Muslims Will Consider Supporting AAP, if it Offers Concrete Programme for Them: Jamaat-e-Islami

An Interview with the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Amir (National President) MAULANA JALALUDDIN OMARI conducted by MISHAB  IRIKKUR, MOHAMMAD RAGHIB and ABHAY KUMAR

Amid the talk of communal forces emerging stronger, India is going to polls. The fear of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is perhaps more felt by the Muslim minority than anyone else. The “secular” Congress—charged with corruption and misrule—does not seem much energetic and confident at this moment. At this crucial juncture what strategy should the largest religious minority community of the country adopt in the upcoming General and assembly elections? What are the options available for them? To learn about this and more, Mishab Irikkur, Mohammad Raghib and Abhay Kumar interacted with Maulana Jalaluddin Omari, the Amir (national president) of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) last week at its New Delhi headquarter. The seventy-nine year old Amir–who is an Islamic scholar and author of dozens of books–spoke on a host of issues such as elections, politics, the social and economic problems of Muslims, reservation, framing of innocent Muslim youth on terror charges etc. The JIH—which came into existence soon after the Jamaat-e-Islami had split into two separate organisations at Partition–is one of the most influential Islamic organizations among Muslims that mainly does “intellectual” work and carries out welfare activities as well. The excerpts are as follows.

Amir_JIH_Omari
Amir_JIH_Omari

What are the major concerns of Muslims ahead of the upcoming elections?

Omari: Our Constitution does not discriminate any citizen on the basis of caste, colour, religion, region, sex etc. It has also given minorities some special rights related to their personal laws and culture. Muslims, therefore, should vote to power those forces, which are committed to upholding democracy, secularism and the principles of Indian Constitution. At the same time we should defeat the parties which are opposed to diversity. The very language of cultural assimilation is a threat to the spirit of our Constitution and interests of people.

Which party or coalition should Muslims support?

Omari: There are two main forces or coalitions which are competing with each other for power at centre.  These are the so-called secular coalition [Congress-led UPA] and BJP-led NDA. There is also Left-supported Third Front, which projects itself as an alternative to both the UPA and the NDA but it does not look quite promising at this moment, for the Left itself is very weak. The Congress-led UPA government has not kept its promises to Muslims and even failed to enact Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill. The Samajwadi Party (SP)—which has often been one the favorite for Muslim voters in UP –was unable to check riots in Muzaffarnagar. Mulayam Singh today speaks with a forked-tong; while he does not miss any chance to take potshots at the Congress, it was his party that came to the rescue of UPA government at the centre a few years back. Ram Vilas Paswan and Udit Raj could support and join the BJP respectively but such options are not available for us. Muslims cannot support the BJP as it has been involved in riots and the saffron party stands for cultural assimilation. At this critical juncture, Muslims should support secular forces, which are committed to the Indian Constitution.

What about the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)? Could the AAP be a possible alternative for Muslims? 

Omari: The primary focus of the AAP is corruption. I told Arvind Kejriwal that corruption is a major issue of India and it does not mean much to backward Muslims in this country. Most of rickshaw-pullers and cart-pullers are Muslims. Therefore, the real concerns of Muslims are security, education, health and employment etc. If the AAP offers a concrete programme for Muslims, Muslims will consider supporting it (Musalman AAP ke bare men ghaur kar sakte hain). But nothing has been clearly spelt out so far. Besides, the AAP is yet to state its clear position on the illegal detention of Muslim youth on terror charges. But we are happy that the AAP has started taking up the issues of communalism as a key challenge before the country.

There is a strong view among a section of Muslims that they should float their own party rather than supporting secular one. What do you think about this?

Omari: There is no doubt that most of political parties appear before Muslims at the time of elections. They are desperate to get Muslims’ votes and then forget their issues. Given this, we often come across such a view that Muslims should stop rallying behind ‘secular’ parties and they, instead, should form their own party. But this is an emotional claim. How could 14 per cent Muslim minority do this? But we all know that this is not going to be possible. In other words, Muslims are not in a position to come to power on their own in India. What Muslims can do is to support others in coming to power.

One often hears the talk of division among Muslims community on caste, region and sect lines. What do you have to say about this?

Omari: One wails that Muslim as a community is divided. It is true that Muslims are divided but other religions are more fragmented. Can anyone name the supreme Hindu leaderof India today? Is Modi the leader of all Hindus? He is not.

How do you respond to the opinion that Muslims and other marginalised sections, such as Dalits and OBCs, should get united to defeat dominant and oppressive upper castes and classes?

Omari: Muslims have tried to go along with Dalits. On the one hand, Dalits want Muslims to work under their leadership but on the other hand, one should not forget the basic difference between them and us.  Dalits and OBCs are considered their own people (apne log) and a part of Hinduism by the majority community. Dalits and OBCS—despite the fact that they are discriminated and placed lower at ritual hierarchy in Hinduism– worship the same gods and goddess, as done by the majority of Hindus. Though Dalits are not allowed to enter some temples but it is also a fact that they worship in their own temples. Moreover, the festivals such as Holi and Dipawali are celebrated by both Brahmins and non-Brahmins. In short, Dalits and OBCs share a lot with Hindu community in culture and religion, while Muslims, contrary to Hinduism, follow Islam and believe in monotheism. It is during a conversation some time back, a person told me that a Muslim in India could join higher position in army, and become ministers, governors and even presidents but she/he will never be trusted to become the prime minister of the country. Such discrimination is against the spirit of Indian constitution. Why is this discrimination? This is because of lack of trust in Muslims. During the freedom struggle, Muslims sacrificed much more than their proportion and their contribution was not less than that of Hindus. But soon after Partition, Muslims suddenly become the other. Let me give another example to drive home the point. The social base of the SP is mostly among Yadavas but Yadavas’ votes alone are not sufficient to help it form government. How does then it reach the corridor of power? The SPcomes to power because it is supported by both Yadavas and a large section of the majority community. Such support cannot come to Muslims.

The Welfare Party of India (WPI) is considered JIH’s political-wing, which is contesting as many as 34 seats in the 2014 General Election. Does the WPI look promising to you in the coming elections?

Omari:  Unlike the Muslim League and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the WPI wants to bring all weaker sections together. The JIH supports the WPI because it is a values-based party. However, I do accept that WPI has no sufficient strength to contest as many as 34 seats but its strategy seems to aim at creating electoral space.

The ideology of the WPI does not aim at establishing the Islamic system, as advocated by the JIH. Does this mean that there is a contradiction between the perspective of the JIH and that of its political-wing WPI? Has the JIH deviated from its core ideology?

Omari: We support the WPI. But this does not mean that there is no difference between the JIH and the WPI. The JIH has also not deviated from our core ideology of iqamat-e-deen (establishment of Islam as thecomplete system). The JIH firmly holds that the Islamic system is an alternative to the present ‘secular’ system. But people are yet to be pursued with iqamat-e-deen in our country. We cannot impose the Islamic system on people until people generally agree to it. The JIH, therefore, has been working since its inception to prepare people in favour of Islamic system. Till then we will continue to support the present system because this is the system which allows freedom of expression and prorogation of one’s views.

What has been the JIH doing for addressing the issues of Muslims, such as security, and education, social and economic problems? How far has ‘Vision 2016’, a programme also supported by the JIH, been successful in achieving its target of building schools, hospitals, houses etc.?

Omari: Let me first begin with the issue of security. Thousands of innocent Muslim youths are being framed in false terror cases. The media trail, which propagates police version, has done lots of damage to them. We, along with all other Muslims organisations, have been demanding that an inquiry, if there is strong evidence, may be done but this cannot go on and on for years. But it should be ensured that the enquiry must be completed in a time period. Moreover, Muslims are also facing social and economical problems. In the area of education, particularly in higher education, they are lagging behind. The communal violence in Muzaffarnagar, which broke out in small areas, proved severe because most of the Muslims—were poor and uneducated. One may point the figure at the Muslim community, for it has not taken adequate measures to help their own co-religionists as done by the Sikh community. But this is not entirely true and many Muslim organisations are working for the empowerment of the community. ‘Vision 2016’ programme is an example of this. Under this programme, welfare work has been done in Assam, Bengal and Bihar. ‘Vision 2016’ has mainly focused on the areas of north India as the Muslims of south India are relatively better off. But my experience says that no (community)organisation alone can solve the problems of Muslims unless the government takes responsibility. Unfortunately, it is yet to become sincere about addressing Muslims’ issues.

What is your view on reservation for Muslims? What criteria should be followed to implement it?

Omari:  Reservations are given to Muslims in some states such as Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. But there is no such provision at an all-India level. Mulayam Singh promised Muslims 18 per cent reservation but he no longer talks about this. Today Muslims as a community have become backward and therefore, reservation should be given to them on economic basis, not on the basis of caste (samajik tabqat ke buniyad par nahin).

Mishab Irikkur (mishabirikkur@gmail.com), Mohammad Raghib (raghib.jnu@gmail.com), and Abhay Kumar (debatingissues@gmail.com) are pursuing PhD at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

 

 

 

 

23 thoughts on “Muslims Will Consider Supporting AAP, if it Offers Concrete Programme for Them: Jamaat-e-Islami”

  1. With all respect to the Moulana, WPI is not uniting anybody. Infact SDPI has a very strong base which unites all the jamats and also non Muslims into its fold.

    Blaming other party for non performance of wpi is wrong

  2. Really surprised to see this interview of Mr Omari on Kafila which presents a very sanitised image of the politics he and his party/formation represents.

    Looking at the fact that despite coming from different vantage points – we at ‘Kafila’ have slowly evolved an understanding which is opposed to every sort of communalism and with ‘guest posts’ like this where there is no attempt to confront him on these issues, we rather tend to provide ‘legitimacy’ to their worldview.

    1. I think the response of Mr MISHAB IRIKKUR, MOHAMMAD RAGHIB are quite reasonable and pragmatic. I don’t see any communalism in it. How can a muslim vote just as an “Indian” when the Hindu electorate has got polarised.

    2. The ‘secular’ spokespersons used to try everything to keep Islam away from the ideological discourse but to no avail

  3. “Dalits and OBCs are considered their own people (apne log) and a part of Hinduism by the majority community.”

    He has already fallen in the trap of Hindutva forces when he says that. Unwittingly, he is toeing the line of Hindutva politicians when he says that the “majority community” considers some castes to be their own, but not the “muslims”. That is just plain false and precisely the kind of propaganda that Hindutva would have us believe.

    The fact is that a majority of Indians (stop talking community/caste/religion please), consider Muslims as much their own as anyone else.

    While it is fine for Maulana to be insecure and looking out for the safety of his community, but please, don’t fall into the trap of Hindutva acolytes by arbitrarily assigning Hindutva beliefs to the entire Hindu community.

    Reading the interview further, the most retrograde view of Maulana is actually this “iqamat-e-deen”. It is fine to propagate your religion, but aiming to make it a replacement for our secular republic is purely anti-national, if not quixotic.

    What is the difference between Hindutva acolytes who want to replace the secular republic with some kind of Golwalkarist theocracy and the Maulana who wants to see his own kind of Islamic rule. Both are extremists and will be rejected by liberal Indians if not in the short term, then surely in the long term.

  4. As if Mr Omari is the spokesperson of the community. He seems to think highly of himself that way.
    Surprised to see such “guest” posts on Kafila as Mr. Gatade noted above.
    Each one of us, irrespective of our religion is capable of making their own choices.

  5. All the criticisms above are well taken and personally speaking, I believe that Muslims have not and do not always want to vote as a bloc, even though there is no dearth of efforts on all sides to ensure that. In this Muslim communal organizations and leaders are as much to blame as are the so-called secular parties like the Congress and the Samajwadi Party. The Congress has in fact perfected the art of running with the hare and hunting with the hound.
    However, I think the publication of this guest post is not really meant to either affirm or legitimize Omari’s view, as the interview format basically serves a documentary purpose as it places on record a particular position.

    1. Dear Aditya,

      As a regular reader of Kafila I beg to disagree. Just consider the following statement by Mr. Omari. “The JIH firmly holds that the Islamic system is an alternative to the present ‘secular’ system.” This is rank communalism, and to see such a post in Kafila is unfortunate, to say the least. Going by your argument, we should be ok with an interview of a Narendra Modi or a Mohan Bhagwat appearing on Kafila, maybe by a pliant Madhu Kishwar, as it serves a “documentary purpose” to “record a particular position”. The point is that giving space to such reactionary viewpoints is in itself a political act.

      Regards.
      Sayan

  6. It’s quite clear from the above interview that prez of JIH is a liar and a hypocrite of the highest degree. We all know that WPI is an electoral body of JIH. Having a few people from other religions does not make the outfit an inclusive party. BJP has many Muslims in its fold, so do we need to doubt its anti-Muslim credentials? On the one hand the prez says that it seeks the upliftment of all downtrodden people and at the same time it denies reservation to pasmanda Muslims. Can’t they see inconsistencies of their stances?

  7. I agree with Aditya Nigam. The very purpose of doing this interview is not to support everything the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind does. Rather, it is done to understand how one of biggest Islamic organisations of India thinks about Indian politics, Muslims and other issues on the eve of the General Elections. I can understand the concern of Comrade Subhash Gatede, whom I respect for his struggle against communalism but he may agree with me that we all should try to learn about the version of those whom we disagree with. If one finds problem with the view of the Jamaat-e-Islami HInd, one should critique it and we all are ready to learn from this. The reason why ‘Kafila’ is respected and taken seriously is because of the fact that it ‘runs from big media’ where there is almost no space for the voices from margin and alternative viewpoints.

    1. Dear Abhay
      I have lot of issues with the way you conducted the interview and the questions you (inadvertently or so) did not raise with Mr Omari e.g the Jamaat’s continued support to the war criminals in neighbouring Bangladesh ( for detailed information about it you can always refer to my earlier pieces which appeared on Kafila itself) and their continued denigration of the historic Shahbagh movement which I consider as a ‘Beacon of Hope for South Asia’. But I will not raise them here.

      It is not a question of my disagreement with the worldview of Mr Omari that I am feeling pertrubed over it. Disagreements are welcome among fellow travelers and one can continue one’s debate over them but there is another range of disagreements – whom you do not consider fellow traveler – called as your opposition to them. Personally for me Mr Omari or Mr Mohan Bhagwat come under same category. And giving forum to people like him – Sayan has put it aptly – tomorrow ‘we should be ok with an interview of a Narendra Modi or a Mohan Bhagwat appearing on Kafila, maybe by a pliant Madhu Kishwar, as it serves a “documentary purpose” to “record a particular position”. ‘

      Dear Abhay, you must be familiar with the ideas of Maulana Maududi – founder of Jamaat-e-Islami- who is still a supreme leader/ideologue to the various branches of the Jamaat which are active in this subcontinent. This gentleman is ‘credited’ with many of the ills of the Pakistani society today. The first major riots in Pakistan occurred in early 50s when Jamaat-e-Islami demanded that Ahmadiyas be declared non-Mulsims. Today Pakistan is the only country in the world where Ahmadiyas are considered non-Muslims and Maududi’s followers elsewhere want that to happen there also.

      Another of my very dear friend and activist Javed Anand has done commendable work on Maududi. I would like to give you a quote from one of his articles here :

      “The website of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba/Jamaat-ud-dawa tells us: ‘Islam does not mean following a few rituals like performing prayers, keeping fasts, performing the pilgrimage to the Kaaba (Haj), giving alms (zakaat), or donating to charitable works, but in fact, it is a complete Code of Life.’ Guess from where the JUD/LeT gather such wisdom? From a 1939 speech by Maududi, later published as a booklet Jihad fi Sabilillah (Jihad in Islam). Islam, for Maududi is a ‘revolutionary creed’ and Muslims means a ‘revolutionary party’. It is the duty of this vanguard to engage in jihad by ‘every means possible’ to overthrow all man-made systems ruled according to man-made laws (liberal democracy, fascism, communism) and install an Islamic state to enforce ‘Allah’s laws (shariah) on earth.’

      ….Ask any Jamaat-Islami leader in India and he is sure to tell you ‘every means possible’ does not include the resort to violence. But the words and deeds of his Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Kashmiri counterparts tell us something altogether different. (http://www.india-seminar.com/2009/593/593_javed_anand.htm)”

      We are passing through very critical times and there are chances that people who share similar worldview like Maududi – which is essentially opposed to secularism, separation of religion from state and society – albeit under a different label, may take reins of power here. And it is important that spaces like Kafila – which I am told has carved out a niche audience – should not be made accessible to any communal bigot – whatever might be his/her colours or appearance.

  8. What is the difference between the concepts of “Iqamat-e-Deen” and “Hindutva”. The difference does not lie in that one belongs to one religion and another belongs to another religion. In fact, the difference is in categorical nature of both the concepts. One is asking for remaining God-loving & God-fearing in individual and collective life, making it a religious concept. On the other hand, Hindutva does not relate to religious transformation of individual or collective life rather it is an alternative to secular ideas in politics heavily tilted to hate-others mentality. No doubt, due to use of religious symbolism both are cauterised under the category of religion. However, the most pertinent question should be asked to upholders of former as well as latter concept-bearers to spell out the practical course of polity in a plural and multi-dimensional society. If one community is voting with her prominent identity in a given situation as Muslim or Dalit or region, it does negate voting as Indian. Politics is meaningful only when it satisfies the genuine needs of a person both as an individual as well as an entity of a collective group whether it be regional, linguistic, social or religious.

    1. Two typing errors. Cauterised May be read as considered and it does negate should be read as it does not negate.

  9. उमरी साहब Reservations किसी जाति की आर्थिक( economic) उन्नति का आधार नहीं है दरसल ये एक tool है एक जरिया है उस power equation को तोड़ने का जो सदियों से बरहमणवाद और अश्रफ्वाद ने बना रखी है आप ने कहा की reservations सामाजिक तबकात / जाति व्यवस्था के बुनियाद पे देना गलत बात है क्यूँ गलत बात क्या आप को सामज में फैली सामाजिक आस्मंताये दिखाई नहीं देती

  10. One really agrees with Subhash Gatade, Sayan and M S Khan about this interview on Kafila. Every Tom, Dick and Harry knows what Jamaat-e-Islami stands for on the subcontinent. The matters dealt with in the above interview are only an act of pursuing Jamaat’s objective under the guise of concerns for the community. I am following the debate of political Islam very keenly on this blog and I find the voice of some authors very incisive and perceptive. The interviewers have introduced Jamaat as ‘one of the most influential Islamic organisations among Muslims’. One needs to ask the degree of influence of JIH by the interviewers. To add to this the three interviewers should have taken into account the wide difference between Islamic and Islamist. JIH is the only Islamist organisation in India that talks about bringing God’s kingdom on the earth! All other Muslim organisations are not Islamist. The failure of JIH itself is writ large on the policy and programmes that it has tactfully adopted over time. Had JIH been influential in the community it would never have left its objective prima facie. The patent lie of Umri that WPI is not a party of JIH is more than enough to infer that it is not influential, and only wants people to confuse masses about its political wing. In the response Abhay says that Kafila stands for giving space to marginal and alternative voices and is a ‘run from big media’. Agreed. However it does not mean giving space to communal voices. It needs to be borne in mind that the readers of Kafila blog are not that naive and simpleton!

  11. Maulana Umri says that a Muslim cannot become a PM of this country as there is a lack of trust about Muslims in the country. Is this the reason for a Muslim for not becoming prime minister of the country? The question needs asking: Mr Umri, are we supposed to find an answer for your concern in ‘lack of trust’s or something else? Does Mr Prez of JIH need an understanding of our electoral democracy and various factored that determines becoming PM of this country? We know that Jayalalitha, Mamta Banerjee, Lalu Parsad, Mulayam Singh and so many other leaders of other parties who have had a say in the parliament earlier with a good number of MPs with them could not becoming PM. Are these people Muslim and suffer from lack of trust?
    Since ages Jamaat has been trying to convince, although unsuccessfully, that the constitution of any nation-state is at odds with the Koran which is based upon their understanding of theology. A state is a taghoot that their ideologue Maududi peddled. Now Mr Umri talks about distrust! I would say that yes there is distrust but only fir JIH and its people within community as well as outside it. Why should people believe in Jamaat? What for?

  12. Thanks Subhash for raising some very important issues in your comment above. And others as well. I have no quarrel at all with the issues raised by most comments, especially the ones by Sibte Hadi and Ahsan Amin and Sayan. In fact, I am thankful to all of you that this debate has been opened out and brought into public and I hope we will be able to have a more in-depth discussion on these issues of critical importance, in future posts.
    I just have one point to make here and this has to do with the general nature of our secularist discourse with respect to the communalists of both the Hindu and Muslim kind. It is largely based on ignorance of the actual positions of the opponents we confront. Ideally I would also like to have a debate on the Hindu right by actually having some of their own spokespersons say in their own words what they want. Fortunately, their viewpoint is usually all over the mainstream media that we do not need to give our limited space to them as well. But when it comes to someone like Savarkar, I have often heard and seen secularists refer to him as a bigot and and fanatic – both of which are incorrect. He was never a believing Hindu, was indeed a confirmed atheist. His tract on Hindutva is not at all about Hinduism – it is about the basis of nationhood. Which is why his followers are able to talk of ‘Muhammadi Hindus’ etc. In the same way, my sense is that we secularists do not have much of an idea about the mind of a Muslim communalist. Why a non-believing Shia like Jinnah became the Qaide Azam in Pakistan and why he was so lionized by LK Advani, is something we do not quite like to think about. Often, I feel we keep barking up the wrong tree, assuming our adversaries to be something other than what they are. The issue of Muslim communalism is likewise not often properly understood – largely because it is more ghettoised and addressed internally to the community. As a result we only get to hear of it when something like Shabagh happens.
    That said, let me reiterate that I have no substantive disagreements with the points raised by you Subhash. I also agree that the interviewers could have pushed Omari on some more uncomfortable matters as well.

  13. I think JIH has deviated from the purpose for which Maulana Modudi had created it for. maulana wanted to do DAWAH of Islam as the first point, so that the human beings could be saved from the hell fire. the last point in his book was IQAMATe deen. i.e. the rule of Allah. but the JIH is going in reverse gear…it says first you establish deen , then only the people will follow teachings of islam. this short cut is impossible. JIH has basically been hijacked by low IQ madarsa peoples.

    1. The ultimate goal of JIH is nothing but establishment of Islam as a complete system in India. It says that Islamic system is the solution for the problems of life. The policy and programmes of JIH that show the Dawah of Islam which means the spreading of Islam has to be done by using different ways and methods. According to Abul A’la Maududi, Islam is not merely a religion but a Deen ( a complete code of life) and Iqamat-e-deen means the establishment of deen (Islam) as the complete system by the people. JIH never said that first you establish deen, then only the people will follow teachings of Islam. It always says the Islamic system cannot be imposed upon people until people generally agree to it i.e. until the people follow teachings of Islam.

  14. Jamat Islami Hind (JIH) is a respected NGO of long standing that has done much laudable relief work among the poor Muslims in the event of natural disasters and communal riots. The organization has Islamic religious leanings. However its recent entry in Indian politics by floating the Welfare Party of India (WPI) is not a wise move. The party carries the Islamic ideology that it has inherited from JIH. When it talks about secular ideology and also about introducing a Islamic social/political system in India it becomes self-contradictory. In India Muslims are only 15% of the population. Also today most Indian Muslims want to live in a secular system rather than a reloigious (Islamic) system. How can Muslims demand a secular system in India and also support a Islamic political party?

    Some of Mr Umri’s pronouncements are confusing and contradictory to the needs of the Muslim community and are impractical. Even though Islam does not recognize a caste system yet it is a reality that in India there are upper communities (zaat) and lower community (zaat) Muslims. The lower class (Pasmanda) Muslims are in fact OBC Muslims and Dalit Muslims; their proportion in the Muslim community is aabout 60%. These lower class Muslims are deserving of reservation just like Hindu and Sikh OBCs and Dalits, by any principles of natural justice. But Mr Umri (JIH) does not support that. Instead he wants reservation for all economically deprived Muslims including the upper class (zaat) Muslims. How can that position be viable?

    JIH must acknowledge the historical reality of Pasmanda Muslims and must work specially towards their uplift. It should work towards reservation in Muslim community educational institutions (Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia, Hamdard University, Integral University, Jauhar university, Anjuman Islam colleges, Muslim Educational Society colleges and others), and Muslim community companies, banks (WIPRO, CIPLA, Himalya Drugs, Wockhardt, Bombay Mercantile Bank etc).

    JIH should work diligently to reform the Muslim Peersonal Law to make it equitable to both men and women. It should work to abolish Triple Divorce and make the allowance to men to marry more than one wives extremly restrictive and conditional (which will not violate Quranic injunctions). JIH should work to reform the customs in the Muslim society that restrict the ability of women to get into leadership positions and employment in the modern professions.

    Instead of trying to enter politics, JIH should concentrate more on bringing about more broadbased social uplift for the entire community. JIH should realize that in Pakistan and Bangladesh the attempts of Jamat Islami parties to enter the political system has been rejected overwhelmingly by the Muslim majority populations of those countries. That should be a handwriting on the wall for JIH. JIH should refrain from indulging in political activities in India as it is a futile diversion of their resources.

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