POLITICS

Muslim Leaders Meet PM Modi To Express Fear, Official Press Release Doesn't Quite Reflect What They Said

"We are afraid that the fear and despondence if unchecked could prove highly counterproductive."

13/05/2017 12:14 PM IST | Updated 13/05/2017 12:57 PM IST
Dinuka Liyanawatte / Reuters

A group of Muslim leaders met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 9 and told him about the fear that their community was experiencing because of cow vigilantism and "Love Jihad", but the official press release issued after the meeting did not mention the concerns that they expressed in the meeting.

The Indian Express reported today that the statements issued by the Press Information Bureau of the government and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, a leading Muslim organisation which led the delegation, differed when it came to issues of communalization discussed at the meeting.

Zahir Kazi, president of the Anjuman-i-Islam told the newspaper, "Many people spoke on the issue in different tones. But the purport of it all is that the community feels it is being targeted. Extremist elements are taking the law into their own hands, something nobody should be allowed to do. Cow vigilantes, love jihad, all this is creating an atmosphere of fear, we told the Prime Minister."

The Prime Minister reportedly reassured the community that it was his responsibility to ensure that nobody feels discriminated against.

The official press release said that the discussion touched on several issues including the PM's vision, the problem of terrorism, the unrest in Kashmir, and the issue of Triple Talaq, but it made no mention of the concerns expressed over cow vigilantism, Love Jihad and the "gulf" between the Muslim community and the government.

"Praising the Prime Minister's vision, members of the delegation expressed hope that the nationwide trust that he has among the people, will ensure prosperity and well-being of all segments of society. They said that the Muslim community is keen to be an equal partner in the making of New India," the press release said.

"Noting that terrorism is a major challenge, they expressed a common resolve to combat it with all their might. They added that it is the Muslim community's responsibility that under no circumstances should anyone compromise the nation's security or well-being. They said that the Muslim community would never allow any conspiracy against India to succeed," it said.

You can read full press release here.

The press release issued by the Jamiat Ulama-e Hind said, "Maulana Madani said PM was apprehensive about growing hatred in the name of cow protection and he assured us that he would not let this trend prosper."

Maulana Madani is the general secretary of the Jamiat Ulema-e Hind. You can read the full press release here.

The memorandum submitted by the Muslim delegation said, "The recent incidents of manslaughter on the pretext of cow slaughter have sent shock waves of terror and fear through Muslim, Dalit and the weakest sections of the society. We are afraid that the fear and despondence if unchecked could prove highly counterproductive.

There is no doubt that terrorism, fueled and perpetuated by enemy forces tops our agenda with reference to our national security, peace and stability. There have been attempts to communalise even this issue. We have always condemned such attempt and consistently campaigned at the national level in cooperation with all communities against terrorism as well as religious bigotry and extremism."

You can read the full memorandum here.

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