is an investigation into some institutions claiming to be
religious schools but acting as facilitators for terrorist
abroad. It is based on top-secret reports of Indian
Intelligence. It is a saga of the madarsas
preaching jihad to highly impressionable minds. |
Pious schools? Or jihad factories?
Laskhar-e-Toiba, LeT for short, is a Jihadi outfit, a
merchant of terror, based in Pakistan. It has always targeted India.
Now, the US is also its target. It has carried out a hundred terror
strikes on us. and was involved in the hijack of an Indian Airlines
flight to Kandahar.
It was LeT that laid siege on the Indian Parliament. It was also
responsible for eliminating US journalist Pearl. India has been
pleading with the US to declare it as a terrorist outfit. The US had
brushed aside our demand till Islamic terror struck at the World
Trade Centre. The first act of the US after that was to get Pakistan
to ban this terror outfit. But that is only in name.
Harkat-ul-Ansar, HuA for short; in its previous incarnation,
Harkat-ul-Mujhadeen, is cast in the same mould.
Yes. Terror, LeT or HuA, operates from outside. But it has
facilitators within. They cannot target India without such
facilitators. Here is an investigation into how terror is
facilitated from within. Facilitated by institutions claiming to be
pious religious schools, protected by secular polity as sacred
minority institutions. They shelter, harbour, launch, provide cover
for terror and terrorists.
Let us get to the heart of the matter straightaway. The story is
long and instances have a disgusting similarity about them. But it
has to be told; and read, in the larger national interest.
Azam Cheema is the Launching Commander of LeT for India. His duty
and expertise are to launch the Jehadis into India. See how this is
Azam Cheema instructs Abu Sayeed. Who is Abu Sayeed? He is in Khurja
in UP. His business is to harbour terrorists. Azam instructs Sayeed
to give letters of commendation for Abu Shoib and Abu Waheed, both
LeT Jehadis from Pakistan, to facilitate their launch into India. To
strike at India; for Jehad against it. Whom does he address?
Mustafa. Who is he? This is where the story begins. He is in charge
of the 'Madarsa' of Sunni Islamic sect at Domutha Karim Bazar, in
Malda District, in West Bengal. So the connection is from Pakistan
to UP via Malda in West Bengal. The address is the 'madarsa' at
Azam Cheema instructs again. Not the same, but, a different Abu
Sayeed, an LeT Jehadi. To do what? To go to Abdul Majid. Who is he?
Majid is in charge of 'Madarsa' Ahle Hadis, with address at No 988
Pan Mandi, Sadar Bazar, Delhi. Azam instructs Abu Sayeed to go to
Majid for shelter for carrying out Jehad in India. Again note the
address of the contact, the shelter. Madarsa. This is in Delhi,
India's capital. Not in a distant village.
Significantly, a diary seized from Abdul Mateen, a Pak national gave
out details of the Indian contacts of Harkat-ul-Ansar [HuA], the
dreaded terrorist outfit. What were the contacts? ±First Pervez
Azam Khan, studying in 'Madarsa' Nadvah-ul-Uloom, Lucknow, in Room
No 11; two, Mustafizur Rehman who teaches in the 'Madarsa' at Farah,
Mathura District, in UP; third, Naweed Shahid of 25 Azami Manzil 'Madarsa'
Dar-ul-Uloom, Deoband. The terror contacts were all in madarsas, all
Who has uncovered these covert acts? The Indian Intelligence in a
top-secret repor. In a meticulously documented report, it brings out
the link between Madarsa and Jehad. It says more.
But before we proceed further we must know some basics.
What is a madarsa? It is an Islamic religious school. Madarsa is an
Arabic term. It eans 'centre of education'. This system developed in
Baghdad in Iraq in AD 1073 and was introduced into India in AD 1206.
The madarsas in India are organised under four or five organisations.
It is even difficult to read or pronounce their names. But that is
no reason to ignore them. It is time that at least Hindus knew about
them. They are Dar-ul-Uloom in Deoband [founded in 1886],
madarsat-ul-Uloom, Aligarh [in 1873] and Nadvat-ul-Ulama [in 1894]
Jamait-ul-Hidaya or Jel-H  and of late Ahle Hadis. Each of
them is a brand in very respectable Islamic academic institutions.
The whole world is concerned about the growth of Madarsas. For,
Madarsas, wherever they are, in Egypt, or the Middle East, in Iraq
or Iran, in Pakistan or Afghanistan, in Malaysia or Indonesia, in
India or Bangladesh, are now known as the cradle of terror. The
world debates Madarsa. Scrutinises it. Tries to control it. But
thanks to our secular establishment most of us are ignorant of this
phenomenon. Most of us do not know even the difference between
Madras and madarsa. Some believe Madarsa to be a pious religious
school. It may have been so. No more now. They, at least most of
them, are now Jehad factories. This is what the investigation
demonstrably brings out.
Now back to the main investigation. Not just in UP or West Bengal,
the madarsa-linked terrorism has spread everywhere. Madarsas in
India, in whichever state they are, are linked to terror.
The Intelligence report is voluminous. It cannot be captured in
newspaper articles. But a fair picture of what the investigation
report says needs to be given.
In Andhra Pradesh, the report says, one Amir Abdullah, an ISI
instructor, had asked Mohd. Asmal Chon, an LeT terrorist, who
operated under three aliases, to contact Abdul Gafoor Nadvi, who
runs a 'madarsa' at Telgugiri street in Karnool.
In Assam, says the report, interrogation of Abul Kasem, a HuM
activist revealed that Hafisia 'Madarsa' had links with Muslim
militant outfits and had sheltered Kasem and another.
In Delhi, the report quotes instance after instance of involvement
of different madarsas, their students and officials, in sheltering
and providing cover for Pakistani terrorists for Jehad against
India. Some of them are: the 'Madarsa' in Azad market; 'Madarsa'
Uloom Islamia at Chitli Qabar; 'Madarsa' Babul Uloom Jaffarabad near
Saleempur; 'Madarsa' Jamia Islamia Sanabul No 9. Yashola New Delhi
-25; 'Madarsa' Riaz-ul-Uloom Urdu Bazar, Jama Masjid. Here 'Madarsa'
Babul Uloom figured thrice in evidence; Riaz-ul-Uloom 'Madarsa' also
Mohd. Jaleel Ansari a Pak terrorist involved in the kidnapping of
three British and an American tourist was instructed from Pakistan
to contact Moulvi Mehmood of Jama Masjid Delhi, who arranged
accommodation for Jaleel in Azad Market madarsa.
Take Gujarat next. The report establishes at least 10 proven
instances of Madarsas getting involved in recruiting and motivating
terrorists, and providing cover for terrorist activities. The latest
and again an illustrative instance. Asad Mohammed Munshi, a resident
of Jamia Islamic Talimuddin 'Madarsa' at Dabel Navsari is a
Pak-trained terrorist. He was arrested along with another terrorist
on Feb 15, 2002. a huge cache of terror hard wares including 10
pistols, 12 magazines, 116 rounds of ammunition, 5 kg of RDX, 4 ABCD
timers, pistol cleaning rods and a packet of detonators were
recovered from them. Interrogations revealed that these terrorists
were activists of HuM and the ammunition were intended for delivery
at different points in India.
Next, over to Mumbai. The report says that Mohammed Ali a Pakistan
ISI subversive, who operated in three names including one Hindu
name, contacted Maulana Faeh Mohammed at Madarsa Miftahul Uloom, at
India Market, Khairani Road, Sakinaka, Mumbai who arranged for his
stay for two months.
There are at least 10 instances of proven links between Madarsa and
terror in Delhi, four in J&K, 15 in UP, seven in West Bengal
illustratively listed in the report.
Obviously the Madarsas are not so pious as the seculars
would have us believe. They are part of the terror. They preach
Jehad to highly impressionable minds. Jihad means war against the
infidel. Who is an infidel? In Islamic theology all non-Muslims,
particularly the idolators, the Hindus, are infidels. But the story
does not end here. Let us look at the anatomy of these Jihad
factories, their funds and spread.
Part 2: The terror
factories, their anatomy, spread, funds
How did the
Indian Intelligence suddenly wake up to this phenomenon? The answer
is it would never have but for the fact that the US was shaken by
Islamic terror on September 11, 2001.
The Intelligence report in effect admits as much. ‘‘The multiple
terrorist attacks in the US and the subsequent war on terror have
focussed world attention on the role of madarsas in fostering and
sustaining terrorism. The large scale use of the madarsa network in
Pakistan for motivating, recruiting, and launching trained
terrorists, creation of Taliban, etc. have brought madarsas under
international spotlight in an extremely adverse light and clearly
established their complicity in fomenting terrorist activities in
‘‘In the Indian context,’’ says the report, ‘‘where the
role of Madarsas is already the subject of intense scrutiny, the
recent attack on the American Information Centre, Kolkata, on
January 22, 2002, and the subsequent developments have heightened
It is now an undisputed fact that many, may be most, madarsas
foster, sustain, motivate, recruit and launch terrorists. Islam is a
global faith. It places faith above nations. There is nothing like a
national Islam, different from the global. Madarsa is about Islam.
It stands for Islam. It cannot teach one Islam in India and another
in Pakistan. So the role of the madarsas elsewhere and in India
cannot be different. There is the common thread of Islam running
through the madarsas cutting across national limitations.
The secret report implies this fact. It says, ‘‘Anti-India
elements _ including the ISI and ISI-influenced criminal gangs and
fundamentalist organisations, have systematically taken advantage of
the surging muslim resentment to stoke fundamentalism, exclusivism
and militancy. In this scheme, madarsas have repeatedly come to
adverse notice, having been misused by inimical interests for
anti-national activity ranging from subversion to active support of
The geographic spread of madarsas in India is highly indicative. The
report points out the growth of the madarsas in the border areas of
the country. Says the report, ‘‘a noticeable feature of the
growth of madarsas is the significant increase in the concentration
of these institutions in border areas, particularly on the
Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bangladesh sectors. Similarly on the
Indo-Pakistan border there has been a perceptible growth in the
border districts in Rajasthan and Gujarat.’’ It is not that the
madarsas have grown only abutting the Indian side; there is similar
growth on the other side too. It says, ‘‘simultaneously a
parallel concentration of madarsas is noticeable in the abutting
areas on the other side of the border.’’
The report says that the population survey reveals that in some
border areas, particularly in Bihar and Bengal, the Muslims are in
majority. The report adds: ‘‘the survey reveals that the large
migration _ an honourable word for infiltration _ of Bangladeshis
into India has been one of the principal factors behind this
In all border districts of UP the decadal growth of Muslim
population was higher than that of the national level. The growth of
Muslim population of the bordering district of Darjeeling in West
Bengal (50.33%) was higher than that at the national level (32.70%)
and at the state level (37%). During 1971-91, an estimated 13 to 14
million infiltrators from Bangladesh crossed over to India.
In Rajasthan, the major concentration, says the report, is in the
border districts of Barmer and Jaisalar. In Barmer, the proportion
of Muslim population increased from 11% to 18%, in Jaisalmar from
23% to 28%. In Rajasthan, says the report, efforts are being made to
mobilise the Peer Bagaro cult for anti-national activities.
Likewise in Gujarat too, according to the report, there is
concentration of madarsas in the border districts of Kutch and
Banaskantha. It also notes that criminal and communal elements in
the Tabhligi Jamaat from Maharashtra and Gujarat have been playing
an important part at the behest of ISI. Similar pattern, says the
report, is noticeable in West Bengal also.
In the border areas with Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, many
madarsas were noticed for adverse activities like sheltering of
terrorists, provision of covert identities, caching of arms and
other logistic help.
The report says that ‘‘there has been a systematic pattern of
use of madarsas for shelter/hideouts, cover building, communication,
arms caching recruitment of cadres. It is also clear that madarsas
and mosques are being used for inculcation of fundamentalist Islamic
precepts and practices among Muslim children at all levels. Given
that one of the basic tenets of Pan-Islamic revival is the elevation
of individual loyalty from nationhood to religion, this is
tantamount to systematic effort towards subversion of the
So these apparently pious centres are really Jihadi dens which
subvert the mind of the pupil against the nation. For, Pan Islam
does not recognise any nation. It recognises only religious loyalty.
How many madarsas exist in the country? The report cites a recent
survey, which puts the figure at about 32,000, Kerala leading with a
high tally of 9,975. They have over 74,000 teachers and 18.29 lakh
students. The numbers are far less in Pakistan, which turned out the
entire Taliban with much smaller number of these factories of
Where from do these madarsas get their funds? From the Muslim world.
Even from the underworld. The report says. ‘‘The matter assumes
gravity in the light of the fact that several of these madarsas have
been in receipt of finance from foreign sources...In addition to
their spread, another pattern that has emerged is that madarsas run
by Ahle Hadis sect have seen the fastest growth. They have also been
major recipients of foreign funds particularly from Gulf countries.
The report continues, ‘‘similarly, the madarsas run by
Jamaat-e-Islami have been in notice for promoting fundamentalism and
exclusivism’’; madarsas also have ‘‘connections with the
underworld, with notorious criminal dons taking interest in their
funding and development.’’
Then the report meticulously traces how the madarsas in different
parts of the country are linked to the underworld and promote
subversive and anti- national activities. See just a few
In Madhya Pradesh, where a large number of madarsas are
concentrated, many ‘‘madarsas have come to notice for
anti-national activities and link with the underworld.’’
‘‘For example,’’ says the report, ‘‘Islamia Karimia
Society, Indore, which runs the Dar-ul-Uloom Noori madarsa is
reported to have links with Karim Lala (the notorious Bombay-based
don). Similarly the famous D Company of Dawood Ibrahim is reported
to have infiltrated into the Malwa region and is reported to be
financing some madarsas in this area.’’
In UP, a large number of madarsas run by Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband
located in Lucknow, Sahranpur, Barabanki, Agra districts have come
to notice ‘‘for receiving foreign funds.’’ Those belonging
to madarsa Nadvah-ul-Uloom, Lucknow have been noticed ‘‘for
providing logistic support for subversive elements including storage
of arms.’’ Those belonging to madarsa Shergarh, Bareilly have
been noticed ‘‘for creation of covert identities,’’ that is,
false identities for subversive activities. Those belonging to
Madarsa Mahadul Islami, Bareilly are known to do ‘‘motivation
and talent spotting.’’ The report goes on: ‘‘the ISI in
coordination with Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan has been evincing keen
interest in renovation, construction and development of mosques in
the region. In Azamgarh district, madarsas have potential for
The report goes on to record even more startling facts. ‘‘A
disconcerting trend which has emerged during the interrogations of
terrorists arrested during counter-terrorist and counter-espionage
operations by security agencies in India in recent times is the use
of madarsas for providing logistic support for terrorist actions or
Says the report,‘‘many madarsas located in J&K, UP, Delhi,
Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat etc
have been used by terrorists for contact building, shelters,
hideouts, cover-building, motivation, recruitment, storage of arms,
acquiring fake documents.’’ ‘‘This, the report says, has
been done with the active connivance of the madarsa officials.
Several terrorists modules launched from Pakistan, says the report,
have been directed to contact designated madarsas, for shelter,
guidance, direction on arrival in India. The earlier part contained
some illustrations of these operations.
Obviously these seemingly pious schools are a great security risk.
Even Pakistan thinks so. But we are in the holographic world
designed by the seculars for us.
Let us see how even the ex-Jihadis in Pakistan are scared of the
madarsas and are trying to control them by law.
Part 3: Even as
Pakistan controls the jihad factories, India protects them!
borders three countries, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, which have
intense Islamic terrorist activities. From our security point of
view, the developments in these countries are crucial.
First look at the largest Jihadi factory in the world today, that
is, Pakistan. Technologically competent modern version of Islamic Jihad
against infidels took roots not in Afghanistan as many seem to
think. It is in Pakistan. This is how a Pakistani writer describes
how Pakistan as a state and as a society built up Jihadi spirit and
``The aim was clear. These madarsas had a single function. They were
nurseries designed to produce fanatics." "The dragon seeds
sown in 2500 madarsas produced a crop of 2,25,000 fanatics ready to
kill and die for their faith when ordered to do so by their
religious leaders". Says another scholar: "(the) madarsas,
religious training schools breed the Taliban mindset and feed the
mills of Islamic fundamentalism and militancy". A third one
says: In the madarsas, children "are indoctrinated in the
military tactics of Jihad."
The situation in Bangladesh is comparable if not worse. This is what
Far Eastern Economic Review in its issue dated April 4, 2002, says
about the jihad linked madarsas. ``The radicals' ranks are being
swelled by 64000 madarsas, or religious schools which have
mushroomed in the past decade and are described by a high-ranking
civil servant as a "potential time bomb" ....... The
madarsas focus on religious instruction and many are funded by
proselytising Arab charities as in Pakistan whose madarsas were
nurseries for many of Afghanistan's Taliban leaders. Some analysts
fear Bangladesh's Madarsas could also become exporters of Islamic
The situation in Nepal is as bad. Says the Indian Intelligence
report ``Madarsa Nepal Jamia Milia Islamic, Suruchia, Biratnagar is
a centre of fundamentalist and anti-India elements. This madarsa
runs with funds received from Saudi Arabia..... Maulanas of madarsas
keep very close relationship with the officials of Pakistan high
commission.... Some madarsas were notorious for having links with
Pakistan based terrorist outfits.... Madarsas in border areas are
bring used to select and motivate cadres' for Jihad.... Some
madarsas also provide shelter to terrorists...... Some of them are
caching arms and are promoting anti-India activities. .....Maulana
Abdul Rauf Rehamani, of Nazim Madarsa Siraj ul Uloom, Jhandanagar,
provides pan Islamic funds to fundamentalist institutions on both
sides of the border. Rauf's position as a member of the founding
committee of the Muslim World League makes him very resourceful in
the matter.'' So goes the report.
So the situation is bad in India and around India. In all four
countries these Jihad factories abound. But how do these countries
respond to the Madarsa-led Jihad efforts.
The world's largest supplier of Jihadis, Pakistan, is now under
pressure from the US to act on madarsas. Pakistan government has
started to initiate regulations on madarsas. The Indian Intelligence
report says, ``these measures are precipitated due to increasing
realisation that Madarsas are an essential cog in the wheel of
In his famous address to Pakistan on January 12, 2002, Musharraf
declared ``a new Madari strategy', meaning new deal for madarsas, so
that they are brought 'to the mainstream through a better system of
education'. The Pakistan President's new strategy includes: first,
survey of the 10,000 madarsas (the government has in fact a 21-point
questionnaire to elicit information from them); second, registration
of all madarsas with big ones being registered at the national
level, the medium ones at the provincial level, and the small ones
at the district level so that there are no unregistered madarsas at
all. In fact the last date for registration was set as March 23,
2002 that is within 10 days of Musharraf's address to the nation;
third, an education board has been set up to draw up a curricula for
madarsas which will include study of science, maths, English,
besides religion and will lead to normal degrees like BA and MA;
fourth, the government has also decided to establish model madarsas
in three centres.
Likewise in Nepal too, the government decided on January 31, 2002,
to regulate madarsas because, according to the Intelligence report,
``these are suspected to be the main breeding ground of terror.'' It
mandated similar measures like Pakistan, including directing the
registration of all madarsas by March end, 2002, and further
directing the madarsas to submit their accounts to the government
Musharraf himself was a self-confessed Jihadi before September 11,
2001. Even he is scared of the Madarsas, which are Jihad factories.
It suited Pakistan so long as the Jihad was targeting India. But the
moment the Jihad began explicitly targeting the US, the Jihad
factories and Jihadis in Pakistan became a burden and problem for
Pakistan, which is just a proxy for the US. So overnight Musharraf
changed his colours. He ceased to be a Jihadi. He is now an ex-Jihadi.
But see in comparison what we are doing. If Pakistan is burdened by
10,000 madarsas, we have 30,000 of them here. If there are a million
students imbibing Jihad in Pakistani madarsas, we have double that
number memorising the religious verses, which mandate Jihad against
infidels. Many of these madarsas are undoubtedly linked to terror
This is what the Intelligence Report says in conclusion about the
madarsas in India. "Despite the burgeoning suspicion against
their ideology and intentions, madarsas continue to proliferate in a
haphazard uncontrolled manner. The above developments have serious
long-term implications for national security, electoral patterns,
pressures and compulsions, particularly since these concentrations
are in strategically significant areas.''
Imagine the BJP government enacting a measure against these
factories of terror. Like Musharraf has done, for regulating them;
for registering them; for making them submit their accounts; for
devising a secular curricula for them. Hell will break loose.
'Secularism in danger'. `Pogram against the minorities'. The secular
megaphones, the political parties, leaders, the English media will
go all out to protect these mills of terror. Even if the Parliament
passes a law, the 'secular' President of India will not give his
assent. The law passed by the UP legislature asking for the
registration of madarsas in border areas was sent to the President
who withheld his consent and the law has now lapsed. A secular act
indeed by the President!
Lamenting the freedom for these factories of terror in India, the
report says, " Interestingly, while regulation of madarsas in
India continues to be perfunctory, concrete steps have been taken in
neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Nepal. Regulation of these
institutions, though controversial is urgently required.''
The story ends. But the madarsa inspired Jihad continues. It will
continue as long as the madarsa is free to spread the message of
terror, unimpeded and unregulated.