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Islamist Extremists Eye India As Fertile Recruiting Ground

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Financial Times

Islamist Extremists Eye India As Fertile Recruiting Ground

As Delhi reeled last month from deadly communal riots, a new digital magazine began circulating, its main article headlined: “So where are you going? A call to Muslims of India.” Called the Voice of Hind — Arabic for India — it made no direct mention of the sectarian violence that claimed at least 53 lives as Hindu nationalist mobs rampaged through working-class neighborhoods in the Indian capital. But it mocked the country’s Muslims for their faith in democracy, warning readers they were “on the verge of being stripped from your last shred of dignity”.

The magazine — and its timing — highlights a renewed focus among transnational Islamist extremist groups on trying to recruit in India, at a time when Muslims feel increasingly marginalized by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist agenda. Even before the riots, Isis newsletter Al-Naba had dedicated an article to recent changes to India’s citizenship laws, which introduced religious criteria into citizenship rules for the first time, giving followers of other south Asian states priority over Muslims.

The Islamist extremist group then used a Reuters photograph taken during the rampage — showing a bloodied Muslim being beaten by a Hindu mob — on an online poster justifying retaliatory violence.

Read more: https://www.ft.com/content/2a215e90-6849-11ea-800d-da70cff6e4d3