- The mosques in Kashmir have always been utilized for religious-political means, and also for the purpose of separatism since 1989 after the militancy broke out
- Long before Wani’s murder, the traits of radicalization by the Wahhabis had already started emerging
July 12, 2017: Call for an Islamic jihad by the former Hizbul commander Zakir Musa’s, was defended by an angry cleric by his raucous cries, in a mosque of the southern region of Kashmir last month. It is the very first time that a cleric used his religious foundations to exhort his audience for supporting the most wanted terrorist in Kashmir, who has newly aligned ideologically with the al Qaeda. The recording of the incendiary speech of Mufti Shabir Ahmad Qasmi’s was circulated vehemently on the platforms of instant
The recording of the incendiary speech of Mufti Shabir Ahmad Qasmi’s was circulated vehemently on the platforms of instant online messaging in the valley. The Mufti might have also converted many followers into Musa leaders, mentioned TOI report.
The mosques in Kashmir have always been utilized for religious-political means, and also for the purpose of separatism, since 1989 after the militancy broke out. But the character of the mosque has changed drastically in the past ten years.
According to the reports, the traditionally moderate school of Hanafi/Barelvi Islam followed by the majorities in Kashmir, is being replaced by Ahl-e-Hadith, the local moniker for Saudi-imported Salafism or Wahhabism. Though many Hanafi clerics like Moulana Abdul Rashid Dawoodi are trying to resist their Wahhabi competitors, “the attendance in annual fairs of all major Sufi shrines has been decreasing,” a Sufi practitioner, Muzamil, was quoted as saying. In about six million Muslim people in the Valley, the Ahl-e-Hadith currently possesses millions of followers, Dr Abdul Latif, the general secretary has claimed.
Reportedly, Wahhabism, funded by the Arab, has found convergence with other already successful traditional strains of Islamic movements, such as Jamat-e-Islami and Deobandi in Kashmir. Musa was pleaded by a mufti, who is a Deobandi from a household of Jamati. Such intersections of the religious kind, are not restricted to only fundamentalists, the Times of India reported. A self-proclaimed Sufi, Sarjan Barkati, earned titles such as- “Pied Piper of Kashmir” and “Freedom Chacha”, last year, because of mobilizing people and glamourizing Burhan Wani, the Hizbul commander who had attempted to found an Islamic Caliphate.
The joining of all the schools pertaining to the Sunni Islamic thought in the valley of Kashmir is a consequence of a “common wide platform, Ittehaad-e-Millat, created to resolve differences” among the multiple groups, stated chief Ghulam Mohammad Bhat of Jamat-i-Islami Amir.
Long before Wani’s murder, the traits of radicalization by the Wahhabis had already started emerging. Reportedly, official sources have claimed that there are more than 7,500 mosques and seminaries in the valley of Kashmir, among which more than 6,000 are of Hanafi group and about 200 are syncretic-Sufi shrines. “Ahl-e-Hadith mosques are popular for their modern furnishing and facilities,” said a Barelvi follower in Anantnag, Shahnawaz.
“There is a sizeable number of Kashmiri diaspora in the Middle East who send remittances, mostly through Hawala to fund not just this radical doctrine but terror too,” a Sia Kashmiri was quoted as saying.
The religious scholars of Kashmir have pointed out that Ahl-e-Hadith has already four sub schools which includes Difai (ultra-puritan), Jamait-ul-ahl-e-Hadith (puritan), Sout-ul-Haq, and Guraba (religio-political ultra-puritans like Masrat Alam), reportedly represented by ISIS, where a nonconformist is supposedly “wajib-ul-qatl” (eligible for murder).
Ahl-e-Hadith played a crucial role in the separatist-movement as a part of the joint Hurriyat Conference before it split in 2003. The organization is popular for sharing a connection with Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen, which is closely associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba.
According to the reports, security officials strongly believe that the influence of the Wahhabis have already discoursed through the Internet, messaging, and social media platforms and this is far more dangerous than the literature and mosques. “Kashmir has around 2.8 million mobile internet users. Even if there is one Salafist preacher glorifying Burhan Wani or Zakir Musa and the clip is circulated over smartphones, it has a dangerous multiplying effect over a huge population,” a senior police official was quoted as saying.
According to the TOI report, officials say that mobile data usage is way higher in Kashmir than in the other parts of the nation due to a lack of other sources of refreshment and entertainment.
Schools of faith:
Wahhabism/Salafism/Ahl-e-Hadith: The most ethnic Sunni Islamic movement started developed during the 18th century in the central zone of Arab. It targets to get back to the traditional ways of Islam through emulating Prophet Mohammad and his earliest ardent followers.
Jamaat-e-Islami: A Sunni Islamist party who believes in theconcept of an Islamic state under the law of Sharia.
Deobandi: The Deobandi faiths are almost as same as Salafis, but in India it is now a major moderate school. Taliban supposedly claims to be of the Deobandi School of faith.
Barelvi/Hanafi: This Sunni school is basically influenced by the local culture. They accommodate Sufi practices and their followers have faith in saints and visit shrines.