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OPINION: ‘Indian Muslims’ & ‘Muslims in India’

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By Wasim Ahmad

First of all I would like to admit that ‘Indian Muslims’ I have used countless times. Lately, it appears to me that ‘Muslims in India’ has finer connotations. ‘Indian Muslims’ clearly tells us which country they belong to. It does so very well. It, however, probably does not go much beyond that. ‘Muslims in India’, on the other hand, takes the community to a different plane. It indicates that these are a people who have a vision and a mission, too, besides a nationality.

If we start using ‘Muslims in India’ we may find that some of the issues that we most frequently discuss are not of much relevance. It will give a better direction to our thoughts and actions for the benefit of everyone in the country. For instance, it may help in reviewing the meaning of ‘minority’, and ‘reservation’ etc. May be the frequently used terminologies will become infrequent, then. The “HOW” of all of the above is worth reflecting upon.

The same is the case of ‘Asian Muslims’, ‘African Muslims’, ‘European Muslims’, ‘American Muslims’ and ‘Muslims in Asia’, ‘Muslims in Africa’, ‘Muslims in Europe’ and ‘Muslims in America’. The same is the case in all the unnamed places, too. It will be enlightening to know what the respected members on our Forums think about the subject.

[Wasim Ahmad is Department Head of Islamic Studies, Preston University, Ajman, UAE. He can be contacted at or +971505363235]
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