March 2002 News

Kashmir's female separatist trains her sons for jihad

11 March 2002
The Times of India
AFP

SRINAGAR: Aasiya Andrabi makes no bones about holding up the world''s most-wanted man, Osama bin Laden, and Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar as role models for her two young sons.Indian Kashmir''s leading female separatist believes both men are ''symbols of true Islam'' who follow the only genuine path of jihad, or holy war, that can protect the Islamic faith.''I am educating my two sons to follow the steps of bin Laden and Omar,'' the 38-year-old leader of the Muslim separatist outfit, Dukhtaran-e-Milat said in an interview.''I want to see both of them as jihadis, not doctors or engineers,'' Andrabi said, pointing to nine-year-old Mohammed bin Qasim and his younger brother, Ahmed bin Qasim, who is only three.Her efforts are clearly paying off. Despite his tender years, Ahmed knows enough to kiss images of bin Laden and refers to US President George W. Bush as ''Satan.''I am happy they have started distinguishing between true Muslims and worst enemies of Islam,'' Andrabi said.A college graduate with a degree in bio-chemistry and bacteriology, Andrabi set up her hardline separatist outfit in 1981, eight years before the launch of an armed Muslim insurgency against Indian rule in Kashmir which has since claimed at least 35,000 lives.The group espouses a hardline version of Islam and recently carried out a campaign of throwing coloured dye on Muslim women in Srinagar who ignore orthodox dress codes.Andrabi is married to a jailed militant commander, Mohammed Qasim, who she has been pressuring to take more wives given the large number of Kashmiri women who have been widowed by the insurgency.''I would be more than glad to share my house with the other wives of Qasim,'' she said.Andrabi believes jihad is mandatory for all Muslims in the prevailing international scenario, which she sees as being dominated by a US-led western policy to subjugate Islam.''There is a dire need for Muslims to rise to the occasion and wage jihad against the forces occupying Palestine, Kashmir and Chechnya,'' she said.''A Muslim who dies without an urge of jihad in his heart dies as an infidel and not as a Muslim.''Andrabi sees herself as merely a ''guardian'' for her sons whose only role in life is to follow the will of God.''I will be more than satisfied if they sacrifice their lives in the name of Allah,'' she said.''When they ask for toys and other things, I tell them ''you are different. You are meant for hard life''.''Andrabi also fiercely opposed the US-led military offensive against the Taliban in Afghanistan, which was launched because the regime was protecting bin Laden, the accused mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the United States.During the military action, she was at the forefront of a campaign to boycott all US goods and she repeatedly condemned Pakistan for siding with the United States

 

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