The Israeli intelligence service Mossad and their counterpart in the US, the CIA, have deliberately attempted to create a division among Muslims in India and those in other parts of the world, to keep them away from the mainstream and link them with terrorism, said T. Arif Ali, president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) in Kerala, who was in the Kingdom recently to perform Umrah.
In an interview with Arab News, Arif Ali highlighted Jamaat’s efforts to unify the vote bank of Muslims and other minorities by establishing the Welfare Party that promotes value-based politics in India.
The following is the full text of the interview:
Arab News: What have been the major achievements of JIH since its establishment in 1948?
Arif Ali: The main objective of JIH is to spread the message of Islam as a complete way of life and a solution to the problems of mankind. We have been successful in realizing this goal to a great extent through our various programs and publications. Jamaat gave the Muslim community the courage to stand firm in the torrent of Western cultural onslaught and face modern challenges. It also played a leadership role in addressing various issues, like the anti-Shariah campaign. Its educational system, providing both material and religious knowledge, enhanced the confidence of Muslim youths in Islam. Jamaat has been involved in several social and humanitarian activities to alleviate the suffering of victims of natural and man-made calamities. It introduced interest-free financial assistance and micro-finance programs all over the country. It has published the translations of the Holy Qur’an in all major languages of India, which helped Muslims and non-Muslims to learn more about Islam.
AN: Jamaat has initiated the formation of the Welfare Party. What is the relevance of such a political party in India today?
Arif Ali: Corruption and moral decadence have become the hallmarks of Indian politics. Our politicians have been using the taxpayers’ money to fill their pockets as well as their corporate allies’ instead of using it for public welfare. Most political leaders are accused of corruption and favoritism. So people in India are looking for a corruption-free political party. The main objective of Welfare Party is to promote value-based politics. Secondly, there was the need for an all-India political party that takes Muslims as a social base while bringing together other sidelined communities. These would be the Aborigines and Daliths, along with a large majority of citizens who are interested in value-based politics. As part of Islamophobia some international intelligence agencies have tried to keep the Muslim community away from the mainstream. The Welfare Party wants to change that situation and bring Muslims back to the mainstream, fostering harmonious relations between Hindus, Muslims and other faith-based communities in the country.
AN: Can you explain the move by international intelligence agencies to divide Muslims and keep them away from the mainstream?
Arif Ali: It is not a secret that Mossad with the help of CIA has been trying to create division among Muslims, fueling conflicts between Sunnis and Shiites. Wherever Muslims live in peace and harmony with other communities, they try to trigger communal conflicts to keep them out of the mainstream. This is a planned operation. They have been doing this in India and other parts of the world. India has signed agreements with these foreign agencies to train its police force. In olden times, intelligence work was limited to reporting what was going on in a country. Today their work involves planning what they want to see in a country. They want to get the Muslims out of the Indian mainframe and they make plans to achieve that goal. The bomb explosions in different parts of the country, including the Makkah Masjid and Samjoda Express blasts, the attack on the Indian Parliament and the fake, armed confrontations between police and young Muslims expose this plan. The government has now got information that these incidents were plotted by Hindu extremist groups with the support of police. Authorities unfairly blamed Muslims for those explosions and arrested a large number of Muslim youths. We cannot deny that these forces might have used some Muslim individuals as tools to realize their goals. The Mossad and the CIA wanted to create an impression that terrorism equals Muslims. They want Muslims to engage in extremist activities in order to target them. Wikileaks reports have revealed these facts.
Arab News: The communalization of politics, bureaucracy and judiciary has caused a lot of problems for Muslims in India. Do you think a united move by all Muslim organizations was necessary to address this issue?
Arif Ali: Jamaat initiated the formation of Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, a consultative body of different organizations in the country, and its affiliate All-India Muslim Personal Law Board to strengthen Muslim unity and protect their rights. The personal law board, representing the largest number of Muslim organizations, has been playing an important role in taking up major issues like the Babari Masjid and the arrest of Muslim youths. There are several advocates and other professionals under this board. Jamaat intends to carry out a three-prong program to improve the condition of Muslims in India. First, to provide legal support to innocent Muslims who are being victimized and jailed. We believe the judiciary is still the most dependable body in the country. Second, we want to confront communalism through political participation. We have to convince political parties that they cannot win in elections if they take a stand against the Muslims and minorities. For that we have to develop a strong and united vote bank. This was one of the objectives behind the formation of Welfare Party. Whenever Congress took a stand against the Muslim community, it was defeated in the elections. Third, by expressing our concerns and views through the media and dialogue forums.
Arab News: There are thousands of innocent Muslim youths still in Indian jails. What must be done to free them?
Arif Ali: This is a very serious as well as a surprising issue. From the president of India to the lower grade police officer agree that there are a lot of innocent Muslim youths in jails across the country. They keep on saying it over and over again. One reason for making them repeats it is the awareness we have given to the public regarding the issue. At the same time, the very same police officers and government agencies repeat the injustice by arresting more innocent Muslim youths. This indicates that there are other forces at work here, who do not come under the control of the president or the prime minister or other officials. Recently, Home Minister Shinde gave a statement about growing Hindu terrorism in the country. He was right, but he had to retract his statement because of political pressure. Following the recent Hyderabad blasts, Muslim youths were again victimized before conducting any investigation.
AN: We often hear about some Muslim terrorist organizations like Hizbul Mujahedeen and Lashkare Taiba claiming responsibility for such bomb attacks? Do you think these organizations really exit?
Arif Ali: Indian Mujahideen and Lashkare Taiba are introduced by intelligence agencies. No questions have been asked or investigations conducted on the whereabouts these organizations. They just give some Muslim names as instigators or perpetrators. After a while, we come to know that the people behind these explosions were some Hindu priests or police officers. By that time, hundreds of innocent Muslim youths would be arrested and tortured in jails. These arrests take place under the UAPA or Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Any police officer can misuse the law to arrest anybody. They need the government’s approval for the arrest but can easily obtain it. When a person is arrested under UAPA, he can be kept behind bars for any length of time without trial. They are denied all human rights and cannot get release on bail. According to Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, a former Supreme Court judge, bail is the law, but when it comes to UAPA there is no place for bail. Another issue is that while a convict’s trial is going on, new accusations can be added to his charge sheet. So UAPA is the main villain. The Act was amended in December 2012, making it more dangerous. If a person gives money to another for any reason, and the person who receives the money is suspected of using the money for extremism, then both persons could be arrested under this law. While admitting that innocent Muslims are jailed, the government continues to pass such dangerous laws that could be used to target Muslims.