The ideological compatriot of Sharjeel Imam, Sharjeel Usmani, has announced his intentions of using Muslims as the fifth columns in the country to undermine Indian interests. Sharjeel Imam is the same individual who had urged Muslims to cut off North-East India from the rest of India by blocking the Chicken’s Neck, the vulnerability and the importance of which would have made his proposed action an Act of War. And now, it appears that Usmani, who shares his first name with the fan of Jinnah currently rotting in jail, wishes to wage a propaganda war against India. He is a student of political science at the Aligarh Muslim University, the university that was at the heart of violence during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Sharjeel Usmani made the announcement on Friday that he, along with two of his friends, will put English subtitles on the videos of ‘hate crimes’ against Muslims in India in order to circulate them among social media influencers for wider global reach. While every crime is one too many, the objective of such an effort is quite clear: To weaponize the crimes committed against one particular community while ignoring all the rest in order to tarnish India’s reputation abroad. We have already seen the manner in which significant sections of Muslims in India have targeted Hindus living in the Middle East and thereby, ruin India’s growing partnership with Gulf countries. The effort launched by Sharjeel Usmani appears to be consistent with these attempts.
Sharjeel Usmani links with Sharjeel Imam
After the incendiary speeches of Sharjeel Imam had gone viral on social media, Sharjeel Usmani had rushed in to defend him. He had urged Muslims to not disassociate themselves from the JNU scholar and declared that he was ‘in this together’ with the radical Ismamist. Sharjeel Imam also played a critical role in organizing the Shaheen Bagh protests and weaponizing blockades in order to make the state bend to Islamist demands was his idea. That Sharjeel Usmani threw his full weight behind him, although his weight is insignificant, only goes on to demonstrate his own ideological inclinations.
Sharjeel Usmani calls Aysha Renna his ‘leader’
Sharjeel Usmani calls Aysha Renna his ‘leader’. Aysha Renna is one of the faces of the Jamia protests that were a contributory factor in the riots in North-East Delhi in the month of February. After she was hailed as a ‘shero’ by Barkha Dutt, it was revealed that she had called India fascist for executing 1993 Mumbai Blasts Terrorist Yakub Memon after a fair trial. Her friend, Ladeeda Farzana (Sakhaloon), another face of the Jamia protests hailed as a ‘shero’ by Barkha Dutt, had called for Muslims to wage Jihad against India which had initiated a vicious cycle of violence that culminated with the anti-Hindu riots in Delhi. Ladeeda had also glorified the genocidal maniacs who were responsible for the murder and pillaging of Hindus during the Moplah Massacre.
Ladeeda farzana had spoken out in the defense of Sharjeel Usmani after the latter was booked in a case. “This witch-hunting of Sharjeel Imam and Sharjeel Usmani need to be stopped. If you share this witch-hunting psyche are equally dangerous at this juncture. I unconditionally stand with both our brothers who are at lead against this fascist government,” she had said.
The Media has learnt no lessons
As it so happens, Sharjeel Usmani writes columns for Two Circles, FirstPost, Newslaundry and DailyO. It isn’t surprising given that Sharjeel Imam also wrote for the far-left propagandist website The Wire. In a column for The Wire, Sharjeel Imam had whitewashed the crimes of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and asserted that the Father of Pakistan holds great relevance for Indian Muslims, insinuating his was the path that Indian Muslims needed to follow. Given the high regards in which Sharjeel Usmani holds Sharjeel Imam, it is only to be expected that he hold the same views as the latter.
The Ideological Inclinations of Sharjeel Usmani
The ideological inclinations of Sharjeel Usmani is abundantly clear from his tweets. In one tweet from November, he declares that he is from ‘Kashmir’ and “You’re from India” while quoting a tweet by filmmaker Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, thus, insinuating that Kashmir is not a part of India. The Radical Islamic nature of the separatism in the Valley is well known to everyone. Thus, the underlying connotations of the tweet is abundantly clear to the keen observer. And yet, such individuals continue to write bylines for ‘esteemed’ ‘secular’ media portals.
If all of this wasn’t enough, in another tweet from October 2019, Sharjeel Usmani glorified a woman who was carrying an axe to a protest in Kashmir. When people carry axes to a protest, it can be said quite safely that nonviolent protests are not what they have in their mind. And when it is happening at a place which has witnessed great terrorism and even a genocide, the motive could not be clearer. And yet, the scholar at AMU glorifies her nonetheless. In case anyone had any doubt about the ideological inclinations of Sharjeel Usmani, none should remain now. And it is interesting to note that Sharjeel Usmani had started writing for media portals long before this tweet and has been writing extensively since then as well.
Sharjeel Usmani had been booked earlier by the Police earlier for an objectionable post on Lal Krishna Advani. The post allegedly had a photograph of the veteran BJP leader with the caption “Punish those guilty of Babri Demolition”. Given the history of his support towards Sharjeel Imam and his devotion towards terrorist sympathizers and his own glorification of terrorists in Kashmir, his announcement of distributing videos among ‘social media influencers’ appear far more sinister than it looks on the surface. Having lost the battle on the streets with the refusal of the Indian government to rescind the Citizenship Amendment Act in any shape or form, the war appears to have moved on to social media and propaganda at the global level.
We have already witnessed one attempt to destabilize India’s relationship with Gulf countries through the use of social media as a weapon. The latest move by Sharjeel Usmani appears consistent with that initiative. In this context, it is important to remember that Sharjeel Imam had said in one of his viral videos that an ‘intellectual cell‘ had been established to carry forward the devious plans as laid out by him. We had speculated earlier that Jamia Coordination Committee, or at least a few of its members, might have links with this ‘intellectual cell’. Since then, a few people associated with the JCC have been arrested. In this regard, it is also quite possible that Sharjeel Usmani is part of this ‘intellectual cell’ although it cannot be claimed with any certainty as yet. The larger goal of these band of individuals on social media is to use Muslims as a fifth column in their war against the Indian State. And it appears that no attempts are being made to even hide their intentions.