Tuesday, December 6, 2022
HomeWorldIslamic State global spokesperson calls on Asian Muslims to unite for attacks...

Islamic State global spokesperson calls on Asian Muslims to unite for attacks on India

The spokesperson, who uses the pseudonym Abu Umar al-Mujahir, said the Islamic State was committed to protecting Islam in India, where he claimed it was 'under attack from govt'.

Text Size:

New Delhi: The Islamic State is calling on Muslims in South and Southeast Asia to unite to stage attacks against India, the jihadist group’s global spokesperson said in a statement released on encrypted social media feeds late Tuesday.

The spokesperson, who uses the pseudonym Abu Umar al-Mujahir, said the Islamic State was committed to protecting Islam in India, where he claimed it was “under attack from the government”.

“Fear has eaten you so you have lost the courage to stand by your religion and fight its enemies,” al-Mujahir says in the 32-minute Arabic-language speech, addressing Muslims in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

A separate video released shortly before the speech showed Islamic State jihadists executing Kurdish militia who were taken as prisoners-of-war, the latest in a series of savage execution movies the organisation has made since its inception.

The speech by al-Muhajir is the latest in a series of jihadist statements attacking India for persecuting Muslims, among them a videotaped message from slain al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in April, first reported in ThePrint. The Islamic State also threatened violence to retaliate against Bharatiya Janata Party politician Nupur Sharma’s purportedly blasphemous remarks on the Prophet Muhammad, and communal violence in New Delhi.

The so-called caliph of the Islamic State, Ibrahim Awwad al-Badri, had also named India among a list of enemy countries, in a key speech he made at the organisation’s high-noon of military success in 2014. The speech was then the first reference to India in Islamic State propaganda.

And in an official Islamic State video released in 2016, several Indian jihadists in the caliphate announced their intention to return home to fight. “To those in the Indian state who wish to understand our actions,” said an unidentified jihadist, “I say you have only three options: To accept Islam, to pay jizya [religious tax], or to prepare to be slaughtered.”

“Hindus felt you were harmless so they humiliated you and your religion, and cursed your prophet,” al-Mujahir says in the new message. “The cow worshippers defend their cows, the rat worshippers defend their rat, but you do not do the same for your Prophet.” “The Hindus felt no fear from you, so they humiliated you and your religion, and cursed your Prophet.”

In the message, al-Mujahir gave special praise to the Islamic State units which helped hundreds of jihadists to escape prison from Abuja, Nigeria, as well as a similar attack in Congo’s Northern Kivu province. “The promise we made to Muslim prisoners stands,” al-Mujahir says, “and in just one year we have liberated three prisons.”

‘There are individuals who want Islamic State to bow to West’

Large numbers of Islamic State prisoners housed in Iraq and Syria — who include several Indians, ThePrint revealed earlier this year — have repeatedly battled authorities seeking to escape. The prison camps have been subjected to jihadist attack, and are reported to be internally-policed by Islamic State hit-squads.

The Islamic State spokesperson also attacks the Taliban, claiming the rival jihadist group is collaborating with apostates in Afghanistan.

“There are groups and individuals who want the Islamic State to bow to the West and its allies,” al-Mujahir claims, “and do not want to help in the fight against the enemies of the Muslims.”

He also flags ongoing geopolitical competition, and argues Islam’s enemies have been divided into “Western and Eastern factions that are at loggerheads with one another”. The rulers of Islamic and Arab countries are drawn into this dispute, al-Mujahir continues, offering an opportunity to the Islamic State and its supporters.


Also read: To exit FATF grey list, Pakistan asks Taliban to hunt for JeM chief Masood Azhar in Afghanistan


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular