Muslims concerned over growing animosity among Hindu and Muslim communities
In the light of the recent debate over inter-religion marriages and the murder of Delhi youth Ankit Saxena over a love affair with a Muslim girl, a meeting of the Muslim community was held at a local mosque in Agra, where prominent clerics and free-thinkers debated over this issue.
Addressing the gathering, Mohd. Sharif Kale, District President of All India Jamiat-ul-Quresh said that the co-existence of Hindu and Muslims in India is the hallmark of unity in diversity in India. He pointed out that people belonging to different faiths and religions have lived in this country for more than thousand years, which is the hallmark of India's unity in diversity.
Kale further said, "People spreading communal harmony, national integration and peaceful co-existence outnumbered those spreading hatred/divisiveness in the society." He also spoke about the need for strengthening communal harmony through love and peace and also appealed to the Muslim youth to work for national integration and brotherhood in the society and not fall prey to the evil propaganda by the vested interests.
Bhartiya Muslim Vikas Parishad chairman Sami Aghai said that there have been a lot of Muslim intellectuals and free-thinkers who have advocated Hindu-Muslim unity for the past several centuries. Maulana Mahmood-ul-Hassan (1851 - 1920), born in Bareilly and studied in Darul-Uloom Deoband, Saharanpur (the world-renowned Islamic seminary), completed his graduation in 1873 and had also served as a teacher as well as the principal of the seminary. He was a famous Sunni scholar of the Hanafi school of thought and was widely respected Muslim Alim.
Aghai said that Maulana Mahmood endeavored for social reforms and made efforts for the education of the community, besides invoking patriotism and joining the freedom movement. He advocated modern education and laid the foundation stone of Jamia Millia Islamia University in Aligarh on November 29, 1920, which was later shifted to Delhi in 1925.
Aghai said that Maulana Mahmood worked for a combined struggle for Hindus and Muslims against Britishers during the freedom movement. He also traveled to Turkey to garner support for the freedom movement and was arrested by the British government while returning to India. Maulana also initiated 'Reshmi Rumal Movement' to spread the message of struggle among freedom fighters and actively participated/issued fatwa for Indian Muslims to join the 'Khilafat movement' led by Mahatma Gandhi and Indian National Congress.
Maulana Mahmood died on November 30, 1920 due to illness and was buried at Darul-Uloom, Deoband. Recently, 100 seminars were organized around the country to commemorate the centenary of 'Reshmi Rumal' Movement reminding the people of Maulana Mahmood-ul-Hassan's contribution to the freedom struggle and Hindu-Muslim unity.
Hindustani Biradari secretary Ziauddin said that the Hindus and Muslims are both sons of this same motherland. They were born and will die in this country and for this country. To think of these two communities as two different people is actually a dishonor to both these communities which have been interconnected since over 1000 years of living in this country. He said that whatever happened in Delhi with Ankit, was highly condemnable and the culprits of this heinous act should be brought to justice immediately.