GAYA: Jamiatul Ulema-e-Hind, the most powerful body of nationalist clerics has distanced itself from the ‘Save Religion’ call given by senior cleric Wali Rahmani and the ‘Deen Bachao Desh Bachao’ conference scheduled for April 15 in Gandhi Maidan, Patna.
State chief of the Jamiatul Ulma-e-Hind Qari Moin said the conference may not achieve its stated purpose, rather it may prove to be counter-productive. “We will neither support nor oppose the conference,” said the cleric.
Defending the conference, Maulana Anisur Rahman Qasmi, former chief of the state Haj Committee and one of the event organisers said, “Deen (religion) does not mean Islam alone. It means honouring the freedom of religion guaranteed by the Indian Constitution,” said Qasmi.
He added that members of other belief systems, particularly OBCs and dalits are being invited to the conference. “Ruling out any political benefit to Hindutva forces,” Qasmi said the conference would strengthen secular forces in the country.
Without naming Moin, Qasmi said there was no compulsion on anybody to participate in the event. “The community cannot afford to go in hibernation,” he said.
Sources said women from outside Patna, have been barred from participating in an otherwise state-level conference. The bar on the participation of women, other than those living in Patna has been advertised through Urdu newspapers. Organisers have justified the ban for safety reasons.
Meanwhile, the event has triggered a debate on the social networking sites. Joining the social networking site discussion, Arif Hasan, a Bihar origin social scientist currently living in Malaysia called the event as ‘self-destructive’. “It will ultimately damage the Muslim cause,” said Hasan.
Expressing confidence in the wisdom of Wali Rahmani, chief of the Imarat-e- Shariah, Sharim Ali, former administrator of the State Sunni Wakf Board said, “The Shariah chief would not do anything that may, in any way, harm the community’s interests.”
Faiyaz Iqbal, another participant of the ongoing debate on the usefulness or otherwise of such conferences asked community leaders and clerics to focus on the spread of education in the community, as, education alone can solve most of the problems being faced by the community.