MALAPPURAM: The Salafi factions, which have been at loggerheads over the alleged radicalisation of Muslim youth in the state, are set for a reunion setting aside the organisational disputes of over a decade. Though the merger of two of the three major Mujahid (as Salafis call themselves in Kerela) factions had begun a year ago, a plethora of recent issues which brought the extreme views of Salafi ideology into the limelight have propelled the efforts of the reunion.
The Kerala Nadvatul Mujahideen (KNM) and KNM (Markazuddava) have almost reached an accord for the merger and it will be declared at a public meeting in Kozhikode in January. The state council meet of the KNM, the official faction, had given a green signal for the plan on Sunday. The KNM (Markazuddava)'s state council would also meet in Kozhikode on Saturday, said its leader Dr. Husain Madavur. The official faction has also called a convention of district leaders on Saturday at Perinthalmanna in Malappuram.
After a series of separate conventions, the state committees of both factions would meet to give it a final shape, including sharing of the organisational posts. The leaders of the both factions have refused to comment on the merger move before a public declaration. The reunion may help the Mujahids to fight the crackdown on Salafi preachers Dr. Zakir Naik and his close aide in Kerala M.M Akbar of Peace Foundation which came under public scrutiny for allegedly teaching radical religious views in its schools.
Meanwhile, the third major faction, which has considerable influence among Saudi Arabia's Salafi clergy, is out of the merger plan. It has been working in the name of Wisdom Global Islamic Mission for more than a year after its ouster from the KNM official faction in 2013. "We are the second major faction of Mujahids in terms of members in the state. Nobody has contacted us regarding the reunion discussions," said Mr T.K. Ashraf, state convener. Besides this, many others who had parted ways as splinter groups and concentrated on online preaching are also out of the reunion plan.