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Home > fundamentalism / shrinking secular space > India: Commenting on Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s endorsment of AAP

India: Commenting on Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s endorsment of AAP

Tuesday 7 January 2014, by siawi3

Monday, January 6, 2014
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind endorses AAP, says shun Congress


The Jamaat has a controversial history, and while a move towards democratic ideals should be welcomed, the communal atmosphere is too fragile to permit anything less than complete honesty. It is unclear whether its ideological transitions are tactical or basic: See Javed Anand: Reluctant Democrats - Jamaat e Islami Hind (JIH)
It is also unclear whether they see the danger to democracy stemming from the positions taken by their sister Jamaats in Bangladesh & Pakistan: Kolkata Rally on Bangladesh; or the intimidation of Taslima Nasreen: Ulema demand expulsion of Taslima Nasrin The idea of a ’Muslim interest’ is as dubious as that of a Hindu or Sikh or Christian interest & often translates as the interest of the self-appointed leaders of the community in question.

If the Jamaat uses political support as a lever for endorsement of its conservative positions on homosexuality or ’hurt sentiment’, it will not be contributing to strengthening democracy, but weakening it. Any party that obtains political support on this basis will have further communalised the atmosphere. It has been a long-standing assumption in Indian politics that Muslims are a jagir of the conservative ulema & intellectuals. This fabricated stranglehold of clerics must be rejected. For Indian Muslims, as for all citizens, it is democracy and an impartial administration that count, far more than motivated agitations over writers and ’hurt sentiments’- DS

The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, an influential Muslim organisation, has asked the community to shun the Congress and back the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party, a move likely to worry the grand old party that is counting on minorities to stem anti-incumbency. This is the first time since the Jamaat’s participation in elections in 2002 that it has come out so strongly against the Congress. “Muslims now strongly feel they should reconsider their position regarding Congress,†Jamaat’s secretary general Maulana Nusrat Ali said after concluding internal discussions on a range of issues. “The formation of Aam Aadmi Party’s government in Delhi is generally being welcomed in the country. We consider these new trends as notable and reassuring.â€
Founded in 1941 by Syed Abul Ala Maududi with the goal of spreading Islamic values, the Jamaat once shunned direct participation in elections, including voting — a move emblematic of its complex relationship with democracy. The Jamaat, like many Muslim organisations, was initially cagey in its support for the anti-corruption agitation led by Anna Hazare and Kejriwal, preferring to adopt a wait-and-watch policy. But virtually endorsing AAP on Sunday, the Jamaat said the 15-month-old party had emerged as a new alternative. “The feeling of the Muslim community is getting stronger that they should reconsider their position regarding Congress, which is neglecting them,†Ali said.
“We have to wait for the moment where AAP will be able to convince the larger Muslim community. The Jamaat’s political standing isn’t very strong, but it is the single religious organisation which can impact voting in north India,†said Sanjeer Alam, an assistant professor at the Delhi-based Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. The Jamaat has, in recent years, undergone an ideological shift towards democracy and pluralism, titling left. It has advocated criminalising homosexuality, socialist policies and is fiercely anti-American.
See also:
Javed Anand: Reluctant Democrats - Jamaat e Islami Hind (JIH)
Ulema now demand expulsion of Taslima Nasrin

Maulana who issued fatwa against Taslima Nasreen declares support for Arvind Kejriwal
Taslima moves Supreme Court against FIR over tweet
Kolkata Muslims protest against anti-Islamic activities in Bangladesh
Garga Chatterjee: A dangerous connivance
Kolkata Rally on Bangladesh
And meanwhile, in Kolkata …
1971 war crimes: In Kolkata, Islamists rally for genocide

Subhash Gatade: Muslim Right: Why does it want to protect Razakars and Mass Murderers?
Gita Sahgal - Bangladesh: Blasphemy, Genocide and Violence Against Women
Taslima Nasreen - ‘Religion Is The Biggest Bane For Any Democracy’