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The man who wants to bring Sharia law to India

Last updated on: March 2, 2012 17:11 IST

The man who wants to bring Sharia law to India

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru

Self-proclaimed 'judge' of the  United Kingdom Sharia court Shiekh Anjem Chaudary, who has sought the implementation of the Sharia law in India had stated that he would hold a rally in New Delhi on March 3. Vicky Nanjappa profiles the man.

In response to the announcement, the Delhi police have stepped up arrangements to ensure that no such rally would be held. Anjem Chaudary, meanwhile on his website, has chosen not to disclose the location of the event, but states that media passes for the event would be issued.

In all probability, he may go ahead with the live streaming option which is available on his website on March 3.

Muslims in India have, however, not subscribed to his views and call him a publicity monger and a self-styled defender of Islam. He has been very vocal about the Sharia law and feels that it needs to be implemented in all countries that have Muslims in them.

Chaudary was born in England and was a solicitor. He also studied medicine before getting his law degree. While the Indian agencies say that he had been more vocal about his cause in the Western countries his close association with one Omar Bakri Muhammad worries them.

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Image: Shiekh Anjem Chaudary


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When they first met in London, they set up the Al-Muhajiroun which was later banned thanks to its extreme Islamic views. Earlier, the duo was involved in activities in the West, but over the past few years, there has been an increased interest in Asia, Bangladesh in particular.

Bakri joined the Hizb-ut-Tahrirr which was originally formed in Jerusalem in 1953. He then left for Saudi Arabia where he went about his preachings, only to be expelled from that country in 1985. Then he went back to London, where he launched a wing of this outfit.

The target audience was the youth and it become strong in college campuses where nothing but hate was preached. During this campaign, Bakri managed to recruit a large number of persons who were sent into other countries where he believed Islam was under threat.

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Image: Omar Bakri Muhammad
Photographs: Ian Waldie/Reuters

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However, the real rise of this outfit in Asia was seen when they made a strong appearance in Bangladesh. Very recently, this outfit was in the news following the failed coup in Bangladesh. This gave the intelligence agencies in India sleepless nights as they believe that they might try this on Indian soil as well.

Moreover, the attempt to bring down Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who is seen as pro India was yet another reason for the IB to believe that they were taking a long shot at India.

Now what has Indian agencies more worried is that Chaudary has also announced that Bakri would be one of the speakers during this event. Bakri is someone that India just cannot ignore considering his past history across the world and his openness in criticising India.

Bakri, who is closely associated with the HT could be coming to India to garner support among the Muslim youth and the intention would be to cause unrest within the country.

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Image: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina


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Intelligence agencies are keeping a close watch and believe that the group could have spread its tentacles in certain areas especially in New Delhi. HT's first attempt was made two years ago when it staged a demonstration against Israel's meddling in Palestine.

They are aware that this is a very touchy subject among some radical Indian Muslims. In fact, there is no communication that has been sent out by the Indian Mujahideen which does not spell out the Palestine cause. The HT is aware of this and has been using this on and off when they try and recruit Indian youth.

Their approach in Indian is very guarded. They have not shown any aggression yet and are espousing their cause through pseudo organisations. Moreover, they are also acting swiftly now, since they are aware that there is no ban on the group by the Indian government yet.

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Image: A file photo of suspected IM operatives


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Chaudary on his website states, "The proposed conference and demonstration are in no way advocating violence, but rather a peaceful call for Muslims to ask for what Allah (SWT) has ordered them to do; that is implement the Sharia in India and wherever they may be. As Muslims we believe sovereignty belongs to Allah and authority must be in the hands of Muslims."

"India prides itself on its so-called inclusiveness, freedom and democracy and indeed the nationalist Hindu movements (such as the Congress, BSP and SP) are vying with each other to tell Muslims how much they like them and yet as soon as Muslims propose the Sharia (Islamic law for all) their so-called freedom of expression and religious freedom disappears to be replaced with dictatorship and bullying," he says.

"Far from calling for enmity between religions, what we are proposing under the Sharia is for Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and Jews to live under one law where their rights to food, clothing and shelter are secured and where each person's religion, life, honour, wealth and mind are protected," he says.

The call for the Khilafah on the March 3, is on the 88th anniversary of the destruction of the last Islamic State. Its re-establishment in India is not intended to outrage religious feelings but rather to imbibe a love to return India once more to the superpower it once was under Islamic rule, where Hind included what is today Pakistan and Bangladesh, all united under one just ruler," the website says.


Image: A screengrab of Chaudary's website


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