Arif Mohammad Khan has done it again. Twenty-two years ago he chose to speak in the Indian Parliament against the widespread Muslim view on the Shah Bano case and quit the Rajiv Gandhi cabinet. On October 1, 2008 he used his pen to write a piece Look who hijacked Jamia. It was simultaneously carried by the Indian Express and the Times of India. Instead of putting balm on the hurt sentiments of the Muslims, he, in one sweep, went on to blame the entire Muslim leadership for hijacking the Jamia Millia Islamia and the subsequent rise of terrorism in that part of Delhi.
He even did not hesitate in writing at one place that “it is important to recall that the banned organisation, SIMI, was mostly manned by young activists inspired by philosophies like that of the Jamaat-e-Islami.” This is sheer travesty of the fact. The fact is that it is not SIMI, but Students Islamic Organisation of India that has affiliation with Jamaat-e-Islami. In fact SIO came up in November 1982 under the patronage of Jamaat-e-Islami to clear this confusion. And till date no one has ever pointed out any accusing finger towards the SIO.
It needs to be mentioned that even in those early years – SIMI had come up in 1977 – it dissociated itself with the Jamaat-e-Islami. The truth is that when SIMI was banned the present Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami, Syed Jalaluddin Umri, was not even aware of the name of its president or secretary. He learnt it from the media. In fact the Jamaat leaders, on several occasions, were critical of its style of functioning.
Simply because the word Islam is common in both Jamaat and SIMI it does not mean they are the same. What will Arif Mohammad Khan say about the gun-totting cadres of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) – known as Naxalite in general parlance – and the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) of West Bengal? Are they both the same as they take inspiration from Karl Marx’s Das Kapital and both have the word ‘Communist’ in their names. No, man, they are entirely different and do not try to confuse the readers with your ignorance. With the Marxists, the UPA till recently shared power and the Maoists are the sworn enemy of the present Indian system.
Khan did not even hesitate in treating all the Muslim organisations as one. How have the Jamaat, the Muslim Personal Law Board and Majlis-e-Mushawarat hijacked Jamia Millia. This is stupidity and another attempt to gain popularity. No, you are not sounding secular. Even hard core secular Muslim journalists, activists, academics, etc have questioned the police action this time. Why is he opposing Vice Chancellor, Mushir-ul-Hasan’s move to provide legal support for students? What is wrong in it? Even human resources development minister, Arjun Singh and Delhi chief minister, Shiela Dikshit find no fault with this move. Only the BJP is criticising it. Are all these people wrong and producing terrorists?
Khan quotes a tradition of Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless and greet him): “If a people, despite being strong and numerous, do nothing to stop those men among them who do wrong, then they will be surrounded with punishment.” But may one ask party-hoppers like Arif Mohammad Khan as to what is he doing? Do not worry, this article may certainly ensure him the Bharatiya Janata Party ticket from anywhere in Uttar Pradesh – probably Kaiserganj parliamentary constituency.
How can he say that the Muslims are not doing anything to stop men among them from doing wrong? Their journals and literature are testimony to this fact. Does any of these organisations approve of terrorism? Khan could not cite a single example of these organisations encouraging terrorism in the country.
He is right in saying that “A common Muslim, like his compatriots, is busy earning his daily bread and raising the family. With increased awakening about modern education, good numbers of Muslim families from rural areas have moved to urban centres to ensure education for their wards.” What he forgets to write is that many of these innocent youths studying in premier institutes or working in industries like Infosys are picked up and frequently declared as terrorists by the police, be it in Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra or Delhi.
Arif has objection as to why “more than two dozen Muslim outfits have established themselves in this (Jamia Nagar) neighbourhood taking upon them the responsibility to lead and organise the religious and social life of the community. They include organisations like the Personal Law Board, Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat and Jamaat-e-Islami. None of these organisations is known for promoting social reform or education.” The first and second sentences contradict each other. How is the religious and social life organised without education?
Why has Arif Mohammad Khan objection in having two dozen Muslim social and religious organisations in Jamia Nagar? Should they set up their headquarters in Jhandewalan in Delhi near the office of the Sangh Parivar? Or does the Constitution of India disallow the community from setting up offices in a Muslim locality?
No one here is going to support certain hot-heads in the Muslim community. But isn’t it true that the whole world – including all sections of Muslims– is condemning terrorism. But the saner elements in the society are equally critical of the state terrorism. Why Arif Mohammad Khan did not write a single word on it remains a mystery. Only the BJP, by its action, defends the state terrorism.