Taking strong objection to the recent mock anti-terror drill in which “terrorists” were made to wear skull caps and shout pro-Islamic slogans organized by the Gujarat police in South India, Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) supremo Asaduddin Owaisi implied that deliberate attempts were being made to link terrorism with Islam.
Addressing a well-attended gathering on eve of Milad-un-Nabi at the vast grounds of party headquarters in Darussalaam, Owaisi said: “The Gujarat police think that we should be afraid of practicing our faith. Why are you linking terrorism with Islam? But the truth is Islam and Prophet Muhammad came to finish off terrorism. And as much as we are proud of our faith, we are proud of being Indian. There is an investment summit in Gujarat and they want to show that there is a war on terror in progress. But let it be clear, we have nothing to do with terrorism.”
Owaisi said that though the party has severe political differences with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), this does not imply that the MIM would differ with them if the country’s sovereignty is threatened. “We will speak in one voice indeed and fight for the borders of our country. But it is not in the interest of the country that Islam be vilified,” Owaisi said.
Taking a dig at the Sangh Parivar’s ghar wapsi campaign, Owaisi said that the real homecoming was to return to the fold of Islam and invited the RSS and VHP to it. “We cannot offer you money as we have nothing. But we promise you success in this life and the thereafter,” he said.
Buttressing his point using a widely held Islamic belief, that every person is born Muslim, Owaisi said, “Every person who enters this world is Muslim. But circumstances and parents mold him into other faiths. You (Sangh Parivar) are free to disagree as Islam denounces the use of force,” he said.
Ridiculing the ghar wapsi conversion rate card of Rs 5 lakh for Muslims and Rs 2 lakh for Christians Owaisi exclaimed, “Only Rs 5 lakh? What a joke! Prophet Muhammad said that a breeze is blowing from India. We are Indians by birth and by choice. We will not leave our faith even if the world were thrown at our feet!”
Claiming that the ghar wapsi campaign could derail development, Owaisi said, “How will foreign direct investment come into the country? How will the economy grow by eight per cent or nine per cent? Oil prices are falling but people are still poor.”
The parliamentarian lashed out at Mehdi Masroor Biswas, the Bengaluru-based Islamic State supporter, for misrepresenting Islam and demanded that the “old man” Hafiz Saeed be apprehended. “He has killed innocent Muslims. He is an enemy of the country,” Owaisi said.