RECOMMENDED READING “SIMI Hotbed Gets Saudi Support”


The Money Jihad Blog has posted an article titled “Simi Hotbed Gets Saudi Support” that reports on the Saudi ties of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), the university in India that was the birthplace of the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The article begins:

May 8, 2013 Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in northern India, the birthplace of the militant group Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), receives support from Saudi Arabia, which also funds SIMI itself:

  • In 2006, SIMI and Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out a pressure cooker bombing that killed 209 train passengers in Mumbai.  SIMI was involved with other smaller but still lethal bombings throughout the 2000s.  This February, three SIMI activists were detained for questioning in regards to explosions that killed 18 in Hyderabad.
  • SIMI was founded at AMU, a public university in Uttar Pradesh, India, in 1977.
  • AMU mostly makes the news today for “violent incidents in campus, arrest of its students and alumni for involvement in various terrorist attacks in India,” the possible presence of Al Qaeda on campus, and the financial improprieties of AMU vice chancellor P. K. Abdul Azis.

Read the rest here.

 A 2006 Jamestown Foundation report on SIMI describes the background of the organization as follows:

SIMI was founded on April 25, 1977 at the Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar Pradesh, as a radical student outfit with a mission to revive Islam in India and transform the entire country into an Islamic state. SIMI’s founding president was Mohammad Ahmadullah Siddiqi, currently a professor of journalism and public relations at the University of Western Illinois. The group’s three core ideological concepts were: Ummah, Caliphate and Jihad. SIMI’s ideological inspirations were Muslim thinkers who had launched major Islamic movements in the subcontinent, in particular Shah Waliullah, Sayyid Ahmad, Haji Shariat Allah and the legendary Maulana Maududi, the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). Specifically, SIMI was deeply inspired by Maududi’s goal to make Islam the supreme organizing principle for the social and political life of the Muslim community. In its annual report, SIMI reiterated these tenets, urging Muslim youths to struggle for the revival of Islam in the light of the Quran and Sunnah (South Asia Analysis Group, October 30, 2003). In fact, the Maududi influence was so deep-rooted that in the early years of SIMI’s existence the organization was dominated by the Indian wing of JI, called Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH). In due course, SIMI emerged as a coalition of student and youth Islamic bodies, namely the Muslim Students Association, Students Islamic Union, Students Islamic Organization and Muslim Youth Association.

Read the rest here

The Jamestown report goes on to say that following SIMI’s pro-Taliban position after 911, anti-U.S. demonstrations, and the glorification of Osama Bin Laden, the organization was banned by the Indian Government but, citing Indian media sources in 2003, that leaders were trying to revive SIMI and had established links with Pakistani intelligence operatives, the Palestinian group Hamas and other “like-minded organizations beyond India’s borders.” In 2001, Indian media reported that SIMI had developed “fairly extensive pan-Islamic contacts” and was closely associated with the Saudi World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) and the International Islamic Federation of Students’ Organisations (IIFSO) in Kuwait, both tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. The current state of SIMI’s relationships with these organizations is unknown.

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