Addressing a Sunni conference at Company Bagh here, the Board President Syed Mahmood Ashraf said that they were being ignored by the Centre and state government at every level of development.
All the benefits meant for them (Sunnis) were being “hijacked” by the Wahhabis, Ashraf claimed.
He rejected the proposal that a meeting between Sunnis and Wahhabis be organised to overcome the rift.
The Sunni leaders at the conference demanded the removal of Wahhabi Muslims from Wakf board and from all government organisations dealing with Muslim affairs.
LUCKNOW: The age-old animosity between the Deobandi and Sunni schools of thought among Sunni Muslims resurfaced in Uttar Pradesh with moderate Sunni serving an ultimatum to hardline Deobandis to give up control over Muslim religious places during a Sunni conference.
The fight is over control of more than one lakh madrassas, dargahs, graveyards and other historical monuments. Under the control of Sunni Waqf board, these properties — excluding, of course, the historical monuments — in UP alone are worth at least Rs 10,000 crore. The figure would be substantially higher if properties in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal, Bihar, MP and Chhattisgarh were to be included.
A demand to free all the ‘idaaras’ (religious places) from ‘wahabis’ — read Deobandis — was raised at the conference hosted by All-India Ulema Mashaikh Board (AIUMB) in Moradabad last Sunday. General secretary of the board, Maulana Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichowchhwi, accused the “13% minuscule, manipulative minority with hijacking all minorities bodies in UP and the national level”.
Talking to TOI, Maulana Kichowchhwi said this was a fight between moderates and hardliners. “Since the latter do not have faith in patron saints of ‘dargah’ or ‘mazar’ and have condemned the practice, logically they must not be considered for management of Ajmer Sharif or Deva Sharif. The government must ensure that the chairperson and members of the Sunni Waqf Board come from among 80% of the population of moderate Muslims who follow the Sufi tradition,” he said.
This apart, the board also demanded representation in Central Haj Committee, Urdu Academy and other minority related institutes, said Babar Ashraf, secretary of AIUMB, who accused Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband, Nadava Jamate, Islam Jamait-ul-Ulema, et al, of trying to dominate Sunni “on the strength of petro-dollars”. “Members of Waqf board in the past have systematically captured our mosques and madrassas,” he said, and added, “The board would launch a public agitation to liberate our properties.”
The gathering of ulema, imams and intellectuals also demanded “a rightful share and representation as per their population percentage in all government and semi-government bodies” and appealed to the government to ensure the enforcement, failing which the board would take the fight to the public. http://m.timesofindia.com/PDATOI/articleshow/5414512.cms
URDU News from Sahafat.in 4th Jan 2010