Jihad Remarks Infuriate India Muslims

CAIRO – Union Home Minister Shri P Chidambram’s remarks linking jihad to terrorism are infuriating Indian Muslims for misinterpreting the true meaning of the Islamic term.

"It is a gross misrepresentation of 'Jihad' and also betrays sheer ignorance on the part of your speech writer," the All India Muslim Majlis-E-Mushawarat, an umbrella body of Indian Muslim organisations, in a statement mailed to IslamOnline.net on Monday, January 4.

Addressing an intelligence lecture on December 23, Minister Chidambram linked jihad to terrorism.

"Just as the Cold War came to an end, we witnessed the emergence of another kind of war, namely, jihad," he said.

"Unlike the original Crusades, jihad is not fought like a conventional war. Jihad employs terror as an instrument to achieve its objectives."

The Muslim umbrella organization said the controversial remarks demonstrate ignorance of the true meaning of Jihad.

"Jihad is a defensive war against invaders and occupiers like the one our forefathers fought against the British occupiers of India."

It explained that jihad is divided into two categories; "Greater Jihad" and "Lesser Jihad".

"The greater one is against one’s own shortcomings and waywardness while the lesser one is against foreign enemies who invade us and occupy our lands. Such struggle is the duty of every faithful lover of his/her country."


The Indian Muslim organization said the term "Jihad" is now misused by the US to justify the takeover of foreign lands and resources.

"It all started with their training, arming and financing fighters in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation and it was hailed as 'Jihad' by the US-controlled media," it noted.

"Later their own creation turned against them."

Karen Armstrong, a prominent and prolific British writer on all three monotheistic religions, has criticized the West's abuse of the word Jihad for certain purposes.

The All India Muslim Majlis-E-Mushawarat insisted that Indian Muslims have never used violence against their country.

"No Indian Muslim has taken part in such activities whether in the Indian part of Kashmir or in Afghanistan or Iraq or elsewhere."

The organization accused the Home Ministry of turning a blind eye to anti-Muslim smearing campaigns.

"Various departments of your ministry are still beating about the bush, making tall claims about 'Islamic terrorism' while there is none as far as Indian Muslims are concerned."

There are some 140 million Muslims in Hindu-majority India, the world's third-largest Muslim population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.

"It is my sincere advice to you as a learned, sincere and secular leader, to look beyond the popular clichés and the vague claims of your officials, and try to curb the real terror within the boundaries of our country," said the All India Muslim Majlis-E-Mushawarat President Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan.

"Kindly leave the so-called 'Jihad' for America to tackle as it is the creator and beneficiary of this monster to this day in its quest to control energy resources of the Middle East." [adm/islamonline]

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