New Delhi: As the terrorists continue to tarnish the image of Muslims in India and across the world, a prominent Sunni clerics’ organization, All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB) has urged Muslims to reject the hardline Wahabi cult of Islam.
The clerics also called for limiting the influence of Saudi Arabia, at a Mahapanchayat held at Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, as it was interfering in the affairs of Indian Muslims unnecessarily by pumping in its money.
Addressing the Mahapanchayat, AIUMB general secretary Syed Mohammed Ashraf Kachochavi said, “About 100 years ago, Sunni Muslims in India had rejected the Wahabis. After Independence, however, the Wahabis expanded their influence through political backing. While we remained away from government and politics, Wahabis gained control over institutions dealing with minority affairs, including the Wakf board and the Muslim Personal Law Board."
Also present there was AIUMB spokesperson Syed Babar Ashraf who said that Wahabis only have the support of just 14% of the community as compared to the Sunni Sufi which is being followed by nearly 80% of the total population of the community.
“However But a large section of the Urdu press has boycotted us. They are controlled by hardliners," Ashraf added.
Ashraf alleged that prominent Muslim organizations like Deoband, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind and Ahl-e-Hadees are funded by petro-dollars and aim to grab political power and were importing a "foreign ideology" into India.
At the Mahapanchayat, the AIUMB urged the Centre to set up a central madrasa board to audit and check the influx of Saudi petro-dollars funding of madrasas.
Speaking at the Mahapanchayat, Arshad Alam who is an assistant professor at Jamia Millia Islamia University said, "This movement is articulating the ethnic roots of Islam in India. It`s not just about a religious identity but placing this identity in the national context."
The AIUMB also plans to hold mahapanchayats and Sunni conferences to spread their message every six months.