Clerics support demand for inclusion of Dalit Muslims in SC list

By Faisal Fareed,,

Lucknow: Giving impetus to the movement for Scheduled Caste status to Dalit Muslims, several Muslim clerics have supported the inclusion of Dalit Muslims in the SC list during a function organised by All India United Muslim Morcha (AIUMM) here on Saturday. The urged the entire community to get united on the issue.

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Imam-e-Juma, Maulana Kalbe Jawwad and Imam, Tile Wali Masjid, Maulana Fazlur Rehman Waizi and Maulana Hashim Miyan Kichauchvi appealed to the community to remain united during the upcoming Assembly elections over the issue. “When the neo-Buddhist and Sikhs can be given the benefit of reservation under SC category, there is no reason to omit Muslims from the list. The social, economic and educational condition of Muslims is pathetic as compared to other communities,” said Maulana Jawwad. The cleric urged for unity among Muslims as various political parties just exploit them for getting their votes while their condition has worsened over a period of time.

Maulana Jawwad emphasised that Ulema and Muslim leaders must come on a common platform to eliminate confusion and decide which political party Muslims should vote for. He said that as the state elections are round the corner and political parties are using all sorts of means to woo Muslims, the community must give a second thought before voting for a particular political party. “The Muslims have to weigh their options before voting and observe which political party had fared better and worked for their uplift,” the Maulana said. .

Earlier speaking during the seminar ‘Insaaf ya Siasat (justice or politics)” MA Siddiqui, the national president of the All India United Muslim Morcha demanded inclusion of Dalit Muslims under Article 341 of the Indian Constitution.

Accepting that though, in principle, Islam does not recognize unsociability, national president of the morcha, said that there are sections within the Muslim community that work as rag-pickers, cobblers and those who clean urinals.

“Article 341 takes cognizance of Dalit Sikhs and Buddhists but does not recognise Dalit Muslims. Through a constitutional amendment, we want that Dalit Muslims should also be included under the purview of this Act,” he said.

The clerics also highlighted that despite recommendations by National Minorities Commission, Sachar Committee, Ranganath Mishra Commission and National Commission for SC/ST, the central government is making no efforts to include Dalit Muslims who are in the same profession as their Hindu brethren but denied SC status. “We were forced to file a PIL in the apex court which has been accepted and reply sought from central government. We have high hopes to get justice from the court,” said President, AIUMM, Dr MA Siddiqui.

Various speakers including former Vice-Chancellor, Lucknow University Prof Rooprekha Verma, Mufti Ghulam Rasool, Haji Naseem Ahmed, Maulana Junaid Nadwi also supported the demand for SC status to Dalit Muslims.