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After VHP’s call to ban their entry to garba events, Muslims say thank you

In Vadodara, local Muslim leaders have warned their community members to stay away from the garbas in order to prevent any controversy.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
September 25, 2014 1:45:18 am
A Muslim shopkeeper sells accessories for Navratri, in Vadodara on Wednesday.  (Source: Express photo by Bhupendra Rana A Muslim shopkeeper sells accessories for Navratri, in Vadodara on Wednesday. (Source: Express photo by Bhupendra Rana

Muslims are coming out strongly with their own take on the “love jihad” campaign by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP).

Former Congress MLA from Bharuch — Mohammed Patel — has written an open letter to VHP thanking the right wing outfit for imposing ban on Muslim boys participating in the garba.

Patel has questioned why checking of hotels and guest houses should not be done on other days through the year when Muslim and Hindu youth indulge in “sexual encounters”. Patel thanked VHP from saving Muslims from committing sin under Shariat laws.

In his letter, Patel says, “I am grateful that the right wing organisations are doing what Muslim leaders failed to do to prevent their community members from joining garba festivities which is against Islam. We should guard our girls – Hindu and Muslim – to ensure that they do not cross the line of the religious sanctions to indulge in their social mingling.”

Patel said he “feels strongly” about the love jihad concept and opposes inter-religious unions that require one partner to change their religion.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Patel said, “I feel that unless the two families consent to a relationship and it is based on unconditional love, it is wrong to get married to each other. Whether it is Hindu girls marrying Muslims or vice-versa.”

In Vadodara, local Muslim leaders have warned their community members to stay away from the garbas in order to prevent any controversy.

Amin Syed, general secretary of Muslim Social Group in Vadodara, said, “The entire controversy around Muslims being prohibited at garba venues is orchestrated to dent the image of Narendra Modi. The entire concept is misplaced as Muslims do not participate in the

Navratri festival. It is against Islam. But the two communities are unwittingly linked. Right from kites for Uttrayan, crackers for Diwali, decorations for Ram Leela, manufacturing of dandiyas and trendy outfits, Muslims are the traders and manufacturers and Hindus are the clients. The comments that promote communal friction should be ignored.”

According to Syed, Vadodara has several cases of love marriages of Muslim girls into Hindu families, where the families have been harmoniously practising their own faiths too.

Meanwhile in Godhra, a doctor and prominent human rights activist – Sujaat Vali – has posted a message to PM Narendra Modi on his official website seeking his views over diktat passed by a right wing organisation seeking ban on Muslims from Garba premises.

Calling it a “conspiracy” against Modi’s own reputation, he said, “Respected Prime Minister of India, please make it clear, do you want to keep away Muslims from Garba grounds? I think a strong conspiracy is made against you.”

Vali, who organises a garba event of his own every year, said the motive to keep Muslims from garba venue is discriminatory and an attempt to make certain community members feel inferior and anti-social, adding that his along with his garba-enthusiast wife, this is the first time he has faced discrimination on religious grounds.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rafiq Tijoriwala met the Panchmahals SP to seek assurance that Muslim youths would not be roughed up by “anti-social elements”. “There are at least five venues where garba is played on the road near Muslim locality and people from both communities pass through the road. We have asked our youths to stay away from the events to prevent any trouble,” he said.

The Hindu Asmita Hit Rakshak Samiti in Godhra has written to the district administration seeking a prohibition on the entry of Muslims into the garba grounds. They have formed a group of volunteers that will keep a guard at venues to ensure that no Muslims slip in.

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