Bengaluru Clerics Using Social Media In Mosques To Counter Islamic State Propaganda

Mohammed Maqsood Imran, Imam of Bengaluru’s central Jamia Masjid, has planned to counter the propaganda of Islamic State using their social media – a tool the extremists have been using to lure the youth particularly Muslims  throughout the world.

Imran has planned to use the social media to counter the ideas of IS about Islam.

Indian Express reports that the Imam has written to mosques in India’s teach-hub that they should propagate the message that Islam stands for humanity, and not for violence and intolerance.

Islamic State has a strong propaganda machine by which they woo the youths into joining them. Imam Imran has urged Imams of other mosques to actively counter the filthy propaganda by reaching out to the students using different forms of social media including WhatsApp.

This campaign was kicked off two weeks ago after Bakri Eid. A group of 150 maulanas created a WhatsApp group for better communication strategy to prevent the radicalisation of youths.

“A lot of young people are going astray. It is our duty to prevent youth from falling prey to wrong things,” the Imam said.

The clerics have not only restricted this campaign to the mosques. They are going to approach students of colleges and will speak to them about the fundamentals of Islam .

Imam Imran said that he wants these activities to be carried out in mosques all over the country to prevent youth from going down the wrong path.

The campaign will also focus on inculcating the moral values among the students and will tell them about the importance of respecting people. They will also try to make efforts to make students move away from bad habits.

The Imam wrote the letter in Urdu, highlighting that groups like Islamic state are presenting the  “wrongful interpretation” of the teachings in the Quran and the Hadith stating that in the long term this will affect Muslims around the world.

“Our holy Prophet Muhammad was sent to this world to spread the message of peace… Even during the war, Prophet Muhammad had ordered his men not to harm children, women, the aged and unarmed men. How can bombing and killing be justified?” the Maulana has written in his letter.

Ministry of Home Affairs have also expressed concern over the impact of Islamic State in the country. Earlier they were denying any such threat to India.

Indian Express reported in August that Islamic State flags have come up at protests in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Jammu Kashmir; pro-Islamic State graffiti has been found in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.

Fresh images have surfaced online of Areeb Majeed, who has been arrested on charges of joining the IS in Syria.

Indian Express  profiled the background on Areeb, Saheem Tanki, Fahad Tanvir Sheikh, and Amaan Naeem Tandel and their journey to joining the IS.

The report highlighted that all of them had very good educational backgrounds and that they had a bright future ahead of them. Majeed was recruited via social media.

Recently, the news of the daughter of a retired Lieutenant Colonel of Indian Army willing to join the IS shook the country.

The Lt Colonel sought help from the National Investigation Agency to counsel his daughter as she was having connections with the recruiters of IS and was aspiring to join them.

She is a former student of Delhi University, and Hindu by faith. The girl went for higher studies to Australia after graduation and is believed to have been radicalised there.

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