Following is the statement by Indian Muslims– activists, intellectuals, community and religious leaders, scholars and academics – representing many organizations from across India released at the press conference simultaneously held in Delhi and Mumbai on 19th August 14.
We, the Indian Muslims are shocked and pained by the brutality and atrocities being perpetrated by the ISIS (Islamic State of Syria and Iraq) against Christians, Shias, Kurds, Yazidis and other minorities in the regions now under their control. We strongly condemn such barbarism which is against the teachings of Islam. We express our heart-felt sympathies and solidarity with the survivors of those whose near and dear ones have been mercilessly butchered, and the tens of thousands of Iraq’s minorities who have been dispossessed, forced to flee their homes and are now living in extremely difficult circumstances.
The barbaric conduct of the ISIS is all the more reprehensible because its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, proclaims to be the ‘Caliph’ of the entire Muslim world and his armed group are supposedly acting in the name of Islam. We welcome the fact that most religious leaders and Islamic scholars from across the world, including India, have debunked al-Baghdadi’s claim of being a Caliph.
Alongside the ongoing tormenting of common citizens and persecution of religious and ethnic minorities in areas under their control, the ISIS has been enforcing its own intolerant, extremist, violent, distorted interpretation of Islam on Muslims who are also Sunnis. This too deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible words. We call upon Muslim religious leaders in India and elsewhere to add their voice to that of Muslim organisations and individuals who have already denounced al-Baghdadi and his ISIS for distorting Islam’s message for peace and for their barbaric conduct.
The unspeakable atrocities and mass crimes against Iraq’s minorities are nothing short of ‘crimes against humanity’, ‘religious/ethnic cleansing’. We appeal to the United Nations to urgently intervene, create the circumstances where those forced to flee feel secure enough to return to their homes and cities with full honour and dignity, and hold the ISIS accountable for its heinous acts.
While the ISIS must be held fully responsible for its unconscionable acts, the United States, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait etc. cannot escape their share of the blame in fuelling the flames. The worsening plight of Iraq’s Christians is but a legacy of America’s illegal, unwarranted and criminal invasion of Iraq in 2003 and its subsequent engineering of sectarian strife to divide the Iraqi resistance to the occupation.
Dictator Saddam Hussain was no angel but under him the country’s 1.4 million Christians were free to practice their faith. Many occupied high government posts. It is ironic that the US is now bombing the very ISIS to which it had earlier provided training, arms and ammunition in an attempt to dislodge Syria’s authoritarian President, Bashar al-Assad. For their own myopic ends, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait etc have been backing an array of radical Islamist outfits of which the ISIS — a monster now seemingly out of control — was an integral part.
We urge a global condemnation of the ISIS and all its allies, overt or covert.
A.J. Jawad, Advocate, Chennai
Aamir Edresy, President, Association of Muslim Professionals, Mumbai
Abbas Shamael Rizvi, Cinematographer & Photographer, Delhi
Abdul Mannan Prof, Gauhati University, Assam
Abdul Salam Prof, President , Justice and Equity Demand Samiti, Assam
Abusaleh Shariff Dr., Executive Director, US-India Policy Institute, Washington DC
Akhtar Husain Akhtar Gen. Secretary, All India Momin Conference, Kanpur
Amir Rizvi, Communication Designer, Mumbai
Amjad Ali Dr., Assistant Professor, Jaunpur
Arshad Ajmal, Social Activist, Patna
Asad Ashraf, Social Activist, Delhi
Asad Zaidi, Writer and Publisher, Delhi
Asif Iqbal, Director, Dhanak, Delhi
Asif Naqvi Professor, Aligarh
Bader Sayeed, Advocate & Former Member Legislative Assembly Tamil Nadu
Faizur Rehman, Islamic Forum for Promotion of Moderate Thought, Chennai
Farhat Amin, BIRD Trust, Cuttack
Farrukh Warris Dr., Educationist, Mumbai.
Fazlur Rahman Dr, Principal, Govt Degree College, Moradabad
Feroze Mithiborwala, Muslim Intellectual Forum, Mumbai.
Hanif Lakdawala, Executive Director, Sanchetna, Ahmedabad
Hasina Khan, Women Activist, Bombay
Imanul Haque, Prof, Kolkata
Iqbal Ahmad Niazi, Retired Professor Emeritus of Zoology, University of Rajasthan
Irfan Engineer, Director, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai
Ishaq Dr, Social Activist, Azamgarh
Jameela Nishat, Shaheen Women’s Resource Centre, Hyderabad.
Javed Anand, Muslims for Secular Democracy, Mumbai
Javed Malick Dr, Retired Academic, Delhi University, Delhi
Juzar Bandukwala Dr., Retired Professor, Vadodara
K.K. Mohammad, Senior Archaeologist, Hyderabad
Kamal Faruqi, Former Chairman, Delhi Minority Commission
Kamal Siddiqui, Businessman, Khushinagar, UP
Kasim Sait, Businessman & Social Activist, Chennai
Mairajuddin Ahmed Dr. , Former Cabinet Minister, UP
Mazher Hassain, Social Activist, COVA, Hyderabad
Md. Aftab Alam Dr., Assistant Professor, Delhi
Mike Ghouse, President, World Muslim Congress, Dallas, Texas
Mohd Aamir, Human Rights Activist, ANHAD., Delhi
Mohammad Arif Dr,, Chairman, Centre for Harmony and Peace, Varanasi
Mujataba Farooque, President, Welfare Party of India
Mujib Kidwai, Marketing Management, Jeddah
Mushirul Hasan, Prof. , Former Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi
Nasiruddin Haider Khan, Journalist, Delhi
Navaid Hamid, Movement for Empowerment of Muslim Indians (MOEMIN), Delhi
Noorjehan Safia Niaz, Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Mumbai
Ovais Sultan Khan, Social Work Professional, Delhi
Qurban Ali, Journalist, Delhi
R Jeibunnisa, Manitham Trust, Tamil Nadu
Rahima Khatun, NSKK, Kolkata
Rubina Parveen, Social Activist, Varanasi
S. Akhtar Ehtisham Dr, Academic, Delhi
SM Hilal, Social Activist, Kanpur
S Irfan Habib, Prof, Maulana Azad Chair, National University of Educational Planning and Administration, Delhi
Safdar Khan, Former Chairman, Delhi State Minorities Commission, Delhi
Sahir Raza, Independent Cinematographer, Mumbai
Salar M.Khan, Lawyer, New Delhi
Sania Hashmi, Director, Anhad Films, Delhi
Sarah Hashmi, Actor, Mumbai
Semeen Ali, PhD student, University of Delhi, New Delhi
Shabana Azmi, Actor, Mumbai
Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, ANHAD, Delhi
Shahin Ansari, Social Activist, Saharanpur
SMS Firdausi, Advocate, High Court, Allahabad
Sohail Hashmi, Filmmaker, Delhi
Syed Shahid Mahdi, Former Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi
Syeda Hameed, Former Member, Planning Commission, Delhi
Tanweer Fazal, Academic, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
Tanveer Nasreen Prof, Academic, Bardman, WB
Tariq Ashraf Dr, Academic, Delhi
Wahad Ahmad, Social Activist, Bijnaur
Waris Mazhari Dr., Department of Islamic Studies, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad
Wizarat Rizvi, Academic, Delhi
Zafarul-Islam Khan Dr., Delhi
Zaheer Ahmad, Social Activist, Varanasi
Zaheer Ahmed Sayeed Dr., Neurologist, Chennai
Zaheeruddin Ali Khan, Editor, Siasat, Hyderabad
Zahid S Kamal, Retired Govt Officer, Delhi
Zakia Soman, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Gujarat
Zamser Ali, Journalist, Gauhati, Assam, President, BTAD Citizen Rights Forum, General Secretary, Centre for Minority Studies, Research and Development, Assam
Zeenat Shaukat Ali Dr. , Director General, The Wisdom Foundation (World Institute of Islamic Studies for Dialogue, Mediation, Gender-Justice and Peace), Mumbai
Zoya Hasan Prof. , Former Member, National Minorities Commission, Delhi