Muslim cleric slams Cong for terror tag

The Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind,a body of Muslim clerics dominated by Deobandi Sunnis,on Sunday slammed the UPA government for targeting Muslims in the name of fighting terrorism...

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: March 2, 2009 2:47 am

The Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind,a body of Muslim clerics dominated by Deobandi Sunnis,on Sunday slammed the UPA government for targeting Muslims in the name of fighting terrorism,and also for threatening to subvert the autonomy of madrasas by setting up a national madrasa board.

At a convention against terrorism and communalism,national Jamiat president Maulana Arshad Madni particularly lashed out at HRD Minister Arjun Singh and former home minister Shivraj Patil. He equated the Congress with the Sangh Parivar,and called Sardar Vallabhai Patel the greatest votary of the ‘Hindu Rasthra’.

The Maulana attack came in the presence of state Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi,who assured that she would convey his views to the party leadership. The Jamiat had also invited state BSP chief Swami Prasad Maurya and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son Akhilesh Yadav,but neither turned up.

The Maulana alleged,“What harm to Muslims the RSS could not do in 60 years,former home minister Shivraj Patil did it in just four years.”

Speaking on the Batla House encounter,Maulana Arshad said,“Why is the government sitting over the demand for a judicial inquiry into the incident. Is it because the demand is being raised by the Muslims?” He alleged that educated Muslim youths were being framed in false charges of terror.

He also said that the forces working for making India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ were out to destroy democracy and secularism in the country. “Sardar Patel was the greatest votary of the Hindu Rashtra and he signed the documents for the partition of India while the Muslims of India and Jamiat Ul Ulma,in particular,had opposed the partition of India on the basis of the two-nation theory and fought for secularism,” he added.

The Jamiat,set up in 1919,enjoyed close ties with the Congress after Independence and its late president Maulana Asad Madni was nominated to the Rajya Sabha several terms. After his death in 2005,Jamiat split in two factions,one led by his son Maulana Mehmood Madni and other by his brother Maulana Arshad Madni.

On the madrasa board,the Maulana said,“Muslims will never accept this as it is an attempt of the government to control the institutions imparting religious education.”

“If a madrasa board is constituted by the Congress government,it will be a board of the Congress,but run,controlled and managed by the people of the Sangh Parivar,” he said. “HRD Minister Arjun Singh assured me that even after the constitution of the madrasa board,there will be no effect on the madrasa autonomy. But I want to know is there any guarantee that the UPA will return to power?”

“If the UPA government is so keen on eradicating the educational backwardness of the Muslims,it should open vocational institutions like engineering,medical and management colleges exclusively for the Muslims,” he said.

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