The Telangana police plans to rope in moderate Muslim organisations to counter the ISIS ideology that is apparently spreading amongst the youth. Leaders of these moderate outfits will check the influence of pro-ISIS moles and counsel the youth who got caught while trying to join the terror network.
Prominent among these moderate organisations are Jammat Islam-e-Hind (JIH), Islamic Information Centre (IIC) and some local madrasas. Besides these, front bodies of Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) party are also helping the police, particularly after its national president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi was threatened on social media by ISIS sympathisers.
“We are happy that a large number of Muslim organisations in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai are up in arms against the ISIS ideology. With their help, we will check the influence of the ISIS moles,” a senior police officer of the cell told The Sunday Guardian.
A counter-terror cell in the special branch of Telangana police has been actively pursuing a soft approach towards close to 20 Muslim youths who were arrested in the last 18 months for trying to join ISIS and another 40 youths who were identified as ISIS enthusiasts. Except three youths who were arrested in Nagpur last month, all others have been let off, although they are under surveillance.
The Telangana police is under pressure from the Union Home Ministry to take strong action on the youths who are lured by the ISIS. However, owing to political pressure from MIM, an ally of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the police is reluctant to incarcerate such youths.
The police, however, got a breather after witnessing support from the local Muslim moderates, who have condemned the violence unleashed by ISIS. The cops are planning to make use of these groups in weaning away the youth from the terror networks.
The IIC, a Hyderabad based non-profit organisation meant to spread true Islam, has launched a mass campaign to “counter un-Islamic” trends in the world. IIC as part of its publicity drive in the city has put up advertisements across hundreds of RTC buses and auto rickshaws. “Faith is a restraint against all violence, let no believer commit violence” is the running theme of the campaign.
Though ISIS is not directly mentioned in any of the ads, the thrust of the campaign is definitely aimed at “mindless violence” and “heinous crimes” committed by the ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Some local madrasas like Jamia Islmia Darul Uloom in Hyderabad are conducting lectures on how the ISIS has been acting against the basic tenets of Islam. Owaisi and his MIM have been vocal in condemning the ISIS, but some unidentified youth, over Twitter, threatened to attack the MP for his anti-ISIS stand. A majority of moderates backed Owaisi. “True Muslims should denounce the violence of ISIS and we are happy that a majority of Muslims are with us on this,” Telangana Home Minister Naini Narsimha Reddy told this newspaper on Friday.