Muslim organisation slams Vande Mataram fatwa

K S Sudarshan with Shia Cleric Maulana Hamidul Hasan
The Muslim Rashtriya Manch has slammed the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind for passing a resolution, which described Vande Mataram as un-Islamic and asked Muslims not to sing it.

According to the Manch, which follows the ideology of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Muslims who oppose Vande Mataram are opponents of Islam and the nation.

"Our Muslim brothers should not follow the fatwa as Vande Mataram is the national song of the country and every Indian citizen should respect and recite it," said Mohd Afzal, national convenor of the Manch.

No person could ask anyone to stop reciting Vande Mataram, said Afzal.

In 2003-04, some senior Muslim Leaders had started the Nationalist Muslim Movement, which was later renamed as the Muslim Rastriya Manch in 2007. According to the members of the organisation, RSS leaders guide this organisation in its activities to promote peace and harmony.

On Sunday, senior leaders of the Manch and former Sarsanghchalak of RSS K S Sudarshan met to discuss the issues that generate tension and hostility between Muslims and Hindus.

According to Afzal, the Manch has already translated Vande Mataram in Urdu as Maa Taslemat.

Syed Hamidul Hasan, renowned Shia cleric, who was especially invited on the occasion to speak on Hindu-Muslim issues, said that Muslims were free to take their own decision regarding Vande Mataram, which everybody respects.

Sudarshan said Indian Muslims should not be called a minority, as they are Indians like Hindus and other communities. He also said that Vande Mataram was the national song and does not belong to any particular community.

To mark the first anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack, the Muslim Rashtriya Manch is going to organise an anti-terror march, known as Tiranga Yatra, in Mumbai on November 19.

A terror-free week will also be observed by the Manch from March 19 to 26 during which the message against terrorism will be spread across the country.

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