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Da’wah-Propagation as the Chief Islamic Strategy to Occupy the World

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The objectives of Da’wah are to come back to the religion by keeping all the Sharī’ah’s commandments; to be a good and devoted Muslim; to establish unity among all the Muslims; and to exalt the word of Allah on earth with the purpose to establish the good and legitimate society, the Ummah.

As about the infidels, the objectives is to promote the Islamic Sharī’ah among them and to encourage them to join the ranks of Islam as Allah’s chosen religion. This means, to guide all the peoples of the world to Islam, being the only legitimate religion deserves of worshiping. This requires the use of wisdom in persuading the infidels of the supremacy righteousness of Islam as compare to other religions. This is the Da’wah of the word, and assist it then comes the financial Da’wah, to support the converts so that Islam can prevail.

This is Jihād al-Da’wah, the spreading of Islam among the infidels by peaceful propagating means, such as argumentations and reasonable examples:

Call them in the way of Allah, with wisdom and words of good advice; and reason with them in the best way possible. Allah surely knows who strays from his path and He knows those who are guided in the right way (Sûrat al-Nahl, 16:125).

He who finds the right path does so for himself; and he who goes astray does so to his own loss…we never punish till we send a messenger [to preach] (Sûrat Banī Isrā’īl, 17:15).

The question is, were the Islamic territorial expansion historically, and the conversion to Islam religiously, an intended strategic plan, or a result of historical circumstances? The Muslim exegetes do believe that Allah commanded Muhammad to start making the Da’wah, to preach to Islam, and to use Jihad war to subdue the entire world under Islamic rule, from the first day he was entrusted with the mission of Islam. From this point of view, Islam is a missionary religion from its very inception, yet, we suggest that this was a gradual process, which developed hand by hand with the Islamic political success. In the battleground, all Islamic exegetes agree that when the Muslims meet infidels, they should not fight them until they have been asked to convert to Islam or to come under Islamic rule. Jihad war to eliminate the infidels comes only later on. This means that Jihad can be conducted only after the missionary activity of Da’wah has failed. Indeed, in Islam, al-Da’wah Qablal-Qitāl (invitation to Islam before death in war). It is based on the commandment: “We never punish till we have sent a messenger” (Sûrat Banī Isrā’īl, 17:15) and by the Ahādīth:

Muhammad said: When you meet your enemies among the infidels, offer them three choices, whichever of these they agree to, accept it from them: call them to Islam. If they accept, make peace with them; if they refuse, demand they pay the Jizyah. If they agree, accept it from them; if they still refuse… fight and slay them for the sake of Allah.

Umar sent the Muslims to the great countries to fight the pagans. Every place they came, the Muslim declared: “our Prophet has ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah Alone or give Jizyah; and our Prophet has informed us that whoever amongst us is killed, he is a Shahīd and shall go to Paradise to lead a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever amongst us remain alive, becomes your master.

Muslim theologians and the four Islamic schools of jurisprudence have pointed out that Islam was spread by proof and evidence, in the case of those who responded positively to the message, and by strength and sword, in the case of those who stubbornly resisted it, until they had no choice. It is best elaborated by Tirmidhi:

And there is no group of people on earth in which you cannot bring to me from them Muslims. And the best I like that you bring their wives and sons and kill their men.

Da’wah can work as an active, dynamic and missionary force, and the Muslims have to invite, to call, to reason with, and to exhort all those who are not Muslims with the objective of submitting to Allah’s will. At the same time Muslims must let the infidels know about their perfect religion and its mission to mankind. They have to deliver the message of Islam in its totality to other peoples who are not acquainted with it, and to aid them to embrace Islam. This is facilitated by contacting individuals and families with information; lecturing about the values of Islam as the perfect way of life.

From the Free World vantage point, the most important aspect of Da’wah is concerned with education. He, who wishes to stop fanaticism and radicalism in contemporary Islamic activity, must spend his energies to totally eradicate the deep-rooted connection between religion and education, the extreme incitement and hatred to the other. Muslim propagators work mainly in schools, colleges and universities, and it includes publishing material about Islam; using of the communication media to deliver the message of Islam; and de-legitimizing all other religions, cultures, political systems and way of life.

Domestically, the means to achieve these purposes within the Islamic community is by the establishment of Muslim religious and educational institutions, mainly the mosque (Masjid) and the school (Madrasah). It is carried out by eloquent scholars and Imāms, through sophisticated propaganda, and it presented as the cure to all modern ills: the destruction of family values, the high crime rates, alcoholism and the drug problem.

The Da’wah activity includes gentle preaching with reasonable argumentations and ideas to attract the infidels. The Islamic facts should be taught in such an elegant and beautiful language, as to bring in those with the capacity to accept Islam. The preachers must understand that the call to Islam should be clear, eloquent, self-evident and effective. They should present arguments in many ways and be replete with emotions and zeal, uniformity and unity of purpose. They should develop friendship and win the trust and confidence of those inclined towards Islam, be patient with them.

Da`wah should be pursued at all various societal and educational levels, and the communications media are considered imperative for the preaching. Special attention is given to campuses of colleges and universities where the Islamic propaganda is valued as effective and profitable. The second level of attention, after the campuses, is the Afro-Americans. The Muslim should carry the message of Islam to these groups in the ghettoes and in prisons, which are more susceptible to religious transformation. The emergence, in fact the flourishing, of mosques all-around of Western countries, together with the educational activity, the visiting of trained, sophisticated Imāms and scholars, alongside the distribution of informative literature and the proliferation of Islamic presses and publishers, all are intended to assist the spreading of the Da’wah in the West.

These twofold objectives of the Da’wah, to convert infidels to Islam and to strengthen the faith of the Muslims according to the Sharī’ah, not necessarily in this order, are illuminated by the above-mentioned activities. The interesting fact is that to the Muslim communities, the demand is for a more conservative and strict interpretation of Islam, urging them to reject all the elements of Western culture as Bid’ah (sin, unlawful). The projection is of the moral chaos and decadence of Western societies. Praying and visiting the mosques regularly, being educated in Islamic Madāris (schools), and dealing with any cultural and marital assimilation, become part of an ideological commitment to Islam as a way of life. This also means that the Muslims should organize themselves in communities, as close and segregated as possible.

Since they are considered missionaries and not immigrants, Muslim propagators are taught to master the modern languages and disciplines, and to have an absolute command of what they have to offer. By this, they can eliminate, amend, reinterpret and adapt the teaching of Islam according to the situation and the surroundings, producing and disseminating Islamic knowledge and providing daily requirements. They have a mission to the new generations of Muslims and the converted, how to follow in their footsteps and become a devoted Muslim. The Da’wah is connected to Jihad through the abandonment of personal wishes and sensual desires; promoting the unity of the Islamic community, and facilitating the absorption of Islamic values among the infidels.

From the early days of Islam, Da’wah was used extensively to denote the mission of Muhammad to the believers: to follow him and to believe in Allah’s Tawhīd. By that, the words Da’wah, Sunnah, Sharī’ah, Dīn are exchangeable and replaceable by one another. That is, Da’wah represents the real Islam in its full context, and a clear message to the world concerning Islamic intentions. One can find on many internet Islamic sites with huge passages and detailed instructions how to approach the infidels in deceit, concerning the character of Islam; proofs that Islam is the only true religion; the advantages of Islam to all mankind; how to convert to Islam; civil rights and human freedoms; Islam and terror.

From Islamic perspective, it is not only in order to convert people to Islam, but to liberate them from the dark slavery in which they live in by showing them the beauty of life in Islam. This is clearly echoed in the Muslim Brotherhood periodical, al-Da’wah, which indicates: the Da’wah is the genuine representative of the Islamic cultural and historical personality and identity, to recreate the Islamic true society, the Ummah. Da`wah is used as the chief diplomatic operation of the Muslims to deceive, disorient, and confuse the infidels about the real objectives of Islam. Moreover, it helps to redirect and twist reality. The aims of the Da’wah are very clear: to summon all the peoples of the world to accept Islam as the only true religion and to help its world spread.

Da’wah is the political use to divert public opinion from the horrors of Jihad, to whitewash Islamic terrorism: one hand butchers and demolishes, and the other condemns and misleads. So it turns that after a terrorist Jihad act is executed, Muslim organizations and NGOs rush immediately up to deny any connection to Islam and to reassure that Islam is a peaceful religion. Condemning and denying is only one aspect of Da’wah. There is the strategy aimed at subduing public opinion and by capitulating it to Islamic will. It is elaborated by Islamic practice in the US, with the aim to propagate in all fields and sources to exhibit Islam as a religion of peace and compassion.

While the operations of Jihad and Da’wah are carried out by different perpetrators and different means, they are all part and parcel of the objective to resurrect the Islamic caliphate as Allah’s kingdom on earth. This objective is compulsory on Muslims, and verifies the dictum of the Qur’an that the opponents of Islam will convert or become its supporters. Ibn Khaldun clearly articulates this division:

Because of the universalism of the Muslim mission, it becomes a religious duty to convert everybody to Islam or to bring them under Islamic rule, either by persuasion (Da’wah) or by force.

S. K. Malik elaborates this interaction between Jihad and Da’wah:

“…our main objective is the opponent’s heart or soul, and our main weapon of offence against this objective is the strength of our own souls… (These) are not only a means, but the end itself… It can be instilled only if the opponent’s faith and belief systems are destroyed.”

Muhammad as a model

For the Muslims, Muhammad is not merely a prophet, and not only a political and military leader, but an admired symbol; the representative of Allah on earth, the person with immunity to sin and error. He is the perfect embodiment of a human being on earth, and a model of the reality to come true by his deeds and sayings. It is the utmost goal of every believer to obey and to imitate him. Muhammad encouraged these trends by demanding that all the believers love him supremely and cherish him by his name. This is the reason why almost every Muslim also has “Muhammad” or “Ahmad,” or “Mahmud” or “Hamdan” as one of his names.

Narrated Anas: “The Prophet said: ‘none of you will have faith till he loves me more than his faith, his children and all mankind.’”

Narrated Abu Hurairah: “The Prophet said: ‘name yourself after me…and whoever sees me in a dream, he surely sees me, for Satan cannot impersonate me. Who intentionally ascribes something to me falsely he will surely take his place in hell fire.’”

If we understand the deep and total admiration to Muhammad, we can understand the reasons for today’s violent Muslim riots against even mere cartoons of Muhammad. It is demonstrated with the horrific slogans used by the Muslims marching all around the world: “Slay those who insult Islam”, “Butcher those who mock Islam”, “Behead those who insult Islam”, “Exterminate those who slander Islam”, “Massacre those who insult Islam”, “Europe is the cancer, Islam is the answer”, “Europe take lessons from 9/11”, “Europe you will pay. Your 9/11 is on its way”, “Freedom go to hell”, “Be prepared for the real holocaust,” and the most: “Islam will dominate the world.”

Contrary to the exegesis of most classical Islamic exegetes and the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence, the second part of the twentieth century brought a resurgence propagation and reinterpretation of the attitude to Jihad. Moulavi Ali, a Pakistani scholar and exegete, puts it very blatantly:

Almost all Muslim and European writers think that the religious war of aggression is one of the tenets of Islam, and prescribed by the Qur’an for the purpose of proselytizing. I do not find any such doctrine enjoined in the Qur’an or preached by Muhammad. His sole mission was to enlighten the Arabs to the true worship of one Allah. These have nothing to do with popular jihad and exterminating the idolaters. All the verses of the Qur’an are related only to defensive war without exception, and none of them has any reference to make warfare offensively. All fighting injunctions within the Qur’an are only in self-defense, none of them has any reference by which to make warfare offensively. There are several passages in the Qur’an which forbid taking offensive measures and enjoin only defensive war.

In a booklet “The Basics of Islam at a Glance” prepared by The Islamic Cultural Center in Tempe, Arizona, we read:

There is no historical proof that Islam was “spread by the sword”. Even non-Muslim scholars now admit that this is nothing more than a vicious myth which cannot be substantiated by historical fact. Others have claimed that Islam is a religion of love and peace and forgiveness.

An Egyptian exegete of Islam, Mahmoud Shaltut:

Muhammad revealed a book containing the principles of happiness. It commands to judge by reason, it propagates science and knowledge, it gives clear rules, it proclaims mercy, it urges to do good, it preaches peace, it gives firm principles concerning politics and society, it fights injustice and corruption. The Islamic community is commanded to do only what is good and is forbidden to do what is reprehensible and evil. The Islamic mission is clear and evident, easy and uncomplicated. This is the mission of Muhammad to humanity.

Here is the verse that Muslim Propagators falsely deceive the infidels, and most

Western leaders quote without any trace of understanding, as if Islam is tolerant, compassionate, and peace-loving: Sûrat al-Mā’idah, 5:32

“If anyone slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land -it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole.”

However, the full verse is:

“[Because of Cain killing Abel], That is why we decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever kills a human being except for murder or for spreading corruption in the land it shall be killing all humanity. And whosoever saves a life saves the entire human. Our apostle brought clear proofs to them, but even after that most of them committed excesses in the land.”

One of the last misuse of this verse as a diplomacy of deceit was the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremists, on February 18, 2015. Imam Abdisalam Adam of the Islamic Civil Society of America said that “Mosques serve as beacon of hope,” and they “provide moral compass for the Muslim community in navigating life… The peace, safety, and security of the US are of fundamental importance to the Muslim American community, and we oppose any form or shape of violent extremism that threatens peaceful coexistence… We believe in the right of all people to live in peace and security… Muslim imams have condemned and continue to denounce anyone who tries to use the religion of Islam to support terrorism.”

He has quoted verse 5:32, as to prove Islam is a religion of peace. President Obama used this passage in his Cairo Speech as do many apologists for Islam. What is actually presented by apologists is a distorted, out-of-context and misleading paraphrasing of the verse. The phrase “if any one saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole” is taken from the Jewish Mishnah, Sanhedrin, 4:5. Hence, this commandment is not incumbent upon Muslims, but on Jews. And the reference to “our messengers” is the Jewish prophets coming to the Jews with “clear proofs” which the Jews ignored, and filled the land with excess. This verse is written in past tense and does not apply to Muslims but to “the Children of Israel,” who, according to Islam itself, received the scriptures earlier.

In fact, this passage mentioned in the Qur’an is not a prohibition on Muslims to kill anyone, but explicitly not to kill fellow Muslims. Ibn Kathir explains this verse: he who kills a believing soul intentionally, Allah makes the Fire of Hell his abode. He will become angry with him, and curse him, and has prepared a tremendous punishment for him, equal to if he had killed all people. He explains the meaning of “mischief:” Do not commit acts of disobedience on the earth. Their mischief is disobeying Allah, because whoever disobeys Allah on the earth, or commands that Allah be disobeyed, he has committed mischief on the earth. This commentary also appears in Tafsīr al-Jalālayn. Moreover, Muhammad himself said the life of a non-Muslim is not sacred:

“Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Apostle said, ‘I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: None has the right to be worshipped but Allah. And if they say so, pray our prayers, face our Qiblah and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred.'”

“Narrated Maimun ibn Siyah that he asked Anas bin Malik, ‘What makes the life and property of a person sacred?’ He replied, ‘Whoever says, none has the right to be worshipped but Allah… then he is a Muslim.'”

Furthermore, Muhammad also gave the Fatwah that a Muslim cannot be killed for killing a non-Muslim. However, most important, the problem emerges in its fullest expression in the following verse (5:33), which is tightly connected, reveals the issue clearly: The price to pay for the “mischief” (Fasād) done is death:

“The punishment for those who wage war against Allah and his prophet and perpetrate disorder in the land is to kill and hang them or have a hand on one side and a foot on the other cut off. Or banish them of the land. Such is their disgrace in the world, and in the hereafter their doom shall be dreadful, except for those who repent before you apprehend them. Allah is forgiving and merciful.”

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Russia points to evidence exposing Kiev’s intentions to use biological weapons

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Documents uncovered in the special military operation in Ukraine corroborate the evidence exposing the Kiev regime’s intentions to use biological weapons, Head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Research Center for Chemical and Biological Threats Dmitry Poklonsky said in the run-up to the Ninth Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention. “In some cases, the study focused on infectious disease agents that had never been registered on Ukrainian soil,” he said – informs TASS.

“We have obtained reports of investigations into a collection of microorganisms that indicate the accumulation of pathogens in unsubstantiated amounts. There are documents confirming the intentions to acquire unmanned delivery vehicles that could be used for employing biological weapons. Considering the non-transparent nature of this work and the absence of any substantiated responses from the United States and Ukraine, we, of course, regard the documents obtained as proof that Article 1.4 of the Convention was violated,” the defense official said.

The documents obtained in the special military operation in Ukraine, including reports by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the US Department of Defense, corroborate that the nature of work carried out there frequently ran counter to pressing healthcare problems, he stressed.

“In some cases, the study focused on infectious disease agents that had never been registered on Ukrainian soil,” Poklonsky pointed out.

Neither Washington nor Kiev deny the fact of the existence of biological labs in Ukraine bankrolled by the Pentagon, he pointed out.

“It was confirmed by the 2005 agreement between the US Department of Defense and the Ukrainian Health Ministry. Far more questions arise from the nature of the studies being carried out in these biological laboratories and how this work complies with the Convention’s requirements,” the chief of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Center for Chemical and Biological Threats said.

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Psychological Warfare (PSYOPS)- The Pandora’s Box of Security Issues

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The world, functioning in its numerous forms and dimensions, is primarily perceived and misperceived by individuals through the faculty of the human Mind. A factor that creates a significant difference vis-a-vis human beings and other species is the complex cognitive ability possessed by humans. The mind is fundamentally an expression of thoughts circulated and imbibed through various means of communication. Deconstructing it further, thoughts portray the information consumed by an individual. In other words, this complex combination of the human mind, thoughts, and information shapes and reshapes our psychology.

Psychological war, in this context, can be perceived as a strategically orchestrated arrangement of information derived from variables like history, polity, religion, culture, literature, and philosophy broadly to channel propaganda with the prime objective of influencing and manipulating the behavior of the enemy to further one own interest. The term Psychological war is believed to be coined by a British Historian and military analyst, J.F.C Fuller, in 1920. One can observe that psychological war as an instrument of strategic importance is not of recent origin. Instead, the evolution of this tactic can be traced long back in history since the emergence of the State. It is considered one of the fundamental tools of statecraft and quite often has been put into the application as an instrument of state policy. Drawing a logical parallel, it can be advocated that psychological war has a close resemblance with the ancient notion of the allegory of the cave when applied in the present context.

Relevance of Psychological War

Napoleon Bonaparte once said “There are two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the mind.”  With the gradual progress of human intelligentsia, the world is and will be shaped and reshaped through the use of technology. The hyperconnected nature of a modern globalized world broadly portrays the image of a collective human consciousness deeply engrossed in the overwhelming nature of technology that reverberates with every emerging aspect of human life. When viewed from the prism of the State as a governing body in the international forum, technology will be the emerging axis of geopolitics since no state and its citizen can exist in silos devoid of the influence of other states. This is primarily due to the free flow of data. In this context, due to the free flow of data, the power of propaganda as a significant dimension of psychological war would prove to be an effective instrument used by the State to further its national interest.

In this contextual framework, the role of conscious manufacturing of narratives under the larger ambit of the idea of psychological war must be given due consideration. In his famous book,The Ultimate Goal: A Former R&AW Chief Deconstructs  How Nations and Intelligence Agency Construct Narratives, Vikram Sood unfolds the idea of how narratives are created, propagated, sustained, and refined in domestic countries and abroad to further the national interest. He emphasizes not only the power of information but also the power of disinformation to de-track and mislead the collective consciousness of the nation. Therefore, it is of critical significance for a nation to enhance its understanding of psychological war, considering it a major security issue.

The cost and the expense of war are also major concerns for the State. In this regard, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval establishes the viewpoint that wars are gradually becoming ineffective in achieving political and military objectives and that they are also highly expensive and are gradually becoming unaffordable. He further puts forward the idea of the 4th generation warfare where the operational target of the objective would be civil society. A fair understanding of the 4th generation warfare is of critical importance due to the fact that the modus operandi to target civil society would primarily be through the perpetual use of psychological war. The cost of psychological war, when compared with other forms of war, is abysmally low and also highly effective in manipulating the behaviour of the State. The cost-effectiveness helps it be more sustainable, which can be continued for an extended period of time.

Materialisation of Psychological War

China

Psychological war is applied by many States as an instrument of state policy. China, in this regard, can be considered a prominent player that has materialized this idea. In the strategic book on statecraft, The Art Of War, Sun Tzu states that “All warfare is based on deception.” China has consciously tried to bridge the gap between the theory and practice of psychological war. The Dhoklam issue in 2017 substantiates how the Chinese government used psychological war as an instrument of state policy to further its national interest.

Pakistan

The hostile approach of Pakistan towards India is not of recent origin. Instead, it is a phenomenon that can be traced back in history during the early germination of the idea of Pakistan when the Muslin League was formed in 1906. After the materialization of this idea by a painful partition of India in 1947, Kashmir became the bone of contention right after Pakistan’s inception as a nation-state. Pakistan, over the years, has become cognizant of the conventional asymmetry between the two nations. Therefore, it has operationalized the path of psychological war in the Kashmir region with a more pinpointed approach of using Twitter as an operational instrument to create misperceptions at a low cost to achieve its objectives.

Psychological War and the Indian Perspective

Taking a momentary glance at the historical evolution of India as a civilizational State, it can be rightly stated that understanding the nature of the mind has been a perpetual theme in the philosophical construct of India. The use of psychological war is not a new phenomenon. The references to it can be prominently found in Indian mythology. In this regard, the epic story of The Mahabharatha is a prominent example.

In one of the instances, Krishna applied this idea of psychological war by disclosing a fact to Karna, which hitherto was kept secret and hidden from him. Krishna, just before the war, unfolded the fact to Karna that he is the eldest son of Kunti, his father is the Sun God, and the Pandavas his brothers. This very fact and the timing of the disclosure of this fact put Karna in a deep psychological trauma that depletes his mental strength. It was at this moment that Krishna offered Karna to join the battle from the side of Pandavas. A similar instance of psychological war used by India was found during The Bangladesh liberation war.

In the context of psychological war, Arthashstra is also a relevant text. It mentions the art of Kutayuddha. In Sanskrit, the word Kuta implies the application of deception, the creation of misperception, and misleading the enemy state; Yudh means war. Kautilya is a staunch advocate of establishing a network of espionage to initiate intelligence and counterintelligence measures as a major security initiative for a state. Therefore, it can be rightly perceived that India has a history of psychological war, which it has implemented to maintain security and stability.

Conclusion

Taking an analogical perspective, if the mechanism of psychological war is like a gun, then information is the potential bullets that are fired from it to target the enemy. The flow of Information can be considered the most important factor that makes psychological war lethal, precise, and effective. Therefore, there exists an urgent need for the establishment of an ‘Information Operations Command’ to tackle the issue of psychological war that is rapidly maturing and enhancing in its nature and methodology, fusing with the 5th generation warfare. 

Another area of critical importance in this regard is the pressing need for a ‘National Security Doctrine.’ A national security doctrine is primarily a broad vision of a nation in the domain of its security from an inclusive perspective. Strong inter-agency coordination and refined analysis of security issues are needed.

Psychological war, as a rapidly evolving tool of statecraft in the security domain, acts as a linchpin vis-a-vis the 4th and 5th generation warfare where civil society and citizens are targeted with a perfect blend of technology and information. This makes it a war that doesn’t have a start or an end date. It is fought every minute, and progress can be achieved, even though at a minuscule level, but on a daily basis. Therefore, India as a major player in international politics with two hostile neighbors on its eastern and western border, must hold into perspective the scope, significance, and emerging dynamics of psychological war to keep herself abreast with other states at the international level on the security front.

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Growing India Israel Relations: A Threat to Sovereignty of Gulf States

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India has developed remarkable ties with the Gulf nations, particularly the GCC, over the past few decades. The significant trade between GCC nations and India and Israel are the main cause.  This gradualist approach and efforts on part of India is to include Israel in a broader Middle East policy. Under the Namenda Modi administration, since 2017 Israel is “special and normal” because India has avoided the negative repercussions and no longer have fears opened relations with the Jewish state.  

However, the point of concern is that India and Israel’s growing ties must not result in a coalition against Muslims. Modi and Netanyahu have many good reasons to rejoice over their thawing ties. But the gulf countries must discredit them if they use that proximity to advance a common narrative of extreme nationalism, exclusion, and labeling Muslims as the enemy.

Since October 25th, 2022, news reports have been making the rounds in the media revealing India’s involvement in global terrorism. Eight former Indian Navy officers have recently been detained in Qatar on suspicion of espionage and terrorism supported by the Indian government. These spy-officers were arrested in August 2022 for their involvement in international terrorism, espionage, and spying while working in Qatar for a private company and providing training and other services to the Qatari Emiri Navy.

Purnendu Tiwari, a retired (Naval commander) who received the Pravasi Samman 2019 (Highest Indian Award Abroad), was the brains behind the transfer of data from a major Gulf Muslim nation to Israel and India. It has been reported in the media that these Indian officers had access to sensitive information while working with Qatar’s enemies and the Defense, Security, and other government agencies. This is not the first time; India has been involved in espionage operations that violate foreign governments’ sovereignty, though it continues to deny it. International terrorism perpetrated by India has also frequently targeted Pakistan in the past. One such instance is the Kalbushan Yadav case.

The relationship between India and Israel is frequently described as a result of a natural convergence of ideologies between their respective ruling BJP and Liked parties. The BJP’s Hindutva and right-wing Zionism are two ethno-nationalist political movements that naturally discriminate against other races and religions because they are based on the majority populations they serve. In comparison to earlier, more liberal iterations of Hindutva and Zionism, both parties have become more racist. Therefore, by all means, India’s continued close strategic, economic, and security ties with Israel are more ideological than pragmatic.

India should make an effort to protect itself ideologically from the threat of Hindutva becoming the state’s guiding principle and a vehicle for incitement both domestically and abroad. Its exclusivist and discriminatory belief that India is only the property of Hindus is dangerous, especially at a time when Muslim minorities are increasingly being lynched in the name of cow vigilantism.

Today, the Gulf is an integral part of India’s ‘extended neighborhood’, both by way of geographical proximity and as an area of expanded interests and growing Indian influence. However, as a result of escalating anti-Muslim sentiment and the Hindutva movement’s flawed ideology, the BJP, government is arguably facing its most difficult diplomatic challenge in its nine years in office. A few years ago in 2020, Muslim nations were outraged by Nupur Sharma’s (a BJP official) insulting comments made during a TV debate about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Islamic-majority nations voiced their opposition through tweets, official statements, and by summoning Indian diplomats. The BJP was compelled to take action against the party officials for posting a screenshot of offensive tweet.

Subsequently, Princess Hend al-Qassimi of the UAE then made a rare public statement in response to the rising Islamophobia among Indians, saying in a tweet, “I miss the peaceful India.” She did this after she specifically called out a tweet from an Indian resident of the UAE as being “openly racist and discriminatory,” reminding her followers that the penalty for hate speech could be a fine or even expulsion. These statements come after the Islamic world, including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, urged India to act quickly to defend the rights of its Muslim minority and expressed concern about how the BJP treats Indian Muslims.

This suggests that the relationships New Delhi has worked so hard to build over the past few years drawing on the efforts of the previous administration is now seriously in jeopardy. India’s diplomatic achievement is starting to fall apart due to domestic developments that target its 200 million Muslims. The flagrant mistreatment of India’s Muslim communities now jeopardizes New Delhi’s carefully crafted Middle Eastern diplomacy, particularly with regard to the Gulf States.

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