KASHMIR - The virus of Political Islam- Is it inspired by Wahabi Jihad

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This paper makes out a case that theKashmir problem is primarily rooted to the Jihadi ideology andreligio-separatism of political Islam.

In the modern history of Kashmir, despite repeated dialogues since 1947, theKashmir problem related to political Islam is still unresolved. The politicalleadership in Delhi has apparently failed to achieve any fruitful solution.Even the Rajya Sabha resolution on this issue adopted on August 10 recentlyalso seems to be an addition to another crisis management formula to pacify theprotesters in the valley temporarily.

The Islamic history of Kashmir suggests that the gentle version of this faithlaced with pre-Islamic practices in the region with heavy influence of Sufimysticism remained at the centre of the cultural and spiritual life andtherefore the larger majority of them are still the followers of the Sufiversion of Islam. In fact, the Islamic stream which came to Kashmir throughPersian route got diluted in the cultural cauldron of Hinduism. This culturalfusion was known as Kashmiriyat.

Enter Wahabism in the Valley:

But after the entry of Wahhabism in the valley, the descendants of the Islamistinvaders are now set to hegemonise Kashmiriyat under a very small Arabcomponent in the veil of ‘Azadi’. These fringe elements or separatist groupthat are primarily rooted to their foreign lineage don’t have any racialfraternity with the Muslims of Kashmir ancestry who are born and brought up inthe gentler version of Kashmiriyat.

Contrary to this cultural identity of the locals, the separatists had Jihadinarratives of Kashmiriyat which they linked with Wahhabi version of Islam thatis totally opposed to the tomb worship tradition of the people. Ironically,these separatists are sending their own children for study in big cities out ofKashmir while using other children as their foot soldiers to carry on theirdesigns within Kashmir. The soft line approach of the mainstream politicianstowards the separatists has gradually turned the situation from bad to worseand has now emboldened the patrons of jihadi outfits both across the border aswell in Kashmir to campaign for the hard line version of the faith to grow dayby day.

While carrying the mental load of the medieval version of Islam, this fringegroup in the valley facilitated the import of Saudi funded version of hard-lineIslam known as Wahhabism. Over the years emergence of Madrasas and mosquesunder the control of Wahhabi Mullahs and support of a section of power hungrynative nobles as also with a little help of Pakistan were able to mobilise asection of local youths for spreading jihadi doctrine in the name of ‘azadi’and that is the root cause behind the unrest in the valley today.

The Kashmir Problem- Is it political orreligious?

Tounderstand this problem of Kashmir which is not a political but religious, onehas to look into the Saudi-Wahhabi imperialistic design in the Muslim worldparticularly in the Indian sub-continent. With the Islamist’s conquest startingfrom Arabian Peninsula to the ongoing terror war against the Crusaders, Jews,Sufi Muslims and Hindus, the desert warriors who never tried to understand therational world view of love, peace and co-existence took civilisationalevolution to be the history of conflict and cruelty. Accordingly, they neverreconciled with the non-Islamic power anywhere in the world.

Shal Waliullah and Abd al-Wahab are twosides of the same coin:

Emergence of two Islamist reformers of eighteenth century namely Shah Waliullah(1703-1762) in India and Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1787) in Arabian Peninsulare-ignited the medieval fire of Islamism among the Muslims. While studyingtogether in Medina they came up with a considered view that Islam will notsurvive without political power and suggested an aggressive drive for revivalof hard-line conservative Islamism as the only solution to stop the slidingdecline of the glory of Islamic power in Indian sub-continent. Although, thetwo reformers had some tactical differences over execution of their common goalto achieve Pan-Islamic Arab imperialism in the world, both of them are known asthe co-founders of political Islam.

Waliullah, the follower of Hanafi school of Sunni Islam which is inmajority in this region was upset with the rise of Maratha power and the fadingglory of Mogul Empire and therefore, tried to unite the Muslim society byestablishing concordance between the conflicting schools of Islamic thought andalso presented an integrated view of the different branches of Islamic schools.His plan was to unite the different Islamist warlords of Indian sub-continentto crush those who challenged the Islamic rule in this region. He was the one whoinvited Ahmad Shah Abdali to India in 1760.

Contrary to the tactical compromise formula of Waliullah with Shia and othertomb worshiping Muslims, Wahhab being the follower of Hanbali School of Islamand a hard core Sunni cleric treated the tomb worshippers as infidels. His soleobjective was to Saudi-ise the Muslim society by pushing them to the extremeArabic tradition and to bring them under a single command of a Bedouin Saudiwarlord Mohammad ibn Saud with whom he had an agreement in 1744. Since then,the successors of Ibn Saud while pursuing Wahhabism and unjustly claiming assole upholder of Islam emerged as a force in Arabian Peninsula from thebeginning of eighteenth century.

While Wahhab in alliance with Mohammad Ibn Saud laid the foundation stone ofthe Saudi Kingdom, Waliullah mobilized the Muslims in India against infidels!The success of the Jihadi concept of political Islam in defeat of Marathas in1762 and rise of Saudi-Wahhabi alliance as an independent kingdom left a deepJihadi dent on the psyche of the Muslim society of Indian sub-continent.

Emergence of Saudi-Wahhabi dominanceafter the collapse of the Caliphate:

After the collapse of the institution of Caliphate under Ottoman Empire inmid-twenties of the last century when the Saudi-wahhabi monarchy became theself-made custodian of the two holiest shrine of Islam, the latter with itsdesign for dominance over the Muslim world started challenging the non-wahhabiMuslim region by exporting puritanical version of faith known as Wahhabism.It’s emergence as a richest oil exploring country further added to its lustparticularly when the spade work for hard line Islam was already initiated inIndia by Shah Waliullah(1703-1762) and pursued by his son Shah Abdul Aziz(1745-1823)’s disciple Syed Ahmad Barelvi((1786-1831), and Deoband movementwhich was identical to the hard-line Islam similar to Wahhabism.

After successful entry of Wahhabism inPakistan, the petro-dollar giant Saudi Arabia accelerated its Islamist missionin India by making Kashmir as its operational zone. With increase of Saudifunded madrasas and mosques in Kashmir, wahhabism posed a strategic challengeto India. It is said that out of nearly 8 million Muslim population in Kashmir,Wahhabi claims to have indoctrinated 1.5 million of them (http://pulitzercenter.org/projects/kashmir-india-pakistan-sufi-wahhabi-i...).

The death of Burhan Wani is incidentalto the rise of Wahhabi infuenced Jihad:

Actually, the recent increase in the mass terror attack in Kashmir particularlyafter the killing of Pakistan trained Kashmiri Burhan Wani followed by violentprotests and demonstration by a group of native youths against security forcesis an intrinsic part of militant Wahhabi jihad against India with itsoperational headquarters in Kashmir. It has been a long term strategy of theIslamists to restore Muslim rule in Indian sub-continent under theimperialistic control of Saudi Arabia for which the latter has been pumpinghuge money for propagation of wahhabi ideology and Jihadi invasion in Kashmirsince 1947 itself.

The plan of wahhabi is to first wahhabise the Sufi influenced Muslim populaceof Kashmir and then use them for transformation of their co-religionists inrest of India to hard-line Islam. The protracted movement for the restorationof the lost Muslim rule in the region by the pro-Wahhabi Deobandi,Jamaat-e-Islami, Tablique Jamaat and other hard-line Islamist organisations,and individuals like Zakir Naik and Owaisis under the patronage of vote greedyIndian political parties has already done the spade work to facilitate theextension of militant Jihad from Kashmir to the rest of India. Makingsuccessful inroads in Kashmir valley since 1990 which is said to be due toheavy inflow of foreign funds particularly from Saudi Arabia, Wahhabi Mullhas propagatedthe term ‘azadi’ sponsored by Pakistan which is nothing but apolitico-religious militancy supported only by a small section of the locals.Over 70% of Kashmiri Muslims particularly in countryside are still thefollowers of Sufi Islam and they are against this so called ‘azadi’ movement.

Politicians Messing up the “Real Issue”:

It is unfortunate that some politicians instead of understanding the changingnature of the protests have been issuing sympathetic statements in favour ofthe protestors.

The statement J & K Chief Minister in a convention of her party PDP inSrinagar on July 28 that “she would not let their sacrifices go waste” could bemisunderstood and taken to mean as support to the terrorists.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s comment that “Burhan’s grave would act asthe new galvanising factor in the valley” only further provoked the stonepelting youths to continue their depredations against the law and orderagencies. More unfortunate was his statement in a press conference on August 17that “Pakistan is not the architect” of the present crisis. Was he not aware ofthe origin of the present crisis or was he angling for political/religioussupport in future elections? What is forgotten is that Burhan Wani was theleader of a terrorist group waging war against the establishment.

Except the area of Kashmir valley which constitutes not more than eight percentof the total area of J & K state, rest of the region namely Ladakh andJammu are peaceful. The Hindu majority Jammu, the Buddhist Ladakh and ShiaMuslim majority Kargil have in fact never demanded ‘azadi’. Even in Kashmirvalley only a small section of its population under the patronage of Saudifunded guidance from Pakistan is impacted by the virus of so called azadi ingeneral and Burhan Wani syndrome in particular. Truly speaking, only this smallsection serves as the nursery of Jihadi terror under the supervision of wahhabiMullhas, and the separatists combine. Ironically, both the regional parties inthe state namely the National Conference and the PDP hardly dealt with theanti-national role of this combine firmly.

Despite the fact that the problem of Kashmir is confined to only the eightpercent area of the entire state and not the whole of the State of J &K,some of the valley politicians have been propagating s that the whole of the J& K is demanding for a political solution for the present crisis.

Against the wahhabisation strategy of the Kashmiri Muslims under the cover oftheir so called demand for ‘Azadi’ being perpetrated by Pakistan, silence ofthe moderate forces of the valley based political parties against the wahhabimilitants is intriguing. Haven’t they realised that it will be seen asconnivance with the separatist outfits and being exploited by Pakistan?

What dialogue and with Whom? With theWahabi inspired Jihadists?

J & K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has urged the Prime Minister torevive the dialogue process on Kashmir initiated by former Prime Minister AtalBihari Vajpayee. Spelling out her mind, she said, “... there has to be apolitical solution which can be reached by involving all stakeholders ....”.Vajpayee’s dialogue process was to win over the hearts and minds of theKashmiris. But this dialogue hardly ended in any conclusive result. Moreover, Mebooba’ssuggestion favouring political solution to a Wahhabi problem in Kashmir iscontradictory and does not reflect the ground situation. Burhan Wani was aJihadi terrorist fighting in Kashmir under the banner of Islam and he wascommemorated as martyr in Pakistan and by the separatists in Kashmir when hewas killed on July 8.

Solution

Since Kashmir problem is primarily rooted to the Jihadi ideology andreligio-separatism of political Islam, its solution lies only in neutralisationof this ideology partly ideologically and partly militarily by isolating thefringe elements in the Kashmir valley that had started an aggressive campaignof Jihadi ideology in the region since the eighties in the last century whenthe Jihadis became jobless after defeating the Soviet army in Afghanistan.

Ever since the entry of Islam in the region it got diluted in the pre-Islamicsocio-cultural cauldron of the diverse religious groups in the state which wasknown as Kashmiriyat that is ‘inclusive Islam’. But, the term was misinterpretedby the Wahabi patrons as a political term and raised the issue of ‘Azadi’whichis not endorsed by the larger majority of its people.

The separatists have used this term only to befool the uneducated population ofthis state. If the term Kashmiriyat is taken seriously it will have itsimplication in other regions of the state on the similar plea of Laddakhiyat,Jammuiyat and Kargiliyal which are religiously different from Kashmir valley.

Contrary to the pre-Wahhabi meaning of the term Kashmiriyat, Wahhabisation orreligious radicalisation of Muslims has been a new phenomenon in the state thatmust be tackled on a war footing (Retired Maj. Gen. Afsir Karim -http://www.asianage.com/india/wahhabi-preachers-new-threat-peace-jammu-a...).He said, “Pakistan has been inducting a large number of Wahhabi preachers inthe valley, who are exhorting Kashmiri Muslims to give up their moderate Suficulture and fight to establish Sharia laws. This movement is the vanguard of anew phase of war sought to be waged by the people” (Ibid.).

Although the moderate Kashmiris are the custodian of Kashmiriyat, they areincapable of generating violent movement in fighting back the violent Wahabis.Therefore, the state government with the support of the Centre must launch anaggressive counter –ideological movement to neutralise the Wahabis and saveKashmiriyat. The World Sufi conference held in Delhi in last March has alreadylaunched a counter movement against Deoband school of Sunni Islam known as arepresentative organisation of Wahabism but to fight them back in Kashmir isprimarily the duty of the local Muslims with the support of the politicalleadership of the state. According to some report 70% of Kashmiri Muslims arestill the followers of the Sufi brand of Islam. If they get the support of thepolitical leadership it may not be difficult to neutralise the Wahabis.

Let the Islamic scholars in rest of India who believe in the gentler version ofIslam give an aggressive ideological support to the Kashmiris in their fightagainst Wahhabism. They should rather take a lead in association with SufiUlema and organise a debate in Kashmir under the protection of security forcesand adopt a resolution to reject the Wahhabi version of Islam and convince thepeople to counter the wahabi influenced smaller group in the valley who areunder the roll of Pakistan. Any cognizance to the Pakistan sponsored Wahhabivoice of local youths means allowing Kashmir to march towards the anarchy likeAfghanistan and Pakistan.

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