What does ISLAM says about JIHAD?
How To Stop Terrorism
While Islam in general is misunderstood in the western world, perhaps no other Islamic term evokes such strong reactions as the word 'jihad'. The term 'jihad' has been much abused, to conjure up bizarre images of violent Muslims, forcing people to submit at the point of the sword. This myth was perpetuated throughout the centuries of mistrust during and after the Crusades. Unfortunately, it survives to this day.
The word Jihad comes from the root word jahada, which means to struggle. So jihad is literally an act of struggling. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that the greatest jihad is to struggle with the insidious suggestions of one's own soul. Thus jihad primarily refers to the inner struggle of being a person of virtue and submission to God in all aspects of life.
Secondarily, jihad refers to struggle against injustice. Islam, like many other religions, allows for armed self-defense, or retribution against tyranny, exploitation, and oppression. The Glorious Qur'an says:
"And why should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? - Men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!"
Thus Islam enjoins upon its believers to strive utmost, in purifying themselves, as well as in establishing peace and justice in the society. A Muslim can never be at rest when she sees injustice and oppression around her. As Martin Luther King Jr. said:
"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people."
Islam enjoins upon all Muslims to work actively to maintain the balance in which God created everything. However, regardless of how legitimate the cause may be, the Glorious Qur'an never condones the killing of innocent people. Terrorizing the civilian population can never be termed as jihad and can never be reconciled with the teachings of Islam.
(as rahul vallamber got the confirmation email to use this article from the "TEAM at WHY ISLAM")
by John Dear
Like many, I was upset about the horrific terrorist attacks on London on July 7th. I spent a few days in London just this past Christmas. I know my way around the Tube. It gave me flashbacks of my days working at Ground Zero right after the September 11th attacks, and the thousands of grieving people I met in the months afterwards as a Red Cross coordinator of chaplains at the New York Family Assistance Center.
However, I am equally upset by the ongoing U.S. terrorist attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere. My heart breaks with every report of the hundreds of nameless people who die from our bombs, our weapons, our soldiers.
For me, then the question, “How to Stop Terrorism?” is easy. We stop terrorism first of all by stopping our own terrorism! We cannot fight terrorism by becoming terrorists. We cannot end terrorism by using the methods of terrorism to bomb and kill Iraqis, to occupy Iraq, to support the terrorist occupation of the Palestinians, and to hold the world hostage with our nuclear weapons. We must bring the troops home from Iraq, fund nonviolent democratic peacemakers in Iraq, send food and medicine to Iraq, support United Nations’ nonviolent peacemaking solutions, end world hunger immediately, cut all U.S. military aid everywhere, dismantle every one of our nuclear weapons, fund jobs, education and healthcare at home and abroad, clean up the environment and teach nonviolence to everyone around the world, beginning at home in every U.S. classroom.
As I watch the TV news reporters and commentators, I am amazed at their lack of understanding. Half the world considers the United States the leading terrorist in the world, by our public spokespeople remain clueless about what’s really going on. We are seen as terrorists by many around the world because we bombed and killed 100,000 people in Iraq in 2003, and because we have over 20,000 weapons of mass destruction, (many of them in my neighborhood in New Mexico), which we are willing to use on any nation that does not support “U.S. interests.” Our wars and bombing raids and hostility toward the world’s poor are turning the world against us. We are breeding thousands of new terrorists, desperate poor people who have nothing, whose backs are up against the wall, and who have learned from our total violence to adopt the lunacy of violence, even suicidal violence, to strike back, blow up trains and buses, and spend their lives spreading fear.
Violence in response to violence can only lead to further violence. Jesus taught us that as the soldiers were dragging him away to his death when he said, “Those who live by the sword, will die by the sword.” Gandhi taught us that when he said, “An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.”
Violence cannot stop violence. We have to break the cycle of violence, renounce violence, start practicing creative active nonviolence on a level that the world has never seen, and reach out and embrace the world’s poor by meeting their every need. Then, we will win over the world, and no one will ever want to hurt a Westerner again. On that new day, we will sow the seeds of love and peace and discover what a world without terrorism, war, poverty, and fear is like.
I remember with sadness meeting thousands of Iraqis in 1999 when I led a group of Nobel Peace Prize winners to Baghdad. We asked everyone the simple question, “What do you want us to do?” Everyone we met, from the Papal Nuncio to the Muslim Iman to the non-governmental organization leaders (including the late, great Margaret Hassan) to hundreds of high school children to the hundreds of mothers holding their dying children, said: “Don’t kill us!” That sounds so obvious, but they said it with tears. If you want to help us, don’t kill us! If you want us to live in peace, don’t kill us! If you want us to be friends with you, don’t kill us! If you want Iraq to create a new democracy, don’t kill us! Send us food and medicine instead, and fund nonviolent, democratic movements for peace. Then, we will live in peace with you.
I reject violence and espouse only nonviolence, but I know that most Americans support, even relish violence, anything for “God and country,” they say. If people really believe in violence and justified warfare, then why should they be upset when individuals, or hundreds, or thousands, or maybe someday millions of people turn against the United States, England, or other first world nations in acts of terrorism? What do they expect when we have shown only hostility to the world’s poor, when we have practiced genocide against people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Darfur, Haiti, and elsewhere? Why are people who espouse violence--including most Americans, most TV commentators, most government officials, even most church people--so upset about these terrorist attacks, when they themselves support terrorism upon sisters and brothers elsewhere on the planet?
I do not understand our love of violence. If you want other people to be nonviolent, you first have to be nonviolent. If you want to remove the speck from someone else’s eye, you have to remove the two by four from your own head. If you want other nations to hold you in high regard, you first have to hold other nations in high regard, and treat every human being on the planet as a sister and brother. As someone once said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That is the answer to the nightmare of terrorism.
On August 6th, thousands of us across the country will remember that the United States vaporized 140,000 innocent, ordinary people sixty years ago in Hiroshima, Japan, in the ultimate terrorist attack. That morning, hundreds of us will converge on Los Alamos, New Mexico, the birthplace of the bomb, and citing the book of Jonah, we will put on sackcloth and ashes, repent for the sin of war and nuclear weapons, and beg the God of peace for the disarmament of the world. That afternoon, I will fly to Las Vegas, to join over five hundred people of faith in a three day interfaith peace conference, where I will speak and then we will drive out to the Nevada Test Site, where hundreds of us will commit civil disobedience by walking onto the Test Site and getting arrested in a peaceful demand that they close this U.S. nuclear terrorist training camp. I hope everyone everywhere will stand up in protest against nuclear terrorism on August 6th.
How do we stop terrorism? Renounce every trace of violence in your heart and your life. Adopt the wisdom and practice of active nonviolence, as Gandhi and Dr. King taught. Beg the God of peace for the gift of peace. Join your local peace and justice group. Stand up publicly for an end to war. Let your life be disrupted, and take a new, nonviolent risk for disarmament. Create new cells of active nonviolence. Embrace the religious roots of nonviolence. Study and teach the wisdom of nonviolence. Resist your local military and government violence. Stop business as usual, government as usual, media as usual, war as usual and demand peace, justice, and disarmament for the whole world, now. Announce the vision of a new nonviolent world, a disarmed world, a world without war, poverty, injustice or nuclear weapons. Explain how such a world is possible if we give our lives for it, demand it, insist on it, work for it, and begin to live it.
Rev. John Dear is a Catholic peace, peace activist, and coordinator of Pax Christi New Mexico, a Catholic peace group. He is the author/editor of 20 books on peace and nonviolence, including two books just published from Doubleday, “Living Peace” and “The Questions of Jesus”. For information, see: www.johndear.org
How to Stop Terrorism
Following the destruction of property and deaths of 8000 people on 11th September 2001, the Government of the United States of America with the support of the Government of the United Kingdom and approval and co-operation of most of the countries of the world (the Anti-Terrorist Coalition) began a war against the present government of Afghanistan with the object of putting an end to Terrorism by capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, destroying all the terrorist training camps, and replacing the present Afghani government with a government who would not support Terrorism.
Once the above objectives are achieved, the campaign against Terrorism will continue in other countries harbouring terrorists, which eventually should result in a terrorist-free world, or at least almost terrorist-free world.
Such are the intentions. But all human history and our daily lives are full of evidence that intentions and subsequent results are not always the same.
The purpose of this paper is to establish whether the present attempt to defeat Terrorism is likely to succeed, and how this objective can be achieved.
To begin with we would have to understand what Terrorism is, because, if one tried to stop terrorism without a clear understanding what it is, one is unlikely to achieve that purpose.
What is Terrorism
Terrorism is wilful destruction of people or property by people not acting on behalf of an established government to redress a real or imaginary injustice attributed to an established government.
Not all cases of wilful destruction of people or property are terrorism. The important definitive characteristics of terrorism are:
Without these three characteristics an act of wilful destruction of people or property is not terrorism. It is either an act of war, or a matter of internal policy, or an ordinary common law crime (murder, arson, etc).
- The act of destruction is performed by a person or group of persons not acting on behalf of an established government,
- The act of destruction is performed to redress a real or imaginary injustice, and
- The act is aimed directly or indirectly at an established government.
If destruction of people or property is undertaken by or on behalf of an established government against another country, it is considered war, not terrorism.
If destruction of people or property is undertaken by or on behalf of an established government on its own territory, it is considered a matter of policy, not terrorism.
If destruction of people or property is undertaken without justification, it is considered an ordinary common law crime, not terrorism.
If destruction of people or property is not aimed against an established government, but is aimed at a private individual or group, it is considered an ordinary common law crime, not terrorism, even if such act is aimed at redressing a wrong, because disputes between private individuals should be settled through an established legal system operated by an established government, not by taking law in one’s own hands.
Terrorism, Wars and Matters of Internal Policy
In the course of wars or matters of internal policy involving destruction of people and property there are inevitable innocent victims. But established governments, while regretting this fact, justify it on the grounds of military or political necessity. These justifications are asserted by the governments themselves, and, up to now, there were no independent, impartial and objective super-national courts, where such justifications could be put to test of factual validity, logical consistency, and conformity to the fundamental principle of justice – equality under the law.
As the only difference between terrorism and war is the fact of the perpetrator being or not being an established government, it is possible for terrorists to become established governments.
If the terrorists’ objective is to establish a national state or to expel a foreign (colonial or similar) power occupying their country, and they succeed, they become not terrorists, but an established government.
The last century saw numerous examples of this phenomenon. Terrorists of the former British colonies became members of established governments of independent countries of Africa and Asia.
Indeed there are few established governments in the world today, which at some time in history were not established by acts of destruction of people and property aimed at the then established governments. The American Civil War, the French Revolution, the Communist Revolution in Russia, the Chinese Revolution all began as acts of violence and destruction of people and property on a massive scale (including innocent victims) with the objective of overthrowing the then established governments.
While established governments see terrorist activity as terrorism, terrorists themselves see it as war - war against an enemy, an oppressor, war for freedom, justice, etc. Indeed, they see themselves as rightful governments fighting for their lawful rights. And, as established governments, they pursue their wars by destroying people and property.
The means of destruction in the hands of terrorists are, however, much less powerful and versatile than those in the hands of established governments. And this dictates the targets, which terrorists choose to hit.
Terrorists bomb offices and shopping centers, not because they want to kill innocent people, but because they want to hit enemy targets. The fact that shops and offices contain people who have nothing to do with whatever cause the terrorists might be fighting is overshadowed by the triumph of inflicting damage upon the enemy. This triumph is not different from the triumph of the British and American people, when they heard that the Allied Forces started bombing Berlin at the end of the Second World War – they did not think at the time of the deaths of innocent German women and children dying in burning ruins – they thought of the victory over the enemy.
The Authority of Terrorist Leaders
There are, however, substantial differences between wars waged by established governments and wars waged by terrorists. Established governments have substantial control over the territory and people they administer. They can start a war, they can stop a war. Terrorist wars are not started by terrorist leaders, nor can they be stopped by terrorist leaders. Terrorist wars are not the result of decisions by leaders, they are the result of feeling by groups of people, united by national, religious or similar ties, of injustice (real or imaginary), which generate hatred towards the oppressors and desire to liberate themselves from the oppressors or to redress the injustice.
Sooner or later the more determined and capable members of such groups join together to fight for the common cause, and natural leaders emerge to lead the fight. These leaders have control over their followers only as long as they continue the fight. They can only stop after the fight has been won, or the feeling of injustice motivating the fight disappears. If they try to stop the fight without having achieved the results, they lose their authority as leaders and are replaced by others prepared to fight on. This is why attempts to achieve peace in Ireland and Palestine by reaching agreement between terrorist leaders, turned politicians, and their opponents have invariably failed.
Failed Attempts to Stop Terrorism
Whenever an established government is confronted with terrorism they try to stop it (1) by imprisoning or killing the terrorist leaders, (2) by bribing or appeasing terrorist leaders, or in extreme cases (3) by killing every male belonging to the group on behalf of which the terrorists operate (genocide).
It has been proved by the history of mankind, and it logically follows from the nature of terrorism, that it is impossible to stop terrorism by killing or imprisoning terrorist leaders. As long as the cause of terrorism (the feeling of injustice) remains, new terrorist leaders appear and replace those killed or imprisoned. The very fact of killing or imprisoning terrorist leaders increases the feeling of injustice and hatred that feeds terrorism and arouses desire for revenge. The killed terrorist leaders become symbols, martyrs, saints and role models for their followers. Occasional terrorist incidents become regular and increasingly frequent part of daily life, until they reach the proportions of a full scale civil war.
It has been proved by the history of mankind, and it logically follows from the nature of terrorism, that it is impossible to stop terrorism by bribing or appeasing terrorist leaders. As long as the cause of terrorism (the feeling of injustice) remains, the bribed or appeased leaders will lose the support of their followers and will be replaced by new leaders. The very fact of bribery or appeasement increases the feeling of disdain towards the established government and the resolve to continue the struggle.
The failure of the last peace process between Ehud Barak and Yaser Arafat chaperoned by American and British politicians, and now being attempted to be revived by Tony Blair, failed not because it was sabotaged by terrorists, but because the feelings of injustice that were the cause of terrorism have not disappeared. What the Palestinians saw was replacement of Israeli soldiers with Palestinian militia trying to do the Israelis’ job. Clearly the militia could not enforce peace against the wishes of their people; in their own hearts they saw the Israelis as the enemy, not the Palestinian youths throwing stones at the Israelis. These feelings could not be changed by politicians shaking hands with each other or signing a piece of paper.
Theoretically genocide appears to be an effective way to eradicate terrorism: kill every terrorist and all the people on whose behalf terrorists fight their war, and terrorism will disappear. In practice such solution could be extremely difficult or even impossible to implement.
A historical example known to Christians from the Old Testament and to Muslims from the Qur'an is the story of Moses and the Pharaoh of Egypt, where the Pharaoh ordered to kill every Israelite male child. The end of the story is that the mighty ruler of a great empire suffered defeat and a small captive tribe lived to tell the tale (refer to the sources for the details).
Today this solution is being tried out by the Russian government in Chechnya. A Russian minister dealing with the matter said, "To win this war, one has to destroy the entire male population of Chechnya". He is wrong, all the female population of Chechnya would have to be destroyed as well, because the women will pass the hatred on to any child born to them, even if the birth was the result of rape by Russian soldiers. And, of course, women can also fight and destroy people and property.
The genocide solution was difficult to implement even in the days of the Ancient Egypt. Today when the means of travel and communications have developed to the extent of turning the world into a global village, such solution is not only difficult, it is impossible. Terrorism today is not confined to a single geographical area, it has become global. Even if the Russians do succeed in killing every Chechen man, woman and child, the feeling of injustice and hatred will spread to other people and will inspire acts of terrorism against Russia and all the countries believed to be supporting it or co-operating with it.
The only way to eradicate terrorism is to remove its cause – the (justified or unjustified) feeling of injustice.
This is the general conclusion based on accumulated historical experience of mankind and on logical reasoning from the nature of terrorism.
Let us look now how this conclusion applies to the present concrete example of the operations Infinite Justice and Enduring Freedom.
Operations Infinite Justice and Enduring Freedom
Let us suppose that the operation Enduring Freedom proceeds successfully. The Taliban are defeated. Afghanistan is occupied by the Coalition forces and whatever anti-Taliban Afghanis form an Anti-Terrorist Coalition friendly government. Osama bin Laden is killed or captured. This is possible - the Coalition forces have enough weapons to destroy the whole population of Afghanistan together with Osama bin Laden.
But will this stop terrorism?
Even the main leaders of the War Against Terrorism (President Bush and Tony Blair) understand and publicly acknowledge that it will not.
As a result of Anglo-American bombing of Afghanistan Osama bin Laden, has already become a symbol of the war against America and its supporters by those Muslims who see the bombing of Afghanistan by the Americans as a war against the Muslim World.
Tony Blair is trying hard to persuade the leaders of Muslim countries that the war is against Terrorism, not Islam, and some Muslim heads of states are assuring him of their support. But how long will those leaders of Muslim countries continue to enjoy the support of the people they represent?
In itself, terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. We see it in Ireland, Spain and in every part of the world where people see themselves victims of injustice at the hands of an established government.
Initially, the connection between terrorism and Islam was the sympathy that Muslims and especially Arabs felt with the injustice inflicted upon the Palestinian Arabs by Israel. America was also seen as a supporter of Israel. The genocide by the Russians in Chechnya and its tacit acceptance by the Western World has resulted in the feeling among Muslim people that they are being attacked by anti-Muslims, awakening the memories of the Crusades and Colonial wars of the past. It is these feelings of hostility and injustice that lead to what became known as Islamic terrorism. The present attack against Afghanistan has already spread the feeling of hostility towards America and its supporters to such far away from the conflict area countries as Malaysia, Indonesia and Nigeria. Operation Enduring Freedom is rapidly turning into operation Enduring Terrorism.
So does it mean that terrorism is inevitable?
Terrorism is not inevitable.
There has never been a better opportunity to stop terrorism than today. And there is no person in the world today, who is better placed to play a crucial part in the eradication of terrorism than Osama bin Laden.
A dead or imprisoned Osama bin Laden will become a symbol, a rallying cry and a role model for every terrorist alive today and to be born in the years to come. A living and free Osama bin Laden will become the man who has put a permanent end to terrorism. But Osama bin Laden will not be able to do it alone, he will need full co-operation and support of President Bush, Tony Blair, President Putin, and all the other members of the Anti-Terrorist Coalition.
Below follow the steps that must be performed by the parties concerned.
Steps to be taken by the Anti-Terrorist Coalition
Steps to be taken by Osama bin Laden
- The Coalition governments to stop immediately all military activities against Afghanistan.
- The Coalition governments to abandon all claims against Osama bin Laden.
- The Coalition governments to grant Osama bin Laden full diplomatic immunity as the ambassador, representative and spokesman for all people who see themselves victims of injustice at the hand of established governments.
- The Coalition governments to give full recognition to the present Government of Afghanistan (Taliban).
- The Russian Government to stop all military operations in Chechnya.
- The Israeli Government to stop all military operations against the Palestinians.
- Any other established governments waging war against terrorism to stop all military operations against the terrorists.
- All the Coalition governments to give full co-operation and assistance to Osama bin Laden in the steps to be undertaken by him as listed below.
- All the Coalition governments to issue a declaration that they will accept the jurisdiction of the World Court of Justice (described in a separate document), and will unconditionally comply with its decisions.
- All the above will be conditional on Osama bin Laden performing the steps outlined below.
- After Osama bin Laden has issued the proclamation, thus agreeing to put an end to terrorism, all financial assets of Osama bin Laden and of any other persons and organizations, which were seized, frozen or restricted in any way to be released from all restrictions.
George W. Bush, the President of the United States, will accept the role of the Leader, Co-ordinator, and Spokesman for the Anti-Terrorist Coalition, and, as Leader of the Anti-Terrorist Coalition, will issue a formal proclamation ordering the implementation of the above steps. The text of the Bush Proclamation is attached as a separate document.
- Osama bin Laden to accept the role of the ambassador, representative and spokesman for all people who see themselves as victims of injustice at the hands of established governments.
- Osama bin Laden to order all people who see themselves as victims of injustice at the hands of established governments to stop all terrorist activities.
- Osama bin Laden to order all people who see themselves as victims of injustice at the hand of established governments to prepare written claims against the established governments and to submit these claims to the World Court of Justice.
- Osama bin Laden to order that any damage to person or property committed by any terrorist after the publication of the Proclamation will be no longer justified and will be considered as ordinary crime punishable in accordance with the criminal law of the country where it is committed.
- Osama bin Laden to order that it is the duty of every Muslim and of every honest person to make every effort to prevent crimes as described in the previous paragraph, to report such crimes to the police of the countries concerned, and to assist in every way to the police in arresting such criminals and bringing them to justice.
- Osama bin Laden to give an undertaking in his proclamation that he, for and on behalf of all people who see themselves as victims of injustice at the hand of established governments, accepts the jurisdiction of the World Court of Justice, and will unconditionally comply with its decisions. The text of the Osama bin Laden Proclamation is attached as a separate document.
Terrorism in India
Terrorism in India can be attributed to many low intensity conflict within its borders. If terrorism can be defined as "peacetime equivalent of war crime", then these sites of low intensity conflicts are prime spots for terrorism in India. The regions with long term terrorist activities today are Jammu and Kashmir, Central India (Naxalism) and Seven Sister States (independence and autonomy movements). In the past, the Punjab insurgency led to militant activities in the Indian state of Punjab as well as the national capital Delhi (Delhi serial blasts, anti-Sikh riots). As of 2006, at least 232 of the country’s 608 districts were afflicted, at differing intensities, by various insurgent and terrorist movements.
Terrorism in India has often been alleged to be sponsored by Pakistan. After most acts of terrorism in India, many journalists and politicians accuse Pakistan's intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence of playing a role. Recently, both the US and Afghanistan have accused Pakistan of carrying out terrorist acts in Afghanistan.
Although terrorism is not considered a major issue in the state, existence of certain groups like the CPI-ML, Peoples war, MCC,Ranvir Sena and Balbir militias is a major concern as they frequently attack local policemen and politicians. Poor governance and the law and order system in Bihar have helped increase the menace caused by the militias. The Ranvir Sena is a militia of forward caste land owners which is taking on the might of powerful Naxalites in the area. The State has witnessed many massacres by these caste groups and retaliatory action by other groups. All the militias represent interest of some caste groups. The main victims of the violence by these groups are helpless people (including women, old and children) who are killed in caste massacres. The state police is ill equipped to take on the Ak-47, AK-56 of the militants with their vintage 303 rifles. The militants have used landmines to kill ambush police parties as well. The root cause of the militant activities in the state is huge disparity among different caste groups. After Independence, land reforms were supposed to be implemented, thereby giving the low caste and the poor a share in the lands which was till then held mostly by high caste people. However, due to caste based divisive politics in the state land reforms were never implemented properly. This led to growing sense of alienation among the low caste. Communist groups like CPI-ML, MCC and People's War took advantage of this and instigated the low caste people to take up arms against establishment which was seen as a tool in the hands of rich. They started taking up lands of rich by force killing the high caste people. The high caste people resorted to use of force by forming their own army Ranvir Sena to take on the naxalites. The State witnessed a bloody period in which the groups tried to prove their supremacy by mass killings. The Police remained a mute witness to these killings as it lacked the means to take any action. However now the Ranvir Sena has significantly weakened with the arrest of its top brass. The other groups are still active. Many a times politicians use these groups for their advantage.
There have been arrests in various parts of the country, particularly those made by the Delhi and Mumbai police in the recent past, indicating that extremist/terrorist outfits have been spreading their networks in this State. There is a strong suspicion that Bihar is also being used as a transit point by the small-arms, fake currency and drug dealers entering from Nepal and terrorists reportedly infiltrating through Nepal and Bangladesh.
During the 1970s, the Indian Green Revolution brought increased economic prosperity for the Sikh community in Punjab. This propensity kindled an age old fear in the Sikh community - that of being absorbed into the Hindu fold and led to the rise of Sikh militants. The insurgency intensified during 1980s when the movement turned violent and the name Khalistan resurfaced and sought independence from the Indian Union. Led by Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a young, charismatic, successful preacher, they began using militancy to stress on their demands. Soon things turned bloody with India alleging that neighbouring Pakistan supported these militants, who, by 1983-4, had begun to enjoy widespread support among Sikhs.
In 1984, Operation Blue Star was conducted by the Indian government to stem out the movement. It involved an assault on the Golden Temple complex, which Sant Bhindranwale had fortifed in preparation of an army assault. Indira Gandhi, India's then prime minister, ordered the military to storm the temple, who eventually had to use tanks, helicopter gunships, artillery and chemical weapons. After a seventy-four-hour firefight, the army successfully took control of the temple. In doing so, it completely damaged some portions of the Akal Takht, the Sikh Reference Library and some damaged to the Golden Temple itself. According to Indian government sources, eighty-three army personnel were killed and 249 injured. Militant casualties were 493 killed and eighty-six injured.
During same year, the assassination of Indira Gandhi by two Sikh bodyguards, believed to be driven by the Golden Temple affair, resulted in widespread anti-Sikh riots, especially in New Delhi. Following Operation Black Thunder in 1988, Punjab Police, first under Julio Ribeiro and then under KPS Gill, together with the Indian Army eventually succeeded in pushing the movement underground.
In 1985, Sikh terrorists bombed an Air India flight from Canada to India, killing all 329 people on board Air India Flight 182. It is the worst terrorist act in Canada's history. The Pakistani government is suspected to have played a part in the bombing.
The ending of overt Sikh militancy in 1993 led to a period of relative calm, punctuated by militant acts (i.e. the assassination of Punjab CM, Beant Singh in 1995) attributed to half a dozen or so operating Sikh militant organisations. These organisations include Babbar Khalsa International, Khalistan Commando Force, Khalistan Liberation Force and Khalistan Zindabad Force.
Support for Khalistan is still widespread among Sikh communities in Canada and the United Kingdom.
29 October 2005 Delhi bombings
Three explosions went off in the Indian capital of New Delhi on October 29, 2005 (two days before the Hindu festival of Diwali ) which killed more than 60 people and injured at least 200 others. The high number of casualties made the bombings the deadliest attack in India of 2005.It was followed by 5 bomb blasts on 13th September 2008.
Delhi security summit
Main article: 2007 Delhi security summit
The Delhi summit on security took place on February 14, 2007 with the foreign ministers of China, India, and Russia meeting in Hyderabad House, Delhi, India to discuss terrorism, drug trafficking, reform of the United Nations, and the security situations in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and North Korea.
The Indian Foreign Ministry released a statement on behalf of all three governments saying, "We shared our thoughts on the political, economic and security aspects of the global situation, the present world order and recent developments in various areas of mutual concern. We agreed that co-operation rather than confrontation should govern approaches to regional and global affairs. There was coincidence of views against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and on the need to address financing of terrorism and its linkages with narco-trafficking."
2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack in Ayodhya
The long simmering Ayodhya crisis finally culminated in a terrorist attack on the site of the 16th century Babri Masjid -Ram Janmabhoomi Hindu temple in Ayodhya on July 5, 2005. Following the two-hour gunfight between Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists based in Pakistan and Indian police, in which six terrorists were killed, opposition parties called for a nationwide strike with the country's leaders condemning the attack, believed to have been masterminded by Dawood Ibrahim.
2006 Varanasi bombings
A series of blasts occurred across the Hindu holy city of Varanasi on 7 March 2006. Fifteen people are reported to have been killed and as many as 101 others were injured. No-one has accepted responsibility for the attacks, but it is speculated that the bombings were carried out in retaliation of the arrest of a Lashkar-e-Toiba agent in Varanasi earlier in February 2006. On April 5, 2006 the Indian police arrested six Islamic militants, including a cleric who helped plan bomb blasts. The cleric is believed to be a commander of a banned Bangladeshi Islamic militant group, Harkatul Jihad-al Islami and is linked to the Inter-Services Intelligence, the Pakistani spy agency.
Northeastern India consists 7 states (also known as the seven sisters): Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, and Nagaland. Tensions exists between these states and the central government as well as amongst the tribal people, who are natives of these states, and migrant peoples from other parts of India. The states have accused New Delhi of ignoring the issues concerning them. It is this feeling which has led the natives of these states to seek greater participation in self-governance. There are existing territorial disputes between Manipur and Nagaland. There is a rise of insurgent activities and regional movements in the northeast, especially in the states of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura. Most of these organizations demand independent state status or increased regional autonomy and sovereignty. Many of these are said to be China sponsored.
The first and perhaps the most significant insurgency was in Nagaland from the early 1950s until it was finally quelled in the early 1980s through a mixture of repression and co-optation. The National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM), demands an independent Nagaland and has carried out several attacks on Indian military installations in the region. According to government officials, 599 civilians, 235 security forces and 862 terrorists have lost their lives between 1992 and 2000.
On June 14, 2001, a cease-fire agreement was signed between the Government of India and the NSCN-IM which had received widespread approval and support in Nagaland. Terrorist outfits such as the Naga National Council-Federal (NNC-F) and the National Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) also welcomed the development. Certain neighbouring states, especially Manipur, raised serious concerns over the cease-fire. They feared that NSCN would continue insurgent activities in its state and demanded New Delhi scrap the ceasefire deal and renew military action. Despite the cease-fire the NSCN has continued its insurgency
After Nagaland, Assam is the most volatile state in the region. Beginning 1979, the indigenous people of Assam demanded that the illegal immigrants who had emigrated from Bangladesh to Assam be detected and deported. The movement lead by All Assam Students Union began non-violently with satyagraha, boycotts, picketing and courting arrests. Those protesting frequently came under police action. In 1983 an election was conducted which was opposed by the movement leaders. The election lead to widespread violence. The movement finally ended after the movement leaders signed an agreement (called Assam Accord) with the central government in August 15, 1985. Under the provisions of this accord, anyone who entered the state illegally between January 1966 and March 1971 were allowed to remain but were disenfranchised for ten years, while those who entered after 1971 faced expulsion. A November 1985 amendment to the Indian citizenship law allows non citizens who entered Assam between 1961 and 1971 to have all the rights of citizenship except the right to vote for a period of ten years. New Delhi also gave special administration autonomy to the Bodos in the state. However, the Bodos demanded for a separate Bodoland which led to a clash between the Bengalis, the Bodos and the Indian military resulting in hundreds of deaths.
There are several organizations which advocate the independence of Assam. The most prominent of which is the ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom). Formed in 1971, the ULFA has two main goals, the independence of Assam and the establishment of a socialist government. The ULFA has carried out several terrorist attacks in the region targeting the Indian Military and non-combatants. The group assassinates political opponents, attacks police and other security forces, blasts railroad tracks, and attacks other infrastructure facilities. The ULFA is believed to have strong links with Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), Maoists and the Naxalites. It is also believed that they carry out most of their operations from the Kingdom of Bhutan. Because of ULFA's increased visibility, the Indian government outlawed the group in 1986 and declared Assam a troubled area. Under pressure from New Delhi, Bhutan carried a massive operation to drive out the ULFA militants from its territory. Backed by the Indian Army, Thimphu was successful in killing more than a thousand terrorists and extraditing many more to India while sustaining only 120 casualties. The Indian military undertook several successful operations aimed at countering future ULFA terrorist attacks, but the ULFA continues to be active in the region. In 2004, the ULFA targeted a public school in Assam killing 19 children and 5 adults.
Assam remains the only state in the northeast where terrorism is still a major issue. The Indian Military was successful in dismantling terrorist outfits in other areas, but have been criticized by human rights groups for allegedly using harsh methods when dealing with terrorists.
On September 18, 2005, a soldier was killed in Jiribam, Manipur, near the Manipur-Assam border by members of the ULFA.
Tripura witnessed a surge in terrorist activities in the 1990s. New Delhi blamed Bangladesh for providing a safe haven to the insurgents operating from its territory. The area under control of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council was increased after a tripartite agreement between New Delhi, the state government of Tripura, and the Council. The government has since been brought the movement under control though certain rebellious factions still linger.
In Manipur, militants formed an organization known as the People's Liberation Army. Their main goal was to unite the Meitei tribes of Burma and establish an independent state of Manipur. However, the movement was thought to have been suppressed after a fierce clash with Indian security forces in the mid 1990s.
On September 18, 2005, six separatist rebels were killed in fighting between Zomi Revolutionary Army and Zomi Revolutionary Front in the Churachandpur District.
On September 20, 2005, 14 Indian soldiers were ambushed and killed by 20 rebels from the Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) terrorist organization, armed with AK-56 rifles, in the village of Nariang, 22 miles southwest of Manipur's capital Imphal. "Unidentified rebels using automatic weapons ambushed a road patrol of the army's Gorkha Rifles killing eight on the spot," said a spokesman for the Indian government.
On June 9, 2007, Eleven people have been killed Eleven people have been killed in Moreh near the border with Myanmar.
Trouble started on Saturday after local residents recovered the bodies of five Kuki tribespeople with bullet wounds.
Angry Kukis attacked the local police station, where the bodies were kept, and razed several houses belonging to the rival Meitie ethnic group. Later in the evening, police recovered the bodies of six Meitie fishermen.
Currently there are 19 separate rebel groups operating in Manipur.
The Mizo National Front fought for over 2 decades with the Indian Military in an effort to gain independence. As in neighbouring states the insurgency was quelled by force.
Karnataka is considerably less affected by terrorism in spite of having many places of historical importance and the IT hub of India, Bangalore. However, recently Naxal activity has been increasing in the Western Ghats. Also, a few attacks have occurred, major ones including an attack on IISc on 28th December 2005 and serial blasts in Bangalore on 26th July 2008.
Andhra Pradesh is one of the few southern states affected by terrorism, although of a far different kind and on a much smaller scale. The terrorism in Andhra Pradesh stems from the People's War Group or PWG, popularly known as Naxalites. The 'PWG, has been operating in India for over two decades with most of its operations in the Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh. The group is also active in Orissa and Bihar. Unlike the Kashmiri insurgents and ULFA, PWG is a Maoist terrorist organisation and labor rights is one of its primary goals. These idelogical extremists aim to create equality in the society by attacking the rich and powerful landlords. Having failed to capture popular support in the elections, they resorted to violence as a means to voice their opinions. The group targets Indian Police, multinational companies, landlords and other influential institutions in the name of the rights of landless labor. PWG has also targeted senior government officials, including the attempted assassination of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. It reportedly has a strength of 800 to 1,000 well armed militiants and is believed to have close links with the Maoists in Nepal and the LTTE of Sri Lanka. According to the Indian government, on an average, more than 60 civilians, 60 naxal rebels and a dozen policemen are killed every year because of PWG led insurgency. Currently the ban on the Naxalites has been lifted in the state which has led to a drastic drop in killings.
Tamil Nadu had LTTE Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam militants operating in state Tamil Nadu up until the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. LTTE had given many speeches in state Tamil Nadu led by TamilSelvan and other Eelam members. LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has carried out speeches in Tamil Nadu as well. Tamil Tigers have been receiving many donations and support from India. Tamils have been supplying oil, money, hazardous materials etc ... to Tamil militants as well.
The following are Listed Terrorist Organizations banned in India
And major listed incidents
- Black Tigers
- Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
- Tamil Tigers
- Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
- Central Bank Bombing in 1996
- Coimbatore bomb blasts, Feb 14 1998 Car bomb in Dindivanam 4 April 2007