Darul Uloom slams minority officer’s statement calling seminary “illegal”
Three days after an Uttar Pradesh district minority welfare officer kicked up a storm by claiming that the renowned Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband is not registered with the UP Madrassa Board and hence “illegal,” the institution’s administration and senior clerics came out in protest on Tuesday, demanding a “rectification of the wrong message that has gone out.”
“Darul Uloom is registered under the Societies Registration Act, and both religious and modern education is imparted here as envisaged in the Constitution. There is no question of it being illegal,” said Ashraf Usmani, spokesperson of the seminary.
UP Madrassa Board chairman Iftikar Ahmad Javed said, “It’s sad that this kind of message is being spread. Darul Uloom is an Islamic university that gives affiliation to over 4,000 madrassas all over the country.”
On Saturday, the district minority officer in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district, Bharat Lal Gaur, falsely claimed that “Darul Uloom is not registered with UP Madrassa Board and, hence, it is not recognised.”
Muslim-run schools have come under attack by Hindu supremacists across the country, including in Assam state, where a number of madrasas have been shut down or bulldozed without warning.
Prisoner of Conscience Siddique Kappan denied bail, to remain imprisoned
Muslim journalist and prisoner of conscience Siddique Kappan, who has been languishing in an Uttar Pradesh prison in October 2020, has once again been denied bail by a Lucknow court in a case registered by a federal probe agency.
Kappan will remain in prison under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), despite receiving bail from the Supreme Court on September 9. His prolonged detention, during which he has been subjected to physical and mental abuse, has been the subject of international condemnation, including from UN Special Rapporteur Mary Lawlor.
Kappan was arrested under baseless terrorism charges while on his way to Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, to report on the brutal rape and murder of a Dalit girl. The UP government falsely alleged that he and other Muslim men were the part of a larger conspiracy to “foment religious discord and spread terror in the country”.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has listed Kappan on its Freedom of Religion or Belief Victims List, along with over 30 other Indian victims of detention based on religious identity.
Muslim cab driver, companion of Siddique Kappan, walks out of jail after 757 days
After spending 757 days being wrongfully imprisoned under baseless terrorism charges, a Muslim cab driver who was a companion to Siddique Kappan has finally received bail and is set to walk free.
Mohammad Alam was arrested in October 2020, along with journalist Siddique Kappan and two other Muslim men, while on their way to report on the case of a Dalit girl who was raped and murdered by upper-caste Hindu men.
All of the men were charged under the draconian UAPA and accused of sedition, leading to lengthy prison sentences without any proof of wrongdoing.
A bench of the Allahabad High Court had granted bail to Alam in August, stating that no incriminating article or evidence was recovered from his possession. He is the first of the accused to receive bail and be allowed to walk free.
However, other Muslim civilians remain imprisoned with little hope of bail under the UAPA, which gives the government the ability to label dissenters as terrorists.
Gujarat Police file false “Love Jihad” case against Muslim family, clerics
Gujarat police have been accused of taking a woman’s complaint of “petty matrimonial discord” and adding false details to create a case of “love jihad” and file charges of forced conversion against a Muslim man, his parents, and local religious clerics.
The police report alleged that the woman in question had been “forcibly converted” to Islam by her husband Samir and his family, and also implicated the clerics who had conducted the marriage ceremony.
However, the woman told the Gujarat High Court that the complaint contained a grossly inaccurate account of events, particularly regarding the allegations of forceful conversion.
She stated that she had approached a local police station to report matrimonial discord. However, she said, Hindu extremist police had added an anti-Muslim “love jihad” angle to her report. The woman further stated that she had not made any of the allegations regarding forced conversion recorded in the police report.
Love jihad is a propaganda narrative circulated by Hindu extremists, claiming that Muslim men have an agenda to seduce Hindu women into marriage and then force them to accept Islam. However, successive probes have failed to find any evidence that such a conspiracy exists.