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Row over letter to Modi: Shahabuddin apologises to Muslim NGO

Monday November 26, 2012 09:54:21 PM, Hena Farhat,

Mumbai: Ex-MP and IFS (Retd.) Syed Shahabuddin on Monday tendered unconditional apology to Joint Committee of Muslim Organizations for Empowerment (JCMOE) - an umbrella body of Indian Muslim organizations, saying that his letter addressed to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was personal and by mistake issued on the organisation's letter-pad.


"I wish to clarify that this was a personal letter with a strategic purpose and had nothing to do with the Joint Committee of Muslim Organisation for Empowerment ( JCMOE). However by mistake the office issued it on the pad of the JECMOE. Your objection is therefore legitimate and I beg your apology", Syed Shahabuddin wrote in his letter to JCMOE sent today.


"Nowhere in this letter have I asked the Muslims to forgive Modi or to vote for him. However it is a fact that through various devises over the years Modi has been able to soften some Muslims of the upper classes", he added.


"The strategy behind this letter was to caution them and to rethink about Modi on the eve of the election, so that they could be weaned away by taking note that Modi has not fulfilled any real Muslim demands", he said.


Syed Shahabuddin had written a letter on November 16 ahead of the crucial assembly elections to Narendra Modi acknowledging what the media reported is "some signs of change'' in Gujarat state chief minister Narendra Modi's attitude towards Muslims.


He also suggested in his letter that the community could support Modi "in rebuilding Gujarat'' if he apologized and expressed sorrow over the 2002 Gujarat riots.


He also asked Modi to offer at least 20 assembly tickets to Muslims acceptable to the community, where they constitute more than 20% of the electorate instead of repeatedly announcing his faith in secularism.


The letter received widespread attention with media portraying the views expressed in the letter as that of the JCMOE and entire community. JCMOE comprises 10 outfits: Jamiat-ul-Ulema Hind, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind; All India Majlis-e-Mushawarat, All India Milli Council, Movement for Empowerment of Muslim Indians, All India Momin Conference, All India Shia Conference, Markazi Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadith, Imarat-e-Sharia, and All India Muslim Educational Society. Syed Shahabuddin is its Convenor.








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