Exclusive | Ban on PFI Not Enough; RSS Banned Thrice, Now Ruling Country: IUML Leader KM Shaji to News18

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The Indian Union Muslim League thinks that banning the Popular Front of India is not the solution to the problem; instead, those involved in “terror” like them should be exposed publically during debates and finished off politically. The IUML’s Kerala state secretary KM Shaji told News18 in an exclusive interview that his three-decade-long fight against the PFI has been on since it came into existence as the National Democratic Front (NDF) in 1994.

The Centre on Wednesday banned the radical Islamic organisation PFI and several of its associates for five years under a stringent anti-terror law, accusing them of having “links” with global terror groups like ISIS.

“They (government) are banning it now. I have been saying this for years that they are not the National Democratic Party but an anti-democratic party,” Shaji said. “Personally, I do not approach banning any organisation as it is not the right way to counter the growth of an organisation. Take a look at the RSS. They have been banned thrice, but today they are ruling the country. The same with SIMI and NDF. They grow bigger under the banner of PFI and SDPI,” Shaji told News18.

According to the IUML leader, banning is not the ultimate solution and “terrorist organisations” like the PFI have to be annihilated in a step-by-step manner and ensure they do not lift their heads again.

“We have been opposing the PFI and its ideology from its early days as NDF. These organisations have been trying to stay relevant by hiding their real identities and purpose. I have been under police protection for several years because of my fight against them. To bring an end to the organisations, political parties should not use them for vote politics as is seen during elections,” he said.

According to Shaji, the government should act against all such organisations without political bias.

“If one wants to stop terrorism completely there should be a will to do it transparently. The government and all political parties across the board should not use them, especially for political gain. At no point in time should the administration or government compromise with such organisations for the sake of vote politics,” Shaji said.

The leader added that such organisations thrive due to the political mileage and importance given by political parties to gain ground in their regions.

“They hold the bell to attract people to their side. This is why the PFI and its political wing SDPI have thrived till now,” Shaji explained.

When asked what attracts young people to the PFI, which had been growing stronger over the past decade, the IUML leader attributed it to the “feeling of insecurity among minorities”. So when outfits like the PFI give a call to all those who feel insecure to come under one umbrella, they find people getting attracted to them, he said.

“Across the world, minorities feel threatened and they are made to feel insecure and hunted. Such terrorist groups cash in on such feelings and lure young minds toward them. They can connect with those who are young and vulnerable by showing the RSS and Sangh Parivar as groups that are out to finish them. They say ‘see what is happening in Gujarat, they are out to threaten’, etc,” the IUML leader said.

So should the political arm of PFI also be banned? Shaji says no.

“If banning was the solution, then the RSS, which has been banned thrice before today is literally ruling the country. If the government was serious about banning them, what took them so long?” he asked.

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