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After EU’s tight slap, “Muslims” lick Modi’s feet

Ahmedabad: “United Force for Peace & Harmony”, an unknown social group of some Muslims living in Gujarat led by financier Zafar Sareshwala, has taken a “serious note” of statements made by German members of Parliament who recently visited Gujarat on why Narendra Modi could not be allowed to visit European Union countries (see page inside). Members of the group claimed that the remarks made by the German MPs on persecution of Muslims in the state are totally unwarranted, unprovoked and unilateral and such utterances can widen the split between various religious communities in the state. The group has written a letter to the ambassador of Germany in India expressing its anguish and claiming that the observations made by the MPs amount to distortion of facts and how it can damage the communal harmony prevailing in the state. Hailing the initiatives taken by the state government to maintain communal harmony, the group sought a clarification through media and urged Germany to prevent repetition of such incidents. The letter states that the delegation alleged persecution of Muslims in the state without even meeting one single individual Muslim nor any representative of the various NGOs working towards rehabilitation of the victims of the 2002 riots. The letter termed the  statement of the MPs as “myopic, inflammatory and derogatory in nature” adding that “such statements and wild and imaginary allegations lead to widening of the split between various religious groups.”

The group’s letter went on to say, “The state government under the current regime had undertaken several steps to respect sentiments of Muslim including the various steps taken in providing logistic facilities for the Haj pilgrims flying directly from Ahmedabad. The other indicator of religious freedom in number of theological institutions and places of worship, we would like to inform you that the per capita “Madrassa” (Theological schools) are among the highest in Gujarat. It is only second to Uttar Pradesh. This indicates the freedom and support we receive for education from the state government as education falls under state domain as per Indian Constitution.”

Well-known human rights activist Professor Juzer Bandukwala commented on this letter as saying, “It was with deep pain and sorrow that I read Zafar Sareshwala and his ulama friends, denounce the German parliamentary delegation. This eminent team came to Ahmedabad out of concern for justice for the victims of 2002. By denouncing this delegation, Sareshwala is repudiating the demand for justice. Does he want the Supreme Court to bring a total closure of all Gujarat cases?  Does he want the killers of Ahsan Jafari and Kausar Banu to walk free? The approach of Sareshwala will make Muslims supplicants before Narendra Modi and the RSS .Forgiveness is a pillar of Islam. But bowing before the likes of Modi is strongly forbidden in Islam. Is something wrong in Muslim character that  businessmen and even ulema bow so low, just to please Modi?”

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 May 2010 on page no. 1

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