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BJP rejects fatwa against recitation of Vande Mataram

Sunday 3 September 2006

Special Correspondent

It is an expression of a separatist mindset, says Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

Such diktats will find no support from common Muslims: BJP A way of diverting attention of Muslims from the basic problems: Naqvi

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday rejected the fatwa issued by the Dar-ul-Uloom of Deoband asking Muslim parents to withdraw their children from schools forcing them to sing the national song "Vande Mataram."

Talking to reporters here, BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said such diktat using the shield of Islam was not just against the culture of this country but would also find no support from common Muslims. Clerics who regard Vande Mataram as anti-Muslim were people with an `anti-national’ mindset, and the fatwa an expression of a `separatist’ mindset, he said.

"Against Islam"

Reacting to Dar-ul-Uloom criticising him for extending support to the singing of the national song, Mr. Naqvi said the fatwa by a handful of "fanatics" was against the basic tenets of Islam. They would not find support from the Muslim people, who were all patriots and whose loyalties could not be swayed by such forces.

" Fatwas cannot weaken the patriotism of crores of Muslims like me. It is a way of diverting the attention of the Indian Muslims from the basic social, economic and educational problems," he said.

Mr. Naqvi is in charge of organising the recital of Vande Mataram throughout the country on September 7, the day chosen by the Government to observe the centenary of the national song. The party had directed its units across the country to sing the song with respect and honour in all public places and educational institutions. "This kind of intolerant behaviour displayed by ill-informed groups was nothing but a replica of the reprehensible behaviour of people like Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden at the global level," Mr. Naqvi said.

He said this attitude was against the interest of patriotic and nationalist-minded Muslims but unfortunately, the "secular" political forces were willing to surrender the national interests in the hope of getting support from these `fanatic’ forces. He said the issue was not about singing or not singing the national song but a handful of ulemas were "seeking to sow the seeds of separatism in the name of religion."

"They should understand that India is run by secular democratic norms and not through the shariat."

Mr. Naqvi alleged that the "vote bank" politicians were bowing before the diktats of the handful of people with a `separatist’ mentality. Such people were now `finding support’ in the Congress-led Government.

See online : The Hindu

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