From Afghan hideout, Kerala jihad leader calls faithful to Caliphate

Abdulla lashed out at mainstream Indian Muslim leaders who, he argued, were misleading their flock by condemning the Islamic State as illegitimate

Written by Praveen Swami | New Delhi | Updated: May 18, 2017 8:24 am
Kerala, Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, ISIS, IS, Indian Express, Indian Express News Representational Image/ File

Fugitive preacher Abdul Rashid Abdulla, sought by the National Investigation Agency for leading 23 Kerala residents to join the Islamic State in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, says he is telling would-be jihadists to travel to the country instead of plotting attacks inside India. “Today, it is impossible to wage offensive jihad in India”, he said in an exclusive interview to the The Indian Express. “First, we have to consolidate the Caliphate, and then expand its frontiers”.

“Perhaps we can carry out one or two lone wolf attacks, or a strike here or there, but not true offensive jihad”, Abdulla said. “We have lots of people in India, and we tell them: wait, we are coming. The Islamic State is growing far faster than you can imagine. The aim is for the whole world to be ruled by the law of Allah, so he alone is worshipped, not false gods”.

The interview gives new insight into the thinking driving recruitment into the ranks of organisations like the Islamic State, which, though small, has swelled in recent years. “In India, the Modi government is a blessing in disguise for us”, he says. “This is because while, in some parts of India, Muslims face visible oppression, in many others, they really do not recognise the reality of their oppression. The hypocrite scholars misguide them. The Modi government is planning to change the Constitution and once that happens, the real oppression will begin”. “That is when Muslims will start searching for the solution”, Abdullah says. “People only remember God when a loved one is dying in hospital. Jihad is like that, too”.

Abdulla lashed out at mainstream Indian Muslim leaders who, he argued, were misleading their flock by condemning the Islamic State as illegitimate. “Muslim leaders in India claim that it is possible for Muslims to practise their faith 100% in India: we can pray, fast, go for hajj, and so on”, he said. “But the hypocrite Islamic scholars stay silent on the Quranic commandment for Muslims to engage in offensive jihad. They know that the Prophet went with weapons and conquered the whole of the Arabian peninsula. The Islamic State follows the example of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina, yet these so-called scholars criticise it”.

“Islam spread by the sword — not by peace”, Abdulla said. “The critics of Islam, ironically, speak the truth, while the so-called Islamic scholars do not. The Prophet Muhammad, the Caliph Abu Bakr Siddiq, and those that followed them, conquered the world by the sword, not by doing dawah [proselytisation]”.

Abdulla also insists other key religious obligations cannot be met in India, either. “To give but one example: forbidding evil is a critical part of Islam. Allah asks Muslims to prevent evil with their hand. In India, Hindus worship false gods everywhere. Is there any Muslim who can use his hand to stop this? There will be a riot. Alcoholism. Prostitution. Homosexuality. Interest. I can go on and on”.

Abdulla was also dismissive of arguments made by Muslim leaders that campaigning to improve the conditions of Muslims in India was more important than global jihad. “For a Muslim, the biggest objective should be a world ruled by the law of objective. Education, jobs-these are pseudo-achievements. Education in India teaches you to respect the nation-state, and other religions. These are anti-Islamic. And jobs? A job helps a secular-democratic nation. Is it Islamic to build a country where people can worship false gods all the better?”

“Indian Muslim leaders fall into three categories”, he alleged, “those who do not know the truth, those who deliberately obscure the truth, and those who realise the truth, but only wish to work for it indirectly, fearful of the consequences of speaking out”. Abdulla’s entry into the Islamic State appears to have been part of a long journey. “Following the September 11 attacks, any Muslim was delighted. I was in Muscat, preparing for my class 10 exams, it gave me a wonderful feeling. Later, the hypocrites of Islam, the so-called scholars in the pay of the United States, branded this to be terrorism”. He describes the Caliphate in Afghanistan as a kind of utopia: “There are a great many people from India migrating and coming here from almost every state, far more than you can imagine”.

Abdulla rejects claims that the Islamic State is hated by local tribes. “Here in Khorasan, we have Pakistanis, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Arabs, Russians, Indians — and all of us live like brothers, along with the Afghans from local tribes. The Islamic State was only resisted by some with nationalistic goals, or with secular ideology, who revolted against Islam and the Caliphate. They were executed. That news is true”. The Taliban, with whom the Islamic State has battled, he casts as misguided. “They implement sharia, but not 100% — they only want to capture Afghanistan, implement sharia in it, not in the whole world, as Allah commands us to do. This is anti-Islamic”. Ever greater numbers of Indian Muslims, Abdulla believes, will be drawn to jihad in the future.

“Thanks to western education, young people have come to realise the drawbacks of the western system. The youth have realised that western philosophy, and the western way of life, rests on shaky foundations. Some turn to atheism, and find themselves stuck in a spiritual vacuum. Thanks to the internet, though, and to their knowledge of English, a new world has opened up to the youth.”

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  1. R
    Ramu
    May 19, 2017 at 8:41 am
    Election s coming up and terrorists are everywhere does anyone belive these NDa tricks, the only terrorists are the ones in Safforn kil innocent Indians over what food they eat and religion they worship
    Reply
    1. E
      Eranjene Abeysinghe
      May 18, 2017 at 11:51 pm
      be careful Indians...you dont know exactly who wrote this article and who actually Abduhlla is.. it could be a paid actor....there are lots of examples in the world where media is spreading falls news to change the public opinion or push it in a certain direction in the interest of global elites. If they want a shift in Indian politics and public opnion this could be it.. so do whatever you do with cautious mind...and be vigilant. Dont let India be balkanized...
      Reply
      1. N
        Nitin Raval
        May 18, 2017 at 10:07 pm
        I don't care whether this son of a coward paedophile mohammad, Abdulla, gets to read this comment or not, I - WE HINDU Indians dare these s s of pigs to try and come in India.
        Reply
        1. S
          SUKUMAR BHATTACHARYA
          May 18, 2017 at 8:46 pm
          This rascal is somewhat honest. He has agreed that Islam is not a religion of peace. It has spread by sword.
          Reply
          1. T
            true
            May 18, 2017 at 6:34 pm
            i believe in abdul kalams allaha not your ing terrorist allah if he tells to kill innocent people.bloody terror first save your life islamaiseeeee
            Reply
            1. K
              Kuriakose Varkey Pariarath
              May 18, 2017 at 5:04 pm
              It is very hard to believe that he and his friends were born in Kerala. It is so unfortunate what a religion can do to misguide youth. Let him think why wherever the name of the prophet is mentioned PBUH ( PEACE BE UPON HIM)is written after. Jihad is a fight within one's own mind to win over the mortal desires that result in a life above emotional level. That leads to love of fellow human beings and peace of mind. True Islamic life is filled with PEACE. No room for hatred and kil .
              Reply
              1. P
                Paul
                May 21, 2017 at 9:01 pm
                Nobody have a clue, even NIA don't have a hold of this guy and this communally inclined reporter got an exclusive interview...wah. Where did you met him? BJP's IT cell or saffron brigade underground? I Don't fall for this kind of consent creating articles from sanghi rumor mills.
                Reply
              2. V
                vish
                May 18, 2017 at 4:19 pm
                Why Muslims world over cannot be trusted ?They ditch and against their own country in the name of religion and no religious or spiritual leader comes forward to condemn this.Shame on this community .
                Reply
                1. K
                  kjingar
                  May 18, 2017 at 3:48 pm
                  So this is true face of Islam? Is it religion of peace? No, to the core. Time to bomb the caliphate in Afghanistan and continue until all such people are dead.
                  Reply
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