India, Pakistan Must Act Tough to Check Radicalisation: Cleric : Indian Express

Published: 21st March 2016

 Participants at the International Sufi Conference at Ramlila Grounds in New Delhi on Sunday | PTI

NEW DELHI: Asking India and Pakistan to act tough to check radicalisation, top Pakistan cleric Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri on Sunday said terrorism should be considered an act of high treason even as Sufi body All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rectify “historical blunders” in India that brought in extremist ideologies threatening the community.

Addressing a Sufi congregation, AIUMB president Syed Mohammad Ashraf asked Modi to “rectify historic blunders” and pay heed to the community’s demands, including initiation of measures to tackle the trend of replacing Sufism by extremist ideologies.

“In the past few decades, there have been concerted efforts to weaken Sufism in India and replace it with extremist and radical ideology… The phenomenon is dangerous, not just for the Muslim community but also for the country. We request the Prime Minister to rectify these historical blunders,” he said. He asked governments across the world to revive Sufism in order to combat terrorism.

“There is a sense of fear among Muslims due to riots. Government should alleviate this fear and Union Home Ministry should spell out what steps have been taken with regard to all the small or big communal incidents and riots that have taken place so far in different parts of the country,” the AIUMB said in a 25-point declaration released at a mass congregation at Ram Lila Maidan to mark the conclusion of the first World Sufi Forum here. Ashraf also said there was a lack of representation for majority of the Muslim populace on “key positions” and urged the government to look into it.

World Sufi Forum rejects all forms of terrorism: The Statesmen

PTI
Posted at: Mar 21 2016

Delegates listen to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech during the inauguration of World Sufi Forum in New Delhi on March 17, 2016. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated World Sufi Forum, a four-day long event organised by All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), the apex body of Sufi Dargahs in India.The event will see more than 200 Indian and International delegates, spiritual leaders, scholars, academicians and masters of Sufism, under one roof.  / AFP / Prakash SINGH

Delegates listen to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech during the inauguration of World Sufi Forum in New Delhi on March 17, 2016.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated World Sufi Forum, a four-day long event organised by All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), the apex body of Sufi Dargahs in India.The event will see more than 200 Indian and International delegates, spiritual leaders, scholars, academicians and masters of Sufism, under one roof.
/ AFP / Prakash SINGH

The World Sufi Forum on Sunday rejected all forms of terrorism outright and urged governments across the world to support the “revival” of Sufism to combat this menace.

The Forum made the appeal even as influential Pakistani-Canadian cleric Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri identified terrorism as the common enemy of both India and Pakistan and asserted the two countries will have to fight it out together.

A declaration adopted at the end of the first international conference of representatives of Sufism from 22 countries brought together by the All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB) also came down heavily on the present-day growing sectarianism in the societies of Muslims and others.

“We openly condemn all forms of terrorism in clear and categorical words whether it is intellectual, social religious, political and economic or ideological terrorism. We reject all forms of terrorism outright,” it said.

The Forum while requesting the governments of the world to extend its full cooperation for the revival of Sufism asserted that the remedy for the elimination of radicalism and extremism ideologies is in the ideology of Sufism only.

The Forum participants also slammed Taliban, al Qaeda, ISIS and all other terrorist organisations who have destroyed the brotherhood of mankind.

“We condemn the brazen violation of Islam and human rights and strongly appeal to Muslim youth to shun extremist organisations and wrong interpretations of the Quran and Hadith that go against the consensus of the Ummah,” it said.

In his speech on the concluding day of the conference, Qadri urged the Indian and Pakistani establishment to reflect as to whether they will remain “enemies forever?

“I request the governments to refrain from spending on lavish lifestyles and instead focus on eradication of poverty and end the enmity. Seventy years have passed since independence. Four wars have been fought. Are the two countries going to be enemies forever?”

“For god’s sake end this enmity now. And stop spending your Budget money on enmity. Spend your budget for promotion of peace. India should understand Pakistan is not its enemy and Pakistan should realise that India is not its enemy. The common enemy of both the countries is terrorism,” Qadri said.

Qadri, whose massive protest in Islamabad a year-and-a- half ago had shaken the Nawaz Sharif regime, identified poverty as the root cause behind terrorism and extremism.
Read more at http://www.thestatesman.com/mobi/news/latest-headlines/world-sufi-forum-rejects-all-forms-of-terrorism/131254.html#wH4IzG8fd1mhQ5WG.99

AIUMB president opposes Waqf Amendment Bill: ANI

Mar 20

New Delhi, Mar 20 (ANI): Opposing the Waqf Amendment Bill 2011, All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB) president Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi on Sunday said that the Waqf board members should resign as they do not believe in the philosophy of ‘waqf’. Kichhouchhwi, who was talking to the media on the sidelines of the ongoing World Sufi Forum at the Ramlila Maidan here, further said that a decision on the bill’s amendment should be reconsidered. More than 200 Indian and international delegates, including Sufi Shuyukh, spiritual leaders, scholars, academicians and masters of Sufism, are participating in the four-day event being organized by AIUMB.

Spell out steps taken to tackle riots: Sufi outfit to govt: Business Standard

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi March 20, 2016

Noting there is a “sense of fear” among Muslims due to riots, an outfit representing Sufis today urged the government to alleviate this.

It also urged the Ministry of Home Affairs to spell out steps taken with regard to small or big communal incidents and riots that have taken place “so far” across the country.

All Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB) president Syed Mohammad Ashraf asked Prime Minister Modi to “rectify historical blunders” and pay heed to the community’s demands including initiation of measures to tackle the trend of replacing Sufism by extremist ideologies.

Speaking at a mass congregation marking the conclusion of the first World Sufi Forum here, Ashraf said there has been a lack of representation for majority of the Muslim populace on “key positions” and urged the government to look into it.

At the gathering at Ram Lila Maidan, AIUMB also released a 25-point declaration, in which it urged governments across the world including the Modi dispensation to “revive” Sufism in their bid to combat terrorism.

“There is a sense of fear among Muslims due to riots. Government should alleviate this fear and Union Home Ministry should spell out what steps have been taken with regard to all the small or big communal incidents and riots that have taken place so far in different parts of the country,” the declaration reads.

The outfit denounced “every course” of sectarianism and described it as “threat to India’s solidarity”.

“We request all governments of the world, especially the Government of India, to extend full cooperation for the revival of Sufism,” it added.

Ashraf expressed concern that there have been “concerted efforts” to weaken Sufism in India and to replace it with “extremist and radical” ideologies and sought the government’s intervention in arresting the trend.

“In the past few decades, there have been concerted efforts to weaken Sufism in India and replace it with extremist and radical ideology… The phenomenon is dangerous, not just for the Muslim community but also for the country. We request the Prime Minister to rectify these historical blunders,” he said.

Asked about the alleged “atmosphere of intolerance”, Ashraf said, “We cannot determine the picture based on a few incidents. We should treat these as causes for alarm. We should try and ensure that our Ganga-Yamuna culture is not affected since there are signs that it is being weakened. Then we should try and strengthen it.”

The four-day World Sufi Forum, inaugurated by the Prime Minister and being attended by delegates from 22 countries, concluded today with the declaration of the 25-point agenda by AIUMB.

Sufi leader urges PM to create Sufi corridor and rectify historical blunders against Muslims:India Today

IndiaToday.in  | Edited by Siddharth Tiwari

New Delhi, March 20, 2016

World Sufi Forum

 Sufi leader and founder president of All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board urged the government to promote Sufi literature, Sufi culture and music and also rectify ‘historical blunders’ against Muslims, toay on the final day of World Sufi Forum at Ramlila Ground, New Delhi.

All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board urged the government to promote Sufi literature, Sufi culture and music and also rectify ‘historical blunders’ against Muslims, today on the final day of World Sufi Forum at Ramlila Ground, New Delhi.

Sufi leader and founder president of AIUMB, Hazrat Syed Muhammad Ashraf, at the event expressed his concern over declining state of Sufism in India and founds the situation alarming.

“Over the last few decades, there have been concerted efforts to weaken Sufism in India and replace it with an extremist and radical ideology. This recent phenomenon is dangerous not just for the Muslim community, but also for the country itself,” Ashraf said.

Calling for the centre’s intervention in safeguarding the fading Sufism in India he said, “We request our Prime Minister to rectify these historical blunders and meet the demands of millions of Sufi followers in India,” he added.

He also demanded that the home ministry to spell out what steps had been taken with regard to the small and big communal incidents that have taken place in different parts of the country.

Voicing the concern over low Muslim representation in various minority institutions Ashraf urged for increased of Indian Muslims in various state and national bodies.

“Indian Muslims having faith in Sufi traditions should be given representation according to their share in population in various bodies such as Central Waqf Council, State Waqf Boards, Central and State Hajj Committees and
National Minority Finance Development Corp,” he said.

AIUMB, the apex body representing Sufis in India, unveiled its 25-point charter on the occasion.

AIUMB appealed to the government to establish a Sufi university in the name of revered Sufi saint Khwaja Gareeb Nawaz.

It said a central Sufi centre should be established in New Delhi and in all capital cities to promote Sufi literature, Sufi culture and music.

In order to promote Sufi tourism, it suggested that a ‘Sufi corridor’ be created to connect all the shrines in the country.

World Sufi Forum rejects all forms of terrorism; urges govt to revive Sufism: DNA

Sun, 20 Mar 2016-11:22pm , PTI
isis-2-3_647_032216084733
President of All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB) Syed Mohammad Kachhuchvi with Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri in Pakistani politician and Islamic scholar of Sufism, during International Sufi Conference at Ramlila Grounds in New Delhi on Sunday. (PTI)

The Forum participants also slammed Taliban, al Qaeda, ISIS and all other terrorist organisations who have destroyed the brotherhood of mankind.

The World Sufi Forum on Sunday rejected all forms of terrorism outright and urged governments across the world to support the “revival” of Sufism to combat this menace.

The Forum made the appeal even as influential Pakistani-Canadian cleric Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri identified terrorism as the common enemy of both India and Pakistan and asserted the two countries will have to fight it out together.

A declaration adopted at the end of the first international conference of representatives of Sufism from 22 countries brought together by the All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB) also came down heavily on the present-day growing sectarianism in the societies of Muslims and others.

“We openly condemn all forms of terrorism in clear and categorical words whether it is intellectual, social religious, political and economic or ideological terrorism. We reject all forms of terrorism outright,” it said.

The Forum while requesting the governments of the world to extend its full cooperation for the revival of Sufism asserted that the remedy for the elimination of radicalism and extremism ideologies is in the ideology of Sufism only. The Forum participants also slammed Taliban, al Qaeda, ISIS and all other terrorist organisations who have destroyed the brotherhood of mankind.

“We condemn the brazen violation of Islam and human rights and strongly appeal to Muslim youth to shun extremist organisations and wrong interpretations of the Quran and Hadith that go against the consensus of the Ummah,” it said.

In his speech on the concluding day of the conference, Qadri urged the Indian and Pakistani establishment to reflect as to whether they will remain ‘enemies forever?’

“I request the governments to refrain from spending on lavish lifestyles and instead focus on eradication of poverty and end the enmity. Seventy years have passed since independence. Four wars have been fought. Are the two countries going to be enemies forever?”

“For god’s sake end this enmity now. And stop spending your Budget money on enmity. Spend your budget for promotion of peace. India should understand Pakistan is not its enemy and Pakistan should realise that India is not its enemy. The common enemy of both the countries is terrorism,” Qadri said.

Qadri, whose massive protest in Islamabad a year-and-a- half ago had shaken the Nawaz Sharif regime, identified poverty as the root cause behind terrorism and extremism.

‘World Sufi Forum’ issues manifesto; says ISIS, al Qaeda, Taliban against ‘Islam and humanity’: Zee News

March 20, 2016

'World Sufi Forum' issues manifesto; says ISIS, al Qaeda, Taliban against 'Islam and humanity'
 Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Although Narendra Modi – led government at the Centre has often been accused of being anti-Muslim, a ‘World Sufi Program’ concluded here in the national capital peacefully on Sunday. The forum where Muslim scholars from more that 20 countries participated gave a message that the community is against terrorism.

Prominent Muslim leaders from around the globe condemned violence in the name of Islam at the International Sufi Conference and said that it is sin to misuse the name of Islam in order to spread terror.

Speaking at the Ramlila Ground here on the final day of a four-day event, Pakistani politician and Islamic scholar Tahir-ul-Qadri said, “The only aim of  ISIS, al Qaeda, Taliban is to kill people, nothing to do with Islam.”

He further said, “India & Pakistan are not enemies, their real enemy is terrorism,” ANI reported.

“If one studies Sufism properly, they will understand that what ISIS is doing is not ‘Jihad’ but ‘Fasaad’. Sufism should be a taught in India and Pakistan as it can help reduce terrorism,” Qadri added.

The organisers of the first World Sufi Forum also released a manifesto today.

The Muslim leaders, however, also urged the government to rectify the “historical blunders” against Muslims and to introduce Sufism at all levels of education.

Renowned Sufi leader Hazrat Syed Muhammad Ashraf said: “Over the last few decades, there have been concerted efforts to weaken Sufism in India and replace it with an extremist and radical ideology.”

“This recent phenomenon is dangerous not just for the Muslim community, but also for the country itself,” added the founder president of All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), the organisers of the event.

“We request our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) to rectify these historical blunders and meet the demands of millions of Sufi followers in India.”

He also demanded that the home ministry to spell out what steps had been taken with regard to the small and big communal incidents that have taken place in different parts of the country.

Ashraf also raised concerns over low Muslim representation in various minority institutions.

“Indian Muslims having faith in Sufi traditions should be given representation according to their share in population” in various bodies such as Central Waqf Council, State Waqf Boards, Central and State Hajj Committees and National Minority Finance Development Corp.

AIUMB, the apex body representing Sufis in India, unveiled its 25-point charter on the occasion.

AIUMB appealed to the government to establish a Sufi university in the name of revered Sufi saint Khwaja Gareeb Nawaz.

It said a central Sufi centre should be established in New Delhi and in all capital cities to promote Sufi literature, Sufi culture and music.

In order to promote Sufi tourism, it suggested that a ‘Sufi corridor’ be created to connect all the shrines in the country.

Over 8000 Muslim clerics and Sufi leaders came together in a large congregation to attend the conference.

World Sufi Forum passes resolution against terrorism, concludes: ANI

Mar 20, 10:15 pm

Addressing the conference, Pakistan politician and Islamic scholar Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri said the real enemy of India and Pakistan is terrorism.

He praised the role of India in promoting world peace,

Lashing out at the ISIS, he said, “What it is doing is not Jihad, but conflict. ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Taliban are against the Islam.”

Qadri said separatism is being promoted by narrow-minded people for the past 50 years in the name of Islam.

He suggested that Sufism should be taught in both countries, as it can help reduce terrorism.

Pitching for a dialogue between India and Pakistan, Qadri said, “Both the countries must decide whether they want to continue nearly seven-decade of hostility or would prefer a path of peace, economic growth and development.”

The event was organised by the All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), which is the apex body of Sufi Dargahs in India.

Hundreds of scholars, Sufi luminaries, Imams and Muftis from across the world were gathered to take part in the conclave.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also addressed the conference.

World Sufi Forum: Islam originally was a radical inter-faith movement, says Kabir Helminski: First Post

Shishir Tripathi  Mar 19, 2016

Kabir Edmund Helminski is the director of the Threshold Society and has been working within the Mevlevi tradition of Sufism for about thirty years. Kabir who has translated many volumes of Sufi literature, including numerous works of Rumi, and is the author of two books, Sufism: Living Presence and A Sufi Way to Mindfulness and the Essential Self was present at the World Sufi Forum and spoke to Firstpost about his journey from being a Catholic to a follower of Sufism and Islam.

In popular discourse there are so many distortions regarding Islam. This, to an extent, is because of the violent acts of extremism and terrorism attributed to it. How can this be corrected?

It is finally a time to raise a banner of Sufism for people to see and for Sufis to learn how to communicate better about what their values are. There is also an urgent need for us to address the distortions of Islam that have come through the actions of extremists, who are often manipulated for political purposes and are often proxies — ignorant and motivated by their rage. They are victims too and they do not understand Islam. They have received one-dimensional and misinterpreted views of Islam. There are many such ideas. If  you look at what Salafis have to say. They have lot of external details, but in terms of anything for the spiritual life of humanity, they have very little to offer.

Sufism, on the other hand, has such a rich treasury of wisdom and it is so diverse. But at the same time, it is so unified and coherent. At centre of all the great Sufi writers’ conscience there is something very divine because Islam itself, if properly understood, has a very harmonious message.

File image of Kabir Helminski. Screen grab from YouTube

File image of Kabir Helminski.

When I meet Sufis from India, Bosnia, Malaysia, and Russia or in California, we meet on the same page. I don’t need an external authority to control our thoughts and beliefs. There is a very natural unity because of a very deep coherence and this is beautiful. You can find universal brotherhood.

Many Muslims today surprise me as they are reaching out to different communities and faiths, and welcoming them. This is the original Islam. Because originally, Islam was a radical inter-faith movement and people do not know this as they do not know the history. In the beginning, Islam spread like wildfire in its first 100 years.

It spread to most unknown parts of the world from Europe to Asia, because it integrated in itself Christian sects, Judaism and Zoroastrian sects, and said that if you believe in the divine, if you want to live a just life and you are not going to be subject to untamed passion and religious privileges, then you are one of us. It was an inclusive inter-faith movement. We can get back to that now and say that we are one as a humanity. The diversity in culture and religion is part of the divine plan. This is Quranic.

God’s plan is not to have monopoly on truth. Muslims understand this today.

There is so much in Islam that can attract people to live a life of compassion and love, and still, the youth drift towards organisations like the Islamic State (IS). Why is it happening? How can it be stopped?

It is a tiny population in a world where civil society is destroyed; where children are growing without traditional Islamic values and beautiful traditions of Islamic culture. They have become nihilistic. There is a similar phenomenon in Central America today, I expect it has no religious justification. You think IS is about Islam? No. It was rather consciously modelled on a secret communist police structure and then has an overall Islamic link. So it is nihilistic and is totally opposed to Islam.

It has just the packaging of Islam and people mistake packaging for essence.

Most of the religions have customs that perpetuate gender discrimination; one among them being disallowing women form certain places of worship. Dargahs are places where people from all faiths are allowed. But at some places, they too restrict the entry of women. Why does Sufism — that is so accommodating — allow this?

This is a cultural phenomenon and not intrinsic to Islam. There is nothing in Islam that supports it. It is a cultural phenomenon particularly in South Asia and the Arab world, but in other places, it is not quite like this. There is a certain kind of Islam that is spreading — the fundamentalist Islam that is puritanical and misogynistic that has spread with the wealth of the Arab Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia. But it is not intrinsic to Islam and one day we will get rid of this.

Please tell us about your journey through Sufism and Islam.

Well, I was a seeker, born as a Catholic, experimented with Buddhism but eventually found Sufism as a beautifully integrated spirituality in which you live a practical useful life and at the same time, you are like a monk in everyday life as you are remembering your God. It is such a beautiful way of integrating the highest spiritual consciousness with a practical life. So it is a very experiential path that does not need much belief: You just live it and I feel westerners are very open and receptive to it.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Spoke about Islam and Sufism at length at the inaugural function. To what extent do you agree with the points he made?

The points he made were beautiful, clear and very positive, and it gave me a lot of hope — not just for the India, but for the whole world. It is heartening to see that a leader of his magnitude was able to speak all these spiritual truths publicly and give this message to the Muslim community and the Sufi community. This was a historic event in the history of Sufism.

It was remarkable.

To hit at the root of terror, Jordan looking to Sufi message of ‘love & peace’ : Indian Express

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: March 19, 2016 6:21 pm

SUFI

 

Seeking to combat terror by hitting at its root, Jordan is looking to the Sufi message of “love and peace” to counter extremist ideology and has asked the All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB) for its help in this regard.

AIUMB president Syed Mohammad Kachhuchvi said the Middle-Eastern kingdom is “impressed” with Sufism and now planning to organise an event similar to the ongoing World Sufi Forum.

Following a meeting with a representative of Jordan’s King Abullah II bin Al-Hussein on the sidelines of the Sufi conference, he said “they (Jordan) want us to work with them and hold programmes like the World Sufi Forum there. They want to spread our message of unity in diversity and tolerance in their country.

“In this tie-up, our people will go to Jordan and deliver lectures on Sufism there. They also plan to hold this (World Sufi Forum) kind of an event there. We will be happy to work with them,” Kachhuchvi said after meeting the Jordanian representative Dr Abdul Rahim Okour.

He said this was a “matter of pride” for India as its ‘Ganga-Yamuni’ culture is being “exported” to other parts of the world to counter the “import” of terrorism and radicalisation.

Although Okour refused to speak to reporters, AIUMB national secretary Hasan Jamee quoted the Jordanian representative as having said during the discussion that they “know which are the organisations engaged in extremist activities”.

“But targeting such organisations is not sufficient, we want to hit at the root, the extremist ideology,” Jamee said quoting Okour.

According to Jamee, Okour also said he was “quite impressed” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech during the inaugural session of the Sufi meet, which has been organised by AIUMB.

The four-day event, which began on Thursday, is being attended by representatives from 22 countries and will conclude with a mass congregation on Sunday.

– See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/to-hit-at-the-root-of-terror-jordan-looking-to-sufi-message-of-love-peace/#sthash.MkxOkX9s.dpuf