16 June, 2021

A Familiar Vicious Circle

Raids crack an ISI-backed militant youth network, leaving ordinary Muslims further alienated

A Familiar Vicious Circle

A siege mentality seems to have gripped Tamil Nadu's Muslims. As the crackdown following the February Coimbatore blasts continues, it is disturbingly clear that the ordinary Muslim is becoming increasingly alienated. Every day the police recover quintals after quintals of explosives hidden by the 'fringe' Islamic fundamentalist group, Al Umma—which, as it now turns out, is in fact a rather well connected terrorist outfit.

Ironically, till recently Tamil Nadu had been one of the few states to be free from inter-faith clashes and riots. Though the state witnessed some bloody caste riots, till 1983 there was no serious instance of Hindu-Muslim tensions. "I am shocked to witness the extreme postures adopted by a section of the Muslim youth. While we were advocating the path of dialogue and reconciliation, the younger generation is not prepared to listen to us," declares A.K.A. Abdul Samad, president of the Tamil Nadu unit of the Indian Union Muslim League.

While the genesis of Islamic fundamentalism in the state can be...

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