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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Al Qaeda chief Zawahiri praises Muslim student in India Hijab row

Al Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahiri, in a 9-minute video, spoke on the hijab controversy in India and asked Muslims in the subcontinent to fight the perceived assault on Islam “intellectually, using the media and with weapons on the battlefield”.

In a recent video, al Qaeda head Ayman Al Zawahiri addressed the hijab debate in Karnataka, saying that people should “avoid being fooled by the mirage of Hindu democracy in India.” Al Qaeda’s spokesperson As-Sahab Media published an almost nine-minute video.

Zawahiri has praised Muskan Khan, the Karnataka student who confronted a mob that heckled her for wearing the hijab earlier this year.

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Muskan Khan gets praised by Al Qaeda’s leader

The video begins with a scene of Muskan fighting the mob, followed by Zawahiri’s speech, which focuses solely on the hijab issue. Zawahiri claims that her “defiant chant of takbeer” in the face of “a throng of Hindu polytheists” reawakened the Muslim community and “emboldened the spirit of war.” He claims she even inspired him to create a poem, which he reads at the video’s conclusion.

“She has unveiled the reality and unmasked the nature of the conflict between the chaste and pure Muslim ummah and the degenerate and depraved polytheist and atheist enemies it confronts. May Allah reward her greatly for imparting a practical lesson to Muslim sisters plagued by an inferiority complex vis-a-vis the decadent western world. May Allah reward her for exposing the reality of Hindu India and the deception of its pagan democracy,” Zawahiri says in the Arabic video clip with English subtitles.

“Her takbeer inspired me to write a few lines of poetry, in spite of the fact that I am not a poet. I hope that our honorable sister accepts this gift of words from me,” he says. Praising the “free media” for circulating Muskan’s video, he says: “I call upon them to lay bare the injustice that is taking place, confront this oppression and spread the facts concerning the situation on the ground.”

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Zawahiri spoke about the importance of Shariah

“We must stop being deceived by the mirage of Hindu democracy of India, which, to begin with, was never more than a tool to oppress Islam. We must realise that in this real world, there is no such thing as ‘human rights or ‘respect for the Constitution or law, or other such nonsensical conjectural ideas,” he says.

According to Zawahiri, the West had used the same deception against Muslims, “the true character of which was shown when France, Holland, and Switzerland prohibited the headscarf while allowing public nudity.” “Those attacking the hijab of Muslims in Egypt and the Maghreb are the same opportunist thugs, writers, journalists, and even hired turbans who demonise the hijab and the Islamic Shariah.” He describes it as a “war on Islam, its essential principles, rules, ethics, and etiquette.”

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“Our Muslim ummah in the Indian subcontinent, our battle today is a battle of awareness, a battle of discerning illusion from reality. We must understand that the way out is by holding on to our Shariah, uniting as a single ummah, from China to Islamic Maghreb, and from Caucasus to Somalia, a united ummah waging a concerted war across several fronts. We must gather around the sincere scholars and fight our war ideologically, intellectually, using the media, and with weapons on the battlefield against the enemies of Islam,” he says.