Shivji it would be great if it could be indentified from which muslim caste the majority of the foot soldiers of Islamists come from.
Ambedkar's views on the caste system of Muslim society
Take the caste system. Islam speaks of brotherhood. Everybody infers that Islam must be free from slavery and caste.
Regarding slavery nothing needs to be said. It stands abolished now by law. But while it existed, much of its support was derived from Islam and Islamic countries./2/ While the prescriptions by the Prophet regarding the just and humane treatment of slaves contained in the Koran are praiseworthy, there is nothing whatever in Islam that lends support to the abolition of this curse. As Sir W. Muir has well said /3/:â€”
". . .rather, while lightening, lie riveted the fetter. . . .There is no obligation on a Muslim to release his slaves. . . ."
But if slavery has gone, caste among Musalmans has remained. As an illustration one may take the conditions prevalent among the Bengal Muslims. The Superintendent of the Census for 1901 for the Province of Bengal records the following interesting facts regarding the Muslims of Bengal :â€”
"The conventional division of the Mahomedans into four tribesâ€” Sheikh, Saiad, Moghul and Pathanâ€”has very little application to this Province (Bengal). The Mahomedans themselves recognize two main social divisions, (1) Ashraf or Sharaf and (2) Ajlaf. Ashraf means 'noble' and includes all undoubted descendants of foreigners and converts from high caste Hindus. All other Mahomedans including the occupational groups and all converts of lower ranks, are known by the contemptuous terms, 'Ajlaf ,' 'wretches' or 'mean people': they are also called Kamina or Itar, 'base' or Rasil, a corruption of Rizal, 'worthless.' In some places a third class, called Arzal or 'lowest of all,' is added. With them no other Mahomedan would associate, and they are forbidden to enter the mosque to use the public burial ground.
"Within these groups there are castes with social precedence of exactly the same nature as one finds among the Hindus.
I. Ashraf or better class Mahomedans.
II. Ajlaf or lower class Mahomedans.
(1) Cultivating Sheikhs, and others who were originally Hindus but who do not belong to any functional group, and have not gained admittance to the Ashraf Community, e.g. Pirali and Thakrai.
(2) Darzi, Jolaha, Fakir, and Rangrez.
(3) Barhi, Bhalhiara, Chik, Churihar, Dai, Dhawa, Dhunia, Gaddi, Kalal, Kasai, Kula Kunjara, Laheri, Mahifarosh, Mallah, Naliya, Nikari.
(4) Abdal, Bako, Bediya, Bhal, Chamba, Dafali, Dhobi, Hajjam, Mucho, Nagarchi, Nal,Panwaria, Madaria, Tunlia.
III. Arzal or degraded class.
Bhanar, Halalkhor, Hijra, Kasbi, Lalbegi, Maugta, Mehtar."
The Census Superintendent mentions another feature of the Muslim social system, namely, the prevalence of the "panchayat system." He states :â€”
"The authority of the panchayat extends to social as well as trade matters and. . .marriage with people of' other communities is one of the offences of which the governing body takes cognizance. The result is that these groups are often as strictly endogamous as Hindu castes. The prohibition on inter-marriage extends to higher as well as to lower castes, and a Dhuma, for example, may marry no one but a Dhuma. If this rule is transgressed, the offender is at once hauled up before the panchayat and ejected ignominiously from his community. A member of one such group cannot ordinarily gain admission to another, and he retains the designation of the community in which he was born even if he abandons its distinctive occupation and takes to other means of livelihood. . . .thousands of Jolahas are butchers, yet they are still known as Jolahas."
Similar facts from other Provinces of India could be gathered from their respective Census Reports, and those who are curious may refer to them. But the facts for Bengal are enough to show that the Mahomedans observe not only caste but also untouchability.