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Nations need to red flag madrasas to curb terrorism

NewsNations need to red flag madrasas to curb terrorism

Panaji: A purported video of a boy chanting slogans against Hindu and Christian communities during “Save the Republic” rally conducted by PFI on 21 May 2022 that went viral is disturbing but not shocking. Indoctrinating children to hate non-Islamic followers is the cornerstone in the spreading of Islamic radicalism.
Last year, Islamic radicalised children took out a protest demanding the beheading of Hindu cleric Yati Narsinghanand. The children were shouting, “Gustakh-E-Rasool Ki Ek Hi Saza, Sar Tan Se Juda” which literally means, “If you insult our Prophet, there is only one punishment, that your head must be decapitated.”
Terrorism has a religion. Islamic radicalism is doctrine under which Islamic terrorism germinates. I do not for one moment think that all followers of Islam are terrorists. That is certainly not true. Over the years in my life having grown up in the Middle East and India, I have forged friendships with many followers of Islam globally and not all of them are terrorists.
But this truth also cannot be denied most terror attacks around the world in the last 20-plus has been carried out by Islamic terrorist organisations. Radical Islam is taught to followers of Islam from a young age in the madrassas. Post the September 9/11 terror attack in the US, globally, madrassas drew added attention when it became known that several Taliban leaders and Al Qaeda members had studied in Madrassas in Pakistan. These revelations have led to the accusations that madrassas promote Islamic extremism, militancy and are a recruiting ground for terrorism. Some madrassas are alleged to be having links with terrorist organisations like Taliban, ISIS and Al Qaeda. Intelligence agencies opine that madrassas promote radicalism and religious fanaticism among Muslim children who then turn out to be terrorists in the future due to what their minds are fed.
There some global analysts who opine that Islamic radicalism is threatening the existence of more moderate beliefs and practices in other parts of the Muslim world. In a research study conducted by European Foundation of South Asian Studies titled, “Human Trafficking, Religious Indoctrination & Radicalization” it states, “Radicalization and religious indoctrination must be perceived as part of the whole process that leads to the recruitment of people by terrorist organizations, and therefore, the current focus on securitization should also encompass integration and education. Ignorance, in this case on both sides, breeds radicalism, with terrorism as its outlet.”
It further states, “The madrassas are considered by many families as the only realistic option towards access of education for their children, especially among those who come from poor backgrounds, since these madrassas provide food and shelter for their students.
A teacher proposes to educate these children at the Madrassa and subsequently promises to find them employment in the service of Islam. Madrassa students have a tendency of becoming highly devoted to their masters, where the authoritarian doctrinaire education established on memorization inhibits even the slightest expression of free thought or individual will, and gives a green light to religious fanaticism and incites a desire to confront anyone pointed out as an unbeliever by their teacher. The path following recruitment relies on the age of the child involved, where youngsters (between 8 and 12) are preferred. The Madrassas are usually in remote areas and maintain a limited number of students so that they do not draw significant attention. The juveniles are refused any contact with the outside world and are indoctrinated in sectarian extremism, hatred for non-Muslim and anti-Western beliefs, the report revealed.
In another study paper published by the European Foundation for South Asian Studies prior to Covid-19, it was discussed how Pakistani Madrassas continue to contribute to radicalisation and religious terrorism in J& K. In fact, some intelligence reports have revealed that Madrassas in Pakistan have been inviting those who have been involved in J&K conflict in order to inspire their students to participate in it.
The European Foundation for South Asian Studies further highlighted that the madrassas are well equipped to radicalise their students and various terrorist groups in Pakistan in an attempt to exert radical Islam and the idea of Holy War for the purposed of J&K through madrassas.
In fact, in central intelligence agencies investigate the unrest caused by certain sections of the radicalised Islamic population in India,in particular terror-linked organisation like the Popular Front of India (PFI) authorities in their deep dive into the nexus behind the radicalisation and indoctrination it will find that some madrassas funded through dubious organisations in India, Middle East and Turkey are behind the grooming of hate among young Muslims in India and that is causing more damage to Indian Muslims.
This mission to spread hate in India while playing victim of atrocities being a minority intensified post the Abrogation of Article 370. Islamic radicals aim to spread Islamic terrorism across India. They have mobilised their young population across different cities in India to create mayhem and if we intelligence agencies the stone-pelting trail its funders and its recruiting modules, you will find a devious and planned operations. The grooming ground is the madrassas for the hate and instigation.
As per a report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) recruitment of children by terrorist groups in a worldwide phenomenon. It further states that violent and extremist groups are rampantly using children to boost their visibility like Boko Haram, ISIS. In analysis conducted in the UNODC report on six-month data set of ISIS propaganda it revealed a total of 254 events that included images of children, 38 percent of the images were of children engaged in acts of violence, which were used to shock the public and show the ruthlessness of the group.
The writer is Founder & Editor-in-Chief GoaChronicle.com

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