Samuel Huntington has famously stated, “Islam has bloody borders.” One of the bloodiest ones is the border between India and Pakistan. The region known as Jammu and Kashmir is contested by both countries, and has been the scene of border clashes and frequent Islamist terrorist attacks .
In an article in today’s Greater Kashmir entitled ‘From Palestine to Baghdad, Kabul to Kashmir, occupation must end’, Riyaz Masroor writes about the first anniversary of the foundation of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Kashmir (THK) party:
Srinagar, Aug 7: City’s uptown lanes surged with roaring crowds on Sunday as a Tata Sumo vehicle with Syed Ali Shah Geelani sitting atop crawled through the packed audience onto the dais in a sprawling yard near his Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Kashmir (THK) headquarters at Hyderpora.
The ailing Geelani unfurled THK flag to mark the first foundation day of the party he had floated last year following differences with his parent organization Jama’at-e-Islami. Amidst sky rending slogans and gushing cheer he held out two fundamentals for his cadres. One: “to challenge Indian occupation come what may,” and the other not to rally behind pro-Indian leaders and those subscribing to bilateral talks with New Delhi.
|Seen as more impressive than the recent splurge by both mainstream as well as separatist forces, Geelani’s rally appeared clouding even the conglomerate he himself heads.|
Geelani made explicit the comparison between Muslim Kashmiris and the most famous oppressed Muslims in the world, the Palestinians:
|Spelling out the key goals of THK Geelani maintained that his party would pursue the agenda of right to self-determination for the people of J&K with Islam, Independence and unity amongst Ummah (world Muslims) forming its basis. Seeking to connect Kashmir issue with the occupations of Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq THK chief demanded end to “all sorts of occupations across the globe”.|
“Occupation”, of course, means, “the requirement that Muslims live peacefully under forms of government which they do not control, and which do not use sharia as the basis of law.” And he followed Dr. Zawahri’s lead in blaming the terrorist attacks in London on the British government:
|While condemning recent blasts in London Geelani held Britain responsible for promoting state terrorism in Muslim regions. He cited British aid to Israel in 1958 for the latter’s nuclear capacity building program. “Also, Kashmir dispute owes its genesis to the British state that decolonized the subcontinent incompletely leaving behind the boiling cauldron called Kashmir,” averred the 76-year-old separatist who also heads a faction of Hurriyat Conference.|
However, Geelani used temperate words in calling his fellow Muslims in Kashmir to action (Note: azadi means “independence” or “autonomy”):
|Stating that he stood for peaceful means of resistance Geelani exhorted his cadres to support and promote THK and guaranteed them Azadi if they followed his plea. “Our martyrs chose the path of jihad consciously. We support their commitment and valor. But we stand for peaceful means of resistance and would continue with this principle until the fundamental goal of Azadi is achieved.”|
But Geelani has become disenchanted with the democratic process:
|Regretting his earlier experiment with the Indian democratic set up Geelani dismissed the electoral process as a way out of the problem faced by J&K.|
So let me see if I’ve got this straight:
1. Muslims must be put in charge of Kashmir.
2. They will achieve their ends peacefully.
3. But they will have no truck with democracy.
Does anybody else sense a disconnect here?
When their peaceful exhortations fail to produce the result they want, and they refuse to take to the ballot box, what will the Kasmiri Muslims resort to? Given their identification with the brave jihadis of Palestine, one anticipates the imminent arrival of the suicide bomber and the car bomb, the preferred vectors of political action for Muslim activists the world over.
If the Islamists of Kashmir are the new Palestinians, that sets up the Sikhs and Hindus of India as the new Jews. But with an important difference: There are 150 times as many Hindus and Sikhs in India as there are Jews in Israel.
Perhaps they will not be so easy to drive into the sea.