Aligarh Muslims flay Bukhari for Sharif invite

Aligarh, Oct 31 (IANS) A Muslim forum here Friday accused the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid of insulting Indian Muslims by inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif but not his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to the 17th century mosque to mark his son’s appointment as the Naib Imam.

The Forum for Muslim Studies and Analysis (FMSA) also asked the Indian government to end by an act of parliament the “un-Islamic Imamat” that allows the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid to designate his successor from his own family.
Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari announced Thursday that he had had invited Sharif and four BJP leaders but not Modi to a Nov 29 dinner to mark the appointment of his son Shaban, 19, as the Naib Imam, a post that will one day help him head the historic mosque.
“We do not support the BJP but once the electorate has made its choice, Modi is the prime minister of all citizens including Muslims,” said Rozaullah Khan, chairing a meeting at the Media Centre.
By inviting Sharif and ignoring Modi, Bukhari has greatly insulted Indian Muslims, he said, and urged Indian Muslims to boycott Bukhari.
FMSA Secretary Jasim Mohammad said the mentality of the Shahi Imam was not positive for Muslims and the nation. He said that while Bukhari was at liberty not to invite Modi, he should not have invited Sharif.
Another speaker, Farhat Ali Khan, said the Imamat in Jama Masjid should be run on Islamic principles. “This undemocratic Imamat must end.”
Humayun Murad, a professor, said religious heads had a duty to bring about communal harmony.
“Ahmad Bukhari has … turned the Jama Masjid into a political platform. We will not allow it to go unchallenged.”
The FMSA passed a resolution condemning the Shahi Imam’s invitation to Sharif and asked the Indian government to end “this un-Islamic Imamat through an act of parliament”.