“Allah ke kaam par gaya tha.” (I had gone for the work of Allah) is what Arif Majeed, one of the four youths from Kalyan near Mumbai who joined terrorist organisation ISIS, said on his return to India, as per the media reports. Arif with three friends had flown to Iraq for a ‘pilgrimage’ and later joined ISIS. The case of four Muslim youths who fought for terror outfit raises serious questions in the minds of Indian Muslims. Is the ISIS rule actual Caliphate? Being a Muslim should they join ISIS?

Is the ISIS rule actual Caliphate?

The head of ISIS Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi is a terrorist who trained in the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan along with Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, the slain chief of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. On June 29 this year he declared himself as the caliph of Muslims and demanded bai’yah (oath of fealty) from all heads of the Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Since June 2014, whatever the ISIS has done in Iraq and Syria is totally ‘unislamic’.

According to the rules of Jihad and Caliphate written by first Calipha Abu-bakar, innocent people should not be targeted, no crop damage, no killing of unarmed, elderly and women. When we see ISIS rule in this context, there is a huge difference between the two. ISIS terrorists butchered hundreds of Christians, Shias, Kurds, Yazidis and other minorities in the regions now under their control, demolished shrines revered by Shias and Sunnis alike and expelled Christians from Mosul. The ISIS atrocity is not just against minorities, but against everyone who opposes their policies, all in the name of Islam. This violence is totally based on the wrong interpretation of Islam. They are killing women, elderly and children who are respected in Islam.

What attracted Muslims towards ISIS?

The Indian Muslims were in dilemma whether to support ISIS or not when they declared so called Islamic rule in Iraq. When Indian nurses were set free by ISIS, it was projected in a manner that ISIS are moving towards the formation of Islamic state where peace will exist. It was around this time that a section of the Indian Muslim acted in favour of ISIS. However, as  days passed, it came out that ISIS believes just in atrocities.

Stand of Muslims about ISIS

As far as India is concerned, all the prominent Indian muslims including clerics from all major muslim organisations have denounced the activities of ISIS except Maulana Suleman Nadvi who had greeted Al-Bhagdadi when he announced Cliaphate. However, Nadvi backed out when media reported killing on innocents by ISIS. On global level, not a single Arab country supported ISIS. All the well known Ulemas of Arab world including Allama Yusuf Qardawi, the most influential cleric in the Middle East who once supported suicide bombing of Palestinians, did not favour the terror outfit.

How to save Indian Muslims from ISIS?

ISIS has released a recruitment video titled “The Chosen Few of Different Lands” in at least three Indian languages: Urdu, Hindi and Tamil. It clearly indicates that it looks at India as a promising target to induct more members into the organization. After the Kalyan youths case, it is clear that the biggest danger India faces from jihadist groups is the radicalization of part of its Muslim population. The need of the hour is Muslims Ulemas to come forward to guide Indian Muslims. However, many clerics have issued Fatwas against terror activities, but this time they must come openly and condemn the activities of ISIS. Majority of Indian Muslims have refused the ISIS. But there are youths who have shown some inclination to join the ISIS. If the Muslims Ulemas would take a strong stand against the ISIS, it will create a positive impact on youth and prevent them from indulging in terror activities in the name of Islam.

ISIS has tarnished the image Islam and Muslims. It has become a blot on the religion that preaches peace and is the major reason why I and every Muslim and every human being should hate ISIS. It is a responsibility of Muslims to condemn the activities of ISIS and to present the real teachings of Islam to the world.