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Home / India / Don’t fight fire with fire: Muslim leaders urge community

'Defeat hatred with love'

Don’t fight fire with fire: Muslim leaders urge community

The message of peace has emerged from a gathering of over 5,000 clerics and religious scholars in Saharanpur
Maulana Mahmood Madani and other clerics during the congregation in Deoband.
Maulana Mahmood Madani and other clerics during the congregation in Deoband.
PTI picture

Piyush Srivastava   |   Lucknow   |   Published 29.05.22, 02:00 AM

Muslim religious leaders have urged the community “not to fight fire with fire” but to “defeat hatred with love”, and rued the silence of the government as “fanatics” try to poison society and weaken the country.

The message of peace has emerged from a gathering of over 5,000 clerics and religious scholars in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh at a time a concerted campaign is under way to file cases demanding the takeover of Muslim places of worship, capping attempts to intimidate the minorities through physical and livelihood attacks, citizenship bias and genocide calls.

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Maulana Mahmood Madani, president of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hindi that is organising the two-day national convention at the Idgah Ground in Deoband, said on Saturday: “We don’t need to fight fire with fire; we need to maintain peace and follow traditions by playing a role in the positive development of the country even when some groups have been trying to poison society.

“The fanatics will succeed in their game plan if we react in the same spirit. We should try to defeat hatred with love.”

Madani added: “The number of worshippers of hatred has suddenly multiplied in the country. The silence of the government is unfortunate. But we will face this situation and never let the fanatics weaken the country.”

Madani told reporters later on Saturday that several resolutions would be passed at the convention. They include demanding that the government implement the 267th report of the Law Commission of India that had recommended a separate law against those who incite communal violence.

The participants agreed to observe March 14 as “International Day to Combat Islamophobia” and requested Muslims not to publicly vent their anger against “Hindutva fanatics”. “We will pass many more resolutions by Sunday evening,” Madani said.

Mufti Abdul Qasim Nomani, vice-chancellor of the Darul Uloom Deoband, the 156-year-old seminary, said: “India is like a garden of different plants where people of different religions, ideologies and cultures have been living with love for each other for centuries. However, some people are conspiring to vitiate the atmosphere by creating hatred between people and harming the development of the country.”

He added: “We need to be careful about these forces and at the same time, focus on education to take the country to another level of development.”

The Darul Uloom is one of the most respected Islamic universities in the world and students from across the globe study there. However, the RSS and the BJP have been trying to portray the seminary as a “nursery of terrorism”.

Deoband has always spoken in favour of a secular India and dissociated itself from political parties and divisive groups.

The 103-year-old Jamiat, an association of clerics, has many members who are alumni of the Darul Uloom.

Maulana Salman Bijnauri, a teacher at the Darul Uloom, said at the convention: “A sense of Islamophobia has been created across India to isolate Muslims from the economic and social mainstream. This was the reason we proposed a campaign against such misinformation about Islam. We need to tell people the reality so we can build confidence among other communities. This is how we can gradually destroy the theory of Islamophobia and make people believe that we are equal stakeholders in taking the country forward.”

The proposal was supported by most participants, including Mufti Salman Mansoorpuri, a teacher at the Darul Uloom, Mufti Habuburrahman Ilahabadi and Maulana Shamsuddin, and was included in the resolution.



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