Jadid Khabar’s editorial 3 May 2014
In order to create a space for themselves in most of the political parties in the country, Muslims have but to debase themselves and resort to sycophancy and flattering.
What we had known until recently was that a true Muslim is the one who worships the Almighty, (Creator and Sustainer) and follows His Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). But the leader of Samajwadi Party of Maharashtra division, Abu Asim Azmi, has started a new controversy by saying that the Muslims who do not vote for his party are not true Muslims. Abu Asim Azami was not content with this but went two steps further and emphasised that Muslims not voting for Samajwadi Party should be DNA tested lest they have RSS connections.
These days Abu Asim Azmi has been campaigning for his party in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and had arrived in Khalilabad to address an election meeting in support of his party’s candidate Chandra Yadav. He further said that Muslims who do not vote for Samajwadi Party should be spoken against as they cannot be true Muslims because what [its leader] Mulayam Singh has done for the Muslim community has not been done by anyone else in the past.
What Mulayam Singh has done for the Muslims while he was in power, we will touch upon it a bit later. Let’s first examine why has Abu Asim Azmi made such an extremely contemptible statement?
It is a common knowledge that Samajwadi Party is in power in UP the largest state and that Muslims had played the pivotal role in bringing it to power there. In 2012 when Samajwadi Party got the chance to form its government for the first time on its own, party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav had thanked the Muslims in an open meeting saying that they had voted en bloc for Samajwadi Party. On that occasion Mulayam Singh Yadav had especially appealed to his party workers to give special attention to the needs of Muslims.
However, tragically after Samajwadi party’s coming to power in Uttar Pradesh there was an upsurge in anti-Muslim violence and a series of anti-Muslim riots started erupting in various places.
During the two years’ rule of Samajwadi Party more than 100 incidents of anti-Muslim violence were recorded and among them the Muzaffarnagar riots in western UP in September last year have surpassed all other incidents in intensity and severity. These [Muzaffarnagar] riots claimed the lives of 56 people and more than 50,000 were made homeless. Having been displaced and disowned of everything they possessed at the hands of the rioters when the victims took refuge in relief camps, Mulayam Singh branded them as the agents of Congress and BJP. So much so that many Muzaffarnagar relief camps were bulldozed. More than 50 infants died [because of cold and pneumonia] in these camps. A leader of Samajwadi Party, Atiq Ahmad, ridiculed these poor refugees by describing them as professional baggers. To be precise no stone was left unturned in humiliating the victims of Muzaffarnagar riots.
In its election manifesto Samajwadi Party had promised that after coming to power it would give 18% reservation to Muslims in government jobs. Samajwadi Party’s manifesto was full of suchlike enticing promises but leaving the promise of reservations aside it took two years to formalise the government institutions on Muslim affairs. For two years Muslim institutions such as Uttar Pradesh Urdu Academy, Waqf Board, UP Minority Commission and Hajj Committee remained helmless.
In the light of this background Muslim public opinion in UP, with regard to Samajwadi Party, was divided in two factions and in parliamentary elections they decided to cast their votes in favour of other secular parties. It is in this atmosphere of anger that Abu Asim Azmi has tried to regenerate the sentiments of the Muslim community.
Abu Asim Azmi himself is religiously a Muslim person and has been challenging a sectarian party like the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. However, his utterances, driven by his blind love for Mulayam Singh, cannot be acceptable to any Muslim. Measuring the piety and religiosity of Muslims by their political association is an unwise act.
Abu Asim’s compulsion is that in order to remain in Samajwadi Party he has to use hyperboles for his leader. In order to create a space for themselves in most of the political parties in the country, Muslims have but to [debase themselves and] resort to sycophancy and flattering. Politicians prefer those Muslims who are willing to act as sycophants and are ready to sacrifice everything for them. Notwithstanding, we would like to remind Abu Asim Azmi that a true Muslim is the one who does not bargain his Iman (faith) for political gains. Muslims are answerable for their deeds only and only to Almighty Allah. In no way can faithfulness to any political party be a condition to being a good Muslim. May Allah Subhanahu T’ala bless all of us with the taufeeq to protect our Iman.
Translated from daily Jadid Khabar by Urdu Media Monitor.com