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Issue No.: 572 | February 2015
 

The Jihadi Mind

Ashok Karnik
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A well-qualified executive turning out to be a jihadi preacher ....They forget that a misfortune of history or geography cannot be eradicated
POINT

The arrest of Mehdi Mansoor Biswas from Bangaluru for carrying out pro-ISIS campaign on the social media came as a shock. A well-qualified executive turning out to be a jihadi preacher was like the plot of the latest Fredrick Forsyth novel. Biswas had everything going for him in life; why did he turn into a jihadi ideologue? He had covered himself well through cyber technology but was betrayed by his ambition for greater publicity offered by talking to a British news channel. It was the UK that alerted India that a jihadi propagandist was attracting thousands of people to his jihadi tweets. The tweeter was traced to his den and he was arrested but claimed that he had nothing to do with the ISIS. It is possible that he is a self-radicalized jihadi and was conducting his campaign without being so ordered by the ISIS. Like Biswas, the Ottawa attack outside the Parliament House, the Sydney Coffee House attack by one Haron Monis, are indicative of the phenomenon of the "Lone Wolf” terrorist. Many intelligent young men fired by the zeal to hit back at perceived injustice and believing that they have discovered the weapon to do so get carried away with their ideas.
COUNTER POINT

Such young men do not stop to think that they do exactly what they are opposed to i.e. perpetrate injustice. Some of them turn into Naxalites to eradicate economic exploitation while some turn into jihadis. They forget that a misfortune of history or geography cannot be eradicated by resorting to mindless violent and inhuman methods. The foot soldiers who follow them and indulge in violence against the establishment may be illiterate but the ideologues are highly intelligent, well educated men. Mehdi may or may not have got guidance from the ISIS; he could have worked on his own to convince excitable young men of the need for jihad to get rid of the descendants of crusaders, their decadent culture and kafirs of all kinds. He helped spread the virus of hatred. There is no stopping a zealot. The lesson is that not only a man personally aggrieved turns against the society but a man, bestowed with all that the society has to offer, can also turn against that very society;  he believes that he has found the key to life. The spate of incidents in France (January 7-9) arising out of similar foundation of hatred are evidence of the spreading disease.
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