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Issue fatwa saying India a friend of Islam: VHP to Muslims

Issue fatwa saying India a friend of Islam: VHP to Muslims

Author: PTI
Publication: The Times of India
Date: February 22, 2009
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Issue-fatwa-saying-India-a-friend-of-Islam-VHP-to-Muslims/articleshow/4170066.cms

Concerned by "religion inspired violence", the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has shot off a letter to 13 Muslim organisations requesting them to issue a fatwa declaring India as a friend of Islam, 'Dar-Ul-Amn', against which 'jihad' should not be waged.

VHP's Dharm Raksha Manch, a congregation of seers which issued the letter, has asked Ulemas to state clearly that Hindus are not `kafirs' and therefore `jihad' does not apply to the community.

The letter cites examples from the emails released by the terrorist group `Indian Mujahideen' citing religious dictum justifying the terror attacks on Ahmedabad and Delhi.

Asking Muslim scholars to clear such misconceptions, the letter said they should "issue a fatwa declaring that India is not Dar-Ul-Haram i.e. a country against which Muslims must launch a religious war, rather India is Dar-Ul-Amen, a land of peace where all Muslims can practice and propagate their religion uninterrupted."

Addressed to Muslim intellectuals, leaders and Ulemas the letter states "The Dharm Raksha Manch is particularly concerned that Islamic scriptures have served as the inspiration behind these attacks, and concerned that the same might occur again in the future".

The Manch issued the letter to the All India Milli Council, Dar-Ul-Ulum, Deoband, Tabligh Jamaat, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, All India Organisation of Imams of Mosques among others.

The missive also seeks that the fatwa mentions in clear terms that all those who do not abide by these facts will not be termed a "true Muslim".

"We are expecting the said organisations will respond to this appeal in a positive manner. We firmly believe that till the time Islamic leaders do not condemn religion inspired violence, terrorism in this country will not come to an end," VHP International President and member of the Dharm Raksha Manch, Ashok Singhal, said.

"If Islam is a religion of peace, as they propagate, then we expect them to issue a fatwa clearing these views," he said.

The Manch also released a 11-point agenda that includes declaring India as a "spiritual nation", construction of a fitting Ram temple in Ayodhya, and declaring bovines, Ganges and Ram Sethu as crucial to the nation's cultural heritage.

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