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Deoband clerics want Mubarak to go

By Md. Ali, TwoCircles.net,

New Delhi: It’s not only hundreds of thousands of people on the streets of Egypt’s main cities, who have demanded democratic and economic reforms and the ouster of the president, Hosni Mubarak; they have been joined by the clerics of Deoband and Lucknow who want the “puppet dictator” Mubarak to go and to make way for “people’s democracy.”

While of some the clerics, TwoCircles.net talked to, forecasted the “change” as “inevitable,” few others, keeping a close eye on the developments in the Muslim world, congratulated people of Egypt for taking this “extreme” but “very positive step.”

While talking to TwoCircles.net, Maulana Arshad Madani, the senior most teacher at the Darul Uloom, Deoband —South Asia’s biggest and oldest Islamic seminary, said, “It’s a historic moment for people of Egypt and we should congratulate them for this courageous step. The writing is very clear on the wall now. Mubarak has to go.”

While denouncing Hosni Mubarak and his autocratic regime, Maulana Ali Naseer Saeed aka Agha Roohi from Lucknow, referred to the fact that “dictatorship in any form is unacceptable in Islam and is akin to Yazidiyat and we do not accept it; even the Shah of Iran was dethroned in a similar manner.”

A section of clerics had problems with what it termed as “puppet dictators” which, it considered, as “just an instrument” in the hands of US and by proxy, Israel. Abdullah Javed, an Islamic scholar pointed out that the developments in countries like Egypt and Yemen proved that the American strategy of putting puppet dictators in Islamic countries had been rejected by people. Deputy-Rector of Darul Uloom, Maulana Abdul Khalique Madrasi echoed Javed.

It’s important to mention here that the cleric fraternity in India seemed aware of the repercussions of developments in Egypt on the larger Islamic world, which was very clear from the way Maulana Madani talked about nation of Mummmies, “Tunisia showed the way to Egypt and Yemen and now people’s aspirations for Jamhuriat (democracy) might capture the entire Arab world in its infectious spark.”

Even Agha Roohi saw the developments in Egypt as a warning for other Islamic nations. He had an advice for the ‘Islamic rulers,’ “Those Islamic countries in the region who are
following monarchy or dictatorship should respectfully hand over the power to people. They should take the example of Britain’s royal family which has sidelined itself from the political process.”

(With inputs from TCN Lucknow correspondent)