Global Jihad in India
The recent bid to stage a jihadi bomb attack in Coimbatore underscores the fact that the epicenter of global jihad is in India. The bomb attack was intended to replicate the 2019 Easter Bombings in Srilanka. The main accused, JameshaMubin, who had killed himself, by suicide or by accident was a Facebook friend of ZahranHashim, the mastermind of Easter Day blasts in Srilanka.
ZahranHashim was earlier based in Tamil Naidu and had created his network of more than hundred jihadi adherents under the umbrella of National TowheedJamath, an Islamic State affliate terror outfit. Later, a branch of SrilankanTowheedJamath (SLTJ) was established and came to be known as Tamil Naidu TowheedJamath (TNTJ). The NIA has elaborate knowledge of the TNTJ network but somehow due to political reasons after the assumption of power by the DMK government, the crackdown on these global jihadists ceased and they have now reinvented themselves.
In fact, India had given precise Intelligence to the Srilankan authorities about the Easter Bombings in which 235 people were killed. This Intelligence was acquired during a NIA probe into an Islamic State inspired module which was planning to kill prominent leaders in South India.
The cleric ZahramHashim hailed from Kattankudy in Battilicoa district in eastern Srilanka, which was hot bed of LTTE insurgency a decade ago. He was also called Mohammad Zafran. Of the five names that have figured so far in the latest Coimbatore car blast, three have Mohammad to their names i.e. Mohammad Dalha, Mohammad Riaz and Mohammad Azharuddin. This is Mohammadinism at its worst.
There are several terrorist organisations who carry the name of Mohammad in their designations. It is not without reason that the Chinese have banned this name in Xinjiang province. ZahramHashim was radicalized while pursuing Islamic Studies course. In turn he began to radicalize young boys by conducting classes on Quran. His videos had become extremely popular in Northern Kerela, in the region comprising Kasargod, Kannur, Kozhikode and Malapurram on the west coast, and Palakad, Waynad and Coimbatore (TN) in the hinterland.
It must be remembered that the jihadism had made deep inroads into Coimbatore through the Malabar route in early 80s. It is part of the same jihadi system as North Kerela, which extends to Lakshadweep in East and now Srilanka in the West. In Feb 1998 the jihadis had carried out serial blasts in Coimbatore which killed 59 people. The mastermind of this blast was one SL Basha. One of his nephew, Mohammad Dalha is the main accused in the current blast.
The February 1998 Coimbatore serial blasts were on the same pattern as 93 serial blasts in Mumbai. The reason that was bandied then was that it was to avenge killing of 18 muslim youth by the police three months before. The police crackdown was in response to brutal killing of a constable by three Muslim youth. The blasts were conducted at 11 different locations. A temple at Kurchikulam was also targeted. This time too the Sangameshwara temple was on hit list.
Everyone is going gaga that Britain has elected a prime minister of Indian origin. India’s Congress party has also elected a President of Italian origin after 25 years and no one talks about it. That to an uneducated woman who was the boss of another so called minority figure in every dimension Manmohan Singh. Man means mind and Mohan means attractive. . . both pure Sanskrit words.
The main target that fateful day in 1998 was L K Advani who was to address a public meeting. But by an act of providence, his special flight was delayed and he landed at Thiruvanthpuram two-and- half hours late. Twenty five years back then, like now, it was the DMK which was ruling Tamil Naidu. Twenty five years back the mastermind of the serial blasts was S A Basha, the President of a jihadi outfit Al Ummah, with links to ISI and West Asia. This time too the key conspirator is one Mohammad Dalha, nephew of S ABasha. Life imprisonment to SA Basha for 98 blasts has not dampened the jihadi temper of Basha conglomerate, it has been passed on to the next generation.
Twenty five years ago there was no Islamic State, no National TowheedJaamath. Then apart from Al Ummah, other associated organizations active in Coimbatore region were Jihad Comittee and Tamil Nadu Muslim MunnetraKhangam. This is the historical continuity in Jihad in South India. The patrons may change, the umbrella organizations may change, the triggers for Islamic terrorism may be different but Jihad and its core objectives i.e. Darul Islam, Ummah, Caliphate, Shariat and Ghazwai Hind, from Hyder Ali to Tipu Sultan, to Potrtugese, to British, to Independent India remains unimpeachable because it is enjoined so by the scriptures for all true Muslims.
Coimbatore is part of the same Jihad eco system as North Kerela. Historically, for the Muslims in the region, the Arabian Sea has not only been facilitator of trade and commerce between the Arab world and the region, it has also nurtured pan Islam and global jihad. In the pre Islamic era trade, ideas and religion flowed from Gujarat into Arab, with the advent of Islam the flow reversed. It is the Arab orientation of the region that is responsible for high concentration of muslim population i.e. Kasargod—37.2 percent, Kannur—29.43 percent, Kozhikode—39.24 percent, Mallapuram—70.24 percent, Palakad—28. 93 percent and Waynad—28.65 percent.
As per The Economist Intelligence Unit, in terms of population growth Mallapuram has emerged as the top city in the world, between 2015 and 2020, there has been incredulous growth of population by 44 per cent. The fourth and tenth position is shared by Kozhikode and Kollam, with percentage increase of 34.5 and 31.1 respectively. The irony is that the annual growth of population in Kerela at 4.6 percent has been least in India, but in Mallapuram it is 13.4 percent.
In 1901, Muslims in the region accounted for 30 percent of the population and now it is more than 43 percent. It is this population base that engendered and nurtured the Popular Front of India(PFI) and spurred it to embark on a brazen pan-India jihad.
The largest contributor to the cause of Baghdadi’s Islamic Caliphate was Kerela. At its peak, this Caliphate (2014-2019)had territory as big as United Kingdom. Like other countries in Europe Kerela sent fighters as well as sex slaves, though not at the same scale. Some muslim youth from the coastal regions from North Kerela, specially Kozhikode, joined the Caliphate on the motivation of Zahram Hashmi, the mastermind of Srilanka blasts. Once travel to Syria became difficult some radicalized muslim youth traveled to join the Islamic State Khorasan in Afghanistan. Their leader was Abdullah Rashid. Some of these were also involved in bomb attacks on Gurdwaras. Gradually Northern Kerela, Tamil Naidu , Sri Lanka, Syria and Afghanistan became part of the same global jihadi eco system. The PFI further extended this eco system northwards and eastwards through Delhi.
Why are Muslims in South India given to global jihad? As mentioned earlier there was thriving trade between Arabs and coastal regions of Kerela since 7th century AD. Islam came piggyback on trade. First it made inroads in the garb of spiritual, eclectic and encompassing belief system. With passage of time it acquired the character of aggressive Political Islam leading to coercive conversions. These converted lot came to be called Mapallas. Subsequently when challenged by other powers it morphed into Jihadi Islam. This phase began with the advent of Portuguese in 17th century who blocked the trade routes. The French then supplanted the Portuguese.
The British emerged as the most formidable sea power in 1792 in the region, a status which continued till 1947. Between 1763 and 1792 Hyder Ali and later his son Tipu Sultan had further underwritten the westward Islamic orientation of Malabar region by establishing trading posts and diplomatic relations with the Arab, Persian and Muscat rulers. This was concomitant with the unrelenting jihad against the Hindus with the objective of mass conversion.
In 1789-90 ,Tipu Sultan unleashed genocide against the Hindus. If the British East India Company had not defeated Tipu in 1792, the genocide would have continued and the Malabar region would have been hundred percent Muslim. Between 1821 and till the Moplah Hindu genocide of 1921, the Moplahs or Mapalla declared jihad against the British at least 50 times. Hindus were the main victims in these jihads. The phenomenon continues since Independence, and the recent Coimbatore blast is latest in the chain.
As long as Islamic precepts do not change, this shall continue in form of violence, murder, terror, mayhem, massacre and genocide, as and when numbers permit.
By RSN Singh