Darul Uloom Deoband is hosting a convention against terrorism on February 25.
Apart from representatives of hundreds of leading seminaries and madarsas, the heads of Jamat-e-Islami, Jamat Ahl-e-Hadis and All India Muslim Personal Law Board chief are going to attend it.
The agenda will be to send a strong message against terrorism. And also to counter the propaganda that links madarsas with terrorism.
The Darul Uloom Rector Maulana Marghoobur Rahman has said that fundamentalist forces, sections of media and fundamentalist organisations are spreading falsehoods.
Despite LK Advani's [in his capacity as Home Minster of India] assertion in Parliament that no Indian madarsa is involved in any such activity, the madarsas are regularly targeted and baseless charges are made, trying to defame the educational institutions.
The aim is also to urge the government to stop the excesses on Muslims. I wonder if any lesson has been learnt from the failure of the recent Lucknow conference.
Why the Islamic clergy never invite the cream of intellectuals, editors, social activists and leading lawyers from Delhi, Mumbai and other cities. Unless the madarsas reach out to them, all such exercises would remain futile.
The criminal act of lawyers in UP who refuse to take up the case of anybody accused by police of terrorism, hasn't become an issue yet. Youths are languishing in jail (Not many are fortunate like Aftab Alam, who managed to get back to his Kolkata home).
You discuss a issue among yourself and nobody is going to bother. The Lucknow conference had hardly found any mention in the media. [See my earlier post on Arrests of innocent Muslim youths and failure of Ulema] This is the era of Public Relationing.
Unfortunately Islamic seminaries remain out of sync with times in this country. And the great institutions, which played a leading role in freedom movement, are today in the dock and having to explain their case.
UPDATE ON HAJI ISHTIAQ CASE
The Court has ordered release of Haji Ishtiaq, who was arrested for issuing a 'threat to Mayawati'. The same police that was hell-bent on 'proving' his links with terrorism and had even charged him with National Security Act (NSA), has filed the report to end the case.