The Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI): Muslim activists targeted by the government
The Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) was formed in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh state, in April 1977. SIMI was formed by a group of Muslim students in Aligarh Muslim University which comes form all parts of India aiming to establish an Islamic state in that country. Its founding president was Dr. Mohammad Ahmadullah Siddiqi, now professor of journalism and public relations at the University of Western Illinois and also a founding member secretary general of the North American Association of Muslim Professionals and Scholars.
SIMI was founded independently as part of his mission to educate and enlighten the Muslim community. SIMI was set up to study Islam like in a study circle and to present Islam through lectures and seminars to students at colleges and schools.
Later SIMI stood for radical social change in India, an approach not appreciated by the leadership of Indian Muslims. In 1981 SIMI activists protested against PLO leader Yasser Arafat’s visit to India, and greeted him with black flags in New Delhi. Young SIMI activists identified Arafat as a western puppet, while the senior Muslim leaders saw Arafat as a champion of the cause of Palestine. Yasser Arafat visited Afghan and support Russian invasion of Afghan. Yasser Arafat the - true friend of Indira Gandhi – then visited New Delhi in 1981, but SIMI alleged that one who supports the Russian invasion against Muslims in Afghan will not be a true Muslim and he can’t understand the suffering of Palestine Muslims.
SIMI believed that, despite its strengths and weaknesses as a youth organization, it could play a catalytic role in the affairs of the Ummah. Opposed to secularism, nationalism and western-style democracy, SIMI advocated the need to oppose oppressive regimes and work for the Ummah. Its slogan was "Allah is our Lord, Qur’an is our constitution, Muhammad is our leader, Jihad is our way and Shahadah is our desire". It strength quickly grew to 400 Ansar – registered members – and about 20,000 supporting members.
SIMI had a separate wing for sisters under the banner "Girls’ Wing" and one for the children (to keep them tuned to the Islamic value-system right from the budding stage of upbringing), under the name "Shaheen Force". SIMI published several magazines in various languages, including al-Harkah in Urdu, Tahreek in Hindi, Iqraa in Gujrati, Rupantar in Bengali, Sedhi Madal in Tamil, Vivekam in Malayalam, Movement in English and Shaheen Times in English for children.
The organization has declared itself to be against Hinduism, western thought and other non-Islamic influences they see as contributing to immorality. SIMI consider themselves to be in a jihad against these influences in India.
SIMI identified the Indian Government and Sangh Parivar as enemies of Islam and India, and exposed India’s failure to address basic human rights issues. In 1986 SIMI organized a national convention with the slogan "liberation of India through Islam", and exposed India’s failure to address the problem of millions of "Untouchables" (Dalits) living under the Brahmins’ hegemony.
Most Muslims did not welcome SIMI’s "Khilafat Campaign", which denounced nationalism and advocated the return of Khilafat to the Muslim world, although SIMI’s campaign was universal, not like other Organisations, rather than pertaining strictly to India in particular. However, SIMI had a clear-cut answer to India’s futile electoral politics, and thus made sure that throughout the 24 years of its catalytic role in the Ummah, its members boycotted elections and also appealed to fellow citizens to abstain from India’s corrupt and unreformable ‘democratic’ politics. SIMI teaches democracy is an anti-Islamic kufrian law and Muslims must reject it and boycott the election process which strengthen the Kufrian government.
While other Islamic organisations watched helplessly as the Sangh Parivar campaigned to demolish the 464-year-old Babri Mosque, SIMI went on the streets to enlighten the masses about the threat to Islam in India. One policy of SIMI was watched particularly closely by the Indian government: its stand on Kashmir. SIMI was the only Muslim organization that dared to declare that Kashmir was not an "integral part" of India and that Muslims need to raise their voices against the violations of human rights in the Valley. Kashmiri leader Syed Shah Jeelani attended a SIMI convention in 1997, which was an opportunity for SIMI activists to discuss issues of the Islamic movement, but which for the Indian authorities was the beginning of "ISI links", ie. links to Pakistan’s intelligence service. Geelani and other Kashmiri Human Right Organisations keep good touch with SIMI, because of SIMI's loud voice in the streets of India.
After the demolision of Babri Masjid, SIMI turned to an active Milli Organisation, rather than a Student Movement. SIMI try to enlighten the Muslim Ummah regarding the threat of Indian Government and Hindu Organisations. SIMI ask Muslim Ummah to act and react against the aggression of Indian Government as well as Hindu Organisations.
After the destruction of the Buddhist statues in Bamiyan by the Taliban, the Sangh Parivar in India burnt copies of the Qur’an in the streets. Muslim organisations tried to condemn this "intellectually", through statements to the press, but SIMI conducted mass-awareness campaigns instead. The violence that broke out in some northern towns were attributed to SIMI’s "virulent" campaign, although the authorities found no reason to find fault with the anti-social elements who burnt the Qur’an in broad daylight, which they justified as natural response to events in Afghanistan. SIMI tried to organise various Muslim Organisations under one umbrella for the protection of Islamic Symbols after the Qur’an burnt incident in New Delhi.
After this incident Government killed 18 Muslims in Kanpur where SIMI called for a demonstration. Like the Babri Masjid incident Quran Burnt incident also create big explosion in India. SIMI ask Muslim Ummah to ready for a Jihad against Indian Government and Hindu Organisations. SIMI re-launched the campaign “Turn to creator, Call to creator, Jihad fie Sabilillah”. SIMI announce “the Liberation of India through Islam”
On September 27, 2001, SIMI was proscribed under the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), accused of having links with ISI and other "terrorist" organisations worldwide, and of attempting to "destabilize the nation". SIMI was alleged as the outfit of Al Qaeda in India and banned after 9/11. Also Indian authorities alleged SIMI have its relation with Lashka-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Muhammad (Jem), Hizbul Mujahidien (Hizb) and Harkatul Ansar (HuA).
SIMI is also accused of receiving funds from abroad, especially from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. This is a patently absurd charge against a committed organization that in its 24 years of activism had a strict policy against receiving funds from abroad, especially from Saudi Arabia, the allie of USA, which SIMI rightly believed would be the first step on the road to subservience, and the eventual dilution of its revolutionary appeal. Interestingly, after the ban, Indian intelligence agencies also found it convenient to accuse SIMI of working with Pakistan-based "terrorist outfits" to sabotage "peace in India".
SIMI’s expressed goal is to convert India into Dar al-Islam, and the group has declared jihad against the secular Indian state. SIMI seeks inspiration from the views of Ibn Taimiya, Ibn Al Qayyim, Shah Waliyullahi Dehlawi, Shaheed Sayed Ahmed, Shaheed Shah Ismail, Haji Shariatullah, Shaheed Sayed Qutub, Shaheed Abdullah Azzam, Shaheed Abdel Salam Farj, Maududi and Deobandi Ulema. According to SIMI, Islam is not just a religion but an ideology, the Quran is the only basis for governing human life, and it is the duty of every Muslim to propagate Islam and wage jihad to establish an Islamic state. SIMI is against not only the Western culture and modernization that Qutub and Maududi critiqued at length, but also the prevalent Hindu Brahmanical culture and idol worship. In other words, the mere existence of other faiths and beliefs is unacceptable, and religious tolerance amounts to diluting Islam’s purity. Jihad, the Umma, and the Caliphate are core concepts in the ideology of SIMI, which stridently asserts Khilafat view.
SIMI held a conference in 1999 under the slogan “Allah’s Party Shall Indeed Prevail” (Inna Hizballahi humul ghaliboon). The conference logo depicted the Quran with the superimposed image of a hand holding a gun against a globe. The conference heard an address in Arabic by Shaykh Yasin, which was primarily an exhortation to jihad. Conference participants were issued certificates declaring the “Quran is our constitution; Jihad is our path; and Martyrdom is our desire.”
SIMI launched an All India Campaign "Tawhid v/s Shirk" on the death annversary of Babri Masjid. Also SIMI launched a Babri Masjid campaign "Waiting for Ghaznawi" were SIMI ask Muslm ummah to brought up the qualities of Mehmud Ghazni, the idol destroyer of Somanath Temple, to destroy the idols were Hindus kept in Masjid Babri and to purify the land from Kufr and Shirk. Muslim leaders dislike these campaigns, tells this will crush the Secular concept of India.
SIMI targets Muslim youth between the ages of fifteen and thirty for membership. SIMI working as a nursery to train the Muslim Umma and contribute them to various Organisations to lead the Community.
Several former members of SIMI have moved to different parts of India and set up such local radical Islamist groups as the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the Islamic Youth Center (IYC), based in the southern state of Kerala; Darsgah Jihado-Shahadat (School for Jihad and Martyrdom), based in Andhra Pradesh; and the Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (Muslim National Movement—TMMK) in Tamil Nadu. The members of SIMI is leading Organisations like All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), Movement for the Protection of Islamic Symbols (TTSI), Milli Council, Jamat-e-Islami (JIH) etc.
SIMI and its associated groups publish several magazines in various Indian languages, including Vivekam in Malayalam, Sedhi Madal in Tamil, Rupantar in Bengali, Iqraa in Gujarati, Tahreek in Hindi, Al Harkah in Urdu and the Shaheen Times in English and Urdu.
In its 2000 annual report, the year before it was banned, SIMI explained its ideological agenda:
"It is the responsibility of this ‘last community’, the ‘best community’, the ‘middle community’, to rise up and face the challenges that surround it, to revive Deen, to lead and guide not only the Islamic world, but all of humanity along the ‘Straight Path’ and rescue it from the clutches of Satanic power. It is the demand of the time that Muslim youth should struggle for the superiority and establishment of Deen and revival of Islam in the light of Holy Quran and Sunnah…The end of the Khilafah led to our disintegration into different countries on the basis of nationalism, language and other sectarian prejudices. Naturally therefore, our main responsibility is to strive in those areas, which are directly related to the reinstating of Khilafah. It is essential to emphasize that no political party or organization can bring about a solid and constructive change through secularism in the light of their erratic ideologies. The only way to bring about real change through …establishing an Islamic system of life.”
SIMI was alleged for the 7/11 train bombings in Bombay and he twin blast which shocked Delhi and Bombay. Government arrested widely large number of SIMI activist all around India. President of SIMI, Dr. Shahid Badr Falahi was arrested and sentenced to jail for four years. Moulana Ashraf Jafri and Moulana Yaseen Patel Falahi sentenced to imprison for fourteen years. Saleem Sajid, Finance Secretary, Dr. Hatif Iqbal, Office Sectretary, Shamimul Islam, Saif Nachan were arrested various times and jailed. Moulana Numan Badr arrested twice and jailed. Saquib Nachan, Former Secretary General was jailed for Fourteen years, and after his freedom second time government arrested him under Terrorist law and jailed since 2001. Government arrested 123 SIMI activists from Gujarat before Gujarat Riot and jailed them for three years inside Gujarat. Dr. Abdul Mubin was arrested from Aligarh University Campus. Moulana Naseerudhin was arrested by Gujarat Police on the allegation of Minister Murder case.
Government widely targets SIMI and its members. They know that SIMI is the champion of Islam and the ideology which enlightened by SIMI will crush the Indian kufrian Government.
Government killed Mujahid Shaheed in an encounter at Hyderabad. Azzam Ghori Shaheed was killed by Indian invaded troops in Karim Nagar, Hyderabad. Abubacker Master Shaheed was killed by Hindu Organisations in Calicut. Hafeed and Sajid were martyred in Agra. Seven of its members got martyred by Indian troops in Kashmir.
SIMI is moving forward on the blood of Shuhadas. But, Indian Muslims are still under the slavery of Indian Kufrian Government and Hindu Terrorist Organisations.
Who will help them?