Pro-ISIS Video Urges Muslims In India To 'Fight Polytheists,' Cites ISIS Indian Jihadis' Threats To India In 2016, Criticizes Afghan Taliban Ties With 'Infidel' India

October 2, 2023

On September 30, 2023, the Pashto-language pro-ISIS Al-Hadid Media released a video titled, "Fight Against the Polytheists Collectively," which incites Muslims to fight polytheists in India in retaliation for Hindu attacks against Muslims. The video also cites what is calls the "blasphemous" remarks delivered in 2022 by a spokesperson from India’s ruling party. The video deemed the statements insulting to Muslims and to the Prophet of Islam. To illustrate the video, the production used a film of remarks made in 2016 by Indian jihadis in Syria urging a fight against India's "infidels."[1]

Titled after the Quranic verse detailing the need to fight polytheists, the video, which is 13-minutes and 55-seconds long, begins with footage of the aftermath of airstrikes targeting jihadi-held territory governed by ISIS and other jihadi groups in Syria. The video also contains a compilation of scenes of India's Muslims being beaten by police and Muslim property burned down by Hindu mobs during intensifying religious tensions in India.

Tensions Follow Government Spokesman's Remarks

The video then shows a recording of Nupur Sharma, the spokesperson of India's ruling BJP party. On May 27, 2022, he made comments about the Islamic Prophet Muhammad during a television talk show. Muslims in India and elsewhere deemed his remarks insulting to the Prophet and to Islam.

Sharma's "blasphemous" comments sparked a wave of jihadi reactions by individuals and media outlets affiliated with ISIS and Al-Qaeda, urging Muslims to kill the Indian politician and to wage jihad against blasphemers.[2]

2016 Footage Of Indian Jihadis In Syria Used To Urge Violence

Further urging violence as a response to India's Hindu-majority government's treatment of minorities, mainly Muslims, the video plays passages from a video released by the ISIS's Homs Province in May 2016 featuring Indian jihadis Umar Farooq Al-Hindi, Abu-Turab Al-Hindi, and Abu Talhah Al-Hindi. Speaking in Urdu against a backdrop of footage showing bodies being burned and buildings being torched, the narrator states Muslims are being attacked in Mumbai, Kashmir, Gujarat, Assam, Moradabad, and other areas of India, and that Indian Muslims must not live with the "infidels" in India, nor engage with them in business or other affairs.

ISIS operatives in the video then call on Muslims in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to adhere to Allah's command to fight the infidels, to pledge allegiance to ISIS, to take on whatever role they can to "strengthen the Islamic State," and strive to immigrate to the "land of Caliphate."

"We will avenge every atrocity on Muslims being committed there...We will fight until polytheism is eradicated from India," said a fighter in the video called Abu Umar Al-Hindi.

Encouraging Attacks Against Sikh And Hindu Temples

Then, a clip is shown of the aftermath of suicide attacks against Sikh temples in Kashmir and Kabul, as a jihadi nashid, or chant, plays in the background, praising ISIS's suicide attack strategy.[3]

Condemning The Taliban For Maintaining Relations With India

Criticizing the Afghan Taliban for maintaining diplomatic relations with India, the video carries a segment of an interview from India's English-language Cable News Network-News18. Aired in June 2022, the interview features the Afghan Taliban's acting defense minister, Mullah Yaqoob, who is discussing the "strengthening" of India-Afghanistan relations.[4] Pro-ISIS media outlets have often condemned the Afghan Taliban militia for reportedly following rules set by the United Nations and for maintaining relations with Hindu-majority India.[5]

Over a jihadi chant glorifying ISIS and encouraging joining its ranks, the video concludes with scenes of ISIS fighters pledging allegiance to ISIS leadership.

[1] Telegram, September 30, 2023.

[4], June 3, 2022.


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