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Jamaat-e-Islami favours inter-faith dialogue

New Delhi: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), one of the most popular and dedicated Muslim organisations in the country, held all India conference of its members who converged on Delhi from all over the country.

The conference began Friday, October 25 afternoon, at the organisation's sprawling headquarters in south Delhi. On October 28, the conclave concluded after deliberating for four days on various issues confronting the Indian Muslim community at home and abroad as well as the country.

JIH conference on this national level is held every five years. This meeting was held for the first time after major violent incidents shook the country and the Muslim community to the core the anti-Muslim pogroms in the communally-sensitive western Indian state of Gujarat.

Ejaz Ahmed Aslam, JIH secretary for press and publications, told MG that the organisation had been holding such conferences from time to time to take stock of the situation prevailing in the country and the world and to discuss important social issues as well to revise its own activities.

"A conference on this level was organised at Hyderabad in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in 1997," he said adding that nearly 5,000 Jamaat arkan (core cadres) and a large number of women participated in the four-day conference. JIH has over 6,000 arkan.

Providing details about the programme, Mr. Aslam said that the conference discussed issues like the present policies of JIH in India, its relevance and methodology, resurgence of capitalism and imperialism, Indian democracy, review of the onslaught against Islam and Muslims and how to combat it.

According to Ejaz Aslam, the meeting also deliberated on the increasing menace of fascism, present needs and requirements of the Islamic Movement and how to meet them, problems faced by women during movement activities and their solutions, causes and remedies of poverty and backwardness among Muslims, mutual relations and dealings, and the menace of terrorism and how to counter it.

On the concluding day resolutions on various issues were also passed. JIH expressed its deep concern over the present situation in the country. It said that all the countrymen should take serious notice of the growing communalism, aggressive tendencies, violation of human rights, criminalisation of politics, crime against women, violation of ethical values, suicides by farmers, starvation deaths and similar other maladies. Regarding the issuance of ordinance by Tamil Nadu government about religious conversion, JIH deemed it as unnecessary, ill-conceived and improper. 

Concerning the issue of spread of education in the country, the organisation said that the trend of privatisation of professional education and slow progress in the establishment of governmental institutions in these fields, is deplorable and harmful in the present social context. In its resolution, JIH also appreciated the good role of madrasahs in promoting education and expressed its anger and resentment against the government report which labels them as a security risk.

Regarding the international scenario, JIH, in its resolution expressed its deep concern over the post-September 11 global situation in which violation of human rights has become the norm especially violation of freedom of expression. "The United Nations and internal fora have been marginalised and the United States and its president are dictating terms to the whole world. Numerous actions against Islam and Muslims are being taken," it said.

JIH was established in 1941, when India was still under the British colonial yoke and the nation was not partitioned. Its founder, Maulana Syed Abul A'la Maududi, was born in what is now the state of Andhra Pradesh in south India. His family lineage comes down from a long line of Sufis, and his name Maudud is derived from Khwaja Qutubuddin Maudud, founder of the Chishti order.

The personality of Maulana Maududi stands out as a giant in the field of Islamic revivalism in the 20th century. His teachings and thoughts have ignited a spark in the Subcontinent and have influenced the Muslim outlook throughout the world.

After the country's partition, the Indian Jamaat ceased to function as an organisation for some time. It regrouped under late Maulana Abul Laith Islahi. The Jamaat severed its ties from its parental organisation and was re-named "Jamaat-e-Islami Hind."

The JIH stands today as the most organised religious and political organisation in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and has become a force to reckon with. The Jamaat in both Pakistan and Bangladesh is a political force today.

The organisation in India is vigorously engaged in Islamic Da'wah through literature, publications and field work. It was instrumental in translating Islamic books, especially the Holy Q'uran, into many regional languages of India.

Besides, JIH has also been working towards inter-religious dialogue and communal harmony, especially with the Hindu majority, so that the true perspective of Islam is suitably presented.

Danish A Khan

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