By R. Upadhyay
According to the internet edition of Milli Gazette, a fortnightly relating to Indian Muslims, the Working Committee of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) while discussing a wide range of community related issues in its meeting held on July 7 welcomed the election of Prof. Muhammad Morsi as the President of Egypt and also wished him to march on the road of freedom, self-reliance and real democracy.
Morsi was a candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) an internationally known Islamist organisation which does not believe in democracy, secularism, human rights and social justice. Since the worldview on democracy is a form of government run by public reason and not by the dictate of the Islamist organisation like the MB, one fails to understand that what prompted the AIMMM, a Muslim organisation in a secular and democratic India to welcome the advance of Islamism in Egypt.
Morsi’s victory was an outcome of the pro-democracy movement but it is doubtful that he would fulfil the democratic aspirations of the people as the MB is dedicated to its credo – “The Prophet is our leader, Qur’an is our law, Jihad is our way, dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope”. With its recorded history of “working under the doctrine of concealment (Kitman)” and close link with Wahhabi society of Saudi Arabia suggest that it can go to any extent to transform Egypt into an Islamist state by terrorising its people as enemies of Allah. It may not be out of place to mention that even the top Al Qaeda leaders like Osama bin Laden and his deputy Zawahiri had started their Jihadi career in the Muslim Brotherhood.
During his election speech before the students of Cairo University, Morsi repeated the same credo of the MB that “The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal” which not only proves his ideological commitment to this Islamist organisation but also his anti-democratic mindset. He also said, “Today we can establish Sharia law because our nation will acquire well-being only with Islam and Sharia. The Muslim Brothers and the Freedom and Justice Party will be the conductors of these goals”. (http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1909200/pg1).
Morsi also promised in a televised speech before taking oath for the release of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the Egyptian-born militant Islamist convicted after the 1993 World Trade Centre attack of plotting to bomb several New York City landmarks. Such promise showed Morsi’’s approval of violent as well as non-violent tactics in the service of Islam. (http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/07/robert-spencer-egyptian-democracy-new-president-vows-to-free-blind-sheikh.html).
Morsi resigned from the Brotherhood after election to show that he represented all the Egyptians. But his promise during the election campaign that he would bring about a “renaissance with an Islamic foundation” continues haunting the Christian minority. He did not explain what he meant by the term ‘Islamic foundation’.
Morsi inherits the political ideology of the MB and is dedicated to its goal of terrorising the enemies of Allah for extending the rule of Sharia (Islamic law) over the world. Moreover, his victory by a thin margin after securing only 51.7% of votes has scared 48.3 % of Egypt’s population particularly the Christian descendents of ancient Egypt known as Coptic Christians who constitute about 10% of country’s population. They are fearful of the Islamist design of the Brotherhood which may put pressure on Morsi for imposing strict implementation of Sharia. As per media reports thousands of these Christians have already left Egypt.
Apart from the Islamist organisation like HAMAS from Palestine, many Muslim rulers of Gulf countries offered formal congratulations to the election of Morsi but the established rulers of Muslim world may not be happy with the rise of Islamism in the region. Shadi Hamid, Director of Brookings Doha Centre, a think-tank based at Washington viewed “the the rise of Islamists in the region as a threat to regional security” and observed that the rulers in the region “not only that, they fear the rise of Islamist opposition in their own countries but the Islamists across the region will be emboldened after today’s results, and that’s precisely what the Saudis and the Emiratis don’t want”.
Against the backdrop of the Islamist background of Morsi, welcome to his election by the AIMMM that claims to be an apex forum of Indian Muslim organizations and institutions of national eminence shows that Mushawarat leadership is playing the game of same camouflaged Islamist politics.
Excelling double standards by wearing the mask of democracy and secularism is it working as an extension counter of the ongoing movement for Islamist politics in India?. It wished for real democracy in Egypt but did not explain this term which is not in the agenda of the MB.
The AIMMM was formed in a conference at Lucknow (8-9 August 1964) convened by a dissident Congress leader Dr. Syed Mehmood with a view to formulate a mechanism for communal coexistence in the country. Of the many objectives its first objective was to enable the Muslims to live in accordance with the lofty ideals of Islam and make them participate in the national life in a manner commensurate with their status being the Khar-e-Ummat (Welfare of Muslims).
However, the past records of this federation of radical Muslim organisations like Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, Jamaat-e-Islami and Ahle Hadith suggest that its activities were hardly in tune with the secular and democratic character of the country. It was rather an addition to the various Muslim organisations which carried forward the legacy of the conflict between political Islam and secularism.
Mushawarat claims to be a non-political body but its objective is a double wedged weapon to support the cause of radical Islamists who have often showed their disrespect to constitution and even judiciary. Opposition to the Uniform Civil Code and support to the aggressive agitations by Indian Islamist organisations against the Supreme Court’s verdict in Shahbano case exposed the hollowness of its constitutional commitments. ;H.E.Hasnain a Muslim writer observed; ‘Under the evil influence of the JeIH, the Mushawarat has tried to solve many issues in such a wrong way that far from solving the issues, it has only led to a deterioration of the communal situation instead of helping to improve it ’ (Indian Muslims, 1968, page 90).
Contrary to its objective to lend support to all attempts at retaining and promoting the secular character of the State, AIMMM had no reservations against Jamaat-e-Islami which was founded by Maulana Mawdoodi who was against the concept of secularism and his followers believe in establishing Hukumate Ilahia or ikamat-e-Deen (the kingdom of God or the rule of Islam).
The Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) born from the womb of Jamat-e-Islami Hind in 1977 emerged as “a real inheritor” of Maulana Abul Ala Maududi, who argued that all Muslims must strive for an Islamic state. Within a decade of its emergence, its stickers propagating “Secularism, NO; Democracy, NO; Nationalism, NO; Polytheism, NO; Only Islam” appeared on the walls of many Muslim houses and shops in different parts of the country. This was a reflection of SIMI’s ideological moorings. But instead of condemning this organisation, the AIMMM condemned the extension of the ban on SIMI by the UPA government in 2008. Dr. Zafrul Islam Khan, the then president of Mushawrat termed the ban unfortunate and questioned the logic behind the decision of the central government. He remarked, “In a clear case of discrimination and double-standard against Muslims, the government has been religiously extending the ban since 2001” (http://twocircles.net/node/44874).
It is ridiculous that Mushawarat condemned the extension of ban on SIMI but did not speak a word against it when “Saeed Ahmed Khan, its former Mumbai chief confessed last month that he visited Pakistan in 1991 after learning that “the ISI was training Indian youths to cultivate (sic) the culture of jihad”. Khan said that the then SIMI top-brass C.A. Baseer and Asraf Zafari were pushing it in a more militant direction. “It was at this juncture that the gun culture took root in SIMI — these radical preachers toed the line of jihad and brainwashed Indian youths who later turned into anti-Indian jihadis.”( Javed Anand: Indian Muslims must recognise the organisation for what it is: against secular democracy (http://secularindia.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/javed-anand-indian-muslims-must-recognise-the-organisation-for-what-it-is-against-secular-democracy/)
Another resolution on 7th July meeting – “the AIMMM believes that certain communal-minded elements in the Union Home Ministry, IB and ATS teams are implicating Indian Muslim boys in fake terror cases with a view to maintain pressure on the Muslim community and to marginalise it” (http://www.milligazette.com/news/3910-Indian-Muslims-mushawarat-delibrates-on-national-and-international-issues) suggests that Mushawarat does not trust Government of India and its security agencies engaged for countering terrorism. Such politics of confrontation is nothing but a revival of the Islamist politics of pre-partition days.
Although, the influence of AIMMM among the Indian Muslims is still a matter of conjecture, its support to the Islamist organisations like JEIH in India and Muslim Brotherhood sponsored president in Egypt is a disturbing trend. The anger with which it had expressed its mistrust against the security agency of the country for the arrest of Muslim youths and solidarity with the banned organisation like SIMI shows its truencolours.
The Indian Muslim society does not need Islamist organisations like AIMMM but what it should look for – is leaders with an enlightened liberal intellect and persuasive powers to destroy the hold of Islamic orthodoxy on gullible sections of the community.
(The author can be reached at e-mail [email protected])