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January 9, 2018 No.
7274

In Towns Across India, Islamic Clerics Lead Anti-America, Anti-Israel Protests After Trump's Decision Recognizing Jerusalem As Israeli Capital


The frontpage of Roznama Urdu Times, December 23, 2017, reads: "Jerusalem – protest by more than 10 million people across India."

Introduction

In recent decades, India has not seen protests by Islamic organizations, not even when Islamic countries such as neighboring Pakistan were up in flames over the controversy surrounding the cartoons and drawings of Prophet Muhammad in Europe. Even attempts by neo-communist groups like the Occupy Wall Street movement have not found support among Indians. However, on December 22, 2017, after the weekly Friday prayers, Islamic organizations in India held countrywide protests against America and Israel over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. The religious groups' protests were coordinated by mosque leaders and held in cities from Mumbai to Kolkata and Agartala in the northeast, and from Delhi to Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai in southern India.

According to a media report, the anti-America and anti-Israel protests were organized in the towns and cities of Mumbai, Pune, Malegaon, Dhule, Nasik, Latur, Nagpur, Amravati, New Delhi, Dehradun, Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad, Mathura, Aligarh, Hardoi, Agra, Moradabad, Sultanpur, Meerut, Saharanpur, Deoband, Kanpur, Varanasi, Lucknow, Patna, Gaya, Ranchi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Agartala, Ahmedabad, Patan, Surat, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, and others.[1] One Urdu newspaper, Roznama Inquilab, carried a headline: "Protest against America in more than one thousand cities in the nation."[2] Although the protests were held across India, their concentration was mainly in the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and in Delhi and its neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh.

The lead organization that coordinated the protests is a Sunni organization called Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind ("The Assembly Of Indian Islamic Scholars.") Maulana Mehmood Madani, the general secretary of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, disclosed that his organization held protests at 433 places in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, in 265 towns and villages in the state of Maharashtra, in 145 places in West Bengal, 47 places in Uttar Pradesh, 35 places in Assam, three in Tripura, one in Manipur, five towns in Madhya Pradesh, 10 in Karnataka, two in Tamil Nadu, five in Odisha, 14 in Delhi, four in Uttarakhand, 16 places in both Haryana and Punjab, 15 in Rajasthan, 10 in Bihar, and five in Jharkhand.[3]


Maulana Mehmood Madani, general secretary of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.

Other organizations which took part in the countrywide protests included Majlis Ulema-e-Hind (an organization of Shi'ite Islamic scholars), All India Sunni Jamiat Ulema, the Raza Academy, All India Sunni Jamiatul Islam, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, the Muslim Council Trust, Sunni Ittehad Committee, and others. While Shi'ite organizations such as Majlis Ulema-e-Hind marked it as Al-Quds Day, Sunni organizations like Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind marked it as a Day of Prayer.[4] Al-Quds or Jerusalem Day, started by Iran, is also traditionally marked on the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan every year by Muslims worldwide.

Expressing satisfaction at the nationwide protests, Maulana Mehmood Madani of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind said: "America has become isolated today. The only reason for this is that America has consistently adopted an attitude based on headstrongness... The American public should come out in the streets as per its traditions against the decision of its president because the issue of Jerusalem is connected both to the religions of the world and humanity."[5]

In Srinagar, the capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, the former chief minister and member of the Indian parliament, said: "An independent Palestinian state is a reality. Trump should read the writing on the wall."[6] The lawmaker added: "The acceptance of the resolution [co-sponsored by Turkey and Yemen] at the UN shows that Palestine once again has the support of the nations of the world. And a decision by any party cannot alter [these] realities."[7]

Maulana Osama Qasmi, Leader Of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind In The State Of Uttar Pradesh: "Every Child In The World Is Ready To Sacrifice [Their Life] In Defense Of Al-Aqsa Mosque..."

In Uttar Pradesh, a northern Indian state with a significant Muslim population, Maulana Mohammad Mateenul Haq Osama Qasmi, the president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind for the state, said: "Global peace in the entire world, including the Middle East, has been endangered due to Trump's decision. This mischief-mongering decision by Trump can be the harbinger of international war."[8] Maulana Osama Qasmi added: "Every child in the world is ready to sacrifice [their life] in defense of Al-Aqsa mosque... Israel has always crushed international resolutions [on Jerusalem] under its feet..."[9]

Delivering a sermon at the Aasfi Mosque in the northern city of Lucknow, which is the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh, leading Shi'ite cleric Maulana Syed Kalbe Jawwad Naqvi said: "Muslims have the first right on Jerusalem and Israel has forcible occupation. Therefore, America has no right to recognize Jerusalem as the capital [of Israel]."[10] The Shi'ite cleric told the worshippers: "All Muslims should boycott Israeli products. If Muslims boycott Israeli products, this will be like an economic bomb for America and Israel... We are drinking poison [by buying American and Israeli goods] and all of its money is going to Islam-enemy forces."[11]

During their speeches, Islamic leaders also praised India for voting against the U.S. and Israel at the United Nations and in favor of a resolution co-sponsored by Turkey and Yemen that rejected Trump's recognition of Jerusalem. In Lucknow, Syed Junaid Ashraf Kichhauchhvi, the vice president of All India Hussaini Sunni Board, said: "The voting at the UN has proved one more point that the era of America's gangsterism and illegitimate threats has now ended. On this issue, India too, by siding with truth, has told the entire world that India has always stood by truth..."[12]

 
In the town of Deoband, Deobandi clerics demand that India maintain its traditional stance on the Palestinian issue (Roznama Urdu Times, December 23, 2017).

In the town of Deoband, the seat of the world-famous Darul Uloom Deoband seminary controlled by Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, Islamic clerics organized a prayer and protest. Leading clerics Maulana Haseeb Siddiq and Maulana Nadeemul Wajdi delivered speeches on the history of Jerusalem. Later, hundreds of students from the Darul Uloom Deoband and the Islamic clerics associated with it led a protest and handed over a memorandum of demands to local government officials to be delivered to the president of India.[13] The memorandum demanded that India maintain its traditional stance on the Palestinian issue. The Deoband clerics included: Umair Ahmed Usmani, Saleem Usmani, Sadruddin Ansari, Qari Zubair Ahmed Qasmi, Jamaluddin Ansari, Adeel Siddiqui, Haji Manshad, Chaudhry Sadiq, Haji Zaid, Yasir Usmani, Maulvi Khalil Khan, and others.

In the town of Moradabad, a protest and a special prayer at the Jamaa mosque was organized by Islamic clerics at the call of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind where the speakers condemned the "unpious act" of the U.S. president and sent a memorandum to the local city magistrate and the president of India, asking that India intervene on the issue.[14] According to a report, the Islamic clerics also "demanded that the U.S. take back its decision and respect the sentiments of Muslims because Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa mosque are our Islamic inheritance, which no man of faith [in Islam] can abandon."[15] Mufti Syed Fahad Ali, the deputy imam of the Jamaa mosque, led a prayer for "the liberation of Al-Aqsa mosque."[16]

Present at the protest in Moradabad were: Maulana Muhammad Asjad Qasmi, the chancellor of the Jamia Arabia Imdadia madrassa; and Islamic scholars such as Qari Muhammad Ibrahim, Hafiz Muhammad Alam, Maulana Mazahir Hussain, Mufti Muhammad Aziz Akhtar, Maulana Saalim Qasmi, Qari Najeebur Rehman, Hafiz Abdul Malik, Qari Nafeesur Rehman, Maulana Tahir Qasmi, Mufti Muhammad Tayyab, Mufti Muhammad Luqman, Haji Muhammad Usman, Qari Ghulam Mustafa, Maulana Muhammad Usman, Mufti Abdul Kareem, Hafiz Muhammad Faheem, Maulana Muhammad Shariq, Maulana Saaduddin, and many others.


Muslims protest outside mosques in Mumbai (Roznama Inquilab, December 23, 2017.)

A protest was also organized in the nearby town of Rampur where Islamic clerics led by Mahmoodul Zafar Rehmani condemned the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and sent a resolution in this regard to the UN secretary general, the Indian ambassador to the United States, and the U.S. secretary of state. The resolution demanded that an independent Palestinian state be established and Jerusalem be freed from Israel.[17]

In the town of Varanasi, which is the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a protest was led by Maulana Qari Muhammad Usman Mansoorpuri, the president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, demanding the end of the occupation of Jerusalem and of the killings of innocents.[18]

Maulana Feroze Azmi Of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind: "The demonstration Of Unity Is Extremely Necessary To Fight Against The Islam-Enmity Of America"; Islamic Cleric Maulana Arif: "The Koran Says There Will Be No Country Of Jews"

In the western Maharashtra state, prayers and protests were organized outside mosques by Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, Sunni Jamiat Ulema, and the Mumbai-based Raza Academy. Outside the Minarah Mosque in Mumbai, Al-Haj Saeed Noori, the founder of the Sufi/Barelvi organization Raza Academy, led protestors who carried placards with slogans: "Boycott Israeli products"; "Long live the people of Palestine"; and "Long live the First Qibla [Jerusalem]," etc.[19] According to a media report, the protestors raised slogans: "Death to America and Israel"; and "Allah is Great," among others.[20]

Speaking in the town of Malegaon, Maulana Abdul Hameed Azhari, told the protestors: "128 nations registered their protest against the U.S. decision at the United Nations. This is not only Muslims' problem, but a fight for justice and fairness."[21] Addressing the protestors, Maulana Feroze Azmi of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind said: "The demonstration of unity is extremely necessary to fight against the Islam-enmity of America. Today, America's unpious eyes on the world of Islam indicate to the point that Muslims will be eliminated from the world."[22] Hafiz Anees Azhar, an Islamic cleric, told the protestors: "From the beginning itself, America has been hating Muslims. Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital is a proof of it."[23]

Protests were also organized in the town of Sillod in Maharashtra. In Sillod, Hafiz Abdul Qadir, Hafiz Nazeer, and Ghulam Hussain Deshmukh, the three top leaders of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind in the town, led the protestors after the Friday prayers from the Jamaa mosque to the 36-acre Maidan where the speeches began after the recitation of the Koran by Hafiz Ilyas, the muezzin of Aqsa name – perhaps named after Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque.[24] Speeches were delivered by leading clerics such as Mufti Azhar Rehmani and Maulana Arif, among others.


The headline in Roznama Urdu Times of December 23, 2017, reads: "In the state [of Maharashtra], historic protest against the Zionists' unpious objectives."

In his presidential address at Sillod, Maulana Arif told the protestors: "Jerusalem is under the ownership of Muslims. And only Muslims have a right on it. Palestinian people have been sacrificing their lives since 1948 for the liberation of Jerusalem. Freedom is not possible without sacrifices... The Koran says there will be no country of Jews..."[25] Many Islamic clerics and Muslim community leaders of Sillod who helped organize the protests included: Hafiz Abdul Azeem, Advocate Naseem Ahmed, Hafiz Umar, journalist Azam Pathan, Maulana Nadeem, etc.

In the mosques of different Islamic sects in the town of Dhulia, prayers were organized by imams who prayed for the freedom of Jerusalem and repeated the call for boycotting American and Israeli products.[26] However, there was security concern in the town and the organizers did not organize protest rallies in deference to requests from local police.

Islamic clerics who led prayers in different mosques included: Mufti Syed Muhammad Qasim Jeelani, Abdul Ahad Asa'adi, Haji Saleem Bagwan, Mujahid Ansari, Ghufran Seth Popatwale, Shamsuz Zuha, Dr. Imran, and others. Other towns of Maharashtra where prayers and protests were organized included: Latur, Beed, Parbhani, Ahmednagar, Nasik, Bhiwandi, Solapur, Pune, Nanded, Akola, Amravati, Sindhudurg, Yavatmal, Ratnagiri, Jalna, and others.[27]

Islamic Cleric Maulana Syed Shah Ehsanuddin Qasmi: "Zionist Forces Have Always Been Hatching Conspiracies To Destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque, The First Qibla Of Muslims"


In southern metropolis of Hyderabad, protestors held placards describing America as a terrorist country and asking Trump to keep his hands off Al-Aqsa (Roznama Munsif, December 23, 2017.)

In the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, protests and prayers were organized by Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind at different mosques. In Hyderabad, an Muslim city that was influential during the Ottoman Caliphate and is now the capital of the state of Telangana, leading Islamic clerics Maulana Muhammad Yaqub and Maulana Hafiz Pir Shabbir Ahmed, led the protests. Pir Shabbir Ahmed told reporters: "To declare Jerusalem as the Israeli capital is a provocative decision that has caused uneasiness among the Muslims of not only the Islamic countries, but of the entire world."[28] Pir Shabbir Ahmed said: "Muslims have the first right on First Qibla. Not only Palestine, but the entire world of Islam has religious sentiments associated with it."[29] Other Islamic clerics who participated in the protests included Maulana Ansar Anwar Hasami, Maulana Pir Abdul Wahhab Ameer, Pir Jabir Muneer, Maulana Abdur Ramzan, and Maulana Zakaria Fahad, among others.

At another protest in Hyderabad, leading Islamic cleric Mufti Abdul Mughni Mazahiri declared: "Muslims are ready to offer sacrifice for the defense of the First Qibla."[30] Mufti Mazahiri added: "Allah has made Jerusalem the abode of prophets. During the era of Umar [ibn Khattab, the second caliph], Jerusalem was won peacefully. We condemn America's declaration of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital."[31] The Islamic leader said: "There cannot be any compromise on the historical, legal and religious status of Jerusalem. Palestinians will never abandon [their claim on] Jerusalem."[32] Mufti Rashid, an Islamic cleric of Darul Uloom Deoband, also spoke on the occasion, saying: "Trump's decision is criminal. The entire nation [of Muslims] has risen today for Islam. This is a matter of big happiness that India voted against Trump's decision at the UN."[33]

Speaking in the town of Nalgonda after the weekly Friday prayer, Islamic cleric Maulana Syed Shah Ehsanuddin Qasmi condemned Donald Trump and said: "A Muslim will bear oppressions on his person, but will not abandon the holy places... Zionist forces have always been hatching conspiracies to destroy Al-Aqsa mosque, the First Qibla of Muslims. But Muslims will not let them succeed in their unpious objectives."[34]


In the town of Nalgonda, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind leaders led a protest against America and Israel (Roznama Siasat, December 23, 2017.)

In his speech at Nalgonda, Mufti Syed Siddique Ahmed, a local Islamic cleric, said: "Trump's decision is not merely mischief-mongering, but is contrary to impartiality and justice, and is meant to provide legitimacy to the illegitimate occupation of Jerusalem by the oppressor Israel..."[35] In the nearby town of Miryalaguda, protestors burnt effigies of Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Maulana Waliullah Qasmi, the chancellor of Madinatul Uloom seminary, addressed the protestors.[36]

In the town of Nizamabad in the state of Telangana, local cleric Syed Waliullah Qasmi told the protestors: "The world of Islam has spiritual and religious relationship with Jerusalem. Muhammad, the imam of the prophets, had led a prayer of prophets there..."[37] In the nearby town of Armoor, Mufti Abdur Rafeeq Zakir Qasmi, the leading Islamic cleric of the town, addressed the protestors, saying: "Jerusalem is the holy place of Muslims and it is the First Qibla... Its defense is the responsibility of all Muslim countries and Muslims."[38] Islamic leaders who joined the protests included: Qazi Hafiz Abdul Majeed, Mufti Noor Alam Qasmi, Mufti Abdul Azeem, Hafiz Ibrahim, Ashfaq Ahmed, Abdul Waheed, Muhammad Habibuddin, Mahmud Ali, and others. Protests were also organized at Bhainsa in Telangana by Islamic scholars of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hindi.[39]

 

[1] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[2] Roznama Inquilab (India), December 23, 2017.

[3] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[4] Roznama Aag (India), December 23, 2017.

[5] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[6] Roznama Sahafat (India), December 23, 2017.

[7] Roznama Sahafat (India), December 23, 2017.

[8] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[9] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[10] Roznama Sahafat (India), December 23, 2017.

[11] Roznama Sahafat (India), December 23, 2017.

[12] Roznama Sahafat (India), December 23, 2017.

[13] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[14] Roznama Sahafat (India), December 23, 2017.

[15] Roznama Sahafat (India), December 23, 2017.

[16] Roznama Sahafat (India), December 23, 2017.

[17] Roznama Sahafat (India), December 23, 2017.

[18] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[19] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[20] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[21] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[22] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[23] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[24] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[25] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[26] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[27] Roznama Urdu Times (India), December 23, 2017.

[28] Roznama Etemaad (India), December 23, 2017.

[29] Roznama Etemaad (India), December 23, 2017.

[30] Roznama Munsif (India), December 23, 2017.

[31] Roznama Munsif (India), December 23, 2017.

[32] Roznama Munsif (India), December 23, 2017.

[33] Roznama Munsif (India), December 23, 2017.

[34] Roznama Sahafat (India), December 23, 2017.

[35] Roznama Sahafat (India), December 23, 2017.

[36] Roznama Siasat (India), December 23, 2017.

[37] Roznama Sahafat (India), December 23, 2017.

[38] Roznama Siasat (India), December 23, 2017.

[39] Roznama Siasat (India), December 23, 2017.