Press Statements

Indian Muslim leaders condemn the coup, calls for reinstatement of the elected President in Egypt

The least India can do if it really believes in democracy is to recall the Indian ambassador from Cairo. A ballot box result can be invalidated only by a ballot box result. Any attempt to delegitimising the popular Muslim Brotherhood will only worsen the situation. Indian Muslim community without any exception whatsoever supports President Mursi and demands his return to power without any delay.

New Delhi, 19 August 2013: The All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, the umbrella body of Indian Muslim organisations, held a press conference today at the organisation’s headquarters in New Delhi to express the Indian Muslim community’s reaction to the unfolding events in Egypt since 30 June this year. Speakers said the 180-million-strong Indian Muslim community is one on condemning the military coup in Egypt and calling for the immediate restoration of the legitimate and elected President of Egypt.

AIMMM President Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan said that mobocracy has been used to unseat an elected President and his government in Egypt. Egypt’s so-called liberals, remnants of the Mubarak regime and the army in cahoots with the West, especially America, and Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE, have nullified a legitimate government which is a bad omen for democracy in the region. He said a ballot box result can be invalidated only by a ballot box result. The Egyptian army has now started wholesale massacres of the supporters of the ousted President to crush all opposition and this, without doubt, will push the country to a civil war on the lines of the neigbouring Algeria where too a popular mandate was nullified by the army in 1991 which resulted in a civil war which continues till date and has devoured close to two hundred thousand lives. He said successive elections and a referendum during the last one year in Egypt, have proved that the Muslim Brotherhood enjoys the trust of the majority in Egypt and this is why we see millions of people still protesting in all big and small towns of Egypt since President Mursi was ousted on 3 July. He said any attempt to delegitimising the popular Muslim Brotherhood will only worsen the situation. Condemning the American, European and Gulf states’ policy of supporting a military coup, Dr Khan expressed his anguish that the Indian government has not taken a strong stand against the coup despite our clear policy of supporting democracy and human rights all over the world.

Amir (President) of Jamaat-e Islami Hind, Maulana Jalaluddin Umari Speaking
Amir (President) of Jamaat-e Islami Hind, Maulana Jalaluddin Umari

The Amir (President) of Jamaat-e Islami Hind, Maulana Jalaluddin Umari said that there is no solution for the Egyptian problem except by reinstating the elected President. He said the whole Indian Muslim community without any exception whatsoever supports President Mursi and demands his return to power without any delay.

Syed Shahabuddin, veteran community leader and former member of Parliament, said that with the exception of 1857, the British colonial rulers never even during the height of the freedom struggle commited such massacres as are being committed in Egypt these days. Jalianwala Bagh massacre, he said, was a dwarf compared to what is taking place now in Egypt. Yet, Jalianwala massacre became the turning point in the Indian struggle for freedom.  He said army has ruled Pakistan for many years but even there it did not resort to such mass killings. He condemned the Indian government’s lukewarm expression of “regret” toward the events in Egypt. He said, I was sure that a new light would come out of Egypt under Mursi but that light has been snuffed out. He said India should place an embargo on Egypt, recall the Indian ambassador from Cairo and take the issue to the United Nations.

AIMMM President Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan making a point
AIMMM President Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan making a point

Noted scholar Mufti Ataur Rahman Qasmi, chairman of the Shah Waliullah Institute, said we are pained especially by the stand of the Arab rulers towards the Mursi regime which was free from corruption and was working for the progress and emancipation of the whole region.

Welfare Party president Mujtaba Farooq supported the call for India to recall its ambassador from Egypt in order to effectively demonstrate its displeasure at what it taking place there. He further demanded that India should stop all transactions with the Egyptian military government.

Noted political scientist Dr Javed Jamil said that America, which destroyed so many countries after 9/11, has now changed its strategy and it now wants to destroy countries through fomenting civil wars. He said the US wants to push Muslims fight each other by raking up the Shia-Sunni issue. He said the most condemnable and alarming aspect of the Egyptian crisis is the stand taken by some Arab rulers. He said that the least India can do if it really believes in democracy is to recall the Indian ambassador from Cairo.

Earlier in the day, Muslim leaders visited the Egyptian  embassy in Delhi with a view to convey the feelings of the Indian Muslim community to the ambassador  and deliver to him a memorandum to be forwarded to the Egyptian interim government. They had earlier on 14 August requested for an appointment but when they did not receive any communication from the embassy, they intimated the ambassador this morning that a small delegation will come to the embassy to have a short meeting with him. However, upon reaching the embassy in Chanakyapuri, the ambassador as well other officials of the embassy refused to meet the delegation which was told over phone to leave the memorandum at the window on the outer gate of the embassy which they did. The text of the memorandum is reproduced below.

19 August 2013
H.E Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt
1/50-M, Niti Marg, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi – 10021

As our earlier request to meet you, sent on 14 August through fax and email, was not replied, we are approaching you through this memorandum to express our views about the unfolding grim situation in Egypt since 30 June.

To start with, we have great respect and affection for Egypt and the Egyptian people. We recall the age-old cultural and scholarly relations of our people with Egypt and the great respect we have for Al-Azhar, in particular. This strong affection is the reason why we feel so strongly and passionately about the events unfurling in Egypt during the last two months.

As representatives of India’s 180-million Muslim community, we most respectfully wish to convey through you to the Interim Government in Egypt that the recent events in Egypt have greatly saddened our community and country, particularly due to the following reasons:

1.  It was a most welcome development after the downfall of the Mubarak regime that real democracy dawned on Egypt and in the post-Mubarak era the Egyptian people freely expressed their choice five times within a year through elections and a referendum. It was hoped that flourishing of democracy in the most important and influential Arab country will influence the whole Arab region and usher in truly democratic and representative governments which are the hallmark of modern era.

2.  In the events unfurling since 30 June, a mob was used to cancel the popular mandate obtained through the ballot box. In democracy, everywhere in the world, an electoral mandate is invalidated only by a subsequent ballot box result and not by force of guns or deploying mobs on streets. The unseating of the popularly-elected President on 3 July has griviously wounded democracy which has to be nurtured slowly by gradually building strong institutions which in turn guarantee the continuation and flourishing of democracy which is rule of the people by the people and not by guns, mobocracy and thuggery.

3.  The use of excessive force against peaceful protesters in various places in Cairo and elsewhere in the country resulting in the killing of hundreds and thousands, according to various estimates, is extremely condemnable as it runs against the basic civil and human rights of any people. We demand that this cycle of violence is stopped forthwith and that criminals who ordered this bloodshed are identified and punished according to the Egyptian law. We are afraid that if Egypt fails in this duty, the matter will reach international and foreign courts. People have already seen what has happened to the criminals of Rwanda, Liberia and Bosnia etc. If this happens, it will be an eternal blot on the face of a great people and their civilisation.

4.  Since ballot box results cannot be invalidated except by a subsequent ballot box result, we demand that President Mohammad Mursi be reinstated without any further delay. We recall that he had already indicated that he is ready to consider the political reforms which some quarters were demanding and we believe that this process could be fairly quickly started and finished under a reinstated President Mursi as without his party, which secured the majority votes in the previous elections, no such reforms are possible or meaningful or workable.

5. Failure to listen to the sincere advice of your well-wishers and continuation of the totally unjustified crackdown on a popular political movement will plunge Egypt into a civil war we are certain no Egyptian loving his country wants. Your neighbouring country, Algeria, is suffering from a civil war for the past two decades precisely because of the forcible nullification of a popular mandate obtained through the ballot box. We do not wish Egypt to become another Algeria.


We approach you with these thoughts and suggestions as sincere friends of Egypt and the Egyptian people. We wish Egypt to come out of its present crisis quickly to unite the Egyptian people and propel them towards progress in order to occupy the high place Egypt and Egyptians deserve among the nations of the world.

We remain,
Yours sincerely
Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat
Mohammad Ahmad, National Secretary, Jamaat-e Islami Hind
Dr Qasim Rasool Ilyas, General Secretary, Welfare Party of India
Issue at New Delhi on 19 August 2013 by
[Umbrella body of the Indian Muslim organisations]
D-250, Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi-110025  India
Tel.: 011-26946780  Fax: 011-26947346

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