The multiple terror attacks in Paris have set alarm bells ringing in India’s security establishment and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO); not without reason. Outside the Muslim countries, the Paris attacks are perhaps the deadliest in magnitude. France has witnessed the worst ever loss of lives after 9/11 and the subsequent al Qaeda attack on a train in Spain, which claimed close to 200 lives.
The Paris tragedy occurred hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the moderate Islamic stream of Sufism during his Wembley Stadium speech in London in what was a counter to Wahabism. It demonstrated both his courage and sense of timing. There is a great similarity between the Paris terror module and the 26/7 Ahmedabad attack by Indian Mujhahideen in which serial blasts claimed 59 lives in a matter of two hours.
But most importantly, this is the first big hit by the ISIS, the most deadly adherent of ultra-Wahabism (the term signifies those who support Islamic terror amongst the Wahabis) outside the Arab world. It is a fact that creates the fearsome prospect of a similar ISIS attack in India, which is already on the terror outfit’s hit list. The only reassuring aspect for India is that, on the whole, ISIS has failed to influence the Indian Wahabi youth barring a few.
The number of such youth would not be more than 200 (or even less), not many considering the fact that the percentage of Wahabis among the 13 crore-odd Sunnis of India is more than 40 per cent, the remaining 60 per cent being moderate Sufis who have not produced a single terrorist so far.
How prepared is the Narendra Modi government should India face a Paris-like attack?
For one Modi has shown a sound understanding of India’s Muslim problem by constantly praising Sufism, as seen at the Wembley address. He virtually said that Sufism can save Islam from radicalism. For, praising Sufism, which Wahabis equate with Hindu tradition of Guru Puja and therefore un-Islamic, is to invite the enmity of ultra-Wahabis.
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