SRI NAGAR: The state unit of the Jamaat-e-Islami, a religio-political outfit having a separatist ideology, is in a soup after Engineer Abdur Rashid, a mainstream politician and an MLA, attended and addressed its annual convention, recently. On February 15, the MLA (Langate constituency) attended the annual convention of the Jamaat-e-Islami at Rajendra Bazar in Jammu.
Interestingly, the Jamaat chief Mohammad Abdullah Wani and other top leaders of the organisation were present at the convention and listened to Rashid’s speech on “Ills confronting Muslims.”
It was for the first time that the Jamaat, which follows ‘boycott politics’, invited a mainstream (pro-India) leader to any of its functions and allowed him to address the convention. The MLA’s presence and his address sparked controversy in Jamaat as the leaders and the members demanded action against those invited Rashid. Jamaat is often accused of having the militant group Hizbul Mujahideen as its armed wing. However, the outfit has time and again denied it.
Feeling the heat, the party chief acted swiftly and expelled two of its members, including a senior leader. “We have expelled two members from the party for inviting a pro-Indian politician to the convention,” Jamaat chief Mohammad Abdullah Wani told Express. He said that one of the expelled members was the district president of Jammu and another was a caretaker of a mosque run by the organisation. Abdullah said the party never invites pro-Indian politicians to its functions. “We do invite non-Muslim scholars but never have invited mainstream politicians,” he said and added that the invite to the MLA was in violation of the organisation’s code of conduct.
He said the meeting of Majlis shoora (highest decision-making body of the party) will be held in a few days to discuss the issue and suggest further action. The Majlis Shoora meeting is expected to be stormy as some members and leaders, who have already upped their ante, may demand the resignation of the party chief and other top leaders.
“What should have never happened, has happened. Rashid should not have been invited to the function. The party should order a thorough investigation into the matter and sack all those involved in this issue,” a Jamaat leader said. He added the party workers want an answer to this from the Jamaat chief. “We will seek answers from him and other top leaders in Majlis Shoora meeting,” he added.
“Since 1989, the Jamaat-e-Islami has been boycotting electoral politics, preaching separatism and staying away from the mainstream politicians. The hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani is a former Jamaat activist. Due to differences with the party leadership, he came out of it and floated a new party -- Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. However, Geelani still enjoys the support of Jamaat.