VHP anti-terror message: part peace, part threat | india | Hindustan Times
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VHP anti-terror message: part peace, part threat

Islamic seminary Darul Uloom’s anti-terror fatwa (religious edict) issued on February 25 last year may have made news globally, but Deoband’s Hindu backyard is not half as excited. Zia Haq reports.

india Updated: Mar 02, 2009 00:33 IST
Zia Haq

Islamic seminary Darul Uloom’s anti-terror fatwa (religious edict) issued on February 25 last year may have made news globally, but Deoband’s Hindu backyard is not half as excited.

At a 50-year-old ashram in this hub of India’s Islamic clergy, just across the road from the Muslim seminary, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Sunday organised a yagya for Ram Rajya to defeat terror, with many seers saying Hinduism faced a “serious threat” from jihad and the fatwa proved of “little use”.

“We have no differences with Darul Uloom. I am on talking terms with the Madnis (referring to Jamiat leader Mahmood Madni’s late father Asad Madni). But terrorists are still killing in the name of Islam and the Darul fatwa has helped little,” said the 90-year-old ashram head, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati.

The meet, organised by the VHP’s Sanskritik Gaurav Manch, was a peace initiative with a word of warning. The ashram’s head sent a letter to Darul Uloom rector Maulana Marghoobur Rahman on Friday, seeking a meeting with him for discussion on terrorism. “We welcome the Darul fatwa but if the government cannot take care of law and order, we will,” said VHP’s Deoband chief Sandeep Vyas.

Hundreds of saffron-clad seers led by Saraswati huddled around the sacred fire ritual, chanting mantras for peace. The function was also attended by Janata Party leader Subramaniun Swamy. “Justice and peace isn’t possible without taking local aspirations into account. That is what Ram Rayja tells us,” said Swamy.

At the Darul Uloom grounds just across the Grand Trunk Road, the seminary had last year declared a fatwa, saying terror strikes that kill innocents was un-Islamic.

The seers said a just state based on Lord Ram’s principles of governance could alone end the scourge of terror and not a fatwa. Asked if he thought the VHP’s yagya against terrorism was a parallel of its own anti-terror conferences, Darul Uloom spokesperson Adil Siddiqui said: “They are doing their bit. We are doing ours.”