More madrassas emerge as centers of “misunderstanding” Islam, somehow missing the concept of jihad as an “interior spiritual struggle” (as apologists insist that it is to non-Muslims). Funny how that keeps happening.
“Mumbai attacks How Indian-born Islamic militants are trained in Pakistan,” by Damien McElroy for the Telegraph, December 13:
Indian authorities have denied that there is a homegrown terrorist threat to the country, instead blaming Pakistan for allowing Islamist attacks including the atrocities in Mumbai to be launched across its borders.
But The Sunday Telegraph has learned that scores of young Muslim men have disappeared from the central Indian city of Hyderabad, suspected of leaving for Pakistan to be trained by the country’s Islamist terror groups.
As many as 40 potential recruits are reported to have left the city – which has a large Muslim minority – under extremist guidance, while many other young men cannot be traced.
Police efforts to track the youths have floundered in the wake of the Mumbai attacks last month. A wall of community silence has protected the activities of teachers and other shadowy figures working inside fundamentalist Islamic schools and mosques.
“We have tried to establish where the city’s youth has gone but we don’t know,” said Hyderabad’s police commissioner, Prasada Rao. “We know they have gone to other places, either Indian states or abroad. We are checking but the parents or the others will not let us into what’s going on.”
Two Islamic movements based in Hyderabad, Darsgah Jihad-o-Shahadath (DJS) and Tahreek Tahfooz Shaer-e-Islam (TTSI), have been accused by local police of allegedly acting as “feeder” groups for militants seeking to recruit armed fighters. They have denied the allegations.
Members of a third local group, the Students Islamic Movement of India – which has been banned by the government – carried out a gun attack on police just days after the Mumbai attacks.
Police in Mumbai blamed 10 Pakistanis and their leaders back home for the carnage that killed 171 people last month. But Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the banned Pakistan-based group India accuses of planning the attack, has deep ties to Hyderabad. When an initial claim of responsibility for the Mumbai attacks was made in the name of “Deccan Mujahideen” – a previously unknown group – the perpetrators revived a historic Islamic claim on the Deccan Plateau, the territory which stretches between Mumbai and Hyderabad.
Extensive surveillance operations and intelligence investigations have failed to penetrate the inner workings of Hyderabad’s radicals, officials admitted. “These kind of elements that are linked to violence even allow us to observe their gatherings,” said Commissioner Rao. “But they know we are there and so do nothing to trigger suspicion.”
Officials at the DJS madrassahs – religious schools – in Hyderabad were not willing to discuss the disappearance of the city’s young men.
While there is no suggestion that the organisation orchestrates terrorist acts, the DJS carries a message on its website that is explicit about the right of Muslims to resort to violence.
“The DJS has trained and are training thousands of Muslim youths to defend themselves and to help, protect and defend the other Muslims,” it states, before adding that once trained in “self defence” members can leave to join any other Muslim group.
It continues that “the long term goal of the DJS remains to achieve the supremacy and prevalence of Islam in practice in its entirety”.