By Parvez Mandviwala
Bandra, Mumbai: Addressing a massive gathering of men and women at the Peace And Harmony Public Convention here, the Ameer (President) of Jamaat-e- Islami Hind (JIH), Maulana Jalaluddin Umri emphasised that peace can be established only as long as humanity is alive and thriving. Every person, irrespective of religion, race, colour, language or occupation has and should have equal rights over each other by virtue of his being a human being. Discriminating against fellow human beings on these grounds is the worst form of ignorance, he averred.
Commenting upon the issue of nationalism he exclaimed, “No one is entitled to certify whether a person is a patriot or an anti national. It is only the Constitution of the country that can decide upon this.” Maulana was also crirical of the infamous Ghar Wapsi Campaign and observed that that it is an insult to the person accused of having been forcefully converted to Islam. Moreover, forceful conversion to Islam is against its teachings and against well documented history.
He wondered how history would react to the fact that people in India were killed
and beaten over an issue as ridiculous as possession of beef or skinning a dead cow.
He lamented upon the fact that people’s minds are being poisoned and made to believe that Muslims are anti-national and terrorists, and that the depressed class is not allowed to ascend the social ladder. “It is for the first time in our country’s history of communal amity that genocide is being planned and openly propagated on religious grounds and this mutual intolerance can ultimately ruin and destroy our country.”
Maulana Umri presented a two point solution to the present crisis the country is reeling under: that the law of the land be upheld, and that an environment be created where oppression would no longer be tolerated. These steps would instil confidence and trust in the citizens.
He concluded by making it clear that the Jamaat has not taken up this task out of some fear or coercion. On the contrary, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind considers maintaining peace and harmony an integral part of Islam. If even one crore people stand up and insist upon peace, it is impossible that unrest would continue in our country.
In his introductory speech the President of the Maharashtra Chapter of JIH, Taufeeq Aslam Khan expounded upon the purpose and objectives of the 15-day nationwide Peace and Humanity campaign and shared with the audience a gist of the activities conducted so far all over Maharashtra.
As a token of appreciation, Maulana Jalaluddin Umari felicitated Justice
(retd) BN Srikrishna with the Sadbhavna Award comprising of trophy, shawl and
citation in recognition of his lifelong efforts in promoting peace without favour or prejudice. In his acceptance speech, Justice Srikrishna accepted the honour with all humility and appealed to uphold unity in society.
Father Lancy Pinto and Arjun Dangle were the other dignitaries invited as guests this evening. Father Pinto stressed that we need to constantly make sure that our mutual relations are maintained because we are all related to each other, being created by the same Allah. Arjun Dangle spoke on the repercussions of communalism and assured the audience that other like-minded organisations would definitely support the Jamaat in this noble endeavour.