By: Tufail Ahmad – MEMRI Daily Brief – February 7, 2016
While global attention is focused on the Pakistan-Afghanistan region as the breeding ground of South Asian jihad, it is actually New Delhi’s Abul Fazl Enclave area that has emerged as the global clearinghouse of jihadi literature in Arabic, Urdu, English and Hindi.
Since 9/11, governments across the world have acted against the publication of jihadi books, magazines, and digital literature, but at the same time, a number of Islamist and jihadi publication houses have emerged in Abul Fazl Enclave, surviving right under the nose of the Indian security establishment. It may be that the jihadi literature published from Abul Fazl Enclave goes undetected because the Indian intelligence agencies have no Urdu-language expertise, or because the Urdu-language staff hired by them turn a blind eye to such literature. It appears that Islamist books written by radical Indian writers such as Rashid Shaz are also being published in Arabic from London.
Abul Fazl Enclave is part of Jamia Nagar, a predominantly Muslim region of New Delhi that is the seat of the Jamia Millia Islamia – a government-funded university attended predominantly by Muslims. In this region, Abul Fazl Enclave is the headquarters of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (or Jamaat-e-Islami India). This is South Asia’s largest Islamist organization, founded by Maulana Abul A’la Maududi (1903-1979). Maududi was a jihadi ideologue for South Asia, much like Hassan Al-Banna and Syed Qutub were jihadi ideologues for the Middle East and elsewhere. Due to the partition of the Indian Subcontinent in 1947 and the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, this religious network has the following organizationally unconnected branches: Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, and Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu & Kashmir.
The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind – with its headquarters based in Abul Fazl Enclave – distinguishes itself organizationally from Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu & Kashmir, though all the branches of this religious organization founded by Maududi have the same ideological affiliation. In Pakistan, Bangladesh, or the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir, the Jamaat-e-Islami branches have sheltered jihadis over the past two decades and more. In India’s Jammu & Kashmir, Jamaat-e-Islami units even today continue to shelter jihadis infiltrating in from Pakistan. It is not surprising then that it is in Abul Fazl Enclave that a number of Islamist publication houses are regularly translating and publishing jihadi books in Urdu, as discussed below. These pro-jihad books are being supplied to Urdu-speaking audiences very cheaply, certainly below printing costs.
Books published from Abul Fazl Enclave are openly sold in many parts of India, including in Jammu & Kashmir state, where India has faced a serious jihadi threat sponsored from Pakistan. Shops in Srinagar, the capital of Jammu & Kashmir state, openly displayed such books. There is a global ideological pattern in the literature published from the printing presses based in Abul Fazl Enclave. These are outright translations into Urdu of Arabic-language jihadi books authored by Syed Qutb, Hasan Al-Banna, Abul A’la Maududi and others like them, or are written by Indian Muslim writers with the aim of cultivating Islamist viewpoints among Urdu-speaking audiences in India, and therefore also include books that foment hatred of Jews and Israel in furtherance of jihadi ideology among Indian Muslims, whose population is forecast to be larger than any Muslim country by 2050. These books published from Abul Fazl Enclave do not distinguish between criticizing Israel and hatred of Jews.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is in possession of some of these books published by different printing presses based in Abul Fazl Enclave and other parts of Delhi. Given below are some examples of these books in MEMRI’s possession, insofar as they shed some light on Abul Fazl Enclave’s emergence as India’s lead publishing center for jihadi books.
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