PROMINENT SHIA cleric Kalbe Jawwad gave a clarion call to Muslims to “take revenge” against the ruling Samajwadi Party in the next year’s Assembly elections. “In the coming elections, vote unitedly. Wherever you vote but vote unitedly. Today’s world is about vote. We will take revenge of the atrocities on Muslims in the elections,” the Lucknow-based cleric told the gathering from Asafi mosque at the historical Bada Imambara, shortly after the prayers Friday.
With this, Jawwad, the Imam-e-Juma for Shia Muslims, also launched a campaign solely targeting the ruling party and announced to run this movement “every Friday” when he would speak to the Muslims coming to offer Namaz at Asafi mosque and eventually take it to other parts of the state.
“Even Britishers did not indulge in so much loot. The present-day government is harming the Shia community by treating it as weak. I had even written to the Governor but no action has been taken,” Jawwad said. Asking Muslims to realise the importance of unity, Jawwad urged the community members to vote unitedly in the Assembly elections. “Just like USA, Russia and France bowed before Iran, you too will succeed,” he said.
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The cleric was critical of the SP government over its handling of one Kamlesh Tiwari’s alleged use of derogatory language against Prophet Muhammad. He alleged that the newspaper that published Tiwari’s “derogatory statement” was awarded advertisement worth Rs 4 crore by the Akhilesh Yadav government. “Whatever good this government claims to be doing for the Muslims is actually a fraud,” Jawwad said.
But his primary concern, however, remained the “misappropriation” of waqf properties under the SP rule. “Waqf properties are being sold. Properties under Hussainabad Trust are being looted by the officials. I have written letters to everyone in the government but no action has been taken,” he claimed.
Last year, Jawwad had led an agitation against the government seeking protection of waqf properties. He was in charge of the lock down of Bada and Chhota Imambaras in Lucknow and had organised protest meetings across the state. Although it acknowledged Jawwad’s tough stand by holding meetings with him, the government failed to convince the cleric about its intentions.
Jawwad was also critical of the clerics who had met leaders of the ruling party, including the chief minister. His uncle Kalbe Sadiq, who is also the vice-president of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, had met Akhilesh on March 25 to extend Holi greetings.
While Jawwad claimed to be unaware of the agenda of Sadiq’s meeting, he branded all others as “agents of the SP government” who are “harming the interest of the community”. “We need to be cautious of them too,” he said, adding that he will not say anything about Sadiq who he said claimed to have met Akhilesh “regarding his educational works”.