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Published in the 1-15 July 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

US humiliates Shia ulama

By Masood Hasan

The Milli Gazette Online

Lucknow: Shias of Lucknow are feeling outraged by the continued humiliation of their Ulema by the United States. The United States has been embarrassing and humiliating the Shia Ulema since they organized demonstrations against the United States in Lucknow in the wake of its invasion of Iraq.

Maulana At-har

Maulana At-har

Chairman of the newly formed All-India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) Mirza Mohammad At-har was deported from New York on 18 June. He had a valid visa to enter the US for three weeks but was told that his visa has been cancelled. He has decided to meet the US embassy officials in Delhi. He will apprise them of the humiliating behaviour of the immigration officials at the NY airport. He said that the reason obviously is that he has assailed the American Army for desecrating the Quran during the conference of the AISPLB in Lucknow last month. Maulana At-har had appealed to the US to punish the personnel responsible for the desecration of the Quran. Ostensibly this has irritated the US. 

Sore over allegations levelled by a religious leader of his community against him, Maulana At-har said that when the AISPLB was constituted, a Maulana blamed him that the new Board was formed at the instance of America. He reminded that if he had formed the Board in consultation with the US, why he would have been humiliated in that country?

This is not the first case of humiliation and embarrassment of Shia ulama by the US. The Vice-President of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board and renowned Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Sadiq was earlier deported from New York port. Maulana Sadiq was grilled and humiliated for three days by the US immigration authorities at the airport. He was asked by the officials to tell the purpose of his visit. The fact is that Maulana Kalbe Sadiq has been visiting America for the last several years during the month of Moharram for preaching religious sermon there. Another cleric, Maulana Safi Haider, was meted out the same treatment by the US immigration authorities. Maulana Askari, who belongs to Delhi, was also harassed and humiliated by the US immigration authorities.

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