The Islamic State has released its first video directed at India, in which five Indians known to have joined its forces swear revenge for the killing of Muslims in events that include the riots following the fall of the Babri Masjid.
In the video, Thane engineering student Fahad Tanvir Sheikh who had gone to Syria with three other Thane men in 2014, said: "We will return but with a sword in hand, to avenge the Babri Masjid, and the killings of Muslims in Kashmir, in Gujarat, and in Muzaffarnagar."
The 22-minute-long video was released on Friday. Sheikh was the only Indian identified in the video, though he used his pseudonym, Abu Amr' al-Hindi.
Another jihadist says in the video: "To those in the Indian state who wish to understand our actions, I say you have only three options: to accept Islam, to pay jizya, or to prepare to be slaughtered."
Government sources say that the video features unidentified men who are suspected to be former members of the Indian Mujahideen. Family members of the men from Thane as well as those suspected to be from the IM are being contacted to help identify the men in the video, according to The Indian Express.
"The last photographs we have of many of these people are from before 2008, when many of them were adolescents," said the source. "It's hard to be certain who is who in the video, though it is possible to make informed guesses."
The video is narrated in Arabic and explains why Indians, described as men from 'Hind wal'Sindh, the term used for India and Pakistan, have joined the Islamic State. The narrator begins with the conquest of India by medieval warlord Muhammad Bin Qasim, which set up Islamic rule in the region, and then says that the British handed control of India to Hindus who have been responsible for violence against Muslims in Mumbai, Gujarat, Assam and Moradabad.
"Hindus are striving to convert you Muslims to their faith, O sons of Bin Qasim," says one recruit. "Is there any other humiliation that you still need to suffer before you will give up chanting that Islam is a religion of peace, and learn from the Prophet, who fought with the sword?"
In the interviews, a jihadist says he left Mumbai for the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, after the 2008 Batla House shootout in which IM commander Atif Amin was killed. He says: "In India we see that it is that it is the cow, the trees, the sun, the moon...that is worshipped. Instead of fighting these things, the Muslims of India trade and maintain social relations with these infidels."
He continues: "Have you forgotten the train bombings in Mumbai, or the bombings in Ahmedabad, and Surat, and Jaipur and Delhi?"
The video also attacks Indian Muslim politicians and clerics, juxtaposing images of Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen leader Assaduddin Owaisi and All India United Democratic Front politician Badruddin Ajmal with dead bodies of victims of communal riots. The narrator says Indian clerics are supporting the forces of kufr against the mujahideen of the Islamic State and they will soon get their just desserts.
"Do not listen to those who tell you that Islam is a religion of peace," says a jihadist. "Islam was never a religion of peace for even one day. Islam is a religion of war. The Prophet commanded us to remain at war until the day the rule of Allah is established."