ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A New Muslim Leadership?

Will the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind be able to gain the confidence of Muslim youth who feel deeply victimised?

In February 2008, the Dar-ul-Ulum Deoband organised an anti-terrorism convention in Deoband, Uttar Pradesh, a ttended by Islamic scholars from all over India, which was followed in June by a fatwa against terrorism signed by three prominent clerics. Though the Deoband convention raised other issues of significance to the Muslim community, public attention focused on the fatwa. Earlier this month, in Hyderabad, the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind (JUH) convened a convention that was attended by 6,000 clerics who endorsed the earlier stand and also called for a redefinition of jihad, which they saw as wrongly identified with terrorism. This time around as well, media and public attention was focused on the stand the clerics took on terrorism though the convention passed 21 resolutions on issues facing the Muslim community, in particular, and the minorities, in general.

The communal situation has worsened considerably in the period between the two conventions. The violence in Adilabad and Bhainsa (Andhra Pradesh), Burhanpur (Madhya Pradesh), Dhule and Malegaon (Maharashtra), the anti-Christian aggression in Orissa, Karnataka and parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala has taken place alongside the serial bomb blasts in a number of cities, for which the Indian Mujahideen has claimed responsibility.

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