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How ignoring the rise of Wahhabism in Kerala, Bengal put the nation’s security at risk

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New Delhi, Mar 05: Last October, the National Investigation Agency arrested 7 Al-Qaeda operatives from West Bengal's Murshidabad.

During the course of the investigation, the NIA found that several Jihadist organisation had mushroomed over the years in the state and were recruiting people to radicalise them and prepare them for Jihad. It was also found that these youth were being taught the principles of Wahhabism.

How ignoring the rise of Wahhabism in Kerala, Bengal put the nation’s security at risk

The rise of Wahhabism has also been witnessed in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is the Wahhabi mindset that is being imbibed into the youth of these states is what has made them a den for Jihadist activities, a senior official tells OneIndia.

NIA charges 9 Al-Qaeda operatives from Bengal, Kerala who were planning attacks on 'kafirs’ NIA charges 9 Al-Qaeda operatives from Bengal, Kerala who were planning attacks on 'kafirs’

When it comes to West Bengal, an Intelligence Bureau official said that the change in demographics at the border districts of the state has become a major cause for concern. Further this also made it very easy for Wahhabi cleric to cross over to India from Bangladesh. Once they cross over they work with the local population to radicalise them.

Among the districts that have found major change in demographics are North 24 Paraganas, Malda and Murshidabad. The entry of the Wahhabis has led to the mushrooming of scores of illegal Madrasas that operate with foreign funding. The specific intention of the Wahhabis is to preach their thought to children and brain-wash them at a very young age.

If one looks at the scenario in Kerala and West Bengal they are no different. 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.

Many in Kerala have welcomed with open arms the Wahhabi style of preaching and this has let them take control over several Mosques in the state.

It was in Kerala that one got to see posters mourning the death of Osama Bin Laden and also a prayer for Ajmal Kasab after he was hanged. Intelligence Bureau officials tell OneIndia that a large number of youth appear to be attracted to this radical style of Islam, but also add that there are some elders who are trying to oppose it.

In Bengal the Wahhabi take advantage of the unemployment in the rural areas to radicalise them. IB officials have repeatedly said that such cases get reported very late and it is also very difficult to function in such areas as the local administration turns a blind eye.

In Kerala, the issue is a ticking time bomb. It did not begin with the ISIS, but with the Wahhabi culture that spread like wild fire over the years. Officials cited above say that the key concern in Kerala remains radicalisation and Wahhabism. Allowing Wahhabism is a danger to the integrity as they tend to dominate pockets through radical thoughts and this in the long has contributed to the main problem in Kerala.

Further in Kerala, it is not a mindset that changed overnight. The radical mindset found among the extremist members dates back nearly 30 years back.

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    The Jerusalem Post had an interesting article titled, " The Wahhabi threat that India is ignoring." The article points out that India is facing a grave threat of Wahhabi Islam and its spread. Several madrasas in Kerala are reported to be preaching Wahhabi Islam to kids. It was in the year 2014 that the Indian Intelligence had sounded a high alert regarding the Wahhabis, who were trying to impose their rigid ideology. It was also said that they had begun funding the Mosques in Kerala and over Rs 1,000 crore had been spent for the same.

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