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Monday, 22 August 2011

Muslim bodies back Anna's cause

PATNA: Muslims who have largely stayed away from Anna Hazare's movement so far, are now likely to take part in it following the celebrated Islamic seminary, Darul Uloom, Deoband, coming out in its support and Imarat Shariah, a highly respected religious body of Bihar, also supporting the issues raised by the Gandhian leader.

Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz, a socio-political organization of backward class Muslims, also extended its unequivocal support to Anna and his cause on Monday.

This was in sharp contrast to the call of Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmad Bukhari, to Muslims to keep away from the movement as the agitators were raising slogans of 'Vande Matram' and 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', which, he said, was against the Islamic tenets.

Imarat Shariah said the issue of corruption taken up by Anna Hazare was very positive. Its general secretary, Maulana Anisur Rahma Qasmi, told TOI that he also supported the inclusion of Prime Minister and judiciary in the ambit of Lokpal. "In the Islamic Shariat laws, nobody is above law and can be tried irrespective of his post," he said.

Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz's national president and Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar Ansari said in a statement that a meeting would be held at his New Delhi residence on Tuesday, after which he and his supporters would march to Ramlila Maidan. Arrangements were being made for Iftar and 'magrib' namaz at the Maidan.

He asked the Shahi Imam not to nurse the idea of being the leader of Muslims. "Vote-abadi hamari, fatwa tumhara" won't work, he said.

The Mahaz would take out a rally from Gandhi statue in Gandhi Maidan in Patna to Kargil Chowk at 3pm on Tuesday, where it would culminate into a meeting.

In another important development, RJD's lone MLA in Delhi assembly Asif Mohammad Khan on Monday resigned from the party in protest against the party supremo Lalu Prasad's stand vis a vis Anna. He also condemned Syed Bukhari.

Taking a plunge in the agitation spearheaded by Anna Hazare, the MLA from Okhla told TOI on phone from Delhi, "I have appealed to all the MPs and legislators in the country to break the barrier of party affiliation and join the public movement. This movement has been launched by people, and as we had been elected by people we should join this agitation."

Lalu had rejected Anna's agitation saying he was acting as an unconstitutional authority undermining the supremacy of parliament.

Khan said, "If Bukhari has a problem with chanting of `Vande Matram', Muslims should reject his advice and join the agitation with the slogan of `Allah-O-Akbar' without any fear." In Islam there is no place for corruption and those involved in corruption would go to hell, the maverick RJD MLA said.

Imarat Shariah's Qasmi also said 'Vande Matram' was not an issue, as it was not mandatory for the people joining the movement to chant it.


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