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Modi govt reaches out to Muslim clerics to appeal for peace as India protests citizenship law

Minority commission & minority affairs ministry have asked clerics to tell the community the law is not anti-Muslim & there’s nothing to worry about.

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New Delhi: As protests against the government’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) intensify across the country, the Ministry of Minority Affairs and the National Commission for Minorities have asked influential Muslim clerics to defuse the tense situation and appeal for peace.

The commission and the ministry have contacted Mufti Abdul Qasim Nomani, vice-chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, Delhi-based cleric Mahmood Madani, imam of Lucknow Idgah Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi, Dewan of Ajmer Sharif Dargah Syed Zainul Abedin and Lucknow-based cleric Kalbe Sadiq.

These leaders have been asked to tell their community that the citizenship law is not anti-Muslim, that the NRC is not on the government’s immediate agenda and that there’s nothing to worry about, said Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi, chairperson of the minority commission.

Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the government has also initiated public FAQs campaigns to differentiate between CAA and NRC, but at the last moment decided to involve Muslim community leaders to clear the confusion.

“Many videos and WhatsApp messages are doing the rounds on social media to create confusion among protesters, particularly the Muslims,” he said.

Rizvi told ThePrint that they have asked the Muslim clerics to allay fears of their community members. 

“We are talking to prominent Muslim clerics and asking them to send the message that this (CAA) Act has got nothing to do with Indian Muslims, that the NRC is not on cards right now and that they need not worry. When NRC will be brought, there will be wider consultations,” he said.

Rizvi also said that a few elements are taking advantage of the situation and Muslims shouldn’t fall prey to it. “Police should also show restraint while dealing with the protesters,” he added.

The government wants the clerics to speak to their counterparts in Lucknow, Karnataka and Hyderabad.

Protests have gripped many parts of the country ever since the citizenship bill was passed in Parliament last week. In Delhi, Section 144 was imposed Thursday, but protesters defied curfew to march against the citizenship law, leading to the detention of hundreds of people.

Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari had issued a statement Wednesday, asking protesters to maintain peace and not to indulge in violence. 

“There is a difference between Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. One is CAA that has become a law and another is the NRC that has only been announced. There is no need to worry,” Bukhari said in the statement.

A prominent cleric in Lucknow, who didn’t want to be named, told ThePrint the government wants to send the message of peace and calm. “When CAA and NRC will be brought, there will be wider consultations — this is the government’s message,” he said.

Also read: Violent anti-CAA protests break out in Lucknow, police use tear-gas to disperse crowds

Govt’s own initiative

To counter false propaganda related to the citizenship law and the NRC, the home ministry and the Press Information Bureau have initiated FAQs campaigns on social media and other platforms to answer people’s queries.

On Thursday, the government also published advertisements in Hindi newspapers, saying the NRC will not be rolled out right now and there’s no cause for worry. 

On Tuesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, speaking in a TV programme, also said no Indian citizen needs to worry and no one will be thrown out.

“We will make special provisions to ensure that no Indian citizens from minority communities are victimised in the NRC process. But we can’t leave the borders open as well. Countries are not run like that,” Shah said.

On the country-wide protests over the citizenship law, an official from the minority affairs ministry said they have been “caught unprepared”.

“During Ayodhya judgment, we had planned community meetings in advance to maintain peace. But this time, we didn’t anticipate that protests of this scale will take place. We should have been better prepared to avoid this situation,” he added.

Also read: Delhi protesters defy Section 144 to march against citizenship law, hundreds detained


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  1. Obviously these clerics must have been made aware of ED, IT and other agencies and “requested” to make an appeal . We have seen how the government has been “governing”since2014

  2. We have already decided.. those clerics who are calling the act pro constitution or not anti Muslim then they are to be boycotted, namaz shouldn’t be prayed behind them and they are RSS goons

  3. “Khoda pahad, nikla Chuha” – this is the best phrase that describes the BJP NRC effort. If nobody who is not a citizen will be thrown out, and the only thing you need is document to show your date of birth before 1987, then almost everybody will qualify, even illegals who already have got licenses or aadhar cards etc.
    Modi and Shah are raising a lot of bullshit for no purpose whatsoever.
    Even CAB was unnecessary. If Modi-shah wanted, they could simply have passed a order to regularize the citizenship of those who have applied by citing their circumstances of persecution.

  4. To hell with mullas and mufti,there job is to be a custodian of religion and not custodian of secularism and the past we have seen how for the sake of money and power they have got the political fielding done for certain party. Muslims of India have awaken,now they don’t want to get trap in the fallacy of such people.either be a religious people or be a politician, don’t mix it.shahi paneer is really good with vegetables but it’s a mismatch with mutton…the metaphor in intended.

  5. The BJP thinks since they won with huge majority they can easily act as per their manifesto.Who reads manifesto .When BJP asked for votes they never asked people to vote because of their manifesto.All of us know the narratives at that time were entirely different.BJP must remember there is stilll democaracy in the country and people will protest if they feel something wrong is being done.Still not late for the present dispensatuion to listen to what the protesters are saying.You cannot repeat what you did in Gujarat.

  6. The only community we know is called Indian, and humanity…. Who are these clerics and who the hell has given them the right to tell us how to defend our constitution.
    There is no space for religious leaders in the political space. Clerics, mullas, Yogi’s and pundits should concentrate on their religious duties, and leave secular spaces to secular citizens.

    • India will be secular as long as Hindus are the majority. After that , it will be Islamic country. Just look at our neighbours.

  7. The are wrong that why they are trying to get cleric help, but it is about constitution of India which they want to change, nobody is going to listen to this cleric, let all this ccleric join us in this protest, they are not exempted from it, show them people power

  8. we are fighting for constitution not for muslims or any community..BJP always promised something and does something.. should not believe them.

  9. Typical BJP! Buy the clerics!! Arre Bhai, we are fighting for the constitution, for India – who are muslim clerics to tell us to go back? or hindu clerics either?
    Come instead and join us to save the country from communal hindutva forces, that is my challenge to the moderate desh-bhakts in the ranks of bjp.

    • Even if clerics comes to rescue BJP, no Indian will back off as it’s a matter of constitution not about Muslims alone.

    • We have to save the country from pure disaster that the BJP is taking towards. Let us keep the clerics and sadhu babas out of this.

      But is the term moderate desh-bhakt in the BJP an oxymoron? Do they really exist? And how did we get here? Or the pacific side of Hinduism has always been a facade?

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