August 5, 2011 2:37:47 am
An anti-homosexuality campaign is under way among Muslims in Bhopal. The chief organiser of the campaign,which has blessings of the Madhya Pradesh State Minorities Commission,believes that its message will have the most impact in the holy month of Ramzan.
The campaign,spearheaded by popular local singer and orchestra-owner Mohammed Ajhar Siddique,purports to be based on the teachings of the Koran. The citys Muslim clergy are not against the campaign,but have reservations about launching it during Ramzan,and because religious figures havent been involved.
The campaign asks Muslims to avoid homosexuality, Siddique said. Religious feelings are at their peak during the holy month and the message will go across loud and clear.
The campaign CD,titled Aaya Rozon ka Mahina,was released by chairman of the state minorities commission,Anwar Mohammed Khan,on July 31,the eve of Ramzan. The hour-long CD has four other songs but devotes nearly 16 minutes to a presentation against homosexuality.
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According to Siddique,who brings out an album of his music ahead of Ramzan every year but has never attacked homosexuality before,homosexuality is a practice not endorsed by any religion. The contents of the CD,he said,were based on the Koran,and those engaging in unnatural acts suffer terrible consequences.
Anwar Mohammed Khan,the BJP governments nominee as head of the minorities body,said his official position did not prevent him from releasing a CD that promotes a good cause. Khan said there was nothing wrong in sending out this message during Ramzan.
Ausaf Shahmeeri Khurram,chairman of the All India Muslim Tyohaar Committee,declared,Every religion is against homosexuality. Khurram is known for periodically issuing fatwas against un-Islamic practices,and has in the past targeted Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and Sania Mirza.
Shahr Qazi Mohammed Fazil Qasmi,the religious head of Bhopals Muslims,has expressed reservations over the campaigns timing.
Nurullah Yusuf,spokesman of Madhya Pradesh chapter of the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind,said the clergy had neither sanctioned nor vetted the campaign for religious accuracy.
The CD uses music,which is un-Islamic in itself,he said,adding that Khan and Khurram were political persons,whose involvement would take away from the campaigns message,especially as the clergy were not involved.
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