In an unambiguous response to extremist Islamic organisations seeking recruits from India, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his belief that Indian Muslims will live and die for India, and stressed that Al Qaeda is “delusional” if it thinks they will join its barbaric campaign for global jihad.
“My understanding is that they are doing injustice to the Muslims of our country. If anyone thinks Indian Muslims will dance to their tune, they are delusional. Indian Muslims will live for India, they will die for India — they will not want anything bad for India,” said Modi in an interview to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
Modi’s comment was in response to Zakaria’s question about the formation of Al Qaeda’s South Asian wing — Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent.
In a video released on September 4, the organisation’s chief Ayman al Zawahiri announced that his organisation would free Muslims from the “oppression” in Kashmir and Gujarat, Burma, Bangladesh, and Assam”.
Calling the formation of the “Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent” a glad tiding for Muslims in the region, Zawahiri had said that the group will aim to “break all borders created by Britain in India” and “raise the flag of jihad” across the subcontinent.
When asked about why very few Indian Muslims are part of Al Qaeda, although it exists in neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan, Modi said the threat from Islamist militancy is not about country or one race and termed it as a fight between “humanity and inhumanity”.
“I’m not the authority for doing a psychological and religious analysis on this. But the question is whether or not humanity should be defended in the world. Whether or not believers in humanity should unite. This is a crisis against humanity, not a crisis against one country or one race. So we have to frame this as a fight between humanity and inhumanity, nothing else.”
Modi’s comments, experts say, is meant for both domestic as well as an international audience. In his meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington on September 30, Mr Modi is expected to discuss a global strategy for combating threats faced by al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, which has unleashed terror in Iraq and Syria.
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