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Muslim clerics to gather for brainstorming in Hyderabad
Published on 7 Nov. 2008 1:10 AM IST
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From the shootout in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar to Palestine, thousands of Muslim clerics will discuss an entire gamut of issues facing the community at a two-day conference over the weekend in Hyderabad. Many participants Thursday boarded a special train, Sheikh-Ul-Hind express, also known as the train for national integration and peace, from the Uttar Pradesh town of Deoband for Hyderabad to attend the Ijlaas-e-aam (congregation of all) on Saturday and Sunday. The meeting, to be attended by representatives of all prominent Muslim organisations, has been called by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind. “It is in line with the tradition of the Jamiat that this call has been given to discuss the issues related to the community. Prominent among them are terrorism and profiling of Muslims done in the name of terrorism,” said Qari Usman of the 150-year-old Darul Uloom seminary in Deoband. Other issues that will be discussed are the implementation of the Sachar Committee report (which dealt with the social, economic and educational status of Muslims), the Ranganathan Mishra committee report (which recommended reservation for Muslims in education and employment) and some international issues like Palestine and Iraq, he added. The Sep 19 shootout in Jamia Nagar -- in which two suspected terrorists that police said were behind the Delhi serial blasts were killed along with a police officer. -- and the demand for a judicial probe could also be included in the resolutions adopted at the two-day meet. Conferences like these are the best way to attract the attention of the government towards the problems of the community, said Mujtaba Farooq, general secretary of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. India is home to the third largest Muslim population after Indonesia and Pakistan. This would put the pressure on the “government to take necessary steps to address the issues”. There have been similar congregations held recently. On Oct 14, the Shahi Imam, or chief cleric, of the Jama Masjid in Delhi called an all India meeting in the wake of the Jamia Nagar incident. In May, about 15,000 Muslims from across the country gathered at Delhi’s Ramlila grounds to take a pledge to fight terrorism. Before that, in February, a major congregation of Muslim clerics was held by the Darul Uloom seminary in Deoband, where a fatwa condemning terrorism was issued. “Deoband has a history of being a nationalist seminary. This can be judged from the fact that its first graduate Maulana Mahmood Hasan established a government in exile in Kabul with Raja Mahender Pratap during India’s struggle for independence. The (special) train is to send the message of peace as well from the community,” said Qari Usman.

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