You thought it appropriate to publish extensive extracts from a document issued by "Dharma Raksha Manch", a self-styled forum which claims to speak on behalf of Hindus ("Let Islamic institutions denounce terrorists use of faith," (Pioneer, 10 February 2009). As the current head of one of the Muslim organisations (All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat) specifically asked in this document to make certain clarifications, I would like to state that Indian Muslim organisations and institutions of all hue and colour have clearly denounced terrorism in all its shapes and forms and have held umpteen conferences and meetings across the country to popularise this message among the masses.
As the head of the umbrella body of Indian Muslim organisations, I would like to clarify that the Arabic term "kafir" means one who does not believe in Islam and as such all non-Muslims are kafirs in the same way as all Muslims are kafirs, i.e, non-believers in other religions like Hinduism etc. There is no Islamic rule whatsoever that Jihad should be waged against "kafirs". This is a misleading propaganda spread by the enemies of Islam and Muslims and lapped up by some in our country. Only an Islamic or Muslim state/ruler can wage Jihad which is synonymous to defence in our modern jargon. Jihad can be waged only against a foreign country or foreign community or group which is actively engaged in aggression against a Muslim state or community. There is no way that private Muslim groups or individuals can wage jihad. If anyone is doing this, it is illegal and illegitimate whether it takes place in India or outside India.
Ordinary Muslims and groups are allowed to wage Jihad in a country which is occupied by a foreign power. But in the case of foreign occupation, individuals under occupation can resort to defend their country if there is no organised group fighting against the occupation forces. This right is called "resistance" in the international law today. Indian Muslims did this duty in the past when our country was occupied and will do the same if, God forbid, our country falls under foreign occupation in future. So let it be clear that there is no question whatsoever that Islam in any way allows its followers to attack Hindus or any other non-believers under the pretext that they do not believe in Islam. If this was the case, you would not find 80 percent of Indian population professing Hinduism in India today after a millennium of Muslim rule over most, especially north, of India, and you would not find today large religious minorities in many Muslim countries especially in the Middle East like Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Iran, etc.
I would also like to make it clear that India is not Darul Harb, that India is a Darul Amn or Darul Salam, i.e., an abode of peace where Muslims are bound by their religion, morality, covenant, and our Constitution to live in peace with all other inhabitants of their homeland.
Having said this, we too have the right to ask: have Hindu organisations and institutions too denounced terrorism perpetrated by people masquerading as Hindus or claiming to work for the Hindu cause, ranging from political outfits resorting to terrorism to a plethora of organisations dedicated to terrorism. Some members of such Hindu terror organisation including a serving officer of the Indian army are now under police custody with ample proof that they committed specific terrorist acts while trying hard to blame Muslims for the same. We have not heard a single Hindu organisation and leader denouncing these terrorists and their known organisations and supporters. Instead many have come forward to support them and offer them monetary and legal help. Until and unless Hindu organisations openly and unequivocally denounce Hindu terrorism in all forms they have no moral right to preach others.
With best regards
Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan
President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat
D-250 Abul Fazal Enclave, New Delhi 110025
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