AIUMB wants Bill to modernise madrasas

The All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), a representative body of the Sunni Sufi sect, Sunday accused the Centre of succumbing to the demands of Muslim extremists, and demanded that the Central Madrasa Board Bill be passed to provide modern education to madrasa students.

The AIUMB today held a Muslim Maha Panchayat in Moradabad to exhort political parties not to ignore Sunni Sufi Muslims.

Propping up another issue for the upcoming Assembly elections, the AIUMB passed a memorandum demanding modernisation of madrasas, enactment of a law for protection of Sufi dargahs, and control of managing dargah wakfs to be taken back from non-Sufis.

Demanding quality education for Muslims, the AIUMB passed a memorandum in support of the Central Madrasa Board, which said, "We have consensus that the step of the central government to set up the Central Madrasa Board is welcomed. In the present scenario, it was required that modern education along with traditional education in madrasas be included, but not diluting basic teachings of Islam in its traditional form also through Quran, Hadith and Fiqah."

AIUMB general secretary Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhvi told The Indian Express that parties and governments had been dominated by propagators of Wahabism, and the peace-loving Sufi Muslims sidelined. "Muslim leadership in India is in wrong hands and we want to tell this to parties and governments," he said.

Kichhouchhvi said he would support any party that endorses his demands in its manifesto. "Peace-loving Sunni Sufi Muslims have been living in India for ages and now Wahabism is being imported from the Middle East to India by some extremist organisations and persons. Government and parties have started to see those hardliners as the Muslim leadership, ignoring the majority of Muslims who belong to the Sufi Sunni sect."

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