Saudi Mufti’s anti-terror message timely: Indian Muslim leaders

New Delhi, Nov 27 ( Muslim leaders in India Friday welcomed the “timely message” by Saudi grand mufti asking Muslims not to support terrorism and urging them to unite against suicide attacks.

In his message to Muslims delivered during Haj pilgrimage, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al Sheikh said there was no place for terrorism in Islam and asked Muslim intellectuals to take measures to “eradicate misunderstandings about Islam and its teachings”.

He was delivering the annual Haj sermon at Masjid-e-Nimra in Arafat, outside the Makkah city, where over two million Muslims from across the world had gathered for ‘waqoof’, one of the important rituals.

Many millions around the world watched the sermon broadcast live on TV.

Khutba Haj, as the sermon is known, is very important to Muslims as it is addressed to the entire community and Haj pilgrims carry its message back to their respective homelands.

Welcoming the message, Moulana Niyaz Ahmed Farooqi, the secretary general of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, said: “The khutba from the mufti sahib is timely and was much needed. People all over the world should now understand that any killing done in the name of Islam is actually against the tenets of Islam.”

“The Haj khutba is meant to lead the Muslims towards the righteous path and the mufti sahib could not have chosen a better platform to bring home this important point.”

He said clerics in India had always held the view that there was no justification of terrorism in Islam and those who terrorise the people in the name of Islam and denigrating the religion “are actually the enemies of Islam”.

The Jamiat, Farooqi said, “has launched a nationwide movement to clear the misconceptions about Islam and propagate the right message of peace which is the essence of our faith”.

Journalist-politician Shahid Siddiqui said the sermon was “better late than never”.

“This message should have gone 20 years ago and the damage that the terror in the name of the religion did to Muslims could have been prevented,” Siddiqui said.

“All along these years, I have been wondering how Muslims are tolerating the terror in the name of Islam which has caused a huge damage. Islam is a religion which forbids you to cut trees, how can you kill innocents and claim to be a Musalman.

“I appreciate what the Mufti sahib has said and hope that these enemies of Islam would have got a message,” said Siddiqui, who is also national secretary of the Bahujan Samaj Party.

Fromer Congress MP Syed Shahabuddin said the views of the grand mufti are what “Indian Ulema have been saying and questioning terrorism and calling for a united struggle against misrepresentation of Islam”.

He said Muslims should empower themselves with education and knowledge to fight the evil forces which bring a bad name to Islam.