Eight years ago, Hurriyat (G) chairman SAS Geelani stoked a massive controversy by declaring that Al Qaeda founder and the 9/11 terror attack mastermind Osama bin Laden (OBL) had been martyred while defending Muslims. Stating thatthe slain Al Qaeda chiefs heart bore the pain of the entire Muslim Ummah (community), Geelani sahib also announced that he would lead funeral prayers in absentia for OBL. Hurriyat (G) chairmans statements resulted in the cancellation of a scheduled meeting with a European Union (EU) delegation on a visit to Kashmir as is evident from its statement that “A meeting was initially planned for May 14 with Syed Ali Shah Geelani, but given the latest events, the EU delegation considers it inopportune to hold the meeting.”
As there was a strong possibilitythat the international community could interpret this entire incident as Hurriyats endorsement of Al Qaedas fundamentalist ideology, the separatist leadership acted very maturely by distancing itself from Al-Qaeda and thus was able to dispel any misgivings that the global community may have had on this account. The Hurriyat leadership has thereafter consistently been reiterating that it has no link with fundamentalist organisations like Daesh (IS) or Al Qaeda. Even United Jihad Council (UJC) chief and Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salahuddin who had once invited Al Qaeda to come and fight in Kashmir later went on to declare that there was no place for this organisation here.
However,Geelani sahib has once again rocked the boat by lauding deceased Al Qaida affiliate Ansar Gazwat ul Hind (AGuH) chief Zakir Musa in saying whosoever strives for implementation of divine law in his land with his conviction and dedication, are the real heroes of the movement and nation is indebted to hail their precious sacrifices. While some may attribute this statement to his magnanimity towards a deceased person, but by doing so Geelani sahib has once again put the Hurriyat into choppy waters as his statement stands out as a clear endorsement of Al Qaedas fundamentalist ideology, which Musa was determined to spread in Kashmir. The international community will surely take note of this unusual development just like the EU did in 2011, when the Hurriyat (G) chairman eulogised OBL and held funeral prayers for him.
Talking ill of someone who is no more is certainly a very uncivil thing to do but overlooking attempts to poison gullible minds through an ideology that is based on gross misinterpretation of religious edicts is a far greater offense. And since Musa made no bones about his unshakable faith in Al Qaeda ideology due to which he even quit Hizbul Mujahedin, referring to the slain AGuH as a real hero since he strived for implementation of divine law in his land with his conviction and dedication amounts to what? This question begs an answer. It was Musa who openly declared thatour Kashmirs war, particularly of the mujahideen, is only to enforce Shariah. It is an Islamic struggle. And how can one forget the allegations against our leaders who were threatened with beheadings in Lal Chowk?
The irony is that while he was alive, the Hurriyat maintained that Musa and AGuH were created by New Delhi as part of a conspiracy to defame the ongoing freedom struggle in Kashmir and since both univocally denounced the fundamentalist ideology that Musa propagated, this allegation sounded plausible. However, paying rich tributes to Musa after his death and commending his mission (which was establishing a caliphate in Kashmir) makes a complete mockery of this conspiracy theory. This sudden change in Geelani sahibs perception is bound to raise serious suspicions in the minds of the international community that AGuH could well be participating in the Kashmir struggle with tacit approval of Hurriyat leadership. And memories of UJC supremos 2014 offer that “If AlQaeda, Taliban or any other organisation or country extends a helping hand to the oppressed Kashmiris, we will welcome it,” will only strengthen this belief. Will not adulation of Al Qaida leader in Kashmir adversely affect the trustworthiness of allegations and claims that the separatist conglomerate makes in future?