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MP Muslims uphold Vande Mataram

india Updated: Sep 06, 2006 18:02 IST

Several Muslim organisations in Madhya Pradesh say singing of Vande Mataram is not against the basic tenets of Islam.

A spokesperson for the Rashtravadi Muslim Vikas Samiti said: "The song has been the unifying force for people from different religions ever since the freedom struggle."

Mustafa Khan, the Samiti's secretary said, "It's singing is not against the fundamentals of Islam. Praising of motherland has been encouraged in Islam."

Singing of the national song to mark its centenary on September 7 has been made compulsory in Madhya Pradesh.

Saying that his organisation would try to ensure that the song is recited by all Muslims, Khan said, "Muslims are an integral part of the country's culture and should not fall prey to opportunist plots of political leaders."

A large number of Muslims took out a procession in Bhopal on Saturday to show their support for the national song.

The procession organised by the All-India Muslim Teohar Committee (AIMTC) was led by Maulana Maqbool Ahmed Mansuri (head of the Mansuri sect), Haji Hakim Qureshi (head of the Qureshis) and Syed Shaukat Ali (head of the Sufis).

"There is no wrong in praying for our motherland and Vande Mataram is a salaam (salute) not a naman  or ibadat  (worship). It is a prayer for the nation," a member of the committee said.

"Misconceptions among Muslims exist because the song is in Sanskrit — a language they don't understand," he added.

Madhya Pradesh Madarsa Board Chairman SK Muddintoo had earlier issued a circular asking the 2.75 lakh students in 5,300 seminaries to sing the national song as there was nothing un-Islamic about it.

Muddin said, "I have instructed all madarsas to ensure students sing the song. It's a salute to the nation."

His words echo the sentiments of other Muslims too.

The All-India Muslim Women's Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB) president Shaista Ambar, during her recent visit to the state, said that the singing of the national song is not "un-Islamic". AIMWPLB is also organising a seminar in Lucknow on Sep 10 on the sacrifice of Muslims in the freedom movement.

The government has already sent the circular to all educational institutes to ensure the recitation of Vande Mataram to mark its centenary on September 7.

Governor Balram Jakhar has said singing of the national song is not part of any religious ritual. It should be recited as a mark of respect, Raj Bhavan sources said.

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