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India`s Muslims largely unattracted to extremism: US cable

Last Updated: Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 23:50

London: India`s over 150 million Muslim
population is largely unattracted to extremism, US diplomatic
cables have said, endorsing India`s vibrant democracy,
inclusive culture and nationalistic nature of the minority

"Separatism and religious extremism have little appeal
to Indian Muslims, and the overwhelming majority espouse
moderate doctrines," Former US envoy to India, David Mulford
said in a cable released by whistle blower website WikiLeaks.
"India`s growing economy, vibrant democracy, and
inclusive culture, encourage Muslims to seek success and
social mobility in the mainstream and reduces alienation.

With Indian Muslim youth increasingly comfortable in
the mainstream, the pool of potential recruits is shrinking,
while Muslim families and communities provide little sanction
or support to extremist appeals," the cable said.

India is home to a wide variety of extremist groups,
including religious extremists (Hindu, Muslim and Sikh).

The vast majority (of Muslims) remain committed to the
Indian state and seek to participate in mainstream political
and economic life, it said.

"India`s vibrant democracy, inclusive culture and
growing economy have made it easier for Muslim youth to find a
place in the mainstream, reduced the pool of potential
recruits, and the space in which Islamic extremist
organisations can operate," the leaked WikiLeaks cable said,
according to Guardian.

Although there are a wide variety of Islamic
religious, political and social organisations, most Muslims
join or support secular groups without a specific Islamic
No exclusively Muslim organisation has succeeded in
mobilising more than a small portion of the Muslim faithful.

India`s vibrant democracy has ensured that the large
Muslim community has a voice in politics and recent elections
have demonstrated that Muslim voters are courted actively by
political parties, the leaked cable said.

"With a Muslim President (APJ Abdul Kalam) occupying
the highest political position in the country, Muslims have
been encouraged to seek political power in electoral and
parliamentary politics, all but eliminating the appeal of
violent extremism," the cable added.

India`s secular education system increasingly
integrates Muslim students into the mainstream and has spawned
a growing and prosperous Muslim middle class.

The cable said that "Young and dynamic Muslims are
popular culture heroes in sports (Sania Mirza) and Bollywood
(Shahrukh Khan and many others)

The message for young Muslims is that they are Indians
first and Muslims second, and that they can fully participate
in Indian society and culture and win the adulation and
respect of other Indians, regardless of religion."


First Published: Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 23:50

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