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Issue No.: 571 | January 2015
 

Return of a Jihadi

Ashok Karnik
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A wise person examines all sides before coming to a conclusion. This is an attempt to present various sides of an issue so that a considered opinion can be formed.

POINT

A young man aspiring to be an engineer turned to global jihad under the influence of social media and perhaps guided by somebody he respected. Areeb Majid from Kalyan went to Iraq six months ago and returned claiming to be injured but still clinging to the jihadi spirit. He was supposed to be dead but emerged somehow in Turkey and his parents got the NIA/MEA to intervene and brought him back. Three others who went with him may also follow suit. A number of questions remain. Who made arrangements for his outward journey? What did he do in Iraq for the ISIS? How was he allowed to run away to Turkey? If he has not changed his mind-set, why has he abandoned the jihad? He is guilty of joining a terrorist organisation so declared by the UN and fighting against an established State. He would be prosecuted even if he now claims that all he did was construction work in Iraq. His parents did one better by claiming that when he went to Iraq in May 2014, ISIS was not established and he and his friends went to Iraq just to find work and got trapped in the subsequent developments there. Nobody believes this explanation as it runs counter to Majid’s own claims. All such legal ploys would be used to get the aspiring jihadis exonerated under our feeble criminal justice system.

COUNTER POINT

Majid is obviously not telling the whole truth. A lot of stories within stories would emerge to confuse the interrogators. Educated young men are capable of selfradicalization by listening to religious sermons and chatting with like-minded youth from other parts of the world. The call from the Caliphate (ISIS) is supposed to be binding on all ‘true’ Muslims who are then prepared to die for their beliefs. Young men from over 40 countries are fighting for the ISIS in Iraq and Syria. A small number from India should not surprise us. The young men have grievances of their own (who does not?) but relief is promised by the Caliphate. Muslim scholars claim that Islam does not accept such a Caliphate but why are they shy of launching a public campaign to disabuse the young men of this wrong notion? ISIS made impressive advances initially but once the US launched air attacks, the advances were halted. It is a strategic error on the part of the ISIS to capture territory and show itself. Terrorism succeeds since a terrorist is unseen. When he is visible, he can be attacked by superior forces. That the US is unwilling to fight it on the ground is the key to ISIS survival. Meanwhile, young men will flock to join ISIS as it promises deceptive salvation.
Readers are invited to email their points of view on serious issues of the day to ashokkarnik2001@yahoo.co.in. 

Readers who do not have the facility of a computer can also post (mail) their points of view on serious issues of the day to "Point Counter Point”, c/o Freedom First, 3rd floor, Army & Navy Building, 
148, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Mumbai, 400001.
 
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