NEW DELHI: Syed Asif Ibrahim, former Intelligence Bureau director on Friday said that a minuscule portion of the country’s 180 million Muslims joined the IS in the past few years.
“As a result of the Sufistic and non-Salafi nature of Islam in India as well as the existence of a strong and vibrant democracy, only about 108 Indian Muslims joined ISIS which is 0.000058% of India’s 180 million Muslims. Of these 108, 50% of joinees went from the diaspora in West Asia…the ones exposed to Salafi radicals. 40% went from the coastal region in India, which was the recipient of Shafaiyei Islam, which came via the sea,” stated Ibrahim, as per Times Of India reports.
Mr. Ibrahim, who retired as IB chief in 2014 was speaking at a conference on ‘Cooperation against Radicalisation and Terrorism between UAE and India’ organized by Policy Perspectives Foundation.
“The current narrative is that the more religious you are, the more fundamentalist you are. This was proven wrong by the U.K.’s security agencies. They interviewed IS returnees and 90% of them had little knowledge of their religion. Strong religious education acts as a bulwark against radicalization. So much so that in many madrasas (seminaries) in India, countering violent extremism is a key chapter in most religious texts,” Mr. Ibrahim said, reported The Hindu.
India, the world’s largest democracy has appointed Ibrahim to head Intelligence Bureau. IB, in its 125-year history, has never been led by a Muslim.