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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Umar Khalid is representative of the history, philosophy and politics of communist Muslims

Umar Khalid, the ex-student leader from Jawaharlal Nehru University has recently been arrested in connection with the Delhi Riots case. The police said they had a huge amount of data, running into lakhs of pages , that they want to question Khalid about. In the meanwhile, prominent leftists and Islamists have made it a common cause to bat for Khalid in the same way they did for other accused in the case including Tahir Hussain, Safoora Zargar, and the two Sharjeels.

Umar Khalid has an interesting family history and he has been in the news for far too long than any of his co-accused. His case affords us deeper scrutiny in the relationship between Islamists and Communists of Bharat.

Islamist family connections

Umar Khalid comes from a very religious Muslim family. His family, based in Delhi’s Zakir Nagar, includes his parents and five sisters. His family seems to be quite well off, considering that two of his sisters are currently in the UK and the USA. Why the affluence and education of the family did not result in lower fertility is a matter for sociologists to study. Let us first learn a bit about the ideology of his father.

Jamaat-e-Islami ideology and objectives

His father is Dr. SQR Ilyas, a prominent man in Islamist circles of Bharat. Dr. Ilyas is a prominent member of Jamaat-e-Islam-Hind. The body was founded by Abul A’la Maududi in 1941 with the objective to make Bharat an Islamic state. After the partition, which Maududi opposed as it would have negatively impacted Islam’s growth in Bharat, Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind declared that it is separate from its Pakistan branch. Maududi migrated to Pakistan and was instrumental in making Pakistan an Islamic state.

During the 1971 war, its Pakistan branch opposed the creation of Bangladesh and actively assisted in the massacre of Hindus and Bengali Muslims. It destroyed many Hindu temples during that period. Many of its leaders have recently been convicted and awarded punishments, including capital punishment, in Bangladesh in recent years. It was banned in 2013 for its dangerous ideology and illegal activities in Bangladesh.

The Bharatiya branch claims that it is separate from its foreign branches. However, the evidence appears to show that Jamaat-e-Islami is the subcontinental equivalent of the Muslim Brotherhood, the pan Islamist party in the Arab world. Its goal in Bharat is the same as it is in Bangladesh and as it was in Pakistan. According to its constitution and policy mentioned on its website, it seeks to establish “Iqamat-e- Deen” in Bharat.

“The objective of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind is Iqamat-e- Deen (to implement the revealed religion) which is actually the real aim of the whole believing community. Accordingly, Jamaat conveys the Islamic message and invites human beings to turn to their Lord, worship Him alone and surrender themselves to Him, in all aspects of life.”

In simple words, it seeks to establish Islamic rule in Bharat and convert all others to the Islamic religion. It is very honest, when it accepts that this is “actually the real aim of the whole believing (Muslim) community.” But how does it plan to succeed in this onerous task?

Umar Khalid’s father and Islamism

Here comes the role of its front organizations. Jamaat-e-Islami takes the face of innocently-named organisations to disguise its true motives. These front organizations include a women’s wing, students wing and NGOs like Human Welfare Foundation, Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR), Islamic Relief Committee etc.

The student wing of Jamaat was previously known as Students Islamic Movement of India or SIMI. Its objective was Jihad and establishment of Islamic state in Bharat. It did not believe in secularism, constitution of Bharat and considered practice of Hindu Dharma as a sin. Dr. SQR Ilyas was the national president of SIMI in 1980s. This organisation was banned for the last time in 2008 for its linkages with terrorists and involvement in bomb blasts and riots. Its  senior functionaries, including Safdar Nagori and  Abul Bashar Qasmi, were arrested and convicted in terrorism cases. Jamaat now has another student front named Student Islamic Organisation with similar objectives.

Currently, Dr. Ilyas is the president of  Welfare party of India. The party is another front of Jamaat e Islami and was established in 2011 after SIMI was banned. Ilyas had announced the formation of the party in his capacity as the convener of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. Although, Jamaat is fundamentally opposed to democracy and secularism, this party was apparently an insurance against ban on Jamaat-e-Islami. The party has not been free from contoversies. Last year, it was accused of practicing untouchability by 11 dalit workers in Kerala! The Islamist “sheros” of Barkha Dutt, Ayesha Renna and Ladeeda Sakhloon are also associated with this party.

Dr. Ilyas is also a member of the Executive Committee of All India Muslim Personal Law board and also Babri Masjid Action Committee. In fact, he was the one who filed a review petition against the verdict in Ram Janmabhumi Temple case. The Outlook quotes a police officer in one of its reports saying, “The father-son duo has questionable credentials without doubt. They are under the eye of intelligence agencies and their activities are under scanner,”

It should be mentioned here that the Kashmir branch of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has been proscribed by the government for being a supporter of separatism and for being in contact with terrorists.

Umar the atheist?

It would be naive to believe that Umar Khalid was not influenced by the activities of his father. His father was a President of the SIMI even before Umar was born and the environment at home does impact a child. Umar Khalid  however claims that he is a Communist. A corollary of his being communist is that he is an atheist. A sample of his atheism and disregard from religion, which his father claims is the reason for friction between father and son, can be seen below.

The whole thread shows how Mr. Khalid is extra respectful of Muhammad, the prophet of Muslims and Islam. So much so, that he quotes a fake story to present Muhammad in a good light.

It is said that actions speak louder than words. Mr. Khalid’s actions during his activism in JNU also indicate that his latent Islamism has ever dominated his deeds.

Extra Curricular activities of Umar Khalid

In JNU, Umar Khalid was the member of a far-left outfit called Democratic Students Union. The twitter handle of the outfit was last active in 2015, but gives us some important clues about their ideology. A large banner proclaims their idols, who are apparently Marx, Engles, Lenin, Stalin and Mao. The last three persons could make a finalist in top 5 evil people in 20th century and were responsible for death of millions of poor people, who had the misfortune to be born in the countries ruled by these dictators.

Umar Khalid communist

This organisation, Democratic Students Union, had protested the hanging of Afzal Guru and Yakub Memon. Indeed, Umar Khalid came into limelight from such a protest in which slogans of “Bharat ki barbadi tak, jang rahegi!” and “Bharat tere tukde honge, inshallah-inshallah!” were raised. He was arrested in the case in 2016 and recently, after a delay of many years, Delhi government has granted permission to prosecute him. The posters, which DSU had uploaded on its twitter handle, speak the same thing in English. Consider the poster below:-

Yakub Memon

The poster repeats half-truths and makes it sound that Afzal Guru and Yakub were simple law-abiding citizens, who were victims of “judicial murder”. It refuses to recognize that Bharat has a democratic form of government, because  for them democracy is what China has and human rights are what Uighurs currently have in abundance!

Let us have a look at another poster:-

Kashmir secession The poster by DSU advocates for “inalienable right of self-determination, including secession!” for Kashmiri separatists. It says that Kashmir is under “military occupation” and peddles the narrative of “suppression”.

Both the above views are not something that the organisation holds and Khalid differs with. Umar Khalid himself has said these things on live TV!

No wonder the slogans of “Bharat tere tukde honge” were raised. Readers surfing the twitter profile of DSU will also notice that it was in favour of rebuilding the Babri Masjid. A curious position for an avowedly atheist organisation!

There are posters in solidarity with Naxalites, which openly advocate struggle against Bharatiya state! Multiple tweets and poster in support of their member Hem Mishra can be found. Mishra was arrested in Gadchiroli of Maharashtra because he was acting as courier between the Naxalites and certain urban-naxals including G. N. Saibaba, a teacher at Delhi University. Umar Khalid even visited Nagpur to receive Mishra.

In 2018, Umar Khalid, along with others, made provocative speeches at the Elgar Parishad ralley in Bhima Koregaon. This resulted in Bhima-Koregaon riots and a case in the regard is also pending against Khalid.

In the recent Delhi Riots, Umar Khalid was reportedly in touch with Tahir Hussain, another key conspirator, through one Khalid Saifi. There apparently was a meeting between Umar Khalid and Tahir Hussain on the 8th of January at Shaheen Bagh. At that meeting, it was decided that ‘big action’ would be taken to internationalise the issue.

To get support, Saifi, who is a member of United Against Hate, an outfit founded by Khalid, went to Malaysia and sought funds from Zakir Naik. He received funds through a Singapore based NRI. They were successful in their nefarious designs when riots started in Delhi while Donald Trump was on a visit to Bharat.

It seems that Comrade Umar Khalid is not some “useful idiot”, but a very shrewd operator. He seems to be the worthy successor of many illustrious Islamists before him, who had mastered the art of adroitly wearing the “communist hat” when it suited their ’cause’. The cause is mentioned on the website of Jamaat-e-Islami.

Islamism and Communism

There is a long list of luminaries in Bharat, who have been Islamist and Communist at the same time. The case of Hasrat Mohani can be taken. He was a member of Communist Party and also a member of Muslim League. It is said that he also was a devotee of Krishna. But what matters is his final stand. In 1946 elections, he campaigned extensively for Muslim League as their “star campaigner in East UP”. The chief issue was partition and creation of Pakistan, which got support of a vast majority of Muslims. Muslim League won about 90% of Muslim seats all over Bharat in the elections.

However, after the partition, Mohani did not go to Pakistan. He remained in Bharat and became part of constituent assembly. However, he did not sign on the constitution, because it did not give Muslims enough rights!

In his book “Creating a new Medina”, Venkat Dhulipala writes that Urdu poets like Asrar-ul-Haq “Mazaz” and Majrooh Sultanpuri, who were communists, were writing poems eulogizing Pakistan movement in 1940s. Mazaz was an uncle of lyricist Javed Akhtar and wrote a passionate poem named “Pakistan ka milli Tarana” where he says that a “Hundred Bibles are no match for Quran ” and “we are all Ghazis in the service of Pakistan”. It must be noted that none of them moved to Pakistan! They shamelessly continued to live in Bharat and continued to peddle the lie that they are atheist Communists.

Some Muslims communists did go to Pakistan. This included Sajjad Zaheer, who went with the aim to create Communist Party of Pakistan, but was deported back to Bharat. It is unclear why he was taken back. Nehru’s personal friend and “atheist” Communist Josh Malihabadi was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1954. Please remember that Padma Bhushan was awarded for the first time in 1954. In 1956, Josh migrated to Pakistan.

Faiz Ahmed Faiz is another favourite poet of Communists. This “atheist” poet is much celebrated for his poem “Hum Dekhenge!”, which is said to be a masterpiece which explains communism. A cursory reading of the poem is enough to tell you the blatant Hinduphobia and Islamism in the poem. In this song, Faiz longs for the day that is promised in Quran, the day “idols” will be thrown away and only the name of Allah will remain above all else. If this is communism, someone should clarify how it is different from Islam?

Communism and Islam

The interplay between Communism and Islam is very interesting. Communism has fascinated Islamists since early 20th century. Both these ideologies share tendency for totalitarianism, brutality and zeal to extinguish competing ideologies. However, these tendencies are carefully hidden under a veneer of words like humanism, secularism, true democracy, progressiveness, brotherhood etc.

The founder of Jamaat-e-Islami, Maulana Maududi saw Islam as “a revolutionary ideology and a revolutionary practice which aims at destroying the social order of the world totally and rebuilding it from scratch.” This is the method of the communists. Maududi had been so beholden to the communist ideology, he digested the whole of it and re-framed it in Islamic terms, a sort of “dialectical Islamism”.

The communists on the other hand were also infatuated with Islamist ideology. Perhaps, it gave them a ready made framework of ideological bigotry and repression. Convinced that the fewer the number of Gods, better the ideology, they concluded that Islam is the next best thing. Thus communist leader M. N. Roy  considered Islam to be a “progressive” and “revolutionary” faith that delivered the people from the corruption and superstition. He admired the way Islam destroyed everything in its path during its march of victory.

The cooperation between Islamism and Communism continued throughout the 20th century. It was seen in Turkey, in Arab world, in Bharat and in Iran. The Islamic Revolution in Iran started with the Communists, but ultimately their Islamist allies took control. An authoritarian ideology can never tolerate a competing ideology and thus communists were suppressed brutally.

In Bharat, they cooperated with Muslim League during the freedom movement. The Gangadhar Adhikari thesis by communist parties supported the division of Bharat on communal and linguistic basis. Of course, Muslims were to have a single nation based on religion and Hindus a group of countries divided by language! Even a staunch secularist such as Nehru felt this in 1940s. In the biography of Nehru, Sarvpalli Gopal cites Nehru as saying this about communists:

“They have become full- blooded supporters of Jinnah’s demands (unspecified and vague as they are) and in the name of Congress-League unity they demand a complete surrender by Congress to Jinnah. I have no doubt that they have worsened the communal problem by their attitude. Communists who have joined the Muslim League appear to be more rabid Leaguers than others.”

The current situation is not very different. Communists and socialists still seem beholden to the “revolutionary” and “progressive” religion of Islam. In Bharat, you see Communist parties defending Islamic terrorism and writing articles for their Islamist friends. In USA, you see the socialists in tight embrace of radical communists.


No wonder that most vocal support for Umar Khalid was seen from both Islamist and urban-naxal Marxist circles. It includes such worthies as Aakar Patel, Harsh Mandar, Nandini Sundar, Apoorvanand, Saba Naqvi, Prashant Bhushan,  Rana Ayyub etc. Indeed, check the statement by any suspected Islamist or urban-naxal and you will find him in support of Umar Khalid.

Communism and Islamism had been wedded long ago. In practical terms, for Hindus, ascendancy of any of these will have similar disastrous results. The dream of Islamo-Communist poets of breaking Hindu idols is already being implemented in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Bharat is their next target.

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Pawan Pandey
Pawan Pandey
Pawan Pandey is an Educator based in Dehradun, currently working as Senior Staff Writer with HinduPost. He is an Engineer by training and a teacher by passion. He teaches for Civil Service Exams as well as for Common Law Admission Test. He has deep interest in politics, economy, culture and all things Bharatiya. He fancies himself to be a loving husband and doting father. His weakness is Bharatiya food, particularly sweets. His hobbies include reading, writing and listening to Bharatiya music.



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