Terror Group Seeks To Further Inflame Tensions Between Muslim & Hindu Populations
(New York, N.Y.) – On February 24, 2020, pro-ISIS media outlet Al-Qitaal Media Center published a new online magazine titled “Voice of Hind” featuring Mahmood Paracha, a lawyer accused of inciting hatred and violence in India. The magazine also states that there is no place for nationalism in Islam, and that India’s Muslims should join the caliphate instead. The publication represents ISIS’s latest effort to gain a foothold in India.
Voice of Hind emerged in the midst of large scale sectarian violence fueled by the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which critics believe discriminates against India’s Muslims. The CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) now include religion as a criterion for nationality, representing a move away from India’s founding principle of secularism. The new legislation provides a path for citizenship for practicing Hindus and five other South Asian religions—Buddhism, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, and Zoroastrianism—but does not include Islam. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reelection in May, his administration has largely endorsed a Hindu identity for the country and has demonstrated hostility towards secularism and Islam. The magazine, which seeks to exploit tensions, calls for Indian Muslims to join ISIS and praises individuals who have already done so or have committed attacks in the group’s name.
Though India banned ISIS in 2014, the Modi government has expressed concern about the group’s ability to attract members through online propaganda. The terrorist group has not made major headway in the country. However, Indian security agencies have arrested more than 127 individuals with suspected links to ISIS.
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