Mushawarat factions ‘want’ unity but not ready to compromise

By TCN Staff Reporter,

New Delhi: In a move to get united and work together, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (Mushawarat headed by Syed Shahabuddin) wrote a letter to Maulana Salim Qasmi, head of other faction of Mushawarat last week. This comes after re-election of Syed Shahabuddin as president of Mushawarat earlier this month as Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan completed his tenure and expressed inability to continue for the next term.

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Mushawarat, considered to be the largest umbrella body of Muslims organizations in India, broke up into two groups in 2000. The matter of dispute was ‘illegal’ election of Syed Shahabuddin as President of the body. The group, which objected the election of Syed Shahabuddin, started working under the same banner headed by Maulana Salim Qasmi of Deoband, who at that time was sitting President.

Talking to TCN, Syed Shahabuddin said- “In my letter to Maulana Salim Qasmi saheb, I have requested to join hands and let’s work together as that will be more beneficial for the community.” Detailing about the principles for unification, Mr. Shahabuddin told, “I have laid down some principles – Only those will be considered as members of united Mushawarat who were members in 2000 or fulfill the criteria of our constitution. I know there are some reputed and important persons with Salim sahib and we welcome them with open arms. However, we can’t accommodate those who are local activists.”

On the other hand, the other faction denies of receiving any such letter. Maulana Ameeduzzaman Keranawi, General Secretary of the Mushawarat headed by Maulna Salim Qasmi told TCN, “We have not received any such correspondence yet.” He also expressed displeasure at efforts for unity through press statements and letters, and rejected the authority of Syed Shahabuddin to dictate terms and conditions for unity.

Maulana Ameeduzzaman Keranawi

“What is more unpleasant is the way he wants to unite. Unity cannot be brought through press statements and letters. Moreover, he can’t dictate terms and conditions,” says Maulana Keranawi. “If he is so serious to get united and work together then he could have met Maulana Salim Saheb or our officials or phoned us to call a meeting regarding the matter but he did not do that. He released the letter to press, which is yet to reach us”, he added.

However, Mr. Shahabuddin denied that he released the letter to press. “We have not given the letter to press although I have discussed the matter of writing the letter with press persons,” he said.

syed shahabuddin

Maulana Keranawi, in his conversation with TCN regarding terms and conditions of unity, said, “We are not against unity but one can’t order us, what is to be done and what is not? Unity can only be possible if, first of all, Maulana Salim Qasmi is considered as President of united Mushawarat as he was the President at the time of bifurcation and the election was illegal. And all members of ours must be accommodated”, he insists.

It also must be noted that, during these 10 years several efforts for unity have been made by different affiliate organizations and important members of the community but could not succeed for one reason or another. Till date, both are not ready to make any compromise.