In an attempt to appeal to India’s Muslim minority, the Islamic State (IS) has released a video that says the group’s fighters are planning to avenge the deaths of hundreds of Muslims who were killed during riots in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat in 2002.
India is home to more than 170 million Muslims, but the IS’s messaging hasn’t had the same pull in the Hindu-majority nation as it has in Russia and parts of Europe. As of November 2015, according to the Soufan Group, just 23 Indians had left to fight for the Islamic State in Syria or Iraq. That estimate is unconfirmed, however, and the actual number may be higher.
In the video, which surfaced on Thursday, IS fighters mock Muslims who live in harmony with Hindus, and urge them to travel to the militant group’s self-proclaimed “caliphate.”
“In this land you get to have hatred for the kuffar,” an Indian fighter, who is identified as Abu Salman al-Hindi said, using a derogatory term for nonbelievers. “In this land, you get to perform jihad… In this land, your religion is safe. In this land, Allah’s law is the highest. In this land you have nothing that stops you from doing good deeds, from doing da’wah, from preaching Islam. In this land your life, your honor, your property is protected.”
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