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‘Dangerous trend, tactic to provoke Muslims’: Shahi Imam

“This is an indication what harm can BJP do to Bengal," said Maulana Syed Athar Abbas Rizvi, Imam of Cossipore masjid.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
March 14, 2015 1:47:08 am

A DAY after The Indian Express reported that how RSS and its affiliates are experimenting with a new conversion programme in Bengal, Muslim leaders on Friday claimed while the number of such cases are very less, an attempt was being made to provoke the community.

Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid in New Delhi, said those being converted in such a manner were very few in number. “It is a tactic to provoke Muslims… I will not be drawn into such provocations made by insignificant leaders,” he added.

Mohammed Shafique Qasmi, Imam of Nakhuda Masjid in Kolkata, said: “If a person is convinced that he wants to convert to Islam or Hinduism, it is his personal will. Only if it is forced, can it be called a crime.”

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Many others, however, called it ominous. “This is a dangerous trend and shows how BJP has created communal turbulence in the state. We should be cautious. I will do my best to alarm Muslims against such malpractices,” said Syed Mohammed Nurur Rahman Barkati, Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Masjid.

Maulana Syed Athar Abbas Rizvi, Imam of Cossipore masjid, echoed the same. “This is an indication what harm can BJP do to Bengal. Muslims of Bengal, who have been tricked into supporting BJP, need to take a lesson from such stray incidents which have the potential to snowball into epic proportion if BJP comes to power in Bengal. I will appeal to the people to see through sugar-coated assurances of BJP leaders,” he said.

Senior CPM leader Mohammed Selim, however, blamed the Trinamool government for the same. “While the Bengal edition of purification has begun, the state government has been caught napping. The Sangh Parivar is out to carry out its agenda here as well and Mamata Banerjee, in a way is hand-in-glove with it. Her administration is busy implicating people in false cases and is overlooking such practices,” he said.

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