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Muslim Brotherhood, Jamaat e Islami Hind and Islamisation of Democratic Societies

With the advent of the modern world, the Islamic world grew weaker in comparison to Western power block. The Mughals were overthrown; the Ottomans vanished and Sharia law remained stagnant. By the early twentieth century some radical Muslims who were concerned about the diminishing importance of the Islamic world propounded the theory that decline of the Islamic world was God’s punishment for the insufficient application of traditional Sharia law. The “solution” consisted of “Islamizing” society by transforming key institutions such as the family, the educational system, the workplace, and, eventually, the legal system and politics. Hassan al-Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood/MB (established in 1928), was committed to implementing Sharia law, thereby reversing the Islamic world’s decline. Over the time, the Muslim Brotherhood waned away from ideological battle and increasingly turned to militancy, assassinations, and terror attacks. Today, the Muslim Brotherhood’s slogan is: “Allah is our objective; the Qur’an is our law; the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is our highest aspiration. This slogan itself rejects the notion of democracy and secular laws that are prevalent in majority of the countries around the world.

Abu Ala Maududi, inspired by Hassan al-Banna’s ideas established Jamaat-e-Islami in 1941 in Lahore with the same objectives and ideals as that of Muslim Brotherhood. While expressing their stand on the issue of ouster of Mohammad Morsi government, Jalaluddin Umri (the then president, JeIH) and many other senior leaders alleged that the turmoil in Egypt was part of an “international” conspiracy supported by USA and imperialistic forces to stop “Islamists” coming to power. The Majlis e Shoora of JeIH even claimed that the MB of Egypt has been engaged in peaceful struggle. The “peaceful” struggle of Brotherhood can be judged from the fact that in 1948, a 23-year-old veterinary student belonging to Muslim Brotherhood, assassinated the then Prime Minister of Egypt. Two weeks later, another member of the outfit was arrested for attempting to bomb a courthouse. In 1960s, a small circle of Muslim Brothers was arrested for plotting to re-establish an armed wing in Egypt. The government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has classified the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and routinely accuses it of being behind terrorist attacks. Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra, offshoots of MB have been designated as terrorist organizations by the United States government. Another offshoot of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine namely Hamas carried out kidnappings, suicide bombings and rocket attacks on civilian targets, which the Muslim Brotherhood considers legitimate resistance to Israeli occupation. The United States has designated Hamas a terrorist organization. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian who helped found and even lead Al Qaeda, was a former Brotherhood member.

The Brotherhood’s Islamic ideology makes it a threat to the idea of the nation-state and thus a threat to the stability of the world order. The Brotherhood and Al Qaeda are essentially part of the same movement since both envision societies grounded in Islam. Jamaat e Islami while trying to imitate its ideological head (MB) possesses all the quality of a dangerous organisation. If lesson is to be learnt from the exploits of Brotherhood and its hand in forming & running organisations like Hamas, Al-Qaeda etc, JeIH needs to be immediately banned. An ethnically diverse and multi-religious country like India cannot afford to allow growth of radical Islam under the patronage of organisations like JeIH. Unless a concrete action is taken against anti-diversity organisations like JeIH, future of the nation will remain grim with a steady decline in the overall development of the country.

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