Shahi Imam Asks PM To Counsel, Not Punish Straying Muslims

09/02/2016 9:32 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 4: Shahi Imam of Delhi Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari announces his support for Congress in the coming Lok Sabha elections during a press conference on April 4, 2014 in New Delhi, India. The Shahi Imam also appealed for support to Trinamool Congress candidates and for RJD in Bihar as it has allied with Congress for the general election. (Photo by Ajay Aggarwal/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- Concerned over the recent detentions of Muslim youths over being allegedly linked to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari on Monday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and conveyed him that straying Muslims must be counselled instead of being punished, as it was a more 'permanent' solution.

"Conveyed to the Prime Minister that the Muslim community is severely offended by the rise in arrests especially in madrassas and madrassa teachers and how youths are being arrested in the name of ISIS. It is important that the government introspects on this matter. Muslims are always against terrorism so is Islam and no religion permits terrorism," Bukhari told ANI.

Talking about the recent incident where a 17-year-old was arrested for having alleged links with ISIS where the terror group contacted him after he posted his comments on the Babri Masjid demolition on Facebook, Bukhari added that arresting him and leaving him in prison was not the solution.

"If someone is guilty then you need to prove it. Doling out a severe punishment for a small issue is not fair. If learned youngsters are getting lured by ISIS then it would be better if they are counselled. After he gets released, he will make the same mistake again because he will be thinking of revenge," he said.

Asserting that no Muslim leader will raise his voice if a person has actually committed a crime, he added that the Prime Minister has promised to look at wrong arrests made in the name of ISIS.

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