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The rise of radical Wahhabism should worry India


New Delhi, June 29: The announcement of an Indian wing called the Wilayah of Hind, the appointment of a new emir for Bengal are some of the recent developments relating to the Islamic State in India.

If one tracks the growth of the ISIS ideology in India, it would not be wrong to say that it is linked directly to the rise of Wahhabism. The Wahhabis who preach radical Islamic thought feel that Muslims should have have faith only in the Caliph and also promote the Caliphate.

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Now coming to the problem of the Islamic State in India, it is deep-rooted in the states of Kerala, Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir. Incidentally Wahhabi preachers have had a free run in all these states, which led to the rise of the concept in the first place.

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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.

Radical elements, be it in Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra or Kashmir first try to gain control over the Mosques. They feel that once they gain control over the administration over the Mosques, they can easily impose the radical school of thought. Mosques can be a huge influence on many, officers say.

Take the case of Kashmir, where the Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith began taking over the Mosques. The first state to see the rise of Wahhabism was Kashmir and in the run up, the Wahhabis managed to take control over at least 400 Mosques in the state.

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Till date the loud speakers in several Mosques are used to preach sermons and in recent times instigate stone pelters. The Mosques in the state have also been accused of raising pro-Pakistan slogans and this had reached an all time high following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani. Intelligence Bureau officials say that some Mosques have been earmarked only to flare up tensions.

Even in Kashmir, the ISIS would look for local groups to further its cause. Another development that has been worrying the agencies is the announcement of an Emir for West Bengal. All these groups of the ISIS would operate on a region wise basis. They would target specific issues relating to the region. Some analysts say that the ISIS would look to establish Caliphates in all these regions.

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