Islam and the Media(25 May 2015 NewAgeIslam.Com)
Deobandi Mufti’s Sword Wielding Goons Attack Urdu Daily’s Editor in Malegaon

By New Age Islam Edit Desk

25 May, 2015

Malegaon: Sword wielding goons of Mufti Ismail who is also a member of Majlis-e-Shura of Darul Uloom Deoband attacked the house and office of the editor of Urdu daily Bedaari in Malegaon in Maharashtra on Friday night. About a hundred armed goons and supporters of Mufti Ismail ran amok on the streets of Malegaon on the intervening night of 22-23 May threatening to kill senior journalist Abdul Haleem Siddiquie.

According to the details, the mufti had said in his Khutba on Friday that the weavers of Malegaon were corrupt as they mixed water and oil to increase the weight of cloth. This way they cheated the customers. That was the reason, their business did not flourish. On May 3, he had also criticized the Urdu media saying that the journalists were corrupt and they published news in lieu of money. Referring to Mufti Ismail’s speech, Abdul Halim Siddiquee wrote an editorial in his daily saying that corrupt elements could be found in every department and walk of life and that the majority of the weavers of Malegaon were honest. Thanks to their honesty and hard work their business was flourishing. Further, the editorial asked the mufti to do introspection as to how much water and oil he mixed as an imam, as a teacher and as a political leader. This offended mufti Ismail so much that he instructed his supporters and mercenaries to teach the editor a lesson. As a result, his sword wielding supporters and drunk hired goons ran amok on the streets with unsheathed swords in five groups vandalizing Abdul Halim Siddiquee’s house and office the whole night of Friday. Mr Siddiquee filed an FIR against the imam and his supporters in the Azad Nagar Police Station. He has alleged that Mufti Ismail had given Supari for his murder and his life was under threat. He has sent a copy of his complaint also to the Home Minister and the Human Rights Commission.

On the other side, Mufti Ismail’s supporters including the Mayor Ibrahim Nationalwallah has filed an FIR against the Urdu daily alleging that a vilification campaign had been started by the newspaper against their ‘Dharm Guru’ (religious leader). Abdul Haleem Siddiquee has also sent a copy of the DVD of Mufti’s controversial speech against the weavers to the officials. The DVD has the 28 minute speech of the mufti. The DVD was played before the assembly of Urdu-Marathi media persons and they testified that the Urdu daily quoted exactly what the mufti had said. Therefore, the statement of the mufti and his supporters was false.

According to reports, the real cause of the mufti’s discomfiture was that the ‘Ehtesaab Committee’(Introspection Committee) headed by Abdul Halim Siddiquee had visited Darul Uloom Deoband with the dossier of anti-Shariah and illegal activities of Mufti Ismail on 19th May and had met the Muhtamim, headmaster and other officials of Deoband demanding his dismissal from the membership of Shura. The committee feels that this attack was aimed at foiling the committee’s efforts. The complaint of this attack has also been sent to Darul Ulum Deoband.

New Age Islam condemns this heinous and anti-Shariah act of Mufti Ismail who took the law into his own hands and organized attacks on the house and office of an Urdu daily only for criticizing his corrupt behaviour and took the help of drunk goons for this purpose. This is another instance of the intolerance of a section of Indian clerics and Maulvis who try to suppress any criticism of their wrongdoings with the use of force. New Age Islam express solidarity with the Urdu daily and its editor and demand immediate removal of the mufti from the membership of Shura of Darul Uloom Deoband and appropriate legal action against him and his goons.

“When they are told not to spread mischief on earth, they say, ‘we are only reformers”.