3000 clerics gather in UP's Deoband; discuss Islamophobia, hate in India
Coming in the backdrop of the ongoing controversy over the Gyanvapi mosque survey and trial, the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind national convention has raised eyebrows.
More than 3000 clerics have assembled in Uttar Pradesh's Deoband following a call by the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind to deliberate on a number of issues concerning the community. Coming in the backdrop of the ongoing controversy over the Gyanvapi mosque survey and trial, the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind national convention has raised eyebrows. However, in the sessions that have been witnessed thus far the agenda has been to highlight the underdevelopment and lack of proper education in the community.
One of the central themes being addressed during the session is Islamophobia across the country. Delegates pointed out the community should tackle this narrative that the Islamic faith does not believe in coexistence. For this, the community heads suggested reaching out to the people and spreading awareness about the religion.
Maulana Niyaz Ahmad Farooqi, National Secretary of the Jamiat Ulema Hind, said: "Today, our country is burning in the fire of religious hatred. Be it one's dress, food, faith, festival, dialect (language) or employment, efforts are being made to incite and pit the countrymen against each other. Instead of engaging youth in creative pursuits, they are being made instruments of disruptive work. The most unfortunate thing is that this dark storm of communalism is going on under the patronage of the present ruling party and governments, which has left no stone unturned to poison the minds of the majority."
He further told media persons, "Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind is concerned that this propaganda of enmity against Muslims and Islam in public gatherings is bringing disrepute to our beloved country all over the world and portraying it as becoming a blasphemous and religious fundamentalist nation. This is giving an opportunity to the opposing elements of our country to advance their agenda in international forums. In such a situation, we are concerned about the unity, integrity and progress of the country and urge the Centre to immediately stop those elements and their activities. Nowadays, the way the unity of the nation is being broken in the name of pseudo-nationalism, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind considers it a huge loss not only to the Muslims but to the entire country and considers it very dangerous for the integrity and unity of the country."
BJP slams fearmongering
Reacting to the gathering in Deoband, BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that this nation is safe for everyone. Those who want to create hysteria and fearmonger to serve their vested interest, will not succeed, he said, adding that those stirring up an atmosphere of fear to damage the society cannot be allowed to succeed.
Another BJP leader Tehseen Poonawalla said that ever since the Gyanvapi mosque issue has come before the court, there are certain groups of people who have been trying to incite, fearmonger and provoke for the sake of vote bank politics.
'Today's huge gathering in Deoband. Hope there is no provocation that emerges from there for vote bank politics as has been seen in the case of (AIMIM chief) Asaduddin Owaisi and his brother Akbaruddin Owaisi who have been constantly been trying to prove,' the BJP leader said.