More than 100 leading Muslim professionals, activists and homemakers have slammed resolutions passed by the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind at its recent conclave in Deoband, calling them “regressive” steps that would hurt the community’s progress.
The signatories include actor Naseeruddin Shah, activist Shabnam Hashmi, song-writer Javed Akhtar, Delhi-based historian and Maulana Azad chair of the National Educational Planning University Irfan Habib.
A host of NRIs, doctors and engineers from the community have also signed the resolution, condemning the organisation.
The Jamiat, a countrywide group of clerics, had endorsed a 12-year-old fatwa that had decreed national song Vande Mataram as un-Islamic, setting off a controversy.
The signatories stated the resolution on Vande Mataram was just one among many other anti-progress stands of the Jamiat.
“The resolution on Vande Mataram has been widely publicised but other resolutions are equally regressive and need a closer look,” activist Shabnam Hashmi said.
The signatories said they were “shocked” to know the Jamiat’s attitude towards women’s education. “It is a retrogressive move not only to isolate girls from the mainstream of national education but also to keep them confined in a secluded sectarian atmosphere. It is shocking to demand shariat norms in education for girls. We condemn this anti-women move,” the statement said.
On Jamiat’s rejection of the madrassa board, the signatories said: “It will not only keep the community backwards but would discourage Muslims from taking to education for the fear of unnecessarily loosing Islamic values.”