Racism is endemic in the Arab world. Central Asian Muslims at least have the Mongol warrior traditions to give them status. Muslims from S Asia are considered to have been converted by conquerors or by trader-conquerors and are not to be compared with pure-blood Arabs. African Muslims come even lower down the scale since they were slaves who were converted by their Arab masters. In Arab eyes, I think, first class Muslims are those from the Middle East and some selected parts of North Africa; second class are those from countries with a Mongol heritage of being conquerors; third class are those from South Asia and the lowest class are Muslims from sub-Saharan Africa. Generally, the darker the skin colour, the lower the class. (Persians are all of course mainly Shia and are not considered true Muslims).
It has long been suspected that Da’esh (ISIS) also implements a hierarchy of races among their members, over and above any adherence to any religious sect within Islam. Lowest of course are the infidels who follow some religion other than Islam (and worst of all are those who follow no religion at all). Apostate Sunnis are also considered scum.Then come all Shia Muslims who are virtually infidels.
ISIS just mirrors the racism that is endemic in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. African, Indians and Pakistanis who may be Sunni Muslims are never quite completely trustworthy. They are not given positions of command responsibility, are expendable and serve as cannon fodder. That seemingly applies even to European citizens, but who are of S Asian or African origin, and who volunteer as jihadists. That also explains why Boko Haram and al Shabab may affiliate themselves to Da’esh, but Africans are never going to get a place at the top table. Only a true Arab who follows the Wahhabi brand of Salafist jihadism apparently makes the grade. Earlier this year NBC News quoted US intelligence sources about how the Arabs looked down on Africans:
“The Arab world is incredibly racist,” explained a U.S. intelligence official. “They don’t see black Africans as equivalent to them.” ISIS may show “affinity” with Boko Haram, said the official, “but they stop short of allegiance.” Moreover, said the official, while Boko Haram has in the past year released videos to show “affiliation” with groups like ISIS, there’s no evidence of either group sending members to fight with the other. And while Boko Haram has praised ISIS, and shown the ISIS flag in videos, ISIS has not reciprocated.
The Press Trust of India has just put out this story which is carried widely in India, and is apparently based on a report put together from a variety of intelligence sources/briefings.
PTI: …. ISIS does not consider South Asian Muslims, including Indians, good enough to fight in conflict zone of Iraq and Syria and so treats them as inferior to Arab fighters often tricking them into suicide attacks.
According to an intelligence report prepared by foreign agencies and shared with Indian agencies, fighters from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh as well as certain countries like Nigeria and Sudan are considered inferior to Arab fighters.
There appears to be clear hierarchy wherein the Arab fighters are preferred as officer cadre and provided better arms and ammunition, equipment, accommodation and salaries. “The fighters from South Asia are usually housed in groups in small barracks and are paid less than the Arab fighters and are provided inferior equipment,” the input says.
There are reports that the so-called inferior fighters are also, at times, tricked into suicide attacks. Usually they are given a vehicle loaded with explosives and asked to go near a targeted destination and call a certain number, who would purportedly come and meet them to explain the mission. However, as soon as the number is dialled, the car explodes due to a pre-set mechanism aimed at destroying a specific target.
A total of 23 Indians have so far joined the ISIS of which six reportedly killed in different incidents. ….. The intelligence report suggests that there is a disproportionately high level of casualty among the South Asian and African foreign terrorist fighters since they are forced to the frontlines of battle as foot soldiers. The Arab fighters with better battle experience are mostly positioned behind these fighters and hence their casualties are proportionally less in terms of their total numbers.
According to The Hindu, the intelligence report also says that
“there is information that foreign fighters of Chinese, Indian, Nigerian and Pakistani origin are housed together and are monitored closely by the IS Police. …. only Tunisian, Palestinian, Saudi Arabian, Iraqi and Syrian are allowed to be in the IS Police force, which is barred for fighters of all other nationalities.
ISIS considers Islam, as it is practised in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh .., as apostate and a departure from the original teachings of Quran and Hadith, which makes them less motivated towards Salafist Jihad.
Further, passports of foreign terrorist fighters from South Asia and certain African countries are usually burnt upon their arrival in Iraq-Syria to prevent them going back to their countries.
European Muslims of S Asian origin who are attracted to Salafist jihadism because they feel they are second-class in Europe, will now find themselves even lower down the pecking order within Da’esh. The South Asian Muslim women who join Da’esh probably end up as little more than comfort women for their Arab superiors.