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Jamiat Ulama leaders meet Prime Minister Modi, demand rule of law, regular dialogue

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New Delhi: Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind’s top leadership held a much publicized meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While Indian Muslims’ leading socio-religious organization had announced its plan to meet Modi in advance, many people and community leader are criticizing the Jamiat and its leaders Mahmood Madani.

Despite criticism, many people have welcomed the initiative by Mahmood Madani and Badruddin Ajmal Qasmi. Perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal Qasmi is also the chief of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), an Assam based political party that has become an important player in the state’s politics. Ajmal is also a Lok Sabha MP.

A delegation of leaders from the Muslim Community, under the umbrella of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, calls on the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on May 09, 2017.

Till now, only people of dubious records had been meeting the Prime Minister, claiming to be the representatives of the Muslim community. The latest development will bring the mainstream Muslim community in direct contact with Prime Minister and his advisors. It must be kept in mind that the Jamiat is the biggest Muslim organization in the country, with huge support base in Northern, Eastern and Western parts of the country.

Muslims make more around 20 percent of India’s 1.3 billion population. Lack of dialogue between Muslims and the government will deprive no one but the 200  million strong Indian Muslim community.

In a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Modi, Jamiat demanded rule of law in the country. “Supremacy of Rule of Law is must for the security, integrity and development of our country. No one is above the law. It must be administered with total impartiality and equality. Your recent reprimand to private groups taking law in their hands and launching murderous attacks for salvaging cows has sent the correct message but much has to be done by law enforcing agencies and the state administration. The recent incidents of manslaughter on the pretext of cow slaughter have sent shock waves of terror and fear through Muslim, Dalit and the weakest sections of the society. We are afraid that the fear and despondence if unchecked could prove highly counterproductive” the memorandum said.

It went on to concur that terrorism is a huge challenge for the country. “There is no doubt that terrorism, fueled and perpetuated by enemy forces tops our agenda with reference to our national security, peace and stability. There have been attempts to communalise even this issue. We have always condemned such attempt and consistently campaigned at the national level in cooperation with all communities against terrorism as well as religious bigotry and extremism. We are happy to note that in the context of tarnishing the image of Islam and Muslim globally you made the Indian Muslim communities hold their head high by projecting Indian Muslim community’s ideology of peaceful Islam with reference to India’s tradition of Islamic Sufism and their aversion to extremist ideology. We appreciate this on your part and on our part reiterate our commitment to enable India lead counter terrorism campaign by example. However, for controlling the menace of terrorism, the law must be enforced effectively with total impartiality. Every caution should be exercised to ensure that no innocent person is victimized” the memorandum said.

“Muslim community has issues and grievances just like any other community which have to be dealt with as per the exigency but this shouldn’t undermine their aspiration to be equal stake holder. These issues should be deliberated upon and solved amicably so that none of the communities have a feeling of discrimination on the basis of religion and they feel their duty and share in the country’s development equally which tallies with identity of our beloved country. The delegation requests the Honorable PM to create mechanism for access to him or his appointee for continuing dialogue and closer understanding so that Muslim community is assured of its role and share in the development of our country” it went on to say.

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