Jamiat disillusioned with ''secular democratic forces''

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New Delhi, May 8 (UNI) One of the country's most prominent Muslim bodies Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind(Arshad Madani faction) today launched a frontal attack on the ''secular and democratic forces'' for using minorities only as a vote bank and doing nothing concrete for their socio-economic growth.

''It is unfortunate that these forces remained a mere spectator to the plight of minorities who have been subjected to harassment over the last 60 years,'' said Maulana Arshad Madani, president of the Jamiat which was once believed to be close to the Congress.

He was addressing a press conference called here to announce holding of an 'Anti-terrorism Conclave' in the capital on May 10.

The main aim of the conference, which would be sequel to the one organised by Deoband recently, is to counter the wrong propaganda about Islam and madrasas which influences the working of the government agencies, he said.

The Maulana said India was a secular and democratic country but some divisive and communal forces were trying hard to vitiate the atmosphere by indulging in disruptive politics ''Students of Islamic Madrasas were being harassed and jailed on frivolous charges and tortured for their alleged links with terror groups. Seminaries were being described by western and communal forces as breeding grounds for terrorists, but the fact is that Muslim scholar of Darul Uloom, Deoband and other Islamic institutions played prominent role in the freedom struggle and promotion of secularism,'' he said.

He said the Jamiat wants to take forward the initiative taken by the country's prominent Islamic seminary Deoband which recently organised a conference to explain the Islamic teachings and disprove their connection with terrorism.

''Islam is absolutely against any form of terror. Prophet Mohammad propagated universal pece, harmony and brotherhood among the people of various faiths,' said Maulana Arshad.

On the contrary, there were many groups and leaders in the country who made no bones about their communal agenda and indulged in open violence against minorities, but the Government remained a mute spectator to their macabre drama, he said.

''The minorities, especially Muslims want to play an active role in the development and welfare of the country like other communities, but the only stumbling block was an atmosphere of distrust and insecurity,'' he said.

He said the Jamiat would be organising a series of conferences throughout the country to educate the masses who had been misled to believe that Islam was the root-cause of terrorism in the country.

''We are not responsible for those who were committing acts of terrorism outside the country in the name of Islam. They should be punished. But to harass other Muslims because of that was unjust,'' he said.

UNI NAZ PK GC1610

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