HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Aam Aadmi Party cap invites fatwa in UP

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  Varanasi/Lucknow, January 17, 2014
First Published: 18:45 IST(17/1/2014) | Last Updated: 19:00 IST(17/1/2014)

A section of clerics in Varanasi has issued a fatwa (religious edict) against members of the Muslim community wearing an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) cap, which carries the image of a broom.

“After much discussion, it has been decided the AAP cap is anti-Islamic and Muslims must not wear it,” Mufti board secretary Maulana Haseen Ahmad Habibi said.

 “A broom is used for cleaning garbage. So, sporting its image on the head is anti-Islamic. In Islam, we bow our head only before the Almighty. We cannot allow Muslims to wear such a cap,” he added.

Badshah Bagh, the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, agreed with him.

According to Habibi, the decree was issued after community members approached clerics for counsel on if the cap should be worn. “I was confronted with the question.”

This is not the first time that the AAP’s election symbol — a broom — has become a talking point. After the AAP formed the government in Delhi and made its national ambitions clear, many smaller parties have staked claim to broom as their election symbol.

Khalid Rashid, who heads the 300-year-old Firangi Mahl, also known as house of fatwas, said the use of caps with an image of a broom during prayer was prohibited.

But there are some who differ. Maulana Nizamuddin, general secretary of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), said there was nothing wrong in wearing a cap during prayers as long as it did not carry the image of a jandaar (living object).

AAP national council member Vaibhav Maheshwari said the decree indicated the growing popularity of the party. “Fatwa is issued when someone asks a question… We never asked people to offer prayers sporting AAP caps. It’s their personal choice.”

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