UP's Shia clerics demand closure of US, Israeli embassies

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Uttar Pradesh
Lucknow, May 7: In what can be termed as a demand bordering on the absurd, certain prominent clerics of the Shia community in Uttar Pradesh have demanded that India snap its ties with United States and Israel. The demand was made during a well-attended congregation of Shia clerics in Lucknow on Sunday.

The clerics demanded that the Union government shut down the embassies of Israel and the US in the country. The opinion was unilateral among hundreds of clerics taking part in the event. Calling for a “prompt and serious re-think” on India’s relation with both the countries, they alleged that both the aforesaid countries were the "biggest sponsors" of terrorism in the world. They added that India should reinforce relations with Palestine, Iran and Syria instead.

Kalbe Jawad, Shia cleric and member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board accused the UPA government of "defaming the Muslim community as a whole". He fuelled his ire against the Israeli government and said that ever since the Israeli embassy opened in India, there was a "flood of terror attacks in India".

Among the several resolutions passed in the Shia clerics meeting, majority of them were those that shunned US and Israel. The meet also raised the issue of Jannatul Baqi (holy place in Medina) and how the government needs to highlight it with Saudi Arabia and the United Nations.

The community also rallied in demanding that the state government declare Urdu as the second language in UP as well as make it compulsory subject till Class eight. The speakers in the event also demanded a fairer representation of the community in the Akhilesh Yadav cabinet. They also stated that the community was closely monitoring the stand taken by the Samajwadi Party government.

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