Muslim organization holds protest all over India against ISIS


Hundreds of members of an influential Muslim organization held demonstrations across India on Wednesday (November 18) to condemn Paris attacks by the Islamic State.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind is one of India's leading Islamic groups which has been active in the country since the start of the 20th century.

In 2008, it was the first Indian Islamic group to endorse a fatwa (edict) against militancy.

Its activists held sit-ins across several Indian cities and shouted slogans against Islamic State and condemned it for a string of deadly attacks in Paris, shooting down of a Russian plane and bombings in West Asia.

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The activists held placards with messages reading "ISIS is a threat to humanity", "Stop ISIS everywhere."

"We are protesting against terrorism and to support world peace. We condemn the acts of militants who are spreading terrorism under the religion of Islam. Islam does not have any link with it. Such people are not Muslims who torture people. Islam does not advocate atrocities on anyone. It is a religion of peace and brotherhood," said President of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind of central Bhopal city, Haji Mohammad Haroon.

"We want that militancy which is spreading in the world should be stopped anyhow. No place in the world is left where militancy isn't increasing. Recently, the attacks in Paris took the lives of many innocent people. People who are doing so, are wrong. Neither Islam, nor any religion or society advocates killing of innocent people," said President of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind of northern Kanpur city, Haji Kuhoos.

On Tuesday (November 17), India warned of Islamic State using regional militant groups to mount strikes in the country, and has increased security around the diplomatic missions of the United States, France and Britain among others, a government advisory said.

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The federal interior ministry said in the note issued to state police chiefs that Friday's attacks in Paris in which 129 people were killed showed the intentions of Islamic State to expand its arc of operations beyond Syria and Iraq.

Despite India's large Muslim population, Islamic State has only been able to draw a handful of recruits from the country, although security officials say they don't have a full picture, and that there could be more youth getting radicalised.

But some of the world's deadliest militant groups, including the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba that carried out the Mumbai 2008 attacks, operate in India, and the fear is Islamic State might turn to them to target foreign interests in the country.

"Though ISIS/ISIL has not been able to establish any significant presence in India, its success in radicalising some youth, attracting certain section of the local population/Indian diaspora... or the possibility of piggybacking on terrorist groups operating in India have opened up the possibility of ISIS sponsored action on Indian territory," the note said.

Ten Lashkar-e-Taiba gunmen attacked luxury hotels, a train station and a Jewish centre in a three-day shooting spree in Mumbai seven years ago, killing 166 people, India said, in an assault similar to the attacks in Paris.

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