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Tuesday, May 25, 2010 03:35:18 PM, Pervez Bari,

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Bhopal: In a rare show of unity Muslim Ulema (clerics) of various sects, keeping their sectarian differences and rivalries on the backburner, along with Islamic scholars and intellectuals from all over India resolved in unison to step forward for the sake of welfare of Muslim Ummah at large and take a unified stand on the issues confronting the community.

The occasion was the day-long 4th Ittehad-e-Millat (Unity of the community) Convention, (IMC), held here on Sunday. The aura of unity that pervaded at the convention gave a glimpse of revival of Muslim Ummah’s pathetic fate which is sliding downwards ever since India gained freedom in 1947 from the British.

Maulana Peer Mohammed Saeed Miyan Mujaddadi, Rector Dar-ul-Uloom Taj-ul-Masajid, Bhopal, in his presidential remarks aptly said Muslim community needs justice not alms. The Muslims should not be deprived of their rights guaranteed to them in the Indian Constitution as citizens of the country.

Maulana Kalbe Jawwad, an eminent Shia cleric and IMC patron, while inter-acting with newspersons said: “We have noticed that the Muslim youths are arrested in the name being SIMI activists or being associated with other terrorists outfits After 7-8 years the judiciary acquits them, which proves that Muslim youths were innocents. However, in the process the career of some youths is ruined. “Who will be responsible for this?”, he questioned.

The religious leaders attending the convention as such demanded constitution of a legal commission to save innocent Muslim youths who were being targeted and framed on false charges of carrying-out anti-national activities. They said the youth were being kept in custody for several years and their relatives were not allowed to meet them.

The issue of Maulana Noor-ul-Huda of Islamic seminary at Deoband, who was taken off a flight to Middle East and arrested after a woman passenger mistook his words about the flight’s take-off was raised by several speakers at the convention. They felt that such incidents occurred because of mindsets shaped by consistent demonizing of Muslims as terrorists.

Maulana Kalbe Jawwad lashed out at the rightist Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), and held them power hungry. “The BJP is not well-wisher of any community. If they sense they could grab power by constructing a mosque then they would do so by making a summersault to their previous act”, he quipped.

The religious scholars also demanded amendments in the Constitution Order of 1950 issued by President of India under Article 341 and said it should be religion-neutral. So that Dalit Muslims and Christians could also get benefits of reservation in government jobs as given to Dalits professing Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism.

It may be pointed out here that under the Constitutional Order of 1950 Dalit Muslims and Christians have been deprived of Scheduled Caste, (SC), status to enjoy the facilities given to SC Dalits.

The participants demanded immediate implementation of recommendations of Sachchar Committee and Ranganath Mishra Commission to uplift Muslims from the morass of poverty and illiteracy.

Maulana Kalbe Jawwad while strongly advocated the need for Muslim reservation said: “Sixty-two years ago nobody would have anticipated that the percentage of Muslims in government jobs would drop down to 1.5 from 35 percent. This is very alarming and that’s how the community has suffered”.

Journalist and poet Hasan Kamaal speaking at the convention said that Muslims are safe in India due to secular Hindus. At crucial times secular Hindus come forward for protection of Muslims. Therefore, the Muslim community should ensure their involvement with its activities.

At the outset chairman of reception committee of the convention Arif Masood, who is member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, welcomed the guests. Later convener of the convention Manzar Bhopali, the international poet, while proposing vote of thanks sad Muslims belonging to all sects have recognized the need for unity as without a strong and united stand the Muslim Ummah would not be able to get a better deal.

Some of the other prominent personalities who attended the convention included: principal of world-renowned seminary Nadwat-ul-Uloom (Lucknow), Maulana Saeed-ur-Rehman Azmi, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahli (Lucknow), General Secretary of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind Maulana Hakeemuddin, Siraj Mehdi, Athar Nabi, Adv. Zafaryab Jilani, Sahara Group Editor Aziz Burney, Prof. Anees Chishti (Pune), Maulana Yasir Usmani, Shoeb Ilyasi etc.

This was the fourth of the series of total six such conventions. Earlier, two were held at Lucknow and one at Mumbai and the remaining two after Bhopal would be organized at Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.





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