Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — The India Islamic Cultural Centre, established with an avid objective to promote Islamic culture and Islamic values, often finds itself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Latest in the series is due to the abrupt cancellation of permission to hold a ‘consultative meeting’ on the growing menace of mob lynching which was organised by Tanzeem Ulma e Islam, a Delhi-based religious organisation and was scheduled for July 11.
According to the details, the hall in the Islamic Centre was booked for the purpose a week in advance. But the organisers were told that the booking had been canceled by the Centre’s management at the eleventh hour.
“We were shocked by the Indian Islamic Centre’s inexplicable decision as a Muslim organisation did not allow us to hold a meeting with an open agenda”, Maulana Shahabuddin Razvi, General Secretary of Tanzeem Ulma e Islam, said while speaking to Caravan Daily, and added that they were denied permission by the IICC saying that these were orders from the government.
“This systematic suppression of freedom of speech and criticism by the government has been on the rise and infringes the basic constitutional rights of the people,” he commented.
When Razvi had asked the concerned clerk about the abrupt cancellation of permission, the only response was that it was an order from “higher authorities.” He even refused to provide the reason in writing or arrange a meeting with the President when asked for the same.
Caravan Daily tried to contact the IICC president Sirajuddin Quraishi to know the Centre’s stand, but he did not attend any of the calls made to him.
Of late, the Centre has witnessed many controversies including the recitation of Vande Mataram at its meetings and the members are not happy with the present management which always tries to be seen with powers.
“It is a shame on the part of the IICC and also the authorities who try to stop the voice of the neutral people”, said Jamshed Hasan, who is General Manager in a media organisation.
Speaking to Caravan Daily, he said he had a talk with a person connected to the Centre who simply stated that the booking was cancelled due to anomalies in the application and invitation.
This is not the first instance of a Muslim organisation being denied permission. In the past, the management of IICC turned down requests for many events and meetings.
Social Democratic Party of India leader, Advocate Sharfuddin Ahmad said his party was denied permission by the IICC president on the political ground while he himself invites and organises BJP leaders programmes at the Centre for personal gains. The IICC was established by the Muslims and for the Muslims but the current president has turned it into his fiefdom, he said.