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Sunni sects battle over religious sites

Manjari Mishra | TNN ;Date: Jan 6, 2010 Lucknow: The age-old animosity between Deobandi and Barelvi schools of thought among Sunni Muslims resurfaced

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Manjari Mishra | TNN ;Date: Jan 6, 2010TOI
Lucknow: The age-old animosity between Deobandi and Barelvi schools of thought among Sunni Muslims resurfaced in Uttar Pradesh with moderate Barelvis serving an ultimatum to hardline Deobandis to give up control over Muslim religious places during a Sunni conference.
The fight is over control of over a lakh madrassas, dargahs, graveyards and other monuments. Under the control of
the Sunni Waqf board, these properties in UP alone are worth at least Rs 10,000 crore. The figure would be
substantially higher if properties in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal, Bihar, MP and Chhattisgarh were to be included.
A demand to free all ‘idaaras’ (religious places) from ‘wahabis’ — read Deobandis — was raised at the conference
hosted by All-India Ulema Mashaikh Board in Moradabad last Sunday. ‘13% minority hijacking all bodies’
Lucknow: Animosity between Deobandi and Barelvi schools of thought among Sunni Muslims resurfaced in UP with
moderate Barelvis serving an ultimatum to hardline Deobandis to give up control over Muslim religious places during a Sunni conference.
General secretary of the board, Maulana Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichowchhwi, accused the ‘‘13% minuscule,
manipulative minority with hijacking all minorities bodies in UP and the national level’’.
Talking to TOI, Maulana Kichowchhwi said this was a fight between moderates and hardliners. ‘‘Since the latter do not have faith in patron saints of ‘dargah’ or ‘mazar’ and have condemned the practice, logically they must not be considered for management of Ajmer Sharif or Deva Sharif. The government must ensure that the chairperson and members of the Sunni Waqf Board come from among 80% of the population of moderate Muslims who follow the Sufi tradition,’’ he said.
The Sunni Conference, a Deobandi cleric said, could be just a pressure tactic to influence the Mayawati government.

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