suffered after the fall of Mughals. Even the descendants of Akbar are in bad condition of misery. No Muslim helps them, let alone Indian government.

Compare this with Parsees of Mumbai and Gujarat. You cannot find a single poor person from their religion. This is because they have pride and take care of their fellow community. Poor Parsees are given handsome allowances from common fund. Their children are given free education and sometimes they get free housing if required. Muslims on the other hand do not co-operate with other Muslims on any issues. This is due to low education, again.

India is a fast growing country (in population volumes), so government cannot help everybody.

But all said and done, Muslims from India are not as violent as they are in Pakistan and Arab nations. So Al-Qaida cannot succeed. Muslims here know that if they work hard- they can succeed.

Riaz Haq said...

Ras: "It will get a good thrashing in India as well.

Al Qaeda will fail only if Modi's Hindu Nationalist govt do not aid its recruitment effort by framing more and more innocent Muslims on trumped up terror charges.

Read the following: http://www.riazhaq.com/2008/09/indias-guantanmo-and-abu-ghraib.html

Watch this: http://youtu.be/nMmm1P2xD2o

Anonymous said...

Oh, of course! Of course, the deck is stacked against muslims. The poor muslims are victims of a conspiracy by Hindutva folks. Of course it is not the muslims fault - that they do not try to integrate themselves into mainstream society. It is not their fault that they do not get educated in fields that would get them meaningful jobs - what better education than a madarassa. It is not their fault that they cheer for Pakistan in India-Pakistan matches. Of course it is not their fault that they consider themselves Muslims first, Indians second. Of course, it is natural that their entire worldview is ruled by religion. Poor victims - I don't understand why secular societies view them with suspicion.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Of course it is not the muslims fault - that they do not try to integrate themselves into mainstream society."

Read the following:

Housing apartheid flourishes in Delhi


Also read the following:


Hopewins said...

Here are the new TE numerical scores (0-100) for the aggregate credit rating of all credit rating agencies:

1) Germany: 98
2) China: 78
3) Spain: 52
4) India: 47
5) Portugal: 40
6) Bangladesh: 40
7) Argentina: 25
8) Afghanistan: 15
9) Pakistan: 10
10) Greece: 5

We are but a small step away from Greece. IMF intensive care is preparing to receive us right now. HERE IS WHY:

If we repeated lurch from financial crisis to crisis, Al Qaeda-TTP will soon take over. We must stabilize the macroeconomic indicators. This begins with moving towards a much, much HIGHER savings rate.

Please blog about this.

Riaz Haq said...

The tipping point for Indian Muslims is not too far away
Political leaders are using religion-based population projections to spread Hindutva propaganda.


The majority of the Muslim population in India is poor and less educated. Many have fallen behind and have not been able take advantage of India’s economic growth in the last two decades.

A seven-member panel headed by Justice Rajinder Sachar, after investigating social, economic and educational status of the Indian Muslims, had submitted its report in 2006, which was subsequently presented to Parliament. The report found 31 per cent of India’s Muslim were living below poverty line and the Muslim community was "lagging behind" other religious groups in development indicators, even in some measures they as a group fell below Dalits and Adivasis.

A survey by the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) had also confirmed that in 2004-2005, three out of every 10 Muslims were below poverty line.

The Sachar Committee Report had also found Muslims representation in government employment was a mere 4.9 per cent. Moreover, Muslim representation was just 4.5 per cent among railway employees and only 3.2 per cent in Indian civil services.

Compared to the national average of 64.8 per cent, the literacy rate among Muslims was only 59.1 per cent. Situation was much worse in higher education. The report had also documented bias against Muslims in getting loans by the private as well as public sector banks etc.

The inequality between Hindu majority and Muslim minority continues to widen further. A study by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) called Employment and Unemployment Situation Among Major Religious Groups in India, has found the average monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE) of a Hindu household in 2009-10 was Rs 1,123 while that for a Muslim household was only Rs 980.

According to a World Bank report in 2013, nearly 34 per cent of all Muslims in urban India were below the poverty line compared to 19 per cent of Hindus. Between 1983 and 2009-10, the poverty rate for urban Hindus declined by 52 per cent, but the rate of decline for urban Muslims was only at 39 per cent.

Muslims are undoubtedly most deprived of religious groups in India’s job market. In private sector major companies, even Muslims constitute less than 3 per cent of directors and senior executives. The Kundu Committee in 2014, constituted by the ministry of minority affairs to evaluate Sachar Committee Report, has examined the income, monthly per capita consumption expenditure, and access to health, education and basic services of the Muslims in India and has found that they fared poorly on most of these socio-economic indices.

India’s Muslims are largely untouched by the country’s rapid economic growth since the beginning of this century. One in four beggars in India is a Muslim.

A Gallup report based on nationally representative studies conducted in 2010 and 2011 finds that Indian Muslims are not only economically disadvantaged, among other religious groups, they are also most dissatisfied and most likely to have highly negative about their current life situation.

This growing socio-economic inequality and developing despair provide a fertile ground for radicalisation of Indian Muslims in India. But, that has not taken place yet. Muslims in India are not unassimilable as Trump claims.

An editorial of The Economist particularly highlights the tradition of intermingling of Muslims with Hindus makes Indian Muslims moderate.

Usually the credit is being given to Sufism and tradition of tolerance for Indian Muslims to stay away from radical influences, and this theory conveniently ignores the contributions of inclusive pluralistic political culture of post-independence India.

Riaz Haq said...

The fertility rate in India is higher than in China and the U.S., but it has declined rapidly in recent decades. Today, the average Indian woman is expected to have 2.0 children in her lifetime, a fertility rate that is higher than China’s (1.2) or the United States’ (1.6), but much lower than India’s in 1992 (3.4) or 1950 (5.9). Every religious group in the country has seen its fertility rate fall, including the majority Hindu population and the Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain minority groups. Among Indian Muslims, for example, the total fertility rate has declined dramatically from 4.4 children per woman in 1992 to 2.4 children in 2019, the most recent year for which data is available from India’s National Family Health Survey (NFHS). Muslims still have the highest fertility rate among India’s major religious groups, but the gaps in childbearing among India’s religious groups are generally much smaller than they used to be.