[Arshad Madani holding hand of Mehmood Madani at Jamiate-eUlema Hind National Integration Conference held in New Delhi on March 12, 2016 (ummid.com photo)]
New Delhi: Stating that it favors 'freedom of expression' in the country, especially in educational institutions and university campuses, the leading Muslim organisation in a mammoth rally Saturday extended support to Kanhaiya Kumar and said it is with the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the students elsewhere in this time of crisis.
"We strongly back Kanhaiya Kumar, other JNU students and support their movement", Arshad Madani, Jamiat-e-Ulema president and one of the influential Muslim leader, said while addressing the National Integration conference held at the sprawling Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in the national capital.
He said the Jamiat-e-Ulema feared that the campaign would be given a communal colour hence it did not voice its support earlier.
"We were closely monitoring the entire campaign. Though we were in favor of the demands raised by the JNU students, we deliberately kept a distance", he added.
JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and othe students of the unviersity were slapped with sedition charges based on doctored video and were arrested by the Delhi police. Though Kanhaiya has been released on bail, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya are in police custody.
While addressing the JNU students after his release, Kanhaiya Kumar hoped coming together of communist and Ambedkarite movements, and vowed to take this 'Red-Blue' combination to other parts of the country. With Muslims too joining hands, the movement is bound to become more powerfull.
Arshad Madani said majority of the people in the country are peace loving but a small section is disrupting peace for political mileage.
"There is a very small section. A very small group which is disrupting peace in the country. The government should keep this small group in check", he said.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad while addressing the conference sought to compare the RSS with the Islamic State (IS) while saying he equally opposes both organisations but drew an angry protest from the BJP which demanded an apology.
"We oppose ISIS with equal might as we oppose the RSS," Azad said addressing the conference.
Religion should not be an issue, he said adding: "Even from among us if someone does any wrong thing, then he is also no less than the RSS."
The conferece was significant as it was also attended by Mehmood Madani, nephew of Arshad Madani. The two leaders had parted ways seven years ago after the death of Asad Madani, father of Mehmood Madani who led the Jamait-e-Ulema till his death. However followng persistant efforts by well wishers the two Jamiat-e-Ulema factions decided to shun their differences.