Any attempt to “impose” Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) agenda and curtail religious freedom of Muslims will be challenged at all appropriate levels, members of All India Muslim Personal Law Board asserted today while vowing to carry out a campaign to clear “misunderstandings” spread by the Sangh outfits.
Issues like religious conversion, inclusion of chapter of Bhagwad Gita in syllabus and introduction of Yoga and Surya Namaskar in schools were raised at the 24th national meeting of AIMPLB, an apex Muslim body.
The members accused RSS and other Hindu outfits of trying to force their agenda on Muslims. They alleged that the agenda of development on which Narendra Modi had contested election has been “left behind”, according to the members present at the conclave.
The members expressed the need for undertaking an extensive campaign to reach out to the masses to clear “misunderstandings and misconceptions” about the community.
“The country has a secular Constitution and the government cannot force people to learn chapters of the religious book of a particular community. Inclusion chapters of Gita in school syllabus is not appropriate,” Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahli of Imam-e-Eidgah Lucknow told PTI after attending a session in the ongoing general body meeting of the Board.
“There was a consensus in the session that we should undertake a campaign against the propaganda and agenda of RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP and other such organisation in order to remove misconception for the Muslim community. This is needed in context of today when these organisations are trying to force its agenda on us,” he said.
Alleging that these organisations are the “main forces” behind the “divide” between Hindus and Muslims, Khalid said that it was suggested in the meeting that the campaign should also work to restore communal harmony and work along with Hindus to remove misconception and misunderstanding about the community.
“We should involve Hindu people in our events, seminars and conferences so that misunderstanding about the community can be removed. This will also strengthen communal harmony,” he said.
Kamal Faruqui, former Chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission, said that the country’s image has suffered in the international forum and the board was concerned about it.
He said members opposed any attempt to make compulsory Yoga and Surya Namaskar in schools as the practice was ritualistic in nature and was against Islam.
“The issues related with religious freedom were discussed in the meeting and the members were totally against any such practice which deprives one of his Constitutional rights. Not only Muslims, but Christians are also being targeted which is unfortunate. We will go to the court if needed to protect our Constitutional rights,” he said.
The meeting was inaugurated by AIMPLB president Maulana Rabe Hasni Nadvi who said that the country was being taken in a “certain direction”.
He said that the necessity which was being felt today by the Muslim community to protect their religion and culture was the result of their own weakness, according to an official release here.
The meeting convener Maulana Fazlur Rahim Mujaddidi said that some people were talking to amend personal law but no one has the right to do so.