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Deoband rector denies Wahabi link and Saudi funding – The Times of India

November 4, 2011 NEW DELHI: Stung by the charge that the Deoband seminary supports hardline Wahabism and is funded by petro-dollars, the Darul Uloom

November 4, 2011TOI

NEW DELHI: Stung by the charge that the Deoband seminary supports hardline
Wahabism and is funded by petro-dollars, the Darul Uloom in Deoband hit back at its
critics saying it did not endorse extremism.
Darul Uloom rector Maulana Abul Qasim Nomani said allegations of the Sunni Sufi organization All
India Ulama and Mashaikh Board’s are baseless.
Speaking to TOI over phone, Nomani said, “Deobandis have no connection with Wahabis. These
are lies spread against an organization that has played a stellar role in India’s freedom movement.”
He said the AIUMB was trying to divide the Muslim ahead of UP assembly elections.
Leaders of AIMUB, a prominent organization of Sunni Sufis, had claimed Wahabi-inspired outfits
are feeding on frustration of the Muslims and indoctrinating them in radical ideals. “All Muslims
should be careful about such anti-national activities in the name of religion,” said AIUMB general
secretary Syed Mohammed Ashraf Kachochavi.
Rubbishing the allegations, Nomani said it was the Darul Uloom Deoband that issued fatwa against
terrorism two years ago. “After the fatwa, the media’s stance on bomb blasts and the Muslim
community changed somewhat,” he said.
Allegations that the Deoband seminary is indoctrinating youth in radical ideals are baseless. “I
challenge anyone who makes such false charges. Officers of intelligence agencies and police keep
coming here. Anybody can come and see what is going on at the seminary,” said Nomani.
Nomani slammed AIUMB for going soft on Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. AIUMB president
had said, “Sufi Muslims can conditionally accept Narendra Modi. If he says what happened was a
mistake and would never happen again. Anybody who is ready to apologise, we will be soft on
Nomani said, “Who are they to forgive Modi? Ask the Gujarat riot victims… can they forgive Modi?
And, who will benefit from such statements?”
The rector said the Deoband seminary has never accepeted funds from any government sources.
“It’s a false charge that we accept money from Saudi Arabia government or any other government,
including India. The seminary’s founder Muhammad Qasim Nanawtawi had willed that no
government fund should be accepted. For the last 150 years, this has been one of our basic pillars,”
said Nomani. He said the seminary’s accounts are audited and transparent.
Nomani said Deobandis are not anti-Sufi. “We worship only Allah. But that does not mean we are
against Sufis. We have many teachers who are Sufis,” he said naming Deoband scholars like
Ashraf Ali Thanwi, a Sufi saint.