Indian Muslim Apex Body Deliberates on National and International Situation

New Delhi, 19 November, 2011: The Central Committee (Markazi Majlis) of the All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, the umbrella body of Indian Muslim organisations, met here today at the central office, under the chairmanship of the national president Syed Shahabuddin and was attended by the following members:

Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan (Working President), Mr. Janab Mohammad Jafar (Vice President), Maulana Mohammad Irfanul Husaini (Vice President), Janab Nusrat Ali (General Secretary, Jamaat-e Islami Hind), Maulana Asghar Ali Imam Mehdi Salfi (General Secretary, Markzi Jamiat Ahl-e Hadees), Janab Ahmad Rashid Shervani (General Secretary), Prof. S.M. Yahya, Janab S.M.Y. Nadeem, Prof. Shakil Ahmad, Janab Mohammad Abdul Qayyum (former General Secretary), Abdul Khaliq (General Secretary, Lokjanshakti Party) and Janab Irfanullah Khan.

The meeting discussed a number of Milli and national issues like the forthcoming U.P. Elections, Lokpal issue, Right to Education Act and its implications for Muslim educational institutions, Subramaniam Swamy’s article and Election Commission of India’s reaction to the same based on complaints including AIMMM, Mushawarat Trust issues. The meeting also appointed Janab Ahmad Rashid Shervani (General Secretary) as the returning officer for the organisation’s elections to elect the central body next month.

The meeting deliberated on national and international issues and passed a number of resolutions which are as follows:

1. Reservation: The Central government has been delaying action on the recommendations of the Misra Commission to give ten percent reservation to the Muslim community. Now, Minority Ministry has reportedly forwarded a proposal to the Central Government to allocate a sub-quota for Muslim backward biradaris within the OBC quota. AIMMM rejects this backdoor approach which will only create unnecessary friction between Muslim and Hindu OBCs. Instead, the Central government must offer a separate quota for Muslims on the basis of Mishra Commission, which undoubtedly will be for the backward and needy among Muslims and not for the creamy layer classes. AIMMM urged the central government to implement its minority schemes in minority-concentrated areas and villages and publish dis-aggregated data about the same so that the real position may be known to the people.

2. Un-Islamic social practices: MMA strongly condemns and disapproves of un-Islamic social practices creeping into the Muslim society, especially in relation to marriages. The most reprehensible is the demand for dowry, going to the extent of rejecting agreed Rishtas if the dowry demand is not met, and harming or even killing brides if they fail to bring in the demanded dowry. Extravagant marriage functions are now the norm among the rich in the community where crores of rupees are spent on a single evening. A recent reprehensible development is the slow creeping in of the un-Islamic practice of “tilak” where monetary and other costly presents are offered to the would-be bridegroom at the time of marriage agreement. Ulama, Imams, Muftis and Muslim media should play their active role to educate the masses against these un-Islamic practices.

3. Acquittal/ bail of Terrorism-accused youth: The recent bail after five years’ incarceration of the nine accused in the Malegaon 2006 blast (only seven came out as two are implicated in other cases), brings to the fore the issue of thousands of Muslim youths languishing in jails for years across the country under similar charges even where Saffron terrorists are thought to be involved. AIMMM demands that where charge-sheets are not filed within six months of the arrests of such suspects, they should automatically get bail and when and where they are discharged, they should get proper compensation extracted from the salaries and provident funds of the concerned officers who falsely implicated them. AIMMM also demands that all investigations of terror-related cases must be handled only by the NIA which has been expressly created for this purpose.

4. “D” voters of Assam: A Guwahati High Court verdict last April to arrest all so-called “illegal immigrants” in Assam pending verification of their citizenship, which has since been stayed by a larger bench, has again brought the issue of “D” or “Doubtftul” voters of Assam to the fore. The bogey was created by a former bigoted governor, who also caused havoc in J&K. There is a need to re-look at the whole issue and return to the IMDT tribunals which alone should decide who is an alien in Assam and the onus should be firmly on the complainant to prove his/her claim that a certain person is an illegal immigrant.

5. Gujarat riot cases: Sardarpura is only half-justice as the masterminds have cleverly been saved by Modi regime. AIMMM feels that no justice is possible in Gujarat until Modi regime is removed along with the saffron prosecutors and judges it has planted in the system. AIMMM condemns Modi’s attempts to gag honoured activists, citizens and officers like Teesta Setalvad, Adv. Mukul Sinha and IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who are struggling to ensure justice in Gujarat.

6. Mass/Unidentified graves in J&K: There are around ten thousand persons in Kashmir who “disappeared” after their arrest or kidnapping by security agencies during the militancy years since late 1980s; their families have been searching for them all over the Valley and beyond all these years. Both the central and state governments denied these figures and even claimed that these people may have crossed over to the Pakistan-administered Kashmir. J&K State Human Rights Commission, however, confirmed last September the existence of 2156 “unidentified graves” in 38 graveyards across north Kashmir. It is high time the state and central governments accepted the truth, started a process of rehabilitation, reconciliation and compensation of the victim families and prosecution of the criminal elements responsible for these crimes.

7. Media: AIMMM lauds statements by Justice Katju, the new head of the Press Council of India, who has for the first time openly castigated the media for its tendency to criminalise the Muslim community and its rush to announce that Muslims are behind terror attacks hours after any incident. Media has to introspect hard and draw a charter of honour if it wants to be spared harsh laws to control it.

8. Saffron Terror: AIMMM finds it strange that the Central Government, and NIA in particular, are lukewarm to take action against the masterminds of the Hindutva terror. Those arrested so far are the foot soldiers who executed the plans while the masterminds and financiers are at large although names of some of them, like RSS’ Indresh Kumar, are mentioned even in the charge-sheet filed by Hemant Karkare in the Malegaon 2008 case. AIMMM demanded immediate ban on saffron terror outfits.

9. J&K: Though Interlocutors’ report, as leaked so far in the press, does not go far enough, its recommendations should be faithfully implemented in order to create an amicable and healthy atmosphere in J&K. Removal of AFSPA and rollback of laws imposed on the state after 1953 are basic requirements to create such an environment. It is a sad commentary on India that army has become a stakeholder in Kashmir and today it vetoes any political decision to withdraw or even curtail a totally unethical law enacted to control civilian population by use of soldiers. Official sources for years have conceded that there are barely 300-400 militants in the whole Valley of Kashmir (this year’s figure is just 200), yet Delhi finds it acceptable to keep an army of 700,000 in Kashmir. No peace and tranquility in Kashmir is possible while the army remains entrenched in the populated areas of the Valley.

10. Libya: AIMMM denounces the way Gaddafi was treated in his last moments. This behaviour of the rebels shows that those demanding change and rule of law do not themselves practice the same. AMMM is afraid that a new neo-colonial era has started in Libya and beyond where the US and its close allies will hold sway for decades.

11. Riots: Communal riots and one-sided attacks on Muslim by goons and policemen are back with a vengeance. According to Union Home Ministry, 773 incidents occurred in 2009, 651 in 2010 and 413 this year until 11 October 2011. AIMMM appeals to Muslim organisations, especially human rights groups, to now approach international and foreign human rights groups and forums and apprise them of the situation in India. AIMMM noted that the Central government is wavering in its commitment to introduce the proposed Communal Violence (Prevention) Bill in Parliament. AIMMM demanded that the bill should be tabled in Parliament during the winter session.

12. Sectarian politics: AIMMM notes with dismay last month’s so-called “Ulama and Mashaikh” Conference in Moradabad, looks at it as an attempt to divide the community, and notes that any movement based on sectarian considerations will only weaken the community.

13. Interference in Muslim personal laws: With a view to match current western legal wisdom, Indian courts have allowed live-in relationships including inheritance rights of such people, legalised same-sex unions, gave lifelong maintenance to divorced women etc. The latest is the verdict reported by Indian Express on 16 Nov. 2011 in which a Delhi judge has rejected the established principle that marriage in Islam is a contract. AIMMM noted that these legal issues are not contested in courts of law by the concerned bodies like AIMPLB, and as a result, with passage of time, they will become established law and will be applied to Muslims also despite the protection Muslim personal law enjoys to date in the country.