Imams send thousands of letters, urge Muslims to vote for 'secular' party
Imams and clerics all over India under the banner of the All India Milli Council are writing letters to Muslims urging them to vote unitedly for a secular party in the Lok Sabha polls. The letters do not name any political party.
In West Bengal alone, 10,000 letters have been sent by the state chapter of the Islamic body, signed by its president Qari Fazlur Rahman, the imam who leads Eid namaz at Red Road, and the vice president Maulana Shafique Qasmi, the imam of Nakhoda Masjid.
"We've appealed to Muslims to use the opportunity carefully so that no communal force in the country can raise its head and a secular force is voted to power," Rahman was quoted as saying by DNA.
“Through the letters, we are urging Muslims not to make a mistake in 2019 polls. We are stating that political consciousness is necessary along with religious consciousness,” said Rehman.
The clerics are also using sermons to urge community members to vote for a secular party that has the maximum chance of winning in their areas, as they feel that division in the Muslim vote bank has led to a rise of 'fascist forces'.
“We get an opportunity to elect our government every five years. For every mistake, you will have to wait five years to rectify it. So it is imperative that you think and make up your mind that there will be no mistake in 2019. No wrong decision should be made. Think very hard before you press the button,” reads the letter.
Quoting an Islamic scholar, the letter also said even if Muslims say their 'namaz' on time five times a day, it would amount to nothing if there is no political consciousness among them.