Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Islamic State Related Abstracts

7 The Influence of the Islamic State (IS) on India: Recent Developments and Challenges

Authors: Alvite Singh Ningthoujam

Abstract:

The most recent terror phenomenon, which is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), or Islamic State (IS), has its influence felt in South Asia. This dreaded Sunni militant group, today, has become a concern in India as well. Already affected by various terror activities in the country, the influence of the IS on the radicalised Muslim youths in India has been watched closely by the security agencies. There had already been a few IS-related incidents in India due to which this issue has emerged as a threat or challenge to India’s internal security. The rapid radicalisation of youths in a few states where there are sizeable Muslim populations has gone, to some extent, in favour of the IS, particularly in the terror outfit’s recruitment process. What has added to the worry of the Indian security agencies is the announcement of the Al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahari, of the creation of the Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent. In fact, this is a worrisome factor as both the militant groups, that is, al-Qaeda and ISIS, have a similar objective to target India and to turn this South Asian country as one of the recruiting grounds for extremists. There is also a possibility that an Indian Mujahedeen (IM) man was believed to be instrumental in recruiting for the ISIS poor Muslims in a few Indian states. If this nexus between ISIS and India’s home-grown terror groups manages to establish a robust link, then the headache of combating such amalgamated force will be a hard task for Indian security agencies. In the wake of the above developments, this paper would seek to analyse the developing trend in India in regard to IS. It would also bring out the reasons as to why further penetration of the IS influence on India would be a grave concern in the internal security of the country. The last section of the paper would highlight the steps that have been taken by the Indian government to tackle this menace effectively.

Keywords: Security, India, muslim, Islamic State

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6 South Asia’s Political Landscape: Precipitating Terrorism

Authors: Saroj Kumar Rath

Abstract:

India's Muslims represent 15 percent of the nation's population, the world's third largest group in any nation after Indonesia and Pakistan. Extremist groups like the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, the Taliban and the Haqqani network increasingly view India as a target. Several trends explain the rise: Terrorism threats in South Asia are linked and mobile - if one source is batted down, jihadists relocate to find another Islamic cause. As NATO withdraws from Afghanistan, some jihadists will eye India. Pakistan regards India as a top enemy and some officials even encourage terrorists to target areas like Kashmir or Mumbai. Meanwhile, a stream of Wahhabi preachers have visited India, offering hard-line messages; extremist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State compete for influence, and militants even pay jihadists. Muslims as a minority population in India could offer fertile ground for the extremist recruiters. This paper argues that there is an urgent need for the Indian government to profile militants and examine social media sites to attack Wahhabi indoctrination while supporting education and entrepreneurship for all of India's citizens.

Keywords: Terrorism, Pakistan, India, Islamic State, Al Qaeda, haqqani network, Taliban

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5 The Emerging Post-Islamism and the Politics of Pakistan’s Jamaat-i-Islami in the Contemporary Muslim World

Authors: Shahzada Gulfam

Abstract:

Islamism was considered as a new phenomenon in Muslim World to revolt against static Religious Traditionalists and the Imperialists. Islamist political parties viewed the establishment of an Islamic state within the limits of Sharia’h as their destination. The Islamists movements like Ikhwan-ul Muslimun, Jamaat-i-Islami etc. did appear with revolutionary agenda but were contained by military forces and the secular modernists of Muslim World. The Muslim rulers, historically could not respect the democratic and moral norms and equally emerged as dictators in democracies, military rule as well as in monarchies. The Arab Spring did not follow the Islamists agenda but gathered the common masses against the corrupt rulers to have a just democratic political system. The Islamic State and Sharia’h were not their immediate targets but the achievement of moral norms in Muslim societies and eradication of dictatorial rule were the basic aims. This phenomenon is named as post-Islamism. The political struggle of PAT (Pakistan Awami Tehreek) and the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf) has been following the footsteps of Arab Spring and can be noted as the extension of Arab Spring in Muslim World. The results of this struggle would define the fate of Post-Islamism in Pakistan. Has Jamaat-i-Islami got the potential to reform its agenda accordingly? This paper intends to study the Jamaat’s struggle and tries to predict Jamaat’s role in post-Islamism scenario. There is a clear distinction between the people of religion and the people following the popular materialistic westernized value system. This division is also evident in political parties. Pakistan has been ruled mostly by the secular parties and rulers. The inability to establish Islamic system by replacing the imperial system has created militancy and revolt which requires the establishment of a sound model Islamic based system in the country. The political parties of Pakistan could not device a modernize agenda, equally acceptable in modernized world and addressing the prevailing issues and also having the indigenous religious and cultural roots. The inability of Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan to transform its agenda accordingly to serve the post-Islamism has made it irrelevant in Pakistan’s politics. Once Jamaat leaves behind its hard position as an Islamist party and accepts the post-Islamism as beginning to create its idealized state and society, it can pursue its agenda gradually. The phenomenon of post-Islamism does not make Islamists irrelevant but invites them to listen to the priorities of masses rather than insisting on the agenda of their respective ideologues to be followed for all times. The ruling Muslim democrats and military dictators of Pakistan have been following unfair means to sustain their political power which gave rise to space for the new political parties to emerge and organize agitation successfully in Pakistani Politics. Jamaat-i-Islami could not fill that space to be an agent of Post-Islamism and could not break their chains which had been tying them to the prevailing failed democracy of Pakistan. Post-Islamists are the addressers of the rulers corruption and are struggling for reforms in system. Jamaat due to its ideological compulsions could not transform its agenda accordingly. The new scenario indicates that the Post-Islamism which emerged in Arab World can be taken as first step to establish democracy and justice in state and society and then the establishment of Islamic law and the establishment of an Islamic state should have been the next targets. This gradual agenda would have delivered public support to the Jamaat which deserved that but PTI & PAT have cashed this opportunity in Pakistani politics by strengthening their respective vote banks.

Keywords: arab spring, Post-Islamism, Islamic State, islamic political parties, muslim world

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4 Islamic State: Franchising Jihad through the New Caliphate

Authors: Janiel David Melamed Visbal

Abstract:

The Islamic State has become one of the most remarkable threats for international security through their religious extremism and their establishment of a new caliphate by force. The main objective of this organization is to obtain territorial expansions beyond the Middle East and eventually to consolidate an Islamic global order based on their extremist ideology. This paper will conduct an analysis regarding how, over the past year, many jihadist organizations worldwide have pledged their alliagance to the Islamic State, transforming it into the most important jihadist franchise globally.

Keywords: Caliphate, Jihad, islamic fundamentalism, Islamic State, franchise

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3 The Role of Social Media in the Rise of Islamic State in India: An Analytical Overview

Authors: Parvinder Singh, Yasmeen Cheema

Abstract:

The evolution of Islamic State (acronym IS) has an ultimate goal of restoring the caliphate. IS threat to the global security is main concern of international community but has also raised a factual concern for India about the regular radicalization of IS ideology among Indian youth. The incident of joining Arif Ejaz Majeed, an Indian as ‘jihadist’ in IS has set strident alarm in law & enforcement agencies. On 07.03.2017, many people were injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast on-board of Bhopal Ujjain Express. One perpetrator of this incident was killed in encounter with police. But, the biggest shock is that the conspiracy was pre-planned and the assailants who carried out the blast were influenced by the ideology perpetrated by the Islamic State. This is the first time name of IS has cropped up in a terror attack in India. It is a red indicator of violent presence of IS in India, which is spreading through social media. The IS have the capacity to influence the younger Muslim generation in India through its brutal and aggressive propaganda videos, social media apps and hatred speeches. It is a well known fact that India is on the radar of IS, as well on its ‘Caliphate Map’. IS uses Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms constantly. Islamic State has used enticing videos, graphics, and articles on social media and try to influence persons from India & globally that their jihad is worthy. According to arrested perpetrator of IS in different cases in India, the most of Indian youths are victims to the daydreams which are fondly shown by IS. The dreams that the Muslim empire as it was before 1920 can come back with all its power and also that the Caliph and its caliphate can be re-established are shown by the IS. Indian Muslim Youth gets attracted towards these euphemistic ideologies. Islamic State has used social media for disseminating its poisonous ideology, recruitment, operational activities and for future direction of attacks. IS through social media inspired its recruits & lone wolfs to continue to rely on local networks to identify targets and access weaponry and explosives. Recently, a pro-IS media group on its Telegram platform shows Taj Mahal as the target and suggested mode of attack as a Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Attack (VBIED). Islamic State definitely has the potential to destroy the Indian national security & peace, if timely steps are not taken. No doubt, IS has used social media as a critical mechanism for recruitment, planning and executing of terror attacks. This paper will therefore examine the specific characteristics of social media that have made it such a successful weapon for Islamic State. The rise of IS in India should be viewed as a national crisis and handled at the central level with efficient use of modern technology.

Keywords: Social Media, National Security, Ideology, India, recruitment, Islamic State, terror attack

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2 Analyzing the Politico-Religious Order of The 'Islamic State'

Authors: Galit Truman Zinman

Abstract:

The 'Islamic State' (IS) is one of the most successful jihadist groups in the modern history. The 'Islamic State' strives to realize the idea of erasing the borders between Muslim countries and establishing a wide Islamic caliphate. The 'Islamic State' is based on religious unity and opposition to existing political order. In this paper, the main argument is that the 'Islamic State' is characterized by two significant tendencies of state-building: preservation and change. The methodology of this study is based on the process tracing method and the analysis of primary sources: decisions, announcements and speeches of religious leaders of the Islamic State, slogans, rituals and symbols, audio and video clips produced by the Al-Hayat Media Center, films distributed on YouTube, as well as the content analysis of Dabiq`s articles (IS official Journal) and nasheeds (jihadi songs). The major findings of this study indicate that in practice the 'Islamic State' uses the same socio-political functions typical to the modern state (preservation), but introduces a different religious-ideological content (change). On the one hand, there is a preservation of the principles of existing modern state. Even with the rejection of secularization, globalization, and nationalism, there is an establishment of typical modern nation-state patterns. It is still a state entity, which has an ideological infrastructure, territory, population, governance and a monopoly on the use of violence, security services, justice system, tax collection, etc. All these functions characterize the modern state, and despite the desire of the 'Islamic State' to create a new kind of state, it reminds patterns of the typical modern nation-state. As for the religious-ideological content of the new state, here we can see a tendency of great change. The 'Islamic State' aims to create an Islamic caliphate which would allow the establishment of religious law and order, under a big commitment to return civilization to a seventh-century environment. The 'Islamic State' favors the fight against Western culture and its liberal ideology. It supports the struggle for global jihad against the unbelievers. Today, despite the territorial 'contraction' and the undermining of the organization's governance in Iraq and Syria, the 'Islamic State' continues to maintain its brand among jihadist activists around the world.

Keywords: Islamic State, Islamic caliphate, modern nation-state, religious law and order

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1 Examining Terrorism through a Constructivist Framework: Case Study of the Islamic State

Authors: Shivani Yadav

Abstract:

The Study of terrorism lends itself to the constructivist framework as constructivism focuses on the importance of ideas and norms in shaping interests and identities. Constructivism is pertinent to understand the phenomenon of a terrorist organization like the Islamic State (IS), which opportunistically utilizes radical ideas and norms to shape its ‘politics of identity’. This ‘identity’, which is at the helm of preferences and interests of actors, in turn, shapes actions. The paper argues that an effective counter-terrorism policy must recognize the importance of ideas in order to counter the threat arising from acts of radicalism and terrorism. Traditional theories of international relations, with an emphasis on state-centric security problematic, exhibit several limitations and problems in interpreting the phenomena of terrorism. With the changing global order, these theories have failed to adapt to the changing dimensions of terrorism, especially ‘newer’ actors like the Islamic State (IS). The paper observes that IS distinguishes itself from other terrorist organizations in the way that it recruits and spreads its propaganda. Not only are its methods different, but also its tools (like social media) are new. Traditionally, too, force alone has rarely been sufficient to counter terrorism, but it seems especially impossible to completely root out an organization like IS. Time is ripe to change the discourse around terrorism and counter-terrorism strategies. The counter-terrorism measures adopted by states, which primarily focus on mitigating threats to the national security of the state, are preoccupied with statist objectives of the continuance of state institutions and maintenance of order. This limitation prevents these theories from addressing the questions of justice and the ‘human’ aspects of ideas and identity. These counter-terrorism strategies adopt a problem-solving approach that attempts to treat the symptoms without diagnosing the disease. Hence, these restrictive strategies fail to look beyond calculated retaliation against violent actions in order to address the underlying causes of discontent pertaining to ‘why’ actors turn violent in the first place. What traditional theories also overlook is that overt acts of violence may have several causal factors behind them, some of which are rooted in the structural state system. Exploring these root causes through the constructivist framework helps to decipher the process of ‘construction of terror’ and to move beyond the ‘what’ in theorization in order to describe ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘when’ terrorism occurs. Study of terrorism would much benefit from a constructivist analysis in order to explore non-military options while countering the ideology propagated by the IS.

Keywords: constructivism, Counter terrorism, Islamic State, politics of identity

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