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Published in the 16-29 Feb 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Darul Uloom asks Muslims to respect 
Hindu sentiments

Saharanpur: In a significant gesture on the eve of Eid ul-Zuha, the influential Darul Uloom school of Islamic theology on 1 Feb asked Muslims to sacrifice animals other than cows in states where cow-slaughter is banned. 

"Though cow-slaughter is legitimate under Shariat, it is advised that sheep, goat and camel be sacrificed in states where there is a ban on cow-slaughter. The law of the land should not be violated and peace should be maintained in the states and the country," Mufti Habibur Rahman, head of the Darul’s fatwa bench, said. 

Observing that Hindus respected and worshipped cows, he said instead of cows, the community should sacrifice other animals, and thus help establish peace and goodwill. 

Jamiat-Ulema-Hind said killing of cows would hurt the sentiments of Hindu brethren. Muslims should voluntarily stop killing cows, Jamiat general secretary Maulana Mehmood Madani said, noting that the Jamiat had passed a resolution more than a year ago in this regard.

The RSS, which has been demanding a ban on cow-slaughter welcomed the move saying it would pave the way for establishment of good relations between Hindus and Muslims. "It was long overdue," RSS spokesman Ram Madhav told PTI, adding "with this, one of the major issues of contention has disappeared." The RSS spokesman expressed hope that the Muslim community would respond positively to this gesture and implement it in letter and spirit.

He said Hindu organisations had been asking Muslims to give up killing cows as it was "a barrier in the development of good relations between Hindus and Muslims." In Mumbai, VHP leader Praveen Togadia welcomed the move, describing it as a "historic milestone" in Indian history in the last 1,000 years.

"This is historically very significant", Togadia said adding, "if Muslim society and ulema really wanted to respect Hindu sentiments, as they claim, they should immediately withdraw the Ram Mandir case unconditionally."
(PTI, Feb.02, 04) 

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