India roping in moderate Muslims and the results are showing

The Indian government's decision to promote the moderate school of Islam has been gaining dividends. The fatwa that was issued by over 1,000 muftis and imams from across the country against the ISIS today is the biggest.

A fatwa against the ISIS was issued today by Indian Islamic scholars, muftis and imans numbering over a 1,000. The fatwa condemns the killing of innocent people and even termed the propagating of brutality as un-Islamic. The fatwa was shared with United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon on August 15.


Why such a fatwa was the need of the hour?

The fatwa which has also been shared with 47 other countries including the United States of America sends across a very strong message. There has been an attempt being made by the ISIS to propagate Islam in its own style and it has been justifying various acts of brutality by quoting the Shariat law.

[Indian imams issue joint fatwa against IS, call it un-Islamic]

The fatwa terms the interpretation of the Shariat Law by the ISIS as absurd while also adding that the Quran does not justify killing or harming persons.

This fatwa sends across a very strong message to every India both living in India as well as abroad. India has had problems while dealing with the ISIS issue and has been extremely cautious in its approach. Amidst the radical mindset approach calling for stringent punishment for those even attempting to join the ISIS, the Home Ministry has taken a softer approach.

The Home Ministry is of the view that punishment in cases where only an attempt to join the ISIS is made cannot act as a deterrent. Hence the approach to counsel such youth with the help of community elders is a better way of handling the problem and so far it has given results.

This fatwa comes as a boon to the Indian government. It is not a fatwa issued by one or two persons. This is a fatwa issued by over a 1,000 persons and it will send a strong message to all those youth trying to team up with the ISIS. The fatwa aims to set the record straight about the real meaning of Islam and the Shariat law and several youth may begin to see the real picture and how wrong the ISIS is.

Roping in the moderates of Islam:

A recent meeting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval held with a delegation of 40 Barelvi Sufi Scholars is significant in a lot of ways. This was one of the many steps that the government is taking to curb the radical view and promote moderate Islam.

With outfits such as the ISIS and the al-Qaeda gaining in strength this meeting of the Prime Minister with the 40 Barelvi Sufi Scholars is of extreme importance. During the meet the Prime Minister said that forces of extremism are attempting to weaken the Sufi ideology today. This message in fact set the tone for a series of future meetings with moderate Muslims.

He added that it is essential for Sufi saints and scholars to counter these forces through various avenues including on social media, so that the ideology of extremism does not take root in India.

Currently there are several radicals who have crowded the internet and push forth a wrong ideology. This has led to several youth being misguided. Hence it becomes all the more important to support persons with a moderate approach and ensure that their message is conveyed loud and clear.

In the days to come the government will engage more with those propagating moderate Islam. There is a need for the moderates to speak out more often and openly in order to send a message to the youth that following the ISIS is not helping the cause of Islam.

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