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Islam and Sectarianism (15 Sep 2009 NewAgeIslam.Com)

India: Aggressive Wahhabi assertion leads to riots in Vaishali

Islamic sectarian disputes between Deobandis and Barailavis create tension

By Ateequr Rahman, Patna, Bihar

Translated from Urdu by Raihan Nezami, NewAgeIslam.com


A Dispute arose over the appointment of a "Hafiz" for leading Taraveeh (special Ramazan prayer), resulting into fighting and Stone-pelting among the followers of Deobandi and Barailavi sects.


Patna: A sectarian dispute arose at Kamalpur village of Lalgunj in Vaishali district on the occasion of Friday prayers.  It became quite heated and severe clashes broke out, leading to physical man-handling, fighting and threatening.


The 100-years-old mosque in Kamalpur village was owned and managed by the followers of Barailavi sect. As per information, prayers have been led by Barailavi Imams for a long time. Recently, the mosque had got renovated by a wealthy person belonging to Deobandi sect. He wanted a Deobandi Imam and a Deobandi Hafiz to be appointed for the prayers and Taraveeh (special Ramazan prayer) simultaneously in the Holy month of Ramazan. The Barailavi followers insisted upon the appointment of a Barailavi Imam and Hafiz which had been the tradition for about 100 years. The other group flatly refused to accept and follow the old tradition. Thus a dispute occurred of which no solution could be found. 


Some anti-Islamic elements tried to disturb unity among the Muslims and create differences within community. The situation was brought under control by the responsible residents of the society. They contained it with great sincere efforts and tactfulness, preventing any more serious and unpleasant incident from taking place.

 Initially the controversy arose over the matter of leading Friday prayers which resulted in fighting and stone-pelting among the residents of Kamalpur. The district administration was somewhat aware of the brewing sectarian conflict and they were quite mindful too of trying to prevent any serious untoward incident. So they had deputed a police force in the concerned village even before the incident took place. They brought the situation under control by taking action immediately.


It is told that six people have been severely injured in the fighting between the supporters of Deobandi and Barailavi groups. They have been referred to the hospital in Vaishali.


A full-strength police team under the supervision of district magistrate, Minhaj Alam, is camping at the concerned village and keeping strict vigil over the recent developments for the past three days. They have conducted a meeting with the alert and responsible citizens of the village, and got some assurance over the return of normalcy, peace and harmony in the affected area, ably supported by social workers, intellectuals, scholars and clerics. They also requested the agitated young supporters of the two sects to maintain peace and harmony in the sacred month of Ramazanul-Mubarak. The meeting conducted in the premises of Lalgunj police station was quite positive, and it is hoped that the intensity of the sectarian hatred will diminish very soon, creating an atmosphere of peace and harmony among the warring factions. A peace committee has also been formed consisting of the intelligent and sensible people of the two groups.

Source:  Akhbar-e-Mashrique, Delhi and Calcuta, 24 Aug 2009

Translated from Urdu by Raihan Nezami, NewAgeIslam.com

URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-sectarianism/india--aggressive-wahhabi-assertion-leads-to-riots-in-vaishali/d/1702






    The incident of Vaishali is a painful, grim reminder to any individual who is related to peace, harmony and tranquillity of the society. The menace of sectarian Wahabiyat is spreading rapidly in India. If we are to believe the reports, Saudi Money is being spent to take over Muslim Educational Institutes, Mosques, Madrasas etc to give a free ride to Wahhabi-Salafi combination.
    Some of esteemed readers of New Age Islam showed their dissent toward the publication of this article and termed it as a tool to divide Muslim Ummah which is actually a baseless argument indeed. New Age Islam has done a commendable job by bringing this issue to the fore and provided us an opportunity to discuss this issue at length. Whosoever has even a little bit sense of belongingness toward Muslim community or a small fraction of love for humanity, would love to know who is undermining the peace within our society.
    Divide amongst ourselves are not because of New Age Islam; we have a history of ideological differences, dissents and revolt from the time of Caliphates, New Age Islam is a platform to discuss our weaknesses and to understand our internal problem in a right perspective by using the technological miracle.
    Shahin Saheb has dealt this issue while responding to Mr. Tashoo who was quite receptive to agree his point.
    There is famous quote of great leader Mao which is relevant here, ‘know your friends, know your enemies, you can win hundreds of battles without fear and defeat’. The problem is, we really don’t want to believe that we are chronically SICK and have been treated by Neem Hakeems (quacks) down the ages.
    We Muslims believe that we are perfect. We believe, we possess the final truth. We believe that we are superior. We believe all those scriptures who make us believe that we are the ‘final’ creature on the face of this planet. These are not a symptom of a healthy mind but rather they are the stark reflection of our false beliefs. Sooner or later, if we long for a cure, we have to understand the sickness. We have acute problems and Vaishali, Shaharanpur’s incidents are the testimonies.
    It is visibly clear that this new divide is taking place on the grass root level of India.
    The way Saudi money is being utilized for this purpose or even by the Muslim Expats. Money is being spent on medieval institutions is alarming. What would be the end-product from these Institutes is separate issue? Pakistan is now facing the burns of this situation; India may follow in the future if we did not take this issue seriously. We have to be aware of the funding Institutes, source of the finance and its motives. We also need to see closely about the vast money is being collected from Gulf Countries by the Mullahs in the name of Zakat, they travels a lot in this month of Ramadhan to collect Funds and most of this money is without any reliable regulations (like audit etc). We need to question about the syllabus of the Madrasas whose products are virtually non-productive in economic terms, non-performance at the level of nation building and finally become a liability to the society. We can’t Question it unless we come to a conclusion that we are sick, those who still believes that they are fine and healthy are living in gloomy dreams only.

    By Shamshad Elahee Ansari-Dubai(U.A.E.) -

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