Ulema open front against corruption

By Rehan Ansari, TwoCircles.net,

Mumbai: Two days after Muslim religious leaders and clerics in Delhi vowed to fight against HIV/AIDS, breaking their stereotypical image, Ulema and clerics here in Mumbai today launched a campaign against corruption. They announced they are ready to lead another freedom movement – this time against the menace of corruption.

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Coming together under the joint banner of Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Movement for Human Welfare, Markazul Maarif Education and Research Centre and other groups, the Ulema and clerics today staged a dharna (sit-in) at Azad Maidan in Mumbai.

Agonized by shocks of corruption, one after another – be it Commonwealth, 2-G Spectrum or Adarsh Society – the organizers shouted “Enough is Enough.” Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi, Director of Markazul Maarif Education and Research Centre (MMERC), said, “People of this great country must come out on the street and should punish these corrupt politicians.” He has also started an online campaign through Twitter, Facebook and Google groups calling for a public movement against corruption.

Maulana Zakir Qasmi of Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind termed corruption as “Economic Terrorism” and a menace for the country. He said, “Corruption is bigger threat to the nation than terrorism and we, the People of this great nation must start another fight for freedom against corruption.” Founder leaders of Jamiat and other Ulema groups were in the forefront of the freedom movement and against the British rule in India.

Complaining about no social movement against corruption in the country, Dr. Azimuddin, President, Movement of Human Welfare, advocated for the transparency in the system. He also said, “Politicians, bureaucrats and corporates are looting our National wealth.”

Dr. Azimuddin demanded that Congress president Sonia Gandhi must fulfill her promise of fast track court for corruption and must punish the guilty.

“Muslims are sidelined from the mainstream and they are called as terrorist but we will never give up” said Akhlaque Ahmed. He further added, “This is our country and we are concerned about the national issues and will fight against corruption.”

Organizers of the dharna said that they will not tolerate corruption anymore and demanded legislation with severe punishment against corruption. Maulna Burhanuddin Qasmi demanded, “Law like POTA, TADA and MCOCA must be made for the corrupt people because criminals and terrorists are killing few people but corruption is killing our nation.”

Maulana Qasmi also said that our society must appreciate honest people and must award them.

Although the dharna was against corruption but speakers could not resist from condemning the rising food prices specially the prices of onions, garlic and tomato.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman Qasmi complained about inflation and explained the situation of Indians with a couplet “Ek do Zakhm nahi sara jism hai chalni— dard bechara pareshan hai kahaN se Uthe”( the whole body is injured and the pain does not know where it should begin with.

Dr. Azimuddin said if the guilty are not punished they will start a nationwide agitation. He announced, “If the culprits are not brought to justice we will co-ordinate with other people, NGOs and honest politicians and will launch a padyatra from the August Kranti ground in Mumbai to the Rajghat in Delhi.”

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