The simple truth is staring the world in the face today. It is not found only in the Ukraine-Russia war but almost everywhere else. The same truth has stared the world in the face numerous times before.
As these lines are being typed, the headlines of all newspapers and TV channels of North India continue to be about the incident in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area, where a mob attacked a Hanuman Jayanti procession. This is just the tip of a huge pyramid—both in India and several other parts of the world. In India, it also includes attacks on a procession taken out to mark the 131st birth anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar in Sangamner, Maharashtra.
Setting the narratives aside, this is not an incident in isolation. A nationwide series of planned attacks on Hindus during their festivals is there for everybody to see.
Stone pelting, particularly, is a very curious case. It takes a lot of preparation, tacitly involving almost the entire community, maybe even people on a “mission” from other areas. Large scale cooperation and coordination are needed to enable these attacks. And yet, by definition, it can’t be called a full-scale riot. Thus, escaping most of the possible punitive or preventive measures.
First of all, a word on the narrative. “Satyameva Jayate” may be a good phrase. But in reality, “narrative alone matters”. Our secular, leftist, outrage brigades are always there to issue a fatwa on expected lines.
What does it take to be a part of India’s secular, leftist, outrage brigade? It is a bit of a long answer. Simple and time-tested attacks on Hindus and/or their places of worship, love Jihad, hurting Indian security and interests and so on, had a serious limitation- it had no vertical growth.
The second biggest limitation- it is not easily quantifiable (and thus a major handicap in reward payments!). Despite it being horizontal in nature, numbers don’t mark the area covered.
For actualising real horizontal growth, a few more activities entered in. Some of them are the vociferous victim card, covering up the real objective by some fig leaf of some other objective, tool kits of various hues, etc.
Is it sporadic or regular? Is it spatial or a trend?
Well, we all know the answers to all these questions, as evident throughout the history of India. But this flurry might be a new thing. Or it can be said that the pace and faces of attacks have increased manifold in recent times.
A few quick examples: Massive and violent anti-CAA protests in various parts of the country, from Assam and Northeast and, of course, Delhi. Delhi riots(!). Then came the Hijab row. Then the certified halal tax. Fast forward to the month of Ramzan, which began with the attack on Gorakhnath Temple. Then attacks of different parts of the country on Ram Navami processions. And so on. Each of these offences has had its reactions in the media and public discourses.
Add a few more. The Kerala cases of trying to desecrate the Hindu temples and demean Hindu sentiments by ‘secular’ elements in administrative and quasi-judicial positions.
A lot has been said, written and discussed about these incidents, including attempts to draw a long term, panoramic and even strategic picture of them.
Still, there is no definable clarity on objectives, methods, systems, dimensions, or even consequences of these visible trends. Only one word- ‘Jihad’ encompasses them all, but that itself is neither codifiable nor strictly definable.
Is it a military situation, psychological, economic, or political? Or a mix of them all? Or something else, like an unknown-invisible virus? Even this much can’t be said with surety whether Jihad involves conflict, creates conflict, or attracts conflicts. It can do all three, and its propaganda arm can paint it in a way they wish. No one knows with conviction whether it is a military struggle, spiritual struggle, or hybrid? Frankly, we don’t know. We can sense it but can’t define it because we can’t codify it. It adopts different ways, not in response to differing political situations only (i.e., peace, conflict and war, famously said Darul-X, Darul-Y and Darul-Z), but in response to its own material and manpower status also. Once they find enough dollars, support and/or visa, they do a 9/11 or a Bombay. If they don’t, they can do a lone wolf or even add drugs causing impotence to an otherwise healthy person’s medicine prescription. At one point in time, Jihad can be using suicidal terrorists in some conflict-ridden situation, but at another time, the whole emphasis might be on tapping the judicial or media leverage available to it or simply wrecking the government system from within. Indeed, all such positions could be supplementing each other, could be independent of each other, maybe part of some hybrid war, or maybe unrelated.
It is again oversimplification to call it a “holy war”, as rooted in the Quranic script and interpretations (ijtihad). The extremely variable nature of the characteristics of Jihad makes it more of a ‘Spiral Jihadist Saw Wheel’ (SJSW) than the Jihad as preached. It is not even limited to terrorism, as it seeks to actualise all the liberty earned by a liberal society for itself by masquerading as something civil. It seeks to be profited by those very laws and institutions; it wishes to destroy. It includes democracy and judiciary, media and foreign funding, modern women and madrassa.
From plain simple Islamism- i.e., Theo-political activism of Islam- of almost all sects to a suicide bomber, a minimum of 16 spikes in the ‘Spiral Jihadist Saw Wheel’ are identified by different researchers. And with each cycle, each of these reaches a higher plateau.
It is a grave mistake if the victim or the host society believes that the SJSW can be stopped at any single spike level. Nor the size of population, economy or military can put resistance to the cutter Wheel.
To understand the SJSW, revisit the initial paragraphs of this article. The “secular, leftist, outrage brigade in India” is not named for sarcasm only. They are knowingly unknowingly “going to be” a political-military platform for launching the “Islamic state of India”.
How? Now come back to the anatomy of SJSW. On its level, a violent variant is found in a “conflict situation”. The second level is guerrilla warfare against a “focused target”. Recall the initial phase or latest round of genocide in Kashmir (The history of the genocide of Hindus in Kashmir is too long). At the third level comes the military- security personnel, military assets and installations. No need to get confused about it with any separatist slogan. It is still only one spike of the simple/ pure/ pious SJSW.
The next spike starts from the last point of the first spike. That is, from attacks on military- security personnel, their capabilities, morale, assets and installations, it moves to attacks on civilians and their installations with impunity, changing the names, persons, and objectives of the society.
What next? Islamic state. Virtually yes, actually not now. What causes the ‘gap’? We will see in the later lines.
What goes on at this level is establishing the framework and groundwork of the political pattern of Jihad. This includes indoctrination for Jihad in the name of religious education, brandished as spiritual development. This, in turn, leads to the spreading of Islamic values and educational Jihad in society. (Jihad al-Da’wa and Jihad al-Tarbiya). This sets the stage for Jihad al Kuffar or Jihad against the disbelievers and nonbelievers at the societal level. Jihad al – Munafiqeen or Jihad against the supposed hypocrites and/or Jihad al Faasiqeen (Jihad against ‘corrupt’ Muslims) provides a layer of now established religious legitimacy to this spike of the Saw Wheel. The objective of this spike is to form an a-political environment, which is “secular” (free of un-Islamic elements, placing Islam over the state, and Islamisation is given a political or state patronage) enough to let the next spike fit in. See how both the “secular, democratic political parties” of Kashmir provided a political-administrative sanctuary for Jihad, Jihadist coercion and intimidation to go on.
Attempts to define terrorism as the use of violence against innocent third parties (to confirm and/or submit) for political reasons, or brandishing of the victim card, are basically done by the “secular, leftist, outrage brigade” to provide a layer of legitimacy to the ongoing SJSW. Interestingly, now even the UN is their partner indeed.
Here ends the first question by birthing the next. At this stage, it is important to comprehend that Jihad originates from Islamic teachings and not from Islamic “fundamentalism,” “extremism,” “fanaticism,” “Islamo-fascism,” or “Islamism”, etc. Another apologetic attempt is to literally translate Jihad as an inner struggle against the passions. Scholars have found the inner component to be partially true, but it is no less violent as it is about drafting and mobilising entire Muslim community towards “outer” Jihad. If one says that terrorism and Jihad are interrelated and have anything to do with radicalisation, then it is an oversimplification. Terrorism is just a tool for Jihad, which in itself is much more than that. Simply put, Jihad carries on even if terrorism is defeated.
See, for example, the factor of the organisation. Although it might not be essential for Jihad, it can be useful.
How can the “victim” or “host” country respond to it? By banning?
The idea of regrouping is always very handy for bypassing such actions. Ghulam Nabi Fai, the self-styled ‘doctor’, an ISI agent and a Jamaat-e-Islami activist, has been caught by law in the ‘host’ USA but has survived several such actions. In our country, SIMI was banned & regrouped as PFI. Now, the PFI is being banned, and there is a chance that it’ll regroup. Then comes the point of striking at the root, which means action against the individuals.
The amended UAPA allows the government to ban individuals as unlawful, as against the earlier provision of banning only the organisations as unlawful. But to hope that it will solve the problem is again somehow wishful. The process has to go through the labyrinth of the judiciary, and now (and the time out from jail for reproduction purposes has now got a legal validation). Then there are umpteen stories of jails porous for individuals, communications, contriving, groupings etc., plus the umbrella shield of human rights. It gives birth to the doubt- can a military situation have a civil answer? And just before this- Jihad is a military situation or a civil problem?
Even if all are discounted, neither punishment is seen as a deterrent to Jihad, nor is the ‘rehabilitation’.
The same applies to wishes of cutting off the financial roots, arms supplies, recruitment fields, catchment areas, training sanctuaries, amputating the propaganda arms, etc.
Viruses don’t care for the cell membranes, nor does Jihad care for national, legal or moral boundaries.
India’s virus is actually a political ideology that seeks a fundamental and permanent state of war with the civilisation, state, culture, and individuals of India, who provoke this virus by their existence only.
How come anything ‘provokes Jihad by existence only’? Take it straight. The political ideology of Islam actually outlines a social, governmental, and economic system for all believers. The second component of the political ideology of Islam is – that mankind can be a believer only. Those cultures, societies, institutions and individuals who don’t submit to this virtual Islamic State, and its implicit governance, are in an ipso facto state of rebellion with (or within) the Islamic State. Henceforth, Jihad works like any legitimate army of some legitimate state, i.e., using the force to bring the ‘rebels’ into submission.
Why doesn’t the ‘death by thousand cuts’ kind of Jihad takes the shape of an Islamic state quickly? The acceleration is very much there, which strongly believes that a war is not only inevitable but desirable, as it is the only path to achieving the divine objective. Still, there is a wait. Wait, for what? Let’s see.
One thing which explains the ‘wait’ is the concept of “lone wolf”, i.e., an act of mass violence by a single individual or even a small bunch, fashionably called sleeper cell. In fact, there is nothing “lone” or “sleeper” in it. Such attacks aim at triggering their desired and designed war. Such attacks are intended to force the ‘supporting constituency’ to recognise their enemy, join an uprising, and destroy the political system. Even if the state acts against them, the state quickly becomes the enemy of the entire community. Learn by Egypt.
If fact, all acts of terrorism do fit into this paradigm, ever reducing the period of ‘wait’. The recovery, reinforcement, and rebuilding by the ‘enemy’ forces another ‘wait’ and makes another strike crucial to sustaining the Jihad. That is how endless Jihad goes on, misbegotten as the ‘death by thousand cuts’.
Probably, another factor explaining ‘wait’ is the favourable geostrategic changes, particularly the culmination of the cultural Marxism in America and Europe and the growing technical options available to terrorists.
The ‘wait’ must not be confused with any kind of weakness or lull. If we can learn anything from history, it is that Jihad will continue to raise its head whenever it can and will raise it again because “it can”. Any cessation might simply mean a change in tactics, which is indicative of a longer-term approach that would allow more infiltration, immigration and higher birth rates to take Islam closer to victory before the next round of violence.
One can refer to the new population projections by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. According to it, the world’s Muslim population is expected to increase by about 35% in the next 20 years, rising from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.2 billion by 2030. And globally, the Muslim population is forecasted to grow at about twice the rate of the non-Muslim population over the next two decades – an average annual growth rate of 1.5% for Muslims, compared with 0.7% for non-Muslims. According to the same agency’s estimate, India will have the largest Muslim population in the world in 2060. Of course, several apologists can easily be found, from pure naysaying to “Fact-checking”, “but”, “due to” & “if” prefixes.
So, terrorism is merely a symptom that may increase or decrease in intensity on occasions, while Islam will remain on an incline.
The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS, by Robert Spencer
Islam 101, by Gregory M. Davis
Politics of Islamic Jihad, by Kent B. Huzen
Sura verse 2:98 – Allah is the enemy of non-Muslims!
Sura Ayat 3:85 – No other religion/religion is accepted other than Islam!
Surah verse 3:62,2:255,27:61 and 35:3 – * There is no other god than Allah!
Sura verse 8:12 – Allah will instill fear in the hearts of those who disbelieve Islam, and Muslims, you cut their limbs by hitting their necks!
Sura verse 3:118- Make only Muslims your intimate friend!
Sura verse 3:28 and 9:23- Do not make friends with non-Muslims!
Sura verse 8:39 – fight non-Muslims until the faith of Allah is fully established!
Sura verse 22:30- Idols are filth!
Sura verse 9:5 – Ambush and kill the idolaters wherever and whenever you can!
Sura verse 33:61- Wherever the faithful and idolaters are caught, they will be brutally killed!
Sura verse 21:98 – Those who worship anyone other than Allah are the fuel of Hell!
Sura verse 9:28 -* idolaters are impure (unholy)!
Sura verse 4:101 – Kafirs are your open enemies!
Sura verse 9:123 – oppress the infidels!
Sura verse 9:29 – * By humiliating the infidels, make jizya from them!
Sura verse 66:9 – * Do Jihad (war) with the infidels and the beneficiaries!
Sura verse 4:56 – Will cook the skin of the disbeliever!
Sura verse 8:69 – All spoils (including women) are Halal!
Sura verse 9:14 – Allah will punish the disbelievers at the hands of the believers!
Sura verse 8:57 – be cruel to the prisoners of war!
Sura Ayat 32:22- Take revenge on those who leave Islam!