Indian Muslim clerics’ body endorses anti-terrorism edict

June 12th, 2008 - 12:36 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) The Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind, a body of Indian Muslim clerics and scholars, has fully endorsed a recent fatwa against terrorism and plans to organise 12 conferences in the coming weeks to spread the edict’s message across the country. Darul-Uloom, a renowned centre for Islamic theology located at Deoband in Uttar Pradesh, had issued the edict at a conference May 31, opposing terrorism in all its manifestations, stating that “killing of innocent people is not compatible with Islam”.

The edict is the first of its kind anywhere in the world by Muslim theologians.

It was endorsed a day later at a congregation of 300,000 Muslims at New Delhi’s historic Ramlila Ground at which government ministers and representatives of different faiths participated.

The Dalai Lama also addressed the gathering.

Jamiat president Arshad Madani told a select media gathering here Wednesday that Muslim clerics from across India will meet here this month-end to chalk out a detailed programme “to reinforce the secular content in the country’s political discourse”.

This had become necessary because “those who indulge in terror attacks accuse Muslims of extremism and implicate community members in false cases of violence and terrorism”.

Madani said the Islamic world was currently facing “a critical phase” as the Muslim community and Islam were being falsely linked to terrorism.

He did not mention any Indian political party or group, but pointed out that no punitive action was taken against those who destroyed the 15th century Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992 and killed many Muslims during the 2002 riots in Gujarat.

Madani regretted that India’s “secular and democratic forces” had remained “silent spectators”.

Set up by Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madani, the Jamiat has played an anti-British role and had broadly supported the Congress party during the freedom movement.

India’s Muslim population is estimated to be 140 million, the second-largest in the world after Indonesia.

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