A growing number of Muslims are turning to extremism to defend their faith, with some seeking to recruit followers in India and abroad.
The rise of extremists has been driven in part by the rise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), the global terrorist group that has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks across the world including London, Brussels and Paris.
Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate stretches from Syria to Iraq and includes swathes of Syria, Iraq and parts of neighbouring Turkey.
The group is believed to have as many as 100,000 fighters worldwide, and its online propaganda has helped fuel the rise in extremist sentiment.
It is not the first time the phenomenon has emerged.
In 2013, a small group of Islamic extremists took up arms in Syria against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, killing over 50 people.
The year before that, there were no such attacks in India, where thousands of Muslims, including prominent clerics and scholars, have sought to defend the faith and fight extremism.
In an open letter, some clerics urged the government to stop allowing people to be radicalised in the name of Islam.
“There are some people who are becoming radicalised and we are trying to counter this through education, education, training,” the letter read.
“Some of them are asking me to join a mosque to convert them.
Nazeerudin said he had been told that one of his congregants had become a convert to Islam through a letter he had received from a relative in his town.””
I think this is the best solution,” said Anwar Nazeeruddin, the founder of a local Islamic centre in Mumbai, in an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Nazeerudin said he had been told that one of his congregants had become a convert to Islam through a letter he had received from a relative in his town.
“He wrote that he wanted to join the Islamic State in Syria and that he was seeking a conversion in India,” he said.
“When I tried to contact him, he said he did not know the person.
He told me that he had contacted his relative.
He said he was not able to go to that mosque because of the security measures that were put in place,” Nazeers said.”
He said he could but he could not go there.
He said he was not able to go to that mosque because of the security measures that were put in place,” Nazeers said.
India is the largest Muslim-majority country in the world, with more than one million Muslims.
But a growing number are also seeking to convert to other religions or become converts to the religion of Islam, such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
“We are seeing a huge growth of conversions, especially in India.
There are many cases in which people who have no connection to any religion are turning into Muslims,” said Shahida Ghulam Ali, a lecturer at the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, an Indian Muslim organisation.
Indian authorities are not yet sure how many Muslims are joining extremist organisations and whether they are being trained.
But they have been cracking down on extremist organisations.
In March, the Indian government arrested a man for recruiting foreign recruits for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), which has ties to Al Qaeda and is active in Afghanistan.
The IMU was one of the biggest Islamic organisations in India at the time of its emergence, according to the group’s website.
The IMU is also believed to be responsible for a string of attacks including the 2008 Mumbai attack, in which three people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Indian parliament.
The IS group is also known for its violent attacks across Iraq and Syria, where it has been supported by Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.
The US State Department described the IMU as a “foreign terrorist organisation” and called on Iran to stop supporting it.
The government of India, which has not formally acknowledged IS, has also stepped up efforts to combat extremism.
Last year, the country signed a $200 million contract with the United Arab Emirates to build a new centre for the study of extremist ideology, and in October it was reported that Indian police had arrested a Pakistani national, suspected of being an IS recruiter, on suspicion of being a member of the group.