Intro: With extensive use of technology the new age Wahhabi terror networks are more global than their previous avatars.
The recent attacks on Tunisia, Kuwait and France have once again reiterated the challenges that the growth of Wahhabism poses to the entire world in general and Indian subcontinent in particular.
The attacks coming close to the WikiLeaks disclosure pointing towards a purported support by a major Arab oil producing nation spending close to 1700 Crores for spread of such activities in India through supporting backend endeavours garbed in educational and religious propagation realm. The Leaks indeed points towards the vulnerability of India.
While it may be true that most Muslims and followers of Islam may not be cobbled up with growth of Wahhabism or participating in terrorist activities, yet what remains undeniable is the fact that terrorist groups have used Islam (in form of conversion or promotion) as stepping stone to increase their influence. Thus the growth of Islam in some way has a close co-relation with growth of Wahhabi onslaught.
Infact if report of the Pew Research Centre of USA were to be believed then Islam is not only the fastest growing religion of the world, rather it will replace Christianity as world’s largest religion by 2070. It is also the only religion that is growing faster than the human growth rate and is expected to have the largest population of youths under its fold by 2050.
One can’t ignore the fact that by 2030 India is expected to have the largest population of Muslims in the world. As per several estimates Muslims will form close to 18-19 per cent of total Indian population by 2030.
It’s true to some extend that majority of Indian Muslims haven’t been radicalised to a similar extend as some of their peers in other regions especially Middle East and off late Europe but one can’t deny the inevitable fact that terrorism today is a global phenomenon.
Unlike past, the terrorist groups of today (most notably ISIS and Boko Haram) use an extensive strategy of giving sex slaves, money and other things as gifts (in an effort to lure the youths) and it will only be a matter of time when Indian Muslim youth might fall prey to their divisive designs.
Newer groups like ISIS have not only developed their own economic locus standing through activities of terrorism, human trafficking, narcotics and others rather their aspirations now swell higher in attacking their very supporters and snatching their resources. These aspirations also have a rub off effect on the cadres joining them thereby resulting in the same behaviour within their own geographies.
With extensive use of technology the new age Wahhabi terror networks are more global than their previous avatars. This became evident in recruitment efforts of ISIS which saw a global frenzy of Muslim youths willing to take arms and conduct heinous acts.
Ignoring such a challenge will indeed be ludicrous for India and it’s extremely important that its policymakers should imbibe the potential factors which could lead to rise of Wahhabism in India.
It’s important that Muslims of India be brought in mainline efforts through propagation of modern education system, in place of the overtly religious education, that many of them undertake at the moment. Issues of family planning and exposure to modern technology at large will not only improve overall economic condition of Muslims in India but would also thwart away the economic challenges which have been the main reasons of drift towards terrorist activities.
It’s also important that Muslim leaders of India should think beyond the religious myopia of their disposition and aim at imbibing a core economic model for Muslim population of India. Economic prosperity and religious conjugation is indeed the key for prevention of rise of Wahhabi overtures.
While these are efforts on the backend, government of the day should ensure a “no nonsense” approach towards countering these challenges. Political motives need to be kept aside as the issue at hand is a national challenge and deals with imperils of national security. Relations with nations supporting directly or indirectly the propagation of Wahhabism should be revisited, but the critical challenge lies in drying up financial sources inflow within the nation.
What’s important here is to understand that at the end of the day all this is closely related to the economic gains and if those gains are dried up then for sure Indian would be in a position to provide a critical challenge to the phenomenon otherwise the country in no time will become the battleground of the Wahhabism not just for Asia but for entire world.
(The writer is USA Based Geopolitical, Social and Economic Commentator)
(July 12, 2015 Page 22-23)