By New Age Islam Special Correspondent
20 April, 2015
An “Anti-Terrorism Conference” of Ulema held in Delhi on 19 April strongly denounced every form of terrorism, injustice and corruption. It proclaimed its standpoint that “peaceful coexistence” is the only way of life that can ensure peace and security for all religious communities in India. A number of Ulema, academicians, activists and politicians participated in the conference and stressed the need for elimination of extremism, terrorism calling for peaceful coexistence among all faith adherents as ‘glorious’ and ‘invincible’ principle to abide by, in all circumstances.
In his inaugural remarks, Senior Sunni-Sufi Islamic scholar Maulana Yaseen Akhtar Misbahi, the host of the event, explained why he felt the need to organise this conference. He said: “regrettably, we have witnessed in our country, during the last years, acts of violence and terror perpetrated by the terrorist outfits such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad much in the same way as the global extremist organisations like Al-Qaida and ISIS are perpetrating atrocities, brazenly violating Islam in the name of Islam, Jihad and Khilafat.” Maulana Misbahi said that the conference was planned to strongly, unambiguously and unequivocally declare all such pernicious and obnoxious acts as mindless violence of the extremists. “We also proclaim that they have nothing to do with the peace-loving and pluralistic Indian Muslims who are vehemently opposed to the handful terrorist goons”, said Maulana Yaseen Akhtar Misbahi.
He continued that “terrorism is not confined to only launching physical attacks, suicide bombing and using weapons of mass destruction. It includes every form of harm and atrocity which can be perpetrated in action or thought against people of one’s own or other community.” He said that “Indian Muslims are against every form of terror whether physical or theoretical.” He also appealed to Muslims to take pride in being ‘Indians’ just as they feel proud to be Muslims. He said that Muslims in India are living in a safe haven as compared to many countries where Muslims constitute the majority.
Senior journalist and former MP, Mr. Kuldip Nayyar endorsed the points made by Maulana Misbahi. He said that “we first take pride in our Indianness, and then in our belonging to Hindusim, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, or any religion for that matter”. He made it clear that “conflating any particular religion with terrorism is completely erroneous and misguiding”. In the course of his talk, he also recalled his personal meeting with Muhmmad Ali Jinnah, while reflecting on the causes behind the partition of India”.
In his speech, Justice Rajinder Sachar hit out at his critics who spread wrong propaganda about Muslims and other minorities. He said that Muslims and Christians in India are not outsiders but an integral part of the country. “Secularism has been an integral element of Islam for more than 1400 years.” He added that secularism means religious equality and that no religion is superior to others. He also stressed Swami Vivekanand’s philosophy of Vedantism, who had asked the adherents of faiths not to treat themselves as superior to others. He said all religions are equal before law and India is incomplete without Vedanta’s brain and Islam’s body. He also lauded the peaceful and progressive teachings of Islam which stress equality, education, secularism, equal rights to women and right of inheritance. He lamented the attitude to see Muslims with suspicion in the wake of any incident of terrorists.
Acharya Pramod Krishnan said that Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) came as a blessing for all worlds, not only for Muslims. Therefore, he should be revered by us all, he said. He also sang a Naat (a poetic hagiography of the Prophet pbuh) which he had himself written. He further said that “communalist elements in this country seek to divide mankind in the name of religion but their plans will miserably fail in this country of composite culture. He reiterated that Islam or any other faith never taught disintegration or division. “While Bhagat Singh shed his blood in his independence struggle, Ashfaqullah also sacrificed his life. This country is like a bouquet which is made by many colourful flowers” he said.
Maulana Maqbool Ahmad Misbahi, founder, Jamia Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin said that “at a time when both Islamists and Islamophobes are actively engaged in demonizing Islam and Muslims on the pretext of Jihad, it is about time we mainstream Muslims condemn and refute the acts of the handful terrorist goons, while explaining the true essence of Jihad and denouncing every form of terrorism categorically and unequivocally.”
Former MP Mohammad Adeeb said that “this conference should also draw the attention of the central government to the communal elements that launched terrorist attacks the holy shrine of Ajmer Sharif, Shah Jahani Jama Masjid Delhi, Makka Masjid Hyderabad, Malegaon and Samjhauta Express. While denouncing these acts of terror, the conference should make a humble appeal to the government to bring the perpetrators to the justice.”
General V.K Singh said that “terrorism has no association with any particular community and it makes no distinction on the basis of religion”. Therefore, people of all faith traditions should get united in the war on terrorism to collectively curb this menace”.
Shakeel Hasan Shamsi, Editor Urdu Daily Inquilab, said that during the last years, Muslims have paid the biggest price of terrorism. He said that Muslims suffered heaviest loss caused by the atrocities of terrorists, whether they are Boko Haram, ISISI or Al-Qaida. He lamented that “it is an irony that Boko Haram which kills Muslims for acquiring western education and choosing modern life style, uses the western weapons for the mass killing of innocent Muslims and non-Muslims.” He put across a survey and enumerated that in every new month, 900 people die of violent extremism and dangerous terrorism. Of which, he said, 99 percent comprises of Muslims.
Professor Akhtar ul Wasey, Chairman of Linguistic Minorities Commission, said that “ISIS and Boko Haram should be treated as first and foremost enemies of Islam today.” “Whatever harm they are causing to humanity is also akin to the destruction and violation of the tenets of Islam”, he said.
Mufti Mukarram Ahmad, Shahi Imam Jama Masjid Fatahpuri said that “misguided Muslim youths in different Muslim countries falsely and quite wrongly attribute their militant goals and violent acts to Jihad. They are actually playing as tools in some hands to serve their vested interests. Even in the state of defensive war, Islam did not permit the killing of women, children, innocent and non-combatant civilians. How, then, Islam can sanction the grave brutalities of a terrorist outfit or an individual in the name of Jihad?
Group Editor, Sahara Urdu Publications, Syed Faisal Ali said that “the innocent Muslim youths languishing in the jails, with no offence, must be freed and brought back to their decent life and jobs with their salaries restored to them, in addition to the compensation of their financial loss. Also, those officers who falsely accused them of being the guilty must also be punished.”
Dr. Zafrul Islam Khan, President Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat said that “one of the instances of terrorism was the demolition of Babri Masjid.” He said that the tragic incidents of Hashim Pura, Malyana, Meerut and the mass killings in Gujarat, Muzaffarnagar etc. were a grave travesty of injustice that can only be redressed by bringing both the criminals and victims to justice.
Dr. Iqtidar Mohmmad Khan, Head of the Department of Islamic Studies, JMI,said that “in order to maintain peace and security in the country and foster its progress on the constructive lines, the government should channelize all its resources and powers meting out the equal treatment to all Indian communities and according them fair and equal opportunities in all walks of life”.
At the conclusion of the conference, Maulana Ashraful Kausar read out the proposals and recommendations. The Anti-Terrorism Conference appealed to the central government to curb terrorism, discourage extremism and control the communal elements which are trying to inject the communalist ideology into the minds of Indian citizens. It also demanded that the recommendations and proposals of Shri Krishna Committee, Sachchar Committee and Gopal Painal Commission are implemented and translated into action for the all-round development of Muslims in India.
Among other eminent speakers and guests were Svami Dev Anand, Muni Jain Kumar, Dr Kamal Faruqi, Svami Pakash Hani, Maulana Tauqir Raza Khan, Father D. Emanuel, Adocate Jagjeet Sohag, and many others.
The program convener Maulana Aqleem Raza Misbahi said that “the conference states in the strongest and the most spirited words that “Calling an act of terror “Jihad” or declaring Jihad as “Terrorism” is the gravest form of Terrorism in the 21st Century”.
The conference was organized by Limra Foundation, which started in the last evening on Sunday and had lasted for seven hours. Maulana Zafruddin Barkati, the program anchor, and Maulana Zainullah Nizami gave vote of thanks.