In Eid videos, glimpse of new militant narrative

SRINAGAR: The first video stormed the Internet on Thursday afternoon and featured a now familiar voice of Islamist militant Zakir Musa.

editorial@tribune.com

Azhar Qadri

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, September 1

The first video stormed the Internet on Thursday afternoon and featured a now familiar voice of Islamist militant Zakir Musa. A second video followed hours later. It featured the newest militant recruit Eisa Fazili.

They spelled out an Islamist narrative that has been building up for the past several months and has caused a major ideological shift in the militant camp, putting it on a collision course with separatists over the raison d’être of the separatist cause.

Musa and Eisa, both former engineering students, made a radical advocacy of fighting in Kashmir in their audio and video statements that were introduced as Eid messages.

It is a religious fight, they said, as they quoted Islamic scriptures and Muslim history and Musa denounced PMNarendra Modi as a “cow worshiper”. In their words, Kashmir transcended beyond a political issue awaiting a political solution — as advocated by the separatists.

Musa, who quit Hizbul Mujahideen after embracing a hardline Islamist agenda and was later named as head of the Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, also derided the Pakistan government and its army, accusing them of “backstabbing the Kashmir jihad”.

“We don’t need permission from any state or certificate from any hypocrite. We don’t wage jihad so that the United Nations or the international community will support us,” Musa said in his nine-minute audio message released by Al Hurr, the media production house of the newly founded Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind group. “Our war is against the Indian Army, the apostate police of Kashmir, officers of the Government of India, and the political merchants,” he said.

In the second video that appeared last evening, a recent militant recruit from Srinagar appeared with a similar Islamist narrative, vowing that their fight is “only for supremacy of Allah’s religion”. “Our aim should not be to remove one transgressing system with another,” Eisa said. The overt expressions of global Islamism — first stated by Burhan Wani whose killing last year sparked awave of protests — by militants operating in Kashmir has increased in frequency in recent months.

A police officer, who has past experience in counter-insurgency operations, said the two videos reflected a growing change in the character of militancy in the region and possibility of an “ideological polarisation” between Islamist and pro-Pakistan camps.

Islamist agenda 

Two militants spelled out an Islamist narrative that has been building up for the past several months and has caused a major ideological shift within the militant camp, putting it on a collision course with political separatists over the raison d’être of the separatist cause. 

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