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memri
April 9, 2008 No.
1856

Indian Clerics' Anti-Terror Conference Issues Declaration against Terror, Blames 'Tyrant and Colonial Master of the West [i.e. U.S.]' for Aggression in Muslim World

On February 25, 2008, Darul Uloom Deoband, the second-largest institute of Islamic learning after Cairo's Al-AzharUniversity, held an "All India Anti-Terrorism Conference" in the town of Deoband near the Indian capital of New Delhi. The conference, which was attended by an estimated 10,000 Islamic clerics, scholars, muftis and teachers of madrasas from across India, issued a declaration against terrorism stating that killing a single person is tantamount to "the killing of the entire humanity, without differentiation based on creed and caste."

While not mentioning it by name, the declaration accused the U.S. of tyranny and colonialism in the Muslim world, saying: "The Conference expresses its deep concern and agony [over] the alarming global and national conditions [presently prevailing in the world], in which most of the nations are adopting an attitude against their citizens - especially the Muslims - that cannot be justified in any way, in order to appease the tyrant and colonial master of the West."

The declaration expressed concern regarding Western influence over the "internal and external" policies of India's government, noting: "It is a matter of greater concern that the internal and external policies of our country are [becoming] heavily influenced by these forces. Their aggression, barbarism and state-sponsored terrorism - not only in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in Bosnia and various South American countries - have surpassed all records known to human history."

The declaration also asked the Indian government "to curb those maligning the madrasas and Muslims" in India (in recent years, Indian police have arrested a number of youth from Islamic seminaries for their alleged involvement in terror-related activities). According to the declaration, "The situation has worsened [to such an extent] that every Indian Muslim, especially those associated with madrasas, who are innocent with good record of character, are always gripped by the fear that they might be trapped by the administrative machinery anytime." [1]

The following is the text of the declaration, as released in English. [2]

"DECLARATION
"All India Anti-Terrorism Conference
"Organized by: Rabta Madaris Islamiah (Islamic Madrasas Association)
"Darul Uloom Deoband, on 17 Safar 1429 H = 25 February 2008 Monday

"Chaired by: Hazrat Maulana Marghoobur Rahman Sahib,
"Mohtamim Darul Uloom Deoband & President of Islamic Madrasas Association, Darul Uloom Deoband

"Islam is the religion of mercy for all humanity. It is the fountainhead of eternal peace, tranquility [and] security. Islam has given so much importance to human beings that it regards the killing of a single person [as] the killing [of] the entire humanity, without differentiation based on creed and caste. Its teaching of peace encompasses all humanity. Islam has taught its followers to treat all mankind with equality, mercy, tolerance [and] justice. Islam sternly condemns all kinds of oppression, violence and terrorism. It has regarded oppression, mischief, rioting and murdering among [the] severest sins and crimes.

"This All India Anti-Terrorism Conference, attended by the representatives of all Muslim schools of thought, organised by Rabta Madaris Islamiah Arabia (The Islamic Madrasas Association) Darul Uloom Deoband, condemns all kinds of violence and terrorism in the strongest possible terms.

"The Conference expresses its deep concern and agony [over] the alarming global and national conditions [presently prevailing in the world], in which most of the nations are adopting an attitude against their citizens - especially the Muslims - that cannot be justified in any way, in order to appease the tyrant and colonial master of the West. It is a matter of [even] greater concern that the internal and external policies of our country are becoming heavily influenced by these forces. Their aggression, barbarism and state-sponsored terrorism - not only in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in Bosnia and various South American countries - have surpassed all records known to human history. Our great nation, [on the other hand], has always been known for impartiality and [for] its moral and spiritual values.

"Now the situation has worsened [to such an extent] that every Indian Muslim - especially those associated with madrasas, who are innocent with good record of character - are always gripped by the fear that they might be trapped by the administrative machinery anytime. Today countless innocent Muslims are spending their lives behind bars, and are forced to bear many intolerable tortures. [At the same time], those spreading terror, attacking police stations, killing police [officers] in broad daylight and [carrying] illegal arms are roaming about freely, while the government takes no effective and preventive steps to check their acts of terrorism and violence.

"This [discriminatory] attitude has put a big question mark on the secular character of the government, posing a great threat to the country. The All India Anti-Terrorism Conference strongly condemns this attitude, expresses its deep concern [over] this partiality of the government officials, and declares its continuous joint struggle for [rule] of law, justice and [secularism].

"This conference strongly demands that the Indian Government curb those maligning the madrasas and Muslims. The administrative machinery should be [required] to conduct impartial investigations into activities [of] disturbing public peace in the country, and to punish only those found guilty. [The conference] also demands to free the accused if he is found innocent, and to punish severely those officials who accused him of terrorism. No person of any particular community should be suspected without solid reasons. In short, the government agencies must fulfill their duty justly, without any prejudice and bias, so that real peace and security may prevail in the country.

"This All India Anti-Terrorism Conference [calls on] all intellectuals, writers and [journalists] to analyze the national and international affairs independently and honestly, and [to] avoid biased and partial attitudes. Moreover, this All India anti-Terrorism Conference, attended by the representatives of all schools of thought, [calls on] to all Muslims to continue, as they always did in the past, their loyalty towards the dear motherland and [their] love and respect towards humanity. It appeals to them to fully understand the present alarming situation, the gravity and intensity of the time, and to feel the pulse of the present world, so that they might not be employed as tools of evil by anti-Islamic or anti-national forces.

"It [further calls on] them to live with dignity and pride, to be faithful to the country, to fully trust their leadership, to render full support to [the] Islamic madarsas which are valuable assets of the Muslim Ummah, to spend their lives... following [the] Islamic Shariah and teachings with full confidence. They should always remember that [the] most important thing is Islam and its practice; hence, their prime focus should be on enriching their lives with good deeds and noble manners - for the state of the world is deteriorating due to non-practice of [the] Islamic teachings.

"[The] need for holding state-wi[d]e conferences against terrorism.

"This meeting of [the] working committee of [the] All India Madarsas Association [regards it] necessary to hold state-wi[d]e conferences, [just] as it held this grand conference in view of the existing [circumstances]. The present situation of the country demands a joint and constant effort to denounce terrorism, [as well as the] biased and discriminatory attitudes of the government against the Muslim community. Such conferences must be held in the major [cities] of all the states. This meeting appeals to Darul Uloom Deoband to act as a leader in this direction.

"Issued by: Central office, Islamic Madrasas Association.
"Source: http://darululoom-deoband.com/english/news/shownews.php?id=5, downloaded on.
"February 26, 2008, originally published in English language on February 26, 2008 on the English-language website of Darul Uloom, Deoband."


[1] Source: Darul Uloom Deoband, http://www.darululoom-deoband.com/, February 26, 2008

[2] The text has been lightly edited for clarity.