Article: Muslims wary of seminars, symposiums; want their leaders to take steps, not make statements

Quamar Ashraf

New Delhi: Back to back at least three big national conventions and seminars were organized over a period of 10 days by different sets of people, all Muslims, to deliberate upon the increasing hatred against Muslims. But all ended with adopting idealistic resolutions and declarations, without spelling out workable steps.

The two-day national convention of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushwarat (AIMMM), umbrella body of a slew of Muslim organizations, brought on board different Muslim religious sects together and issued a declaration setting all lofty ideals without spelling out mechanism to achieve the same; former Rajya Sabha MP Mohammad Adeeb announced everything after he held Muslim intellectual meet on 29 May without setting up of any working committee or so and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind promised moon with its leaders using sweet tongues to win silly hearts, but enumerated no plan of actions to tackle the situation.

Apart from all the lofty promises, the one common call of the three mega events was ‘unity among Muslim’; the one common message the Muslim mass derived from ‘brainstorming sessions’ was ‘disappointment’.

What appears unpalatable to the common Muslims is the need for holding mega events to deliberate upon ‘plan of action’. The All India Ittehad-e-Millat Council chief Tauqir Raza rightly said that the strategies are not made before camera and mic. Notably, he also suggested some workable plans but the press note issued to the media by the AIMMM mentioned little about them. AIMMM president Navaid Hamid, when contacted, said that the press release was issued after consensus among the participants.

On condition of anonymity, a journalist close to the umbrella body said, “Mushawarat  on its own is too weak to take calls independently. No affiliate organizations want the Mushawarat to get bigger than theirs.”  While its president over the years tried hard to bring many Muslim stalwarts under one roof, but in vain. For example, the AIMMM invited Jamiat leaders Mahmood Madani and Arshad Madani to address its national convention, but they didn’t turn up. The uncle-nephew duo didn’t even “had the courtesy  to say sorry for their absence”. Notably, NCP chief Sharad Yadav sent his message apologising for not taking part in the convention, citing his prior engagements. When asked, AIMMM chief too didn’t speak a word about their absence, preferring to put forth a dignified excuse –  some engagements – for their absence.

However, a Jamiat leader, according to Roznama Khabrein, bluntly shunned the unity call stating ‘our (Jamiat and AIMMM) ways are different.’ The two-day meeting of Jamiat management committee ended with oft-repeated statements with its leader Mahmood Madani characteristically adopting ‘holier than thou’ approach, but not clearly spelling out any plans to tackle the situation. During his address to the event Madani, who had earned shame for initially supporting the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, also shed tears to show his concern for the country. Since Madanis are darling to the press, they issue ‘guarded, press-centric’ statements. “Their main focus is to get a mugshot in newspapers, so it is futile to expect anything from them. In fact, they don’t mingle with other Muslim organizations,” said a journalist working with an Urdu daily published from Delhi, requesting anonymity. Since the Jamiat’s has ‘a huge number of heads’ compared to other Muslim organisations, Madanis want others to follow it, he argued.

On the other hand, Mohammad Adeeb didn’t invite anyone from any big religious organizations for its collaborative platform Muslim Intellectual Council stating that it was gathering of ‘intellectuals’. The former Rajya Sabha MP relied upon the Muslim leaders, most of whom apologetically identify themselves with the Muslim mass, for the ‘success’ of the programme. It also reflected in statement of former member of Planning Commission Syeda Syedain Hameed who said, albeit in different context, that she was now began to identified as ‘Muslim woman’ unlike some years ago when she was only a ‘woman’.

The pathetic part is that common Muslims look to these organizations and individuals to address the volatile situation despite the fact that they failed to stand up to the expectation. Maulana Yasin Usmani of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board said right said during the AIMMM’s national convention that the “Muslim leaders are not united, Muslim masses are”.  Noted Muslim cleric Maulana Sajjad Nomani in an interview warned that the existing Muslim leaders ought to give a guideline to the Muslim youth failing which the latter will be left misguided and the country as a whole will face disastrous consequences. He underlined the need for a new leadership. Courtesy Muslim Mirror

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