Why Kerala beats every Indian state in terms of radicalisation and affiliation to the ISIS
New Delhi, Oct 23: Kerala has been a hub for Islamic radicalisation and this has been proven in a number of cases that have been reported from the state over the past decade.
The politics of the state, the social fabric among a large section in the Muslim community have made the state a happy hunting ground for jihadis. No story on this subject would be complete unless one speaks about a terrorist from Kerala who fought in Kashmir. This is important because this Kerala resident was the first non-Pakistani, non-Kashmiri terrorist who fought in Kashmir.
While the state has over the years seen the influence of terror groups such as the Students Islamic Movement of India, Indian Mujahideen, Base Movement (Al-Qaeda's local chapter), today there seems to be more affiliation towards the Islamic State.
Over the past three years nearly 54 from Kerala went off the radar one day and further investigations went on to suggest that they had joined the Afghan chapter of the Islamic State.
Kerala and the ISIS affiliation:
While the Indian Intelligence Bureau has always warned about the lurking danger of radical groups, now a study in Pakistan too has identified Kerala as the state which has the most affiliation towards the ISIS.
A study titled 'Prospects of Daesh's Expansion in South Asia,"conducted by Abdullah Khan, the managing director of the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies says that Wilayat-e-Hind is the new chapter of the Daesh which is quickly attracting educated youth in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. It says the Indian citizens, especially from Kerala find the Islamic State more attractive than another group. This observation comes in the wake of 54 people from Kerala joining the ISIS in the past three years.
The affiliation towards radical and terror groups in Kerala stems out of several factors. This is the state where radical groups such as the PFI and SDPI are extremely strong and enjoy a large amount of political patronage. These groups have played a major role in radicalisation of the youth, which in turn led to the major Wahhabi influx into the state from Saudi Arabia.
Several 1,000 Wahhabi preachers came into the state, spread their ideology, pumped in money and then left. They funded the construction of new Mosques heavily, with an intention of ensuring that the ideology was preached from these places of worship.
The newer Mosques that are coming up in Kerala are also constructed in the manner in which they done in Saudi Arabia. This is just one small indicator of how much people of the state are willing to follow the radical style preached by the Wahabi scholars.
Moreover the inflow of funds into Kerala from Saudi is the highest when compared to any other part of the country. 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.
The Ansar-ul Khilafa KL:
Several Muslim youth in Kerala got together and started an outfit called the Ansar-ul-Khilafa KL. This was the feeder outfit for the ISIS and its job was to identify people and send them to the ISIS.
The group was active on social media platforms. The National Investigation Agency had arrested several members of this group after it was found that they had held a conspiracy at Kanakamala in Kannur district of Kerala.
The NIA said that it had also arrested another persons called Subhahani Haha Moideen, who had travelled to Iraq in 2015 and fought alongside the Islamic State. After his return to India, Haja had continued with his activities in furthering the cause of the ISIS in Kerala.
Officials tell OneIndia that the motive of these persons was to further the activities of the ISIS in Kerala. The group had become dangerous and was also looking to raise funds, recruit across Kerala and other parts of south India. The module was being overseen by Omar al-Hindi, who is suspected to be based out of Syria.
The PFI factor:
The PFI has often been accused of associating with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India. Most of the office bearers of the PFI have been associated with the SIMI in the past. They have held positions in the SIMI before it had been banned.
The Intelligence Bureau has said that the PFI is violent in nature. They one point agenda is to attack the Right Wing. They preach to their cadres that attacking those who oppose Islam would earn them religious rewards. the PFI has been accused of chopping off a professor's hand who had allegedly hurt religious sentiments in Kerala.
In an affidavit before the Kerala High Court, it was submitted that the PFI was involved in 27 murders. In another report, the Kerala government said that there was 87 attempt to murder cases against PFI cadres.
The NIA in a dossier says that the approach of the PFI is radical in nature. It speaks about recruiting only committed Muslims into its fold. It also states that the cadres train with clips of the Babri Masjid demolition and this is clearly a sign that it is trying to radicalise its cadres. It is trying to run a parallel administration the NIA states.
It speaks about the Darul Khada an outfit comprising Muslim scholars, social workers and advocates. This was set up in 2009, by SDPI national chief E Aboobacker. The NIA says that they run a parallel judiciary which settles a host of issues.
The NIA dossier also states that in July 2009, a Kerala level declaration was passed by the Darul Khada in Malappuram in which it had called upon the Muslim community not to attend civil courts, but get all issues sorted out by it.
The NIA also cited the most recent case it is probing in connection with Love Jihad. It speaks about the Sathyasarani Islamic Dawah an affiliate of the PFI. It says that this organisation is running an Islamic conversion centre and also details the rigorous religious training it is imparting.