Saturday, January 13, 2007

* She talks about SIMI

She talks about SIMI

She is 22, a medical student at Aligarh Muslim University. What makes her different from her peers is that she is a member of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

When she is not studying, she reads the Koran, memorising verses that strike her, explaining and interpreting their meaning to friends.

Referring to the Mumbai blasts in which SIMI members have been accused, the burqa-clad girl says, " We believes government and Hindu organisations behind it"

The government, she says, is blaming Muslim organisations and individuals to defame the community.

In support of this thesis, she cites the example of Dr. Abdul Mobin, a SIMI activist and former AMU student, who was arrested for the bomb blast on the Sabarmati Express train at Agra in 2000.

"The police have not yet proved Brother Mobin was involved in it," she says. "Only innocent people are caught and victimised."

Why is the government targeting SIMI?
"They [government] target all Muslim institutions because we are doing well. We have our reach in all sections of the society.”

"They have read the Koran and it is written there that Islam will dominate and rule one day. So they are scared of Islam. There is an international conspiracy to suppress Islam," she says.

She discovered SIMI in school. In 1995, she formally joined the organisation as an ikhwan, or basic member. After three years, she graduated to ansar, or senior member.

She feels jihad is being misinterpreted today. "Jihad starts by controlling our own self. Not doing any sin is jihad. Violence comes at a later stage. "

Will she ever take up violence?

”Yes, I will if the need be," she says. "It demands patience. We should empower ourselves politically, financially and educationally and prepare ourselves."

Indian Muslims are backward, she feels, because all successive governments have betrayed the community.
"The BJP is doing everything openly but the Congress stabbed us from the back. It was the Congress government that opened the locks of the Babri Masjid [in Ayodhya]. The BJP later pulled it down."

To survive and thrive in India, she says, Muslims must take control of power.

"Muslims should aspire to reach all top positions, be it in politics or business," she says. “We have to take control of power. Then we can spread our religion."


She is upset many educated Muslims move away from Islam under the Western influence. But she firmly believes there will come a day when the world is one big Islamic state.

"This will happen sooner or later. Islam has to rule the entire world. In shah ALLAH. We are fighting for this."

"But we will not convert others to Islam as Christians do by luring poor people. The Quran is for everybody and we will invite them to enlighten themselves."

But why does she want an Islamic rule?
"We don't believe in democracy. Islam is the best way of living. Islam advocates justice and rule of law. We are upset by this democracy where we are suppressed.”

"Every Muslim is suspected of being an ISI agent," she says. "The situation is bad for all minorities. There is so much of disparity among the people. What has this democracy given us?"

“We are not the agents of ISI. We are only the agents of ALLAH”

A rule of SIMI, which she aspires for India, would be just and fair.

"SIMI members are disciplined and they spend their life with a principle," she says. "I have learnt about my religion and how to face the world in SIMI."

Earlier, she used to attend SIMI sessions. She was taught public speaking and educated on religious and political issues. As SIMI activist, her work involved teaching others what the Koran says -- and she had to make monthly reports about her progress.

"We were trained how to approach non-Muslims and what issues to talk to them," she says. "Generally non-Muslims have wrong impression about Islam and Koran. We wanted to correct that image.

"We organised discussions on social and political issues like women's rights. Everybody was invited and we had healthy discussions. This is what we used to do, but we are portrayed as terrorists."

SIMI membership was given on the basis of a person's interest in the Islamic cause.

A teacher at AMU, who has closely watched the rise of SIMI, says, "SIMI wanted to establish an Islamic state”

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