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Friday, January 28, 2011

Muslims do not want progress at the cost of identity: SIO President

Muslims do not want progress at the cost of identity: SIO President

New Delhi: "Muslims want development and progress but not at the cost of their ideological and religious identity. In Gujarat, Muslims still feel anxious about their identity" said Mohammad Azharuddin, National President of Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO), when his view was sought on the stormy statement of Deoband Rector Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi that there is no discrimination against Muslims in development matter in the state.

Mr. Azharuddin was addressing a press conference today at Press Club of India, New Delhi. The conference was called to highlight the SIO agenda for campuses.

R-L: Saikh Shoib, MD. Azharuddin, Shariq Ansar and MD. Asif Ali

"Our campuses should be the mirror image of a peaceful society. Therefore, we should struggle to maintain the peace and tranquility at the campuses. If anything goes wrong, we must object and protest against it but peacefully and sensibly" he added.

On the protest by students at Darul Uloom Deoband against Rector Maulana Mohammad Ghulam Vastanvi he said: "He was elected as per the rule of seminary. Still if there is something wrong it must be solved by dialogue and peace must not be disturbed at the campus. I cannot comment on whether Maulana Vastanvi should go or stay because it is the job of the seminary's Advisory Body (Majlis-e-Shura)."

However, he made it clear that there must be students union at every college and university to maintain the democratic practices there. "We ask government and private educational institutions to constitute students union, where it still not, and abstain from anti-students policy. We appeal to student community to make their campuses full of creativity, socially sensitive and responsible" he said.

He said that SIO delegation will meet the HRD Minister to discuss the issues and problems that student community is confronting at the campuses.

He called upon student community to struggle against social evils and injustice. "It is our responsibility to feel the pain of common Indians be they Muslim, Hindu, Dalit or any other group. Therefore, we must be alert about their problems and raise our concern to ensure justice and dignity for them" he said.

Asked why Muslim women are not allowed to be part of progressive world, he said: "Muslim women are not prohibited from earning money, getting education or doing business. Yes, these things must be with the maintenance of their identity and dignity. But unfortunately, today people are using women as moneymaker through various ways and describing it development and progress" he pointed out.

He also urged the government to keep the commitment with the issues related to the minority. "Government must act seriously for the restoration of Minority character of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, implementation of recommendations made by Sachar Committee and Ranganath Mishra Commission" he said.

At the press conference Mohammad Azharuddin was accompanied by Sharique Ansar and Shaikh Shoaib, SIO Secretaries, and Md. Asif Ali, the publication manager.