Two videos explain Kashmiri militants' ideological split and provide a glimpse into their mind
Two video messages, one by Zakir Musa and another by Valley’s Hizbul Mujahideen commander Yasin Yatoo brings the ideological split in Kashmir's militant ranks out in the open. The videos were released on the occasion of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani's death anniversary on 8 July.
While Zakir called for Kashmir to be turned into an Islamic caliphate, Yatoo too talked about Azadi for Islam but nuanced it with a recognition of Kashmir issue’s – “Legal, geographical, international and diplomatic foundations” – which need to be taken on board when militants formulate their policies and strategies.
Catch transcribed the two videos to explain this deepening divide:
(Begins with a verse from Quran)
“On 8 July 2016 Martyr Burhan Bhai, Martyr Pervez Bhai and Martyr Sartaj Bhai fulfilled their pledge to God and drank the chalice of death. They had chosen their path neither for the greed of the world nor for the love of the nation. As Burhan Bhai had himself said that his objective, and that of all of us, was to establish a system of Shariah and Khilafat.
The slogan of Shariah and Khalifat that we have raised today, this all training we have received from Martyr Burhan Bhai (May Allah bless him). He was never in favour of setting up tanzeems and organisations but always worked for the glory of Muslims and Islam. Martyr Burhan Bhai was always concerned about the fate of Muslims, particularly those of the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir.
He would think about it whether asleep or awake, eating or drinking. I remember even during his sleep he would be making plans about inflicting losses on the enemy. In difficult times he would always stand by the side of his companions. Allah should enable us to meet each other again in Jannah. Aameen.
Today some people are calling Burhan Bhai a rebel, some call him a freedom fighter and a few cursed people even compare him to Bhagat Singh. And some for their own petty ends are doing politics in his name.
These are very people who called him an Indian agent but after his martyrdom when a sea of people poured on to the streets, these people changed their colours like chameleons. Its example is the Martyr Afaq Majid whom these people used to call secular and after his martyrdom these people had little compunction about collecting money in his name.
The fact is that the Martyr Burhan Bhai was a mujahid of Islam who gave his life for the establishment of Islam in Kashmir and to practice religion in every sphere of life. Martyr Burhan Bhai rejuvenated a Kashmir jihad that was beset with reverses and a bleak future. And he reminded the Kashmir Muslims the lessons of jihad. He was the first to issue statements on J&K Police and warned us about these snakes.
The people who are calling us Khwarji (A Muslim sect which espouses extreme views) and also call us names and who have amassed crores of rupees in the name of the Martyr Burhan Bhai, if Burhan Bhai had been alive today they would be abusing him too. They are hypocrites (But why complain, this is the only work they do).
God willing, we will walk in the footsteps of Burhan Bhai to bring the spring of Islam to Kashmir. And we will teach Hindus, non-believers and hypocrites a lesson. The Islamic flag which Martyr Burhan Bhai had hoisted for Khilafat, god willing we will keep raising it. No matter, how much Kafirs and hypocrites will feel unhappy about it.
At last, I appeal Mujahideen that they should not tell their address to anybody, whosoever he is. They should head towards hills and mountains and make their hideouts there. May Allah help us remain steadfast and bless us with the knowledge and recognition of the truth.
Rest remember all Mujahid brothers in your prayers. God willing, we will meet again.”
Yasin Yatoo (Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander)
(Begins with a verse from Quran)
Lakhs of praises be to Allah who has blessed us with the urge to fight for the glory of our Deen (religion). And who gave us the courage to see eye-to-eye with the oppressor and make it clear to him that no matter how strong a worldly power is, a god’s organisation will keep challenging it in every age. And will make it realise that the people talking about the rights of the oppressed and about ridding Allah’s land of the oppression and excesses will make the life hell for it.
Today we remember the martyrdom of our beloved commander and brother Martyr Burhan Muzaffar Wani (May Allah bless him) and all other martyred companions and pay glorious tributes to them. These martyrs of ours have laid down their lives in the cause of the struggle for freedom for the sake of Islam. We salute the martyred commander Burhan Wani’s martyrdom, bravery, truthfulness and his spirit of faithfulness to his outfit and its Ameer (leader).
These very attributes made him the people’s most admired commander. And it is the result of this very selflessness that today the struggle for freedom for the sake of Islam is active on every front. Youth are keen and restless to join the ranks of Mujahideen.
We appreciate our innocent youth, women, elders, children and the people at large who are valiantly resisting India’s oppression and excesses. Our martyrdom, the strenuous efforts of Mujahideen under toughest conditions, sacrifices of the people and their standing like a rock in front of the Indian imperialism indicates the triumph that God willing will soon kiss our feet.
Praise be to Allah, we are Muslims. Our belief is that a devout Muslim’s complete life and his every breath is for the glory of Islam. Our this very belief turns every action of ours into a worship. Our ideology, so far as the Kashmir problem is concerned, is clear. Its foundation is based on Islam. Two-nation theory is based on the clash of civilisations, culture and beliefs of the two nations and two communities.
Since the origin of the Kashmir problem, Islam has been the inspiring force for us. An ardent attachment to one’s goal, a spirit of getting ourselves beheaded and laying down our lives, an absolute faith in receiving great reward from Allah’s court for our martyrdom and sacrifices, saying farewell to the glittering life of the world and adopting an underground life for a great aim, the inspiration and courage for all this renunciation we get from Islam.
Separating Deen (religion) from a devout Muslim’s struggle is akin to excising soul from the body. Since the beginning of the Kashmir problem, the sacrifices that this nation has made are for Islam. Our hundreds of martyrs’ graveyards are a proof that as a nation we have never had any confusion on this score: That in our struggle the guidance is being drawn from Islam.
Now if in this day and age somebody is trying to start a debate on this, then about him we can only say that either he is suffering from confusion about his own faith and belief or wittingly or unwittingly playing into the hands of some power.
Praise be to Allah, praise be to Allah, there is no confusion regarding this in the ranks of Mujahideen. It is apparent to every soldier at the battlefront that to make an effort to free one’s land from an occupying power and to lay down one’s life in doing so, this in itself is a jihad in the cause of Allah.
But we also realise that in the world that we live in, its laws have recognised our legitimate and truthful struggle.
Kashmir issue has strong legal, geographical, international and diplomatic foundations. So, whenever the Mujahideen work out their policies and strategies, they take all these aspects of the Kashmir issue on board.”
As the videos reveal, Hizb’s strategy is to avert ideological clash and the apprehended consequent divide by also playing into the Islamic narrative and attempting to align it with the political foundation of the Kashmir movement.
The effort is to dent Musa’s powerful Islamist exhortation which brooks no politics. So far Hizb and the other outfits are playing it cautious, not letting differences to boil over into fratricidal war while as Musa has struck an uncompromising ideological stance asserting his is the only correct path.
The coming weeks and months will, therefore, be crucial. It will be interesting to see how these differences will play out.