The government will build a “counter-narrative” to the jihadi ideologies propagated by militant outfits such as the Islamic State (IS), to wean youngsters away from the group that has found traction among many educated Muslim youths worldwide.
For this, the government will rope in “moderate Muslims” and “learned people” from the community and give them a presence in cyberspace.
“The erudite Muslim leaders would provide a counter to the extreme ideologies of Islam and help in giving another perspective to the theory propagated by the IS,” said a senior official of the Home Ministry.
After undermining the influence of the IS among the young men in the country, the Home Ministry for the first time called a meeting of 12 States to frame a “national coherent strategy”. The Hindu was the first to report on July 21 that the Ministry called such a meeting to discuss the extent of the problem.
The constabulary in the State police forces would be trained in the social media as they are the ones who go around for beat-patrolling and can provide vital intelligence inputs.
The meeting, chaired by Home Secretary L.C. Goyal, lauded the efforts of the Telangana Police. By government estimates, at least 13 young men have left the country to join the IS and 20 have been stopped.
Sleuths to track cyberspace
With the government building a “counter-narrative” to the jihadi ideologies propagated by militant outfits such as the Islamic State (IS), a senior government official said the government is planning to rope in NGOs and civil society groups to curb the stigma of alienation among the minority communities. “The growth of this terror organisation as well as its appeal to the educated Muslim youth is a cause for serious concern. In view of the fact that the IS is an emerging global threat and the fact that India has the second largest Muslim population in the world were the primary reasons this meeting was convened. The intelligence agencies seem to have underplayed the influence of the IS in the country,” the official said.
Another official said: “We would be stepping up efforts to go undercover in cyberspace, the hunting ground for the IS.”
According to evidence available with Intelligence agencies, all 13 young men who left India to join the IS were recruited by IS online.
Areeb Majeed, one of the four Kalyan men who came back from Syria this year, told investigators that he was also lured to join the group through online chat forums.