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Muslim Cleric’s Peace Overture in Bareilly Rally Lost in Political Cacophony

20,000 Muslims will surrender their lives for the country’s peace and harmony, said Maulana Tauqir Raza addressing the rally

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – In a reaction to the Haridwar hate assembly held on December 17-19 where Hindu monks had given an open call for genocide of Muslims, thousands of Muslims gathered at Islamia Maidan in Bareilly on Friday on a call of Maulana Tauqir Raza, a leader of the Barelvi. Though got a wide coverage in the media, the message of peace and fraternity inherent in the rally seems to have lost on those it addresses.

Maulana Raza, a leader of the Barelvi sect of the Muslim community, who runs a political party of his own, Ittehad Millat Council, was quoted as saying by the media while addressing the rally, “They want to kill 20 lakh Muslims. At least 20,000 Muslims are here to surrender before the government ready to sacrifice their lives for the country’s peace and harmony.”

The peace overture from a religious figure is rare in the troubled times the country is going through. But this too seems to have drowned in the political cesspool of Uttar Pradesh where elections are round the corner. This is evident from the fact that the unique message of the rally could not become a talking point in the country.

Warning against the belligerent elements in the Hindu community, he said if they were not reined in, a civil war is imminent which the country would ill afford.

“We do not want to fight with you since you are our brothers. If your thirst can be quenched by our blood, we are ready to go to the altar of sacrifice. Now, you decide who is wrong – those who are ready to lay down their lives for the country or those who disregard women and give a call to kill 200 million people of a community. Can those people be called patriots?”

His assertion was greeted with thunderous applause from the cheering crowd including his enthusiastic followers. Muslims are ready for “mass sacrifice for peace in the country,” he stress

Calling upon the majority community to see reason, Raza said, “My youthful followers are losing patience. If they take law into their own hands, you will not find a place for shelter in the country.”

He regretted the government’s inaction against the hate preachers who are vitiating the atmosphere of the country through their call for violence against an entire community in religious assemblies. It’s high time, he said Muslim ulema (scholars should come forwards to “show the path of peace, patriotism and love”.

The rally passed off peacefully amidst heavy security presence.

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