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13 May 2013

'Masaalik' conflicts now spilling out into mosques

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By Syed Mohammed

Hyderabad: The tussle between opposing masaalik (Islamic ideologies) in cyberspace has surfaced again in mosques.

This time it is in the Masjid-e-Amera, the most important mosque in the bustling commercial hub of Abids, where the Alh-e-Sunnatul Jamaat (Barelwis) and the Tableeghi Jamaat (Deobandis) are embroiled in a battle for its control.

The infighting between two warring factions in Tableeghi Jamaat had resulted in acts of violence leaving one person injured at the Jama Masjid Moazzampura in Mallepally last month.The Jama Masjid acts as the headquarters of the Tableeghi Jamaat.

While the city has remained a bastion of barelwis, it is only in the past few years that the Deobandis are gaining ground.

Much like the spewing of venom by adherents of differing ideologies on social networking sites, sources said that adherents of both the Ahl-e-Sunnatul Jamaat as well as the Tableeghi Jamaat are busy trying to oust each other from the mosque, which sees hundreds of worshippers everyday.

One group had even sought political intervention to settle the matter. Now, both groups are engaged in a pitched battle for enrolling worshippers of their own class, who will vote during the mosque committee elections.

While AP State Wakf Board (APSWB) officials have tried to broker a peace deal between both groups, all talks have failed.

"The court has ordered us to conduct mosque committee elections and we are going to do it soon. We are doing our best to see that these elections are fair in nature. The mosque is under our direct control," APSWB chairman Syed Ghulam Afzal Biyabani told TOI on Thursday. Intellectuals and activists from the community expressed alarm at the growing trend. They noted that most disputes within the Muslim community revolved around 'a few square yards of either mosque or graveyard land' at the cost of ignoring important issues.

Substantiating their claim, APSWB member Syed Akbar Nizamuddin Hussaini said, "I am unaware of this mosque in particular but generally disputes arise at mosques which have a good number of revenue generating properties attached to them."

"Crucial issues like modern education, poverty alleviation and healthcare are being ignored on account of ideological rivalries," All India Muslim Personal Law Board assistant general secretary Abdul Raheem Qureshi told TOI on Thursday.

Ziauddin Nayyar, in-charge president of Iqbal Academy, expressed his anguish at mosques becoming turfs for ideological wars. He said that these places of worship should be used as a platform for spreading education and discussing social-economic status of Muslims.

"There are issues like scholars making a distinction between modern and Islamic education. There should be no such distinctions. Mosques are intended to unite not divide," he said.

(Courtesy: The Times of India)

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