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Note: As articles on have pointed out again and again, instructions given in any war lapse with the end of the war. The war-time verses in the holy Quran not only instruct Muslims to kill, but also motivate them, announcing rewards for fighting and punishment for not fighting, i.e., sitting at home, without any valid excuse.

All this is quire natural. But at the same time Muslims must also understand that these verses were meant for those wars in the7th century CE and cannot be applicable to us today in the 21st century, 14 centuries after the wars that gave the Prophet and his companions victory, establishing Islam on the face of earth.

Now our job is simply to see that God’s universal and eternal messages in Quran are available to all the people in their own languages, so they can comprehend it and learn from it. The contextual verses are a part of our glorious history and should be left there, so that we learn from them how near-insurmountable obstacles the Prophet (saw) faced in establishing Islam and leaving us his magnificent legacy. Violent extremists among us have and will continue to use and misuse these contextual verses for their own ends. Let us Muslims not fall in the trap.

The Pakistan-based terror outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammad was formed in January 2000 by the jihadist cleric and now the UN-designated terrorist Maulana Muhammad Mas‘udAzhar after he was released in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 1999, following the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC-814. With his release, the insurgency in Jammu & Kashmir saw a paradigm shift. Instead of Kalashnikov-wielding men, the Jaish started fidayeen squads rattling the Indian state and its military installations in the valley.

To the jihadists in this subcontinent, Mas‘udAzhar is not only the founder and leader of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) but is rather glorified with the great epithet of Fazilat al-Shaikh which means “anhonourable Islamic cleric”. Therefore, they suffix “Hafizahu Allah” (“May Allah keep him safe”) with his name as is seen in this jihadist poster of an extremist lecture delivered by Mas‘udAzhar:

The topic of the lecture which took place in Karachi is advertised as “Introduction to the Jaish-e-Muhammad.” On the top right, the poster captures the group’s slogan which is a partial quote from the Quranic verse 2:16: “kutiba ‘alaykum al-qital” (fighting is ordained for you).

The white banner in this image, with three black stripes and the word “jihad” in a black circle, is the logo of Jaish-e-Muhammad. The sword below the globe suggests a desire to go back to the earliest Islamic history. In the jihadist imagery, swords embody the religious purity, nobility and righteousness. In fact, swords also depict the current jihadi activities as modern extensions of those campaigns and lend them an aura of legitimacy.

There is no denying the fact that the brutal attack on over 40 CRPF jawans in South Kashmir’s Pulwama was orchestrated by the Jaish-e-Muhammad masterminded byMas‘udAzhar. But while the Jaish has claimed the responsibility so openly, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan rejects India’s accusation of Pak base in the Pulwama terror attack and seeks ‘actionable intelligence’. Thus, one wonders why Khan needs some actionable or remote intelligence for counter-terrorism in this case, while the handlers have admitted to the offence. In fact, the evidence is in their home, so clear and self-evident that no one can overlook it.

In the first week of February 2019, JeM’s weekly online Urdu magazine Al-Qalam published its regular column titled, Hafta-e-Kashmir (The week in Kashmir) with provocative and aggressive news reports such as these:

•        30 January, occupied Kashmir, severe protest against the Indian army on the martyrdom of an Indian Muslim officer as result of the collision with an Indian military vehicle.

•        January 31, strike in Pulwama on the third day too, no life normalcy.

•        February 1, the so-called search operation before Modi’s visit to Kashmir, fear among the people of Kashmir.

•        February 2, two more people became martyrs (shaheed) during the operation in Darbagam, one girl killed in Kulgam.

•        February 3, strike and demonstrations on the arrival of [PM] Modi, fear among the people due to search operation in their homes.

February 4, Pakistani women married to Kashmiris demand for their return.

•        February 5, 10 Kashmiris arrested on the day of unity in Jammu and Kashmir (yaum-e-yakjahti-e-Kashmir) in Pulwama, Barhamulla and other districts.




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