Muslims hardly join pan-Islamic groups, says India

New Delhi, Feb 24: Many have accused the Indian government of taking a soft approach towards sympathizers of the ISIS.

The Intelligence Bureau (IB), which often deals with an iron fist against persons trying to join terror outfits abroad, too has changed the manner in which it functions.


Earlier any persons remotely associated with a terror outfit abroad would be given the harshest treatment. However, in the recent months we have seen a completely different approach where the police as well as the rest of the security agencies have counseled youth who try joining terror outfits and give them a chance to live a normal life.

Muslims hardly join pan-Islamic groups:

A presentation that was given before the International Delegation in the United States of America, India said that there are hardly any case of the Muslim community members joining violent pan-Islamic groups.

The Chief of the Joint Intelligence Committee, R N Ravi, who was speaking at the White House hosted Summit to Counter Violent Extremism last week, said that there were over 180 million Muslims in India and constitured 14.88 per cent of the total population of the country.

Despite a large Muslim population in India there were hardly any case of them joining the violent pan-Islamic groups. Terrorism has its source often from outside the country, Ravi also pointed out in his presentation.

Breaking home grown Jihad:

Home grown jihad was a concept that was introduced by Pakistan. It nurtured terrorist groups such as the Indian Mujahideen (IM) and the Students Islamic Movement of India to strike within India.

The idea was to recruit Indian youth into these outfits so that there is no trail leading up to Pakistan.

The problem of home grown Jihad had become extremely problematic for India and a menace that was going out of control. Terror no longer emerged from the borders, but struck right from within the heartland.

What the Indian Intelligence Agencies and the government realized that issues of discrimination against the Muslims were being raised to recruit many Indian youth. However the new government proposes to change that and hence has taken a completely different approach.

Counseling those youth trying to join the ISIS and making them feel part of India has helped India a lot says an officer with the Intelligence Bureau. There is a need to stop witch hunting and filing false cases in a bid to garner support of the Muslim community.

Moreover, roping in the elders to speak to the youth about the ill effects of a misinterpreted jihad has also gone a long way, officers state.

India's approach on the right track:

The presentation made in the United States of America not only suggests to Barack Obama that India is not divided along religious lines, but also restores faith in the Muslim community that they are not blindly being targeted.

India has always maintained that the problem of ISIS recruits in India is minimal. Cases of people trying to join the ISIS could be counted on ones' fingers, the Indian establishment has maintained.

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited the United States he rightly rejected an offer by the US to join the coalition against the ISIS.

India was fully aware that being seen with the US in such a war would only worsen the problem in India as it would give radicals fodder to accuse India of fighting a fake war.

India believes that the ISIS problem is well within control. Targetting the Muslim community just because a handful of them have joined the outfit would do more harm than good.

No point in taking the entire community head on for the follies of a few, an officer in the Home Ministry informed.

Beating Pakistan at its own game:

Between the years 2007 and 2012 when the Indian Mujahideen was at its peak there were scores of arrests that were made.

The Maharashtra ATS in particular made some arrests which had no justification. An arrest in Mangalore of a youth from Bhatkal blew the lid of the ATS and showed the entire nation how shoddy their investigation is.

When Pakistan decided to nurture home grown terror outfits, it was well aware that some mindless police officials would carry out arrests which would not be genuine in nature.

Such arrests only lead to heart burn and the yearning to seek revenge only leads to more problems.

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