Madrassas in Mumbai send out a big freedom message

Muslim clerics and Ulemas (scholars) unfurled the tricolour at various places in the city and followed it up with sermons and call for peace.
Children celebrate Independence day at a masjid in Andheri on Tuesday.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)
Children celebrate Independence day at a masjid in Andheri on Tuesday.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)
Updated on Aug 16, 2017 01:03 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByAkash Sakaria, Mumbai

On Tuesday, as many as 75 madrassas and masjids hoisted the national flag and sang the national anthem to celebrate the 70th Independence Day of India.

Muslim clerics and Ulemas (scholars) unfurled the tricolour at various places in the city and followed it up with sermons and call for peace.

Bhendi Bazaar hosted the biggest flag-hoisting ceremony. More than 150 people sang the national anthem in unison. Anand Raj Ambedkar, grandson of Babasaheb Ambedkar, was the chief guest.

“This was not our first Independence Day celebration and the numbers were also comparatively larger than last year. Some madrassas and masjids celebrated the day for the first time,” said Maulana Syed Moinuddin Ashraf, also known as Moin Miya, from Sunni Jama Masjid and founder of the Maharashtra Muslim Front.

“We wanted to send out a message that Muslims care for the country too. We played as much part in the country’s Independence as anyone else. Our patriotic feelings are unparalleled,” Maulana added.

Other madrassas organised events after the Tricolour was hoisted.

The Chishti Hindustani Masjid in Byculla has been celebrating the day for more than 50 years.

“There was a special taqreer (sermon) and the chief guests called for peace in the country. Our masjid has been hoisting the national flag ever since the country achieved independence. But there seems to be a sudden bout of patriotism among the community,” said Mohammed Irfan Aleemi, president of Aleemi Movement of India and member of All India Imam Tanzeem.

A meeting of Ulemas was held last week to discuss preparations for Independence Day celebrations. Religious leaders had urged the Ulemas to spread the message of patriotism among young Muslims.

Another madrassa in Mumbai celebrated the day for the first time. Maulana Ibrahim Aasi from Agripada said, “Independence Day is the right day to show everyone that we are patriotic too. The nation is as much ours as it is anyone else’s from any other faith.”

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