Muslims welcome Advani separating terrorism from Islam

December 12th, 2008 - 12:21 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) Members of the Muslim community, including clerics, have welcomed Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani’s statement in parliament Thursday that Pakistan was the “epicentre” of terrorism, but there was no connection between Islam and terrorism and spiritual Islam was to be respected.”It is the political Islam of the kind as propagated by the extremist organisations from the soil of Pakistan, that should be fought against, and there are forces in Pakistan who are unrelenting in their hatred for terror and misuse of the name of Islam to whip up anti-India sentiment,” Advani said in his speech in Lok Sabha.

The statement has been welcomed by members of the Muslim community.

“I welcome the statement of Advani. In our conferences and fatwas we have reiterated that terrorism is un-Islamic, people killing innocents in the name of Islam are doing something that is not permissible in Islam and is against the teachings of Islam,” Mufti Yasin of Deoband told IANS.

Kalim Khan, a resident of Jamia Nagar in Delhi, said the statement of Advani could be seen as a departure from the earlier stand of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has always tried to target Muslims in the name of terrorism for political gains.

“It is good to know that Advani has tried to separate Islam from terrorism. Instead of politicising the issue. We all should fight this evil together,” Khan told IANS.

Arshad Alam, a member of the Jamia Teachers Solidarity Group, wondered whether the statement was Advani’s personal belief or it was shared by the BJP cadre as well.

“Such a statement can be a personal stand of Advani. However, if it is the belief in most of the sections of BJP and the Sangh Parivar then we have hope that things will change in our civil society. I hope this statement doesn’t make Advani have to face the criticism he did after he said that Jinnah was secular and a great man,” Alam said.

Advani was the target of severe criticism from members of the Sangh Parivar in 2005 for appreciating Muhammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, as a ‘great man’ while paying homage at his mausoleum.

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