28 July , New Delhi
In an exclusive televised interview titled, “Only justice will stop Lynching & Hate Crime” to the Naya Savera News (Hindi and Urdu media house), AIUMB President and the chairman of World Sufi Forum, Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichchauchcchwi expressed his concerns on Social Justice as an antidote to Communal Violence.
Syed Muhammad Ashraf, president of All India Ulama & Mashaikh Bord, lamented the increasing Mob Lynching and said: Those who are involved in mob lynching incidents are under misconception that they are promoting their brand of religion. But in reality, Aastha (faith) relates to heart not the politics. I appeal to them to maintain justice which must start with themselves and then with the society at large”. He added that political and social authorities must maintain justice among all to ensure peace. “People should first do justice with themselves”, he said.
When asked about the “atmosphere of intolerance” in the country and sectarian mob lynching which recently emerged in an incident in Varanasi where a Maulvi saheb was beaten up only because he declined to submit to the Barelwi creed, the AIUMB President said, forced religiousness and extremism of all forms is dangerous. “There have been “concerted efforts” to weaken Sufism in India and to replace it with “extremist and radical” ideologies. The phenomenon is dangerous, not just for the Muslim community but also for the country, he said. He further asked the viewers to “rectify historical blunders” and take sagacious measures to tackle the trend of replacing Sufism by extremist ideologies.
In his response to the voting politics, he said in this interview that that there has been a lack of representation for the mainstream Muslims on “key positions”. He urged the government to look into it and denounced “every course” of vote politics and political sectarianism and described it as “threat to India’s solidarity”.
He added: “Our land, India is the land of mysticism and meditation. We cannot determine the picture based on a few incidents. We should treat these as causes for alarm. We should try and ensure that our Ganga-Jamuni Tehzib (syncretic culture) is not affected since there are signs that it is being weakened. Then we should try and strengthen it. “At the end, I request the Government of India, to extend full cooperation for the revival of Sufism” he said.