The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has come out openly against what it calls is the rising influence of “Brahmin Dharma and Vedic culture (that) are out to harm Islamic beliefs by all means”.
The Board, which positions itself as a spokesperson of Muslim opinion in India and the chief custodian of Muslim personal law and the Shariat, has, for the first time, reached out directly to Muslim organisations, institutions and the imams of mosques in an appeal to close ranks against the forces of Hindutva.
In a letter sent to these bodies and individuals, Maulana Wali Rehmani, working general secretary of the AIMPLB, has asked for constant vigil against attacks on Islam’s teachings. AIMPLB has also targeted the central government for propagating yoga, surya namaskar and vande matram, “which are part of Brahmin Dharma” and “are against the ideology of Muslims”.
Rehmani has alleged that the celebration of the International Day of Yoga by the government on Sunday was part of a conspiracy to link the exercise to the RSS, since it was observed on the death anniversary of the Sangh’s first sarsanghchalak, K B Hedgewar.
The letter does not use the expression “Hindu Dharma”, and refers instead to “Brahmin dharma”, possibly in order to reach out to Dalit Hindus.
Rehmani has referred to Chapter 6 of the Gita to argue that yoga is a religious activity, and a part of “Brahmin Dharma and Vedic culture”. He has mentioned several organisations who have allegedly used the Centre’s yoga push to propagate Vedic culture — a violation of the Constitution, which does not allow the promotion of religious activities by the government.
“Muslims should always remain cautious as there are organisations that are attacking Islamic beliefs and trying to impose Brahmin dharma. All this yoga, surya namaskar and Vedic culture are part of Brahmin dharma and are totally against Islamic beliefs,” Rehmani has said in his letter.
He has urged the imams to discuss the subject during Friday sermons, and prepare the Muslim community for a movement.
”I have written a letter to members of the AIMPLB,” Maulana Rehmani told The Indian Express. Asked how the letter had reached other Muslim organisations as well, he said, “Obviously, we are expanding our area and including other Muslim organisations in our movement. The Board has a limited number of members, but in order to create awareness, we have to expand our horizons.”
Muslims, Rehmani has said in the letter, must be aware of their ideology, and must research extensively before agreeing to accept any suggestions on changing their beliefs. The government, he has alleged, has been pushing activities like yoga only to hide its failures on poll promises such as controlling prices and retrieving black money stashed abroad.
At its working committee meeting in Lucknow on June 7, AIMPLB had passed a resolution against yoga, saying it was un-Islamic.