Report: Recruiting Youth for Dreaded ISIS
Hyderabad woman Afsha Jabeen’s ploy to recruit youth for ISIS
Afsha Jabeen, 38, alias Nicole alias Nicky Joseph recently deported from UAE was arrested soon on arrival at Hyderabad airport on the charges of recruiting youth for dreaded terror outfit ISIS. She had been deported by the UAE as part of a campaign, wherein the country routinely deports individuals with links with the ISIS.
She who was thought to be a British national is actually from Hyderabad’s Tolichowki area. She is daughter of a poor stationary shop owner who made a living in Dubai after migrating from Hyderabad. This woman recruited Hyderabad resident Salman Mohiuddin, 32 who was arrested earlier this year. Nicky was deported along with her husband Devendra Batra alias Mustafa and three daughters. Salman had told during interrogation that Nicky — who he initially claimed was a British national living in Dubai — had “influenced” him to join her in Dubai and subsequently go to Syria.
It has now emerged that both created various social networking groups under fake names and started propaganda and attracting people who were interested in the IS. According to the confessional statement of Nicky, it was Salman who made her the adminstrator for four facebook groups to indoctrine Muslim youth.
The four groups are Daula Newsroom, Moderators VS liberals, Daula Islamia and Revelations Hadith. She said, “I am a strong supporter of Islamic State and have been impressed and appreciate the way they stopped Assad (Syrian President) from committing atrocities against Sunnies and wanted to establish Sharia. Salman proposed to marry me and if it did not materialise, he would join ISIS.”
Both hail from Hyderabad; in fact Salman was arrested following a tip-off from US intelligence agencies, which had been monitoring his movements ever since he left the United States (US) for Bharat in October 2014 after being denied a visa extension.
Officials said US intelligence was keeping a tab on him after discovering that he frequently visited the websites of IS and other jihadi groups. “He had also left messages on IS websites and on the social media pages of jihadi groups in Syria. Son of a garments trader, he went to the US and joined the Texas Southern University for a Master of Science degree in Transportation Planning and Management. After completing studies, Salman worked mostly as a sales executive at several places in Houston, including a car rental firm and a pharmaceutical company.
Rafique Zakaria, a human right Activist based in Pakistan and author of Upstairs Wife said in her column, “In a period marked both by Islamophobia and Islamic fundamentalism, jihadist militancy is a phenomenon fraught with complexity and enmeshed both in opposition to Western interventions and the ongoing tribulations of the Muslim world. Rejecting equality between men and women does not render a Muslim militant; neither does cultural alienation automatically make one an ISIS sympathiser”.
On the contrary, jihadists have persecuted millions of devout Muslim women (and men) around the world and killed thousands of them. Many Muslims actively denounce extremism and advocate peace, equality, and an end to discrimination from both within and outside their faith. Yet to understand the interplay between culture, religion, and politics in her life can reveal something important about why she and other women become jihadists.
The “liberation” offered by ISIS can seem like an escape from both the ghettoised status of Islam in the West as well as the restrictive cultural mores of many Muslim countries; just as crucially, it can also seem like a legitimate response to being victimised by US-led wars that promise female empowerment but deliver widespread destruction. Unless we examine why some women choose to devote their lives to such a group, we cannot grasp the power of ISIS’s utopian, yet violently deceptive promise.
—N Nagaraja Rao, Hyderabad
In Bharat, Left-liberal-secular brigade of Communists and Congress has maintained silence on the fatwa issued by Raza Academy and has behaved like Ostriches.
The Mumbai based Raza Academy, a Sunni group has issued a fatwa and has called for Muslims to reject Iranian director’s Majid Majidi’s movie on Prophet Mohammad: the messenger of God. The Raza Academy has justified the reason behind fatwa– that in Prophet’s words no visual and picture of him is to be kept and created. According to Raza Academy, Majidi film has made a mockery of Prophet Mohammad .The Raza Academy has now also issued a fatwa against Bharatiya music composer AR Rahman. The composer was left to defend himself. Rahman, in a letter published on Facebook, said he was convinced that he had acted in good faith by working on the biopic. “I am not a scholar of Islam. I follow the middle path and am part traditionalist and part rationalist,” he wrote. “I live in the western and eastern worlds, and try to love all people for what they are, without judging them.
Ironically, the likes of Mahesh Bhatt and Aamir Khan are nowhere to be seen defending Rahman that his freedom of expression and creativity is at risk from Raza Academy which still lives in medieval times. Aamir Khan’s PK got released without cut despite protests by Hindu organisations whose sensitivities were hurt by the negative portrayal of Hindu religion. The script of PK reveals Amir’s upbringing and mindset towards Hindu religion.
The fatwa issued by Sunni Raza Academy is in congruence with the Sunni world view on the depiction of Prophet Mohammad in Majidi’s film. The fatwa issued by Raza Academy in Bharat has made even castiest Hindus knowledgeable that Islam is not a monolithic religion as had been projected by the Muslim community in Bharat. Sunni Muslims see the depiction of Muhammad as taboo. The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz ibn Abdullah Al Shaykh has also condemned the film, stating that Majidi’s film depicts the Prophet in an “untrue light” and undermines the role he plays in Islam. Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university, Al-Azhar University in Egypt, has condemned the new film. The university’s spokesman recently questioned the viability of casting Islam’s chief figure. “The actor who has played this role may later play a criminal one, and viewers may associate these characters with criminality.” This to an extent reveals the dilemma on Amir’s part not to condemn Raza Academy’s fatwa.
Shia Iranians, compared with Sunnis, have a relatively relaxed attitude towards visualising religious figures. Majidi’s state-sponsored film, which is the first part of an ambitious trilogy about the Prophet’s life, tells the story of Muhammad from his birth to the age of 12, ending with his first visit to Sham. Majidi, an Iranian, in line with liberal Shia tradition has depicted the prophet’s hands and legs as a baby, and the back of his head as an adolescent, but never shows his face. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the ultimate authority in the country, has backed the film’s production and had even visited film’s location to the south of Tehran, where giant replicas of Mecca and Medina were built. But isn’t it strange Iran had slammed the French satirical magazine for publishing Muhammad’s cartoons. Iran has been a critic of the prophet’s portrayal in the west and severely criticised French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, in the aftermath of the deadly attacks in Paris, for publishing cartoons of Prophet Mohammad on the cover page, which depicted Mohammad weeping and holding up a sign reading je Suis Charlie.
Presstitute media has failed to reach out to AR Rahman to get his side of story and flash it as breaking news. It has also failed to invite any reaction from the Muslim face of the Congress party over fatwa issued by Sunni Raza Academy. In the past Congress had always fielded Muslim faces to attack RSS and VHP. Adarsh liberals, who are firm believers in freedom of expression—kiss of love and dared to perform it for publicity, have not bothered to come out in support of AR Rahman and protest against Raza Academy for issuing fatwa. The Government of Bharat must firmly tell likes of Raza Acdemy not to drag the government as it has important things to do and not to use Bharat in the war for supremacy between Shias and Sunnis—beyond the borders of Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
(The writer is a senior journalist)