NEW DELHI – The two factions of Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind (JUH), one led by Maulana Arshad Madani and the other by Maulana Mehmood Asad Madani, are working to come closure and may soon merge together to have a united voice on Muslim concerns in the country.
The split in the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind happened in 2008 after members of its working committee objected to the way its president at the time Maulana Arshad Madani conducted the organisation’s operations. Arshad Madani had taken over from his brother Maulana Asad Madani, who used to run the organisation for 41 years. As the organisation was facing troubles, Arshad Madani formed his separate Jamiat organisation by the same name. The split was purely an organisational matter and not an ideological one.
Asad Madani’s son, Maulana Mahmood Madani, took control of the other part of JUH, first as its general secretary and then as its president.
After 14 years of separation, the two factions of the influential Muslim religious organisation led by Deoband Ulema are working towards a merger to strengthen the organisation and to give a united voice against the increasing Islamophobia in the country and intolerance towards Muslim community.
The Jamiat is one of the largest Muslim bodies in India and claims to have 1.5 crore followers and members.
According to a report in The Indian Express, Arshad Madani said increasing Islamophobia in the country made it imperative for the factions to come together and “fight discrimination against Muslims, together”.
As a first step towards unity, last month, the Mahmood Madani faction extended an invitation to Arshad Madani to attend its annual general body meeting in Deoband on May 28. The meeting was attended by 2,000 members from across the country. The purpose of extending the invitation was to see if there was any way that the organisation could be united and strengthened, according to Jamiat sources.
The JUH plans to launch a massive campaign across India, with thousands of “Sadbhavna Sansads”.
“For this, the JUH plans to call leaders from other religious communities as well as non-religious leaders and thinkers. But if they call people from other communities, our community needs to be united and strengthened first. There should not be any rupture here,” said a source, according to the report.
Arshad Madani said he received a roaring reception at the annual general body meeting of Jamiat (Mehmood faction) in Deoband .
“When I spoke at the meeting, I had said that in the near future, there will come a day, when this Maidan will house all members from both factions unitedly. This statement received a tremendous welcome from the members. So, we felt, that the merger can happen. We held our working committee meeting on Saturday (June 18) and passed a resolution in favour of a merger,’’ Arshad Madani said.
The Maulana went on to add, “The Jamiat has an over 100-year-old history. At a time when Partition was happening, and a section of Muslims propounded the idea that Hindus and Muslims could not live together, we remained. Our logic was that the two communities had lived together for thousands of years, so what was the reasoning behind a separate nation for Muslims? Today, a similar theory is being propounded by a section of Hindus who are spreading division and hatred. And this communal stance is being fostered by the present government. At this juncture, the Jamiat needs to come together so our voice can be stronger.”