Monday, June 13th, 2016

Educated, middle class Indian Muslims being drawn to Islamic State (ISIS)

Narada Desk | June 13, 2016 4:24 am Print
Indian intelligence agencies have found out that educated, middle class Muslims are more likely to be drawn to the manipulative propaganda of the Islamic State (ISIS) than those coming from poor families. Poor, uneducated youth were radicalized earlier before the rise of the ISIS due to perceived victimization at a local level.
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Educated, middle-class Indian Muslims in India are being drawn towards ISIS, it has been reported by a newspaper. The report says that these youth are influenced by the Islamic State’s terrorist ideology of global jihad. It adds that these Muslim youth are moved as by perceived injustices against Muslims at home. Intelligence agencies state that there has been a marked shift in the class that is attracted by the philosophy of terror groups. Earlier, the percentage of poor and illiterate being religiously radicalised was more but now there has been a change with educated, middle class Muslims falling prey to the philosophy of the radicals.

Indian intelligence agencies have run an analysis of the socio-economic profile of ISIS sympathisers interrogated by security agencies since 2014 and come to this conclusion.
Data presented shows that the rise of ISIS has led to those belonging from middle and upper middle class families and holding graduate degrees to become radicalized. Data has also shown a link between incidents with religious undertones and spikes in internet traffic from the country to jihadist websites over the past two years.

For instance, the National Technical Research Organisation and Intelligence Bureau detected that such traffic peaked between July 23 and 29 last year coinciding with the hanging of 1993 Mumbai bombings convict Yakub Memon. Many believed him to be innocent, triggering a media debate, HT reported.

Again, more people logged into jihadist websites from India between April 17 and 23 this year – around the time as a controversy over the National Investigation Agency softening its terrorism charges against people linked to Hindu radical groups, this report added. Terrorism experts and psychologists say perceived victimhood seem to amplify an identity crisis among ISIS sympathisers in India.