The governing body of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind on Sunday said that “raking up” controversies regarding old places of worship like Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi and Shahi Idgah mosque in Mathura “will result in disturbing peace, order and integrity of the country”.
After the conclusion of its two-day meeting in Deoband in Saharanpur, the outfit of Islamic scholars and clerics expressed its “deep concern and disgust” over the issue and said the Varanasi Civil court “supported divisive politics”, while “ignoring” the special provision of places of worship Act 1991 in the Gyanvapi issue.
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The Jamiat also resolved to focus on improving the education of Muslim youth and told them to work for the betterment of their future by improving their educational and economic conditions.
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“It (the Varanasi civil court) has explicitly disregarded the worship Act, which stipulates that places of worship will remain intact as it existed on August 15, 1947. The Varanasi Civil Court has completely ignored the decision of the Supreme Court regarding the Babri mosque which had specifically mentioned the protection of other places of worship in the country,” the resolution stated.
“The Ayodhya issue has already severely damaged social harmony and peaceful communal fabric of the country. Now, these conflicts will provide fresh impetus for further confrontation and the negative politics of majority domination. Keeping old controversies alive and trying to rectify the alleged so-called historical mistakes will be a disservice to the country… The Supreme Court in its ruling about Babri Masjid has described the Worship Act as the basic spirit of the Constitution of India. This decision of the apex court explicitly conveys the message that the government, political parties and religious groups should keep away from reviving the controversial issues of the past. Only then it will redeem our pledges to the constitution, otherwise, it will be called great disloyalty to the constitution,” the resolution stated.
Earlier speaking to The Indian Express, the national secretary of the outfit, Maulana Niyaz Ahmed Farooqui, said the issues of Gyanvapi and Mathura mosques were not Hindu or Muslim cases.
“The matter of Gyanvapi masjid and Shahi Idgah masjid is pending in the courts and there is no space for sentimental arguments on them. This is not a Hindu or Muslim case. We told the meeting not to indulge in these cases and let the courts decide the matter,” Farooqui said.
“National parties or organisations should refrain from getting involved. Because of temple and mosque, we are forgetting the main issues,” he added.
In its resolution, the Jamiat expressed its concern over “the growing tide of hatred and animosity against Muslims in the country”. “In the name of the clothing, food, faith, festival or language and economy etc., Indians are being pitted against their own countrymen. Instead of engaging youths in constructive work, they are being used as a tool to wreak havoc. And the most unfortunate part… is that the government of the day is patronising these destructive activities.” “…The anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic propaganda in our country is tarnishing our country’s image. As a result, anti-India forces are getting an opportunity to advance their nefarious agenda on the international platform,” it added.
Stating that “every tactic is being used to disappoint, provoke and mislead Muslim youths, the Jamiat told them to “not get discouraged and lose patience”.
In its declaration, Muslims were told to work for the betterment of their future.
“We had a chance to go to Pakistan (during the Partition) but we did not go. Those who ask (us) to go to Pakistan, should leave the country and go anywhere they want to. This is our country and we will not leave,” Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind president Maulana Mahmood Asad Madani was quoted, as saying.
During the two-day meeting, attended by nearly 3,000 members of the outfit, the Jamiat said that Muslims will not accept any change in the Muslim Personal Law and expressed “deep concern over attempts to enforce a uniform civil code”. “We demand a clear ordinance be issued regarding the protection of Muslim personal law keeping in view the basic provisions of the Constitution of India,” the resolution said.
Admitting that Muslim youth were lagging behind in education, the meeting discussed the steps needed to provide proper education to boys and girls in the community.
“It was decided that we need more schools and colleges for boys and girls, instead of madrasas,” said Farooqui, adding people should adopt and learn languages that are most spoken in the country so that communication with other communities becomes easier.
“The Central and state governments should take necessary steps to improve the educational and economic condition of the Muslims… At the same time this session strongly urges Muslims to move forward in the field of education and economy with full vigour,” the resolution stated.
The Jamiat also resolved to “dispel misconceptions being spread regarding Islamic teachings”.” …misconceptions about Islam are being spread through systematic planning. These misconceptions are affecting not only peace-loving citizens but our young generation is being misled too. These misconceptions are being created especially with regard to terrorism, extremism and unfair treatment of women etc.,” said the release.
The Jamiat also demanded stringent law to deal with issues of insult to the Prophet and revered personalities of other religions.