Pro-Al-Qaeda Media Group Releases Message By Indian Cleric Urging Indian Muslims To Wage Jihad Against 'Hindu Extremists,' Predicting Islamic Conquest Of India Will Begin From Kashmir

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October 4, 2021

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

On September 27, 2021, the pro-Al-Qaeda Al-Firdaws Foundation released a nine-minute Bengali-language video featuring an audio recording of Maulana Saeed Yusuf, an Islamic cleric from northeastern India's Assam State, titled "Assam and Muslims of the Entire Subcontinent: Do Not Forget the Victim Muslims!" Yusuf claims that Muslims in Assam and throughout India are being massacred by Hindu nationalists and urges Indian Muslims to reject secularism and nationalism and defend themselves by preemptively striking "Hindu extremists" and supporting the jihad in Kashmir.


A banner announcing the Al-Firdaws video and showing atrocities perpetrated against Indian Muslims

The background to Yusuf's message is the recent eviction of about 800 families, mostly Muslims of East Bengali origin, from their homes in Assam's Darrang district. According to the Indian government, the families evicted were "illegal encroachers" and the area had been home to a "prehistoric" temple for the Hindu god Shiva. Viral footage showed policemen shooting a local, armed with a stick, to death, and a photographer stomping on his body, during clashes on September 23.[1]

The Islamic Translation Center (ITC), an unofficial pro-Al-Qaeda media group, published a written transcript of the video in Bengali, as well as translations into English, Arabic, Urdu, Indonesian, French, Hindi, and Pashto. This report is based on ITC's English translation, lightly edited for clarity.


A banner announcing ITC's English translation of the video

Addressing "dear Muslim brothers and sisters of Assam and the entire subcontinent," Yusuf declares that the Muslims of Assam are "in great danger today," as "the extremists are displacing us from our homesteads and forcing us to lead a miserable life, just to build their 'temple.'" Claiming that "our Muslim brothers and sisters are getting wounded by the ruthless and extremist Hindutvaist[4]  government and their terrorist forces," the cleric asserts that the current situation is merely the continuation of a series of Hindu massacres of Indian Muslims.

Declaring that "this battle is between Islam and shirk [polytheism]" and that "our enemies are fighting against us whether you fight or not," Yusuf quotes Quran 5:82 "You will find that the people most hostile towards the believers are the Jews and the polytheists."

Quoting Quran 2:120, "the Jews and the Christians will not approve of you unless you follow their creed," Yusuf calls on Indian Muslims to "abandon those leaders, poets, and individuals who tell you the false story of secularism, which teaches you the so-called 'Hindu-Muslim brotherhood,'" claiming that these ideologies have done nothing to save Muslims from "persecution of Hindu extremists after the fall of Islamic rule from this continent" or to help Kashmiri Muslims, who have been persecuted for "the last 70 years."

Similiarly urging Muslims to abandon Assamese nationalism, or nationalism identifying with the state of Assam, Yusuf asks: "Does this 'nationalism' benefit you? Does it save you from the oppression going on in Assam for years?" Declaring "surely that mushrik [polytheist] priest Shankardev cannot be your idol," the cleric instead urges Assamese Muslims to follow the path of "Azan Fakir Rahimahullah [may Allah have mercy on him], who came from Baghdad to teach you tawheed [monotheism]."[3] Yusuf declares that "those who summon you to nationalism, who persuade you to make friendship with kufr [unbelief] in the name of Fakir Rahimahullah, are surely responsible for the destruction of our deen [religion]. Surely this nationalism won't save you from the oppression if the Hindu extremists," and quotes Quran 4:144 "Oh you who believe! Do not befriend unbelievers rather than believers."

The cleric urges Indian Muslims to take up arms, saying: "You need to prepare yourselves for counterattack so that those Hindu extremists are bound to think about themselves before they hit you." He backs this up with quotations from the Quran (8:60) "And prepare against them all the power you can muster, and all the cavalry you can mobilize, to terrify thereby Allah’s enemies and your enemies…" and (22:39-40) "Permission is given to those who are fought against [to fight back], and Allah is able to give them victory. Those who were unjustly evicted from their homes, merely for saying, 'Our Lord is Allah.'"

Yusuf urges the Muslims of India: "Prepare yourselves for the great battle of Ghazwat Al-Hind [Conquest of India],[4] which will be opened through Kashmir. You should give your while effort to help your brothers in Kashmir and stand beside them. Insha'Allah [Allah willing], the entire subcontinent will be free through the freedom of Kashmir." The cleric declares there is an "obligatory duty on us to avenge the Muslims who are being persecuted in Kashmir and Hindustan [India]. And we will, for sure, fulfill the promise by our blood."

Concluding by reassuring Hindu civilians that they are not a target and urging them not to participate in aggression against Muslims, Yusuf wrote: "I would like to say to the ordinary Hindu citizens: You shall not fall into the trap of your priests and rulers and you shall not take part in the oppression which is being executed on our brothers," warning that if they kill Muslims, "we will avenge our brothers' deaths." The Muslim cleric attempts to turn Hindus against their government, claiming that "instead of ensuring your basic needs – food, clothes, accommodations, medical [needs], and education – your government used you in killing our Muslim brothers," and warns: "You should keep in mind that today we might be weaker but tomorrow we will be stronger."

Declaring: "Surely, the ordinary Hindu citizens is not our target," Yusuf calls Hindus to embrace Islam, saying that after the Islamic conquest, "you will get the taste of peace and safety just like your predecessors got in various Islamic eras."

 

[1] Indiatoday.in, September 23, 2021.

[2] Hindutva, literally Hindu-ness, is a form of Hindu nationalism espoused by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India's current ruling party.

[3] Shankardev was a 15th-16th century Assamese religious leader; Azan Fakir was a 17th-century Sufi saint who arrived in Assam and helped strengthen Islam in the region. Both are important figures in Assamese identity, although only Azan Fakir was Muslim.

[4] Several hadiths predict the Islamic conquest of India and promise Paradise for those who participate in the battle to conquer it. Islamic scholars disagree whether this prophecy has already been fulfilled, although Yusuf clearly believes it will occur in the future.

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