Kozhikode: The merger of the Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen (KNM) factions on Monday was triggered by the needle of suspicion that was pointed towards the Salafist (Mujahid) ideology following the missing of 21 youths and the crackdown on Zakir Naik and Peace School. The moves to unite the KNM Markazu-Dhava and the official factions, which had split 14 years ago, were initiated one-and-a-half years ago. “None has benefited from the split, but it caused apolitical leanings among youths, which is dangerous,” said C.P. Ummar Sulami, state president of Markazu-Dhava faction.
The official faction state president T.P. Abdulla Koya Madani said that nobody was interested in digging up the past. The major reason behind the split was the question whether reformation should be expanded beyond religion or it should be within religion. The Hussain Madavoor-led Markazu-Dhava faction represented the former and Madani section the latter. The controversial issues have been forwarded to the scholarly body, Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama which consists of members from both sides.
“The opinions and writings criticising each other in the past have been trashed,” said Hussain Madavoor and Madani. The official wing eased its adamant stand following the joining of 21 youths in the IS and the fund flow from West Asia to a faction close to the Saudi form of Salafism. Social critic M.N. Karassery said, “there are three reasons behind the reunion-- the realisation that the split into five groups has weakened the movement, the Zakir Naik and Peace School episode and the IUML initiative to bury the hatchet.”